Hanson vs. Wright-less Mets

  Port St. Lucie, Fla. – Greetings from the spring epicenter of Metdom, where the Braves and uber prospect Tommy Hanson will face longtime Braves punching bag Livan Hernandez today under a threatening sky.
   Livan years ago handled the Bravos well in the postseason (3-0, 1.89 ERA in three games, two of those in 1997), but otherwise struggles to an inexplicable degree against them, with a 3-15 record and 5.52 ERA in 25 regular-season games.
   Then again, why am I reciting regular-season or playoff stats when this is a spring-training game, and Livan, of all people, is not one to put a lot of emphasis on spring results.

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    Besides, he’ll barely recognize most of the Braves in this lineup, which doesn’t have Chipper (rehabbing his oblique at Dark Star), McCann (advancing on to the next round of the WBC) and Francoeur (day off).
 Matt Diaz is here, but Brandon Jones is in the lineup in left field, with the two center-fielders continuing their competition for that job — Josh Anderson is in CF, batting leadoff, and Jordan Schafer is in RF, batting second.
   New York writers were excited to hear that Hanson would be pitching today. That’s how much word has spread about the Braves’ top pitching prospect, whose reputation precedes him everwhere we go now.
Had a couple of NY writers tell me today how they’d talked to scouts who have been raving about Hanson, and so had Daniel Murphy, the Mets left fielder who was in the Arizona Fall League (Hanson was the MVP out there, first pitcher to win that honor).
   The big (6-6) right-hander makes his fourth Grapefruit league game today (fifth spring game overall) and comes in with a 1-0 record and 3.38 ERA, tied for fourth in the NL with 11 strikeouts in 10-2/3 innings against major league teams.
   After giving up two runs in two innings of his first game against Houston, the mature 22-year-old has allowed two earned runs, 11 hits and four walks with 12 strikeouts in 11-2/3 innings over his past four starts, including an exhibition against Panama.
    Livan won’t be facing a typical Braves lineup, and Hanson won’t be facing a typical Mets lineup, either.
They’ve still got a bunch of guys away in the WBC, including last night’s Team USA hero, David Wright.
   Before I forget, have to point out one of the greatest front-and-back-page headline combos ever in the N.Y. Post, which today had this in huge type as its entire front page: “NOT SO FAST YOU GREEDY BASTARDS” (it was about AIG).
   And on the back, this: “WRIGHT SAVES WORLD.”
   Vazquez rejoining Braves: Wright’s game-winning hit to lift the Braves past Puerto Rico last night assured that Brian McCann will be away from Braves camp for another week, which is, privately, not what the Braves had hoped for.
  They want to see him and Team USA do well (McCann had a would-be homer robbed last night robbed by Beltran) but are also eager for him to get back so he can work with the team’s new pitchers, Derek Lowe, Kenshin Kawakami and Javier Vazquez.
   On a brighter note, Puerto Rico’s loss meant that Vazquez would be back in Braves camp.
Bobby Cox said this morning that Vazquez will pitch in an intrasquad game Thursday at 1 p.m. back at the Braves’ place, where they have a night game against the Detroit Tigers.
    Vazquez, who had a impressive WBC tourney, will pitch in a game similar to what Tom Glavine and Jo-Jo Reyes pitched Monday at Dark Star. This time, the opposing pitching will be done by Brave minor leaguers.
Since Kawakami had to pitch in a sim game on a previous Monday off day on the schedule, Bobby decided that the Japanese pitcher should get to pitch in tomorrow night’s game and let Vazquez handle the sim game or intrasquad, however you care to refer to it.
BLOGMEISTER ADDENDUM: Cox and Roger McDowell subsequently talked this over and decided against the intrasquad game, which I was notified of at about 5 p.m. So scratch those plans. There will be no intrasquad game at 1 p.m., so please don’t show up at Champion Stadium expecting to see one. Thanks. Now back to our regularly scheduled blog….
   Gwinnett makes it easier: Having the Triple-A team in Gwinnet instead of Richmond will certainly make things a lot easier for Braves who split the season between the team’s highest-level affiliate and the major league club.
   If the team had been in Gwinnett before, Buddy Carlyle and others could have avoided a lot of moving hassles and lease headaches in recent years, not to mention early morning or late-night flights to Atlanta on emergency callups after injuries to Braves.
   This year, Jo-Jo Reyes and Charlie Morton are among those who could benefit from the arrangement. Both of them could start out the season in Triple-A, and Reyes and Morton have been looking for a place to live situated somewhere between the new ballpark in Gwinnett and Turner Field.
   I’m sure plenty of others this year and in the future will do the same, no longer having to worry about getting out of leases in Richmond or Atlanta if they end up being sent down or called up unexpectedly for long periods.
   Coincidentally, Carlyle and his family have been considering buying a place in Atlanta, moving from their home in Omaha, Nebraska. But his name has started cropping up in trade rumors now, as the Braves have the rare surplus of starting pitching at a time when many other teams are having trouble filling out a five-man rotation.
  OK, we’re gonna wrap it up now and get ready to watch Hanson. Game’s on TV here, so I’m gonna watch on TVI in the pressroom or in the lower stands, to get a lot better view of the movement of his pitches than I’d get from high up in the old pressbox at this ballpark.
   Oh, and due to the overwhelming response to yesterday’s Best Atlanta Braves poll, and subsequent debate over who was left off or why this one or that was more worthy, we decided to simplify the question today and let you decide. Simple question: Who’s the greatest Atlanta Brave ever? Repeat, Atlanta Brave.
LINEUPS
Braves
1. J. Anderson, CF
2. Schafer, RF
3. Johnson, 2B
4. Kotchman, 1B
5. Escobar, SS
6. Prado, 3B
7. B. Jones, LF
8. J.C. Boscan, C
9. Hanson, RH

Mets
1. Jose Reyes, SS
2. Luis Castillo, 2B
3. Daniel Murphy, LF
4. Fernando Tatis, 3B
5. Ryan Church, RF
6. Nick Evans, 1B
7. Jeremy Reed, CF
8. Rene Rivea, C
9. Livan Hernandez, RH

Take us out, Warren:

“DISORDER IN THE HOUSE” by Warren Zevon & Jorge Calderón

Disorder in the house
The tub runneth over
Plaster’s falling down in pieces by the couch of pain

Disorder in the house
Time to duck and cover
Helicopters hover over rough terrain

Disorder in the house
Reptile wisdom
Zombies on the lawn staggering around

Disorder in the house
There’s a flaw in the system
And the fly in the ointment’s gonna bring the whole thing down

The floodgates are open
We’ve let the demons loose
The big guns have spoken
And we’ve fallen for the ruse

Disorder in the house
It’s a fate worse than fame
Even the Lhasa Apso seems to be ashamed

Disorder in the house
The doors are coming off the hinges
The earth will open and swallow up the real estate

I just got my paycheck
I’m gonna paint the whole town grey
Whether it’s a night in Paris or a Fresno matinee

It’s the home of the brave and the land of the free
Where the less you know the better off you’ll be

Disorder in the house
All bets are off
I’m sprawled across the davenport of despair

Disorder in the house
I’ll live with the tosses
And watch the sundown through the portiere

 

977 comments Add your comment

Flamenco the Foot

March 18th, 2009
1:15 pm

David O'Brien

March 18th, 2009
1:17 pm

Braves went down 1-2-3 in first inning, Hanson facing Reyes to start bottom first

E4 on Kelly, mishandled grounder

Zap Rowsdower

March 18th, 2009
1:17 pm

Kelly Johnson error. Reyes on.

Random

March 18th, 2009
1:18 pm

FAIRBANKSFAN (1:05 pm): “Does anyone have a link for a radio broadcast.”

No radio at all today.

Braves-Mets ST MLB Gameday

David O'Brien

March 18th, 2009
1:19 pm

Castill flied out to left

Il Cattivo

March 18th, 2009
1:19 pm

Watching the mlb stream and the commentators dont seem to know the Braves stuff at all. I believe its the SNY feed so they might be doing it on purpose too. Claim that Schafer was caught using HGH and that Kelly played 2nd base “starting” last year as an experiment.

Epinephrine

March 18th, 2009
1:19 pm

Is the SNY speed gun right? If so his velocity is way way down.

Doc Holiday

March 18th, 2009
1:21 pm

Watching KJ making that error on a ball not so difficult to field I just have to say that the will just give us more trouble (again) while his glove is on. I dont think Lowe will be a good friend of his. Little league errors just keep piling up on KJs CV.

David O'Brien

March 18th, 2009
1:21 pm

Murphy flied out to LF warning track

ease19

March 18th, 2009
1:22 pm

and Livan, of all people, is not one to put a lot of emphasis on spring results

Unless its on the dinner table and about finishing his plate.

Zap Rowsdower

March 18th, 2009
1:22 pm

Hanson gives up a two run homer to Fernando Tatis

Il Cattivo

March 18th, 2009
1:23 pm

Doc Holiday

To be fair to Kelly, the ball did have a crazy bouce just before it went up his arm.

Ritchie from Scotland

March 18th, 2009
1:23 pm

well Tommy now you know what it’s like to give up a homer to a big leaguer…..let’s see how he reacts.

Epinephrine

March 18th, 2009
1:23 pm

That ball was creamed.

David O'Brien

March 18th, 2009
1:23 pm

Tatis TWO-RUN HOMER on fastball left up at waist or slightly above, over middle

Ritchie from Scotland

March 18th, 2009
1:23 pm

yeah what’s with the velocity, 88-89 on the fastball? that can’t be right.

Zap Rowsdower

March 18th, 2009
1:24 pm

and then walks ryan church on 4 pitches

Ritchie from Scotland

March 18th, 2009
1:24 pm

now gives up a walk….on 4 pitches.

Epinephrine

March 18th, 2009
1:25 pm

I really hope his velocity isn’t down 7 mph, that would be a very loud injury warning bell

Zap Rowsdower

March 18th, 2009
1:26 pm

Ritchie: That speed gun can’t be right. I was thinking the same thing

Doc Holiday

March 18th, 2009
1:26 pm

II Cativo

Ill give JF credit, he is deserving it, but KJ? he looks as bad as always fielding the ball. He was thinking “Jose Reyes” and not “catch the ball”.

braveman

March 18th, 2009
1:26 pm

judging by the hacks people are taking off of him i’d say 88-89 is probable correct

David O'Brien

March 18th, 2009
1:26 pm

He walked Church on four pitches before Evans flied out to right

Jeff321

March 18th, 2009
1:27 pm

All I know is the SNY camera is shaking from the wind… Oh and the crack of the bat on that jack sounded crystal clear!

Rob from SC

March 18th, 2009
1:28 pm

these met announcers suck

Rob from SC

March 18th, 2009
1:29 pm

I hope Hanson is ok

Zap Rowsdower

March 18th, 2009
1:29 pm

Base knock to right field for kotchman. No outs

Leon

March 18th, 2009
1:30 pm

DOB – Wasn’t one of those Hernandez games the one with Eric Gregg behind the plate with a strike zone that was from the shoetops to half-way up the screen and from coaches box to coaches box wide? I still think that game is the reason he was not re-hired.

David O'Brien

March 18th, 2009
1:30 pm

Kotchman sharp single to right

Doc Holiday

March 18th, 2009
1:30 pm

Is is possible that he got hacked because he is a baby and fernando tatis is a very good player? just saying…….

Zap Rowsdower

March 18th, 2009
1:30 pm

Escobar pops up to second. One away

Epinephrine

March 18th, 2009
1:30 pm

I don’t know, people are not having much trouble pulling the ball and getting huge swings…It does have Livan, though, throwing around 80. I don’t know what his normal velocity is.

Dan

March 18th, 2009
1:31 pm

Anybody have a radio URL?

Ritchie from Scotland

March 18th, 2009
1:31 pm

well Livan Hernandez is being clocked at 80mph on the fastball, i know he doesn’t throw hard but he throws harder than that. Must be something to do with the wind I think.

Coastal

March 18th, 2009
1:31 pm

Rumor has it that Livan still sends Greg a christmas present every year for that 1997 strike zone.

Doc Holiday

March 18th, 2009
1:31 pm

Rob from SC,

We all know that pal…….very much.

Josh B

March 18th, 2009
1:32 pm

Doc Holiday, That couldnt be that at all. Hanson is our savior

Chris

March 18th, 2009
1:32 pm

wuts up with hanson’s velocity? some of those pitches are right over the plate and a little flat =/

csg

March 18th, 2009
1:32 pm

1st things 1st, fernando tatis should never be described as a very good player. He’s average and maybe not even that

ease19

March 18th, 2009
1:32 pm

Leon – Eric Gregg passed away…that was the reason that he was not re-hired. He was a good ump.

Zap Rowsdower

March 18th, 2009
1:32 pm

Lots of Braves batters seem to be dissatisfied with the strike zone so far. Prado grounds into a 1-6-3 DP. Braves back to the field.

Rob from SC

March 18th, 2009
1:33 pm

Hanson seemed to lose his sharpness using the slide step

Epinephrine

March 18th, 2009
1:35 pm

Well, I think that is one of the very few times Fernando Tatis has ever been called “a very good player”. At least within the last 5 years.

GSU-Lee

March 18th, 2009
1:35 pm

Anybody else noticing Hanson’s velocity is way down? They are listing him at 88-89 on his fastball

johnjschiller

March 18th, 2009
1:35 pm

Ease19 – The rehiring occured in 2001. Eric Gregg died in 2006. He wasn’t rehired because he was a bad umpire.

Zap Rowsdower

March 18th, 2009
1:35 pm

Base hit mets. Escobar almost snagged it. One on, no outs

GSU-Lee

March 18th, 2009
1:36 pm

And every ball that has been hit hard, for those not watching, have been belt-high down the middle. Definitely not sharp at the moment

Rob from SC

March 18th, 2009
1:36 pm

he does not look sharp. why is he not throwing breaking balls.

Rob from SC

March 18th, 2009
1:36 pm

his fastball seems hittable

braveman

March 18th, 2009
1:36 pm

i have been a baseball fanatic for well over twenty years now and I can promise you that the game that eric gregg umpired was the worst called game from behind the plate that I have ever seen. he should have reprimanded heavily. it was very obvious in that game something was very wrong with him.

RC

March 18th, 2009
1:36 pm

ease19,

Actually, Eric Gregg was not rehired after the umpires strike because he was a terrible umpire. He passed away a few years after he quit working as a major league ump. He was NOT a good ump.

Rob from SC

March 18th, 2009
1:37 pm

two nasty breaking balls

David O'Brien

March 18th, 2009
1:37 pm

Reed single to left

Hanson strikes out Rivera on a big curveball, called strike three dropped right into the zone

Zap Rowsdower

March 18th, 2009
1:37 pm

Hanson k’s Rivera looking. One down.

Leon

March 18th, 2009
1:38 pm

I know he passed away, I don’t think he was re-hired (along with several other veteran umps) after they had a work stoppage. He was NOT a good ump, that’s why MLB chose not to bring him back.

Zap Rowsdower

March 18th, 2009
1:38 pm

Throw down to second almost went into Right center field. Stolen base for reed.

David O'Brien

March 18th, 2009
1:38 pm

Reed steals second, bad throw by Boscan. Real bad throw.

glorydays

March 18th, 2009
1:38 pm

I still remember the size of the strike zone Hernandez was given during the 97 playoffs, it was astounding.

Rob from SC

March 18th, 2009
1:39 pm

I love Hanson, but he should begin the year in Triple A. He needs to work on fastball location

Ritchie from Scotland

March 18th, 2009
1:39 pm

that fastball from Hanson said 93

Doc Holiday

March 18th, 2009
1:39 pm

Get over it………Tatis hit it hard and theres nothing you can do about it. It wont be the last time Hanson gives up a HR, right?

Rob from SC

March 18th, 2009
1:39 pm

good throw by Escobar

Rob from SC

March 18th, 2009
1:39 pm

Zap Rowsdower

March 18th, 2009
1:40 pm

Reed out at the plate on a throw by Escobar from left field. Livan Hernandez with the bloop hit makes it to second. Two outs. Bad call by the ump btw.

rickman

March 18th, 2009
1:40 pm

Does anyone know if this game is being broadcast on the internet. (radio)???

Chris

March 18th, 2009
1:40 pm

topping out at 93 against livan hernandez. he’s “KINDA” letting it go but still gives up a hit to the pitcher. dont understand why he’s not trying to throw harder. his location is horrible right now and his movement isnt much better. weird….

David O'Brien

March 18th, 2009
1:40 pm

Escobar absolute BULLET throw home to nail Reed trying to score on Livan’s bloop single to left. Escobar went out and picked it up on the bounce and turned and rifled perfect throw home to surprise Reed. Reed actually looked safe on the play, but tremendous throw.

Zap Rowsdower

March 18th, 2009
1:41 pm

Reyes flies to center. End of the inning. Hanson escapes. They’re hitting him pretty well so far.

Doc Holiday

March 18th, 2009
1:41 pm

Wow!!!!!!!!!
A major league play by yunel. What a player……..I suppose all those yunel haters will say reed runs the bases like a lady but the truth is, yunel is a great player with more instincts than anybody on this team, including chipper.

garlick

March 18th, 2009
1:41 pm

Hanson is going to have days like this. He’s not the ace yet. Relax guys.

dude

March 18th, 2009
1:42 pm

Nice luck w/ bad call.

Josh B

March 18th, 2009
1:43 pm

How many pitches is that for Hanson? 17?

ease19

March 18th, 2009
1:43 pm

Fellas – I know…I know…he resigned in 1999 due to the labor dispute and Gregg was one of the ones that was not rehired. I just did not think he was a bad ump.

Zap Rowsdower

March 18th, 2009
1:43 pm

Brandon Jones base hit to left center. One on, no outs

Rob from SC

March 18th, 2009
1:43 pm

Brandon Jones looks great

KC

March 18th, 2009
1:43 pm

I’m thinking on that play at the plate, Boscan simply wasn’t going to create a collision play at home plate mid-way through spring training. In the regular season, I think he would have done more to block the plate. The throw did beat him.

Hanson not looking particularly sharp so far.

Epinephrine

March 18th, 2009
1:44 pm

Garlick, I don’t care about him “having days like this”. I care about why he is topping at out 93 and throwing around 89. That could be an injury concern.

Lucky

March 18th, 2009
1:45 pm

DOB.

I saw on PTI last night that Chipper was slagging off my home city of Toronto while he was here for the Classic. Given that Toronto is one of the largest cities in North America, being well over twice the size of Atlanta (which I have been to many times, and enjoy), and has quite a bit to offer in terms of things to do, what is Chipper’s problem? The PTI guys rebutted Chipper’s remarks, but would you tell him next time he is here that if he ventures outside of his hotel, he might actually have a good time. Not all of Canada is igloos and snowshoes.

Zap Rowsdower

March 18th, 2009
1:45 pm

J.C. Boscan grounds into a 4-6-3 double play.2 outs

Rob from SC

March 18th, 2009
1:45 pm

i hate the Mets

David O'Brien

March 18th, 2009
1:45 pm

After BJones’ leadoff single, Boscan grounded into double play

toph

March 18th, 2009
1:46 pm

Boy that would be awful to have an injury to him. Hopefully he’s fine and will get things straightened out here.

David O'Brien

March 18th, 2009
1:46 pm

Hanson flied out to RF

Zap Rowsdower

March 18th, 2009
1:46 pm

Hanson flies out to right. Three and out

garlick

March 18th, 2009
1:46 pm

Doubt it, in Spring Training it could be arm fatigue. Remember, these are the first days of throwing, even for him. So he could just be building up to it.

Also, he could be working on different things, meaning he might be trying to throw easier on purpose to work on a slide step, or throw a different 4 seemer grip. This is pretty normal.

David O'Brien

March 18th, 2009
1:47 pm

Lucky: For the record, Toronto is probably one of my five or six favorite cities I’ve been to covering baseball. Definitely in the top 10. Cool town.

Run Heap Run

March 18th, 2009
1:48 pm

OK I’m not going to choose between Chipper and Maddux. I’d rather just not vote. :D

Epinephrine

March 18th, 2009
1:48 pm

If he is building up arm strength, why was he topping at 99, and steadily hitting 96? A few miles an hour is no big deal, but dropping off by 7-8 mph is cause for concern.

Random

March 18th, 2009
1:49 pm

rickman: “Does anyone know if this game is being broadcast on the internet. (radio)???”

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-braves-blog/2009/03/18/hanson-vs-wright-less-mets/#comment-28361

Jeff321

March 18th, 2009
1:49 pm

I vaguely remember Eric Gregg making an absolute terrible call while umpiring the plate for a Chicago Cubs game. (I forget if they were playing the Braves or not.)

Anyway, there was a play at the plate and he was on one knee.. And proceeded to raise his arm to call the guy out TWICE and finished with a safe call!

Lucky

March 18th, 2009
1:49 pm

Thanks David. For the record, yours is my favorite column, and I am not doing any work right now as I follow along on my work computer, which may come back to haunt me later.

Rob from SC

March 18th, 2009
1:50 pm

no the sone shrinks

Zap Rowsdower

March 18th, 2009
1:50 pm

Hanson walks leadoff

Rob from SC

March 18th, 2009
1:50 pm

now the zone shrinks

RLPmetro

March 18th, 2009
1:50 pm

Toronto is twice the size of Atlanta? I find that pretty hard to believe. Atlanta’s bypass road’s have bypass road’s.

Reid in EAV

March 18th, 2009
1:50 pm

Hanson walks Castillo after going 3-2. Didn’t get a few borderline calls. FB clocked at 92.

David O'Brien

March 18th, 2009
1:50 pm

hanson’s throwing some nasty curveballs. Castillo took one that barely missed the strike zone, then drew a walk.

Rob from SC

March 18th, 2009
1:50 pm

trying to type laying down

Reid in EAV

March 18th, 2009
1:51 pm

A 94 mph FB there. I wouldn’t worry.

VENEZUELA

March 18th, 2009
1:51 pm

WOWW !!! 3 plays by JC Boscan looks horrible!!! I am sorry he is a venezuelan like me, but has no mind playing this game, its way above his league…

First calling a horrible game, actually Mcdowell is calling the game

Second horrible throw, i mean he couldnt have thrown worst to 2nd !!!

Later on the throw by Esco…he didnt know how to block the freekkkng plate…Reed scored on that eventhough they called him out!

Third he hits for a double play…get that doushbag out o’ there

Peace, braves fans

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