Tommy Hanson has had his share of hard luck this season. His 9-11 record next to a 3.54 ERA is pretty good indication. Here’s an even better one: Six times this season, he’s left a game in position to win and watched the bullpen blow his lead.
That’s second-most in the majors behind Florida’s Josh Johnson, whose Marlins have blown seven of his leads.
It happened to Hanson again on Saturday night after he pitched seven innings, allowing only two runs and left Jonny Venters with a 3-2 lead. A Martin Prado error prolonged the eighth inning as the Cardinals tied it 3-3 on a groundout off Peter Moylan.
The Braves went on to win in extra innings, not that Hanson places a lot of blame on the bullpen anyway.
“Of those six, we never really had a big lead,” said Hanson, who had a 2.56 ERA in those six no-decisions. “They were always close games, so you can’t really put that on the bullpen. I think it’s just the way it’s been going.”
Hanson said his focus is on keeping his team in the game. To do that his second season in the majors has been more of a challenge than when he cruised to an 11-4 record with a 2.89 ERA last year. It might be more rewarding for that same season.
“It’s a confidence-booster knowing that I have had some ups and downs, but I know I can figure it out and get back where I need to be,” Hanson said.