SAN FRANCISCO – Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson was hit in the eye by a batted ball that caromed off the ground during batting practice, but said he would make his scheduled Game 2 start Friday in the National League Division Series against San Francisco.
The right-hander was hitting in the batting cage before Thursday’s series opener at AT&T Park when he hit a ball that caromed off a pad on the ground and back into his face. He left the field immediately to be checked out, and was expected to see an eye doctor as a precaution.
A small mark was visiable above Hanson’s right eye, but he was checked out and cleared to pitch.
“11 for 6″ is Braves’ postseason slogan
When Braves players entered the visitor’s clubhouse Thursday, then found T-shirts emblazoned with a simple slogan: 11 for 6. It meant 11 postseason wins for a World Series title for Cox (No. 6) in his final postseason as manager.
“We’ve had some awesome T-shirts this year,” infielder Brooks Conrad said.
Conrad said he didn’t know who had the shirts made, and backup catcher David Ross, frequent ringleader in such matters, said he wasn’t responsible this time.
“I think this whole season has been special, to be able to play for him, especially in his last year,” said Tommy Hanson, the Braves’ Game 2 starter Friday. “I don’t think we’re thinking about that too much, we obviously want to take it one step at a time. But that would be awesome to be able to do that [for Cox].”
Diaz in left field
Even though the Braves faced right-hander Matt Lincecum in Game 1 Thursday, Matt Diaz got the start in left field instead of slumping Nate McLouth or Melky Cabrera.
“Matty started the last game in Atlanta and hit balls hard, two of them I think were off right-handers,” Cox said. ” If Matty gets hot, he’s going to hit lefties, righties, it doesn’t make any difference. We had to pick one, and the coaching staff and I picked him.”
Diaz was 1-for-3 against Lincecum before Thursday, while McLouth and Cabrera were each 1-for-6 against him, including four strikeouts for McLouth.
McLouth was 11-for-30 (.367) with seven extra-base hits (3 HRs) and 10 RBI in 10 games thru Sept. 18, but 4-for-24 with no extra-base hits and no RBI in 10 games since.