Hanson retires 15 of 16 batters after leadoff homer

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Tommy Hanson retired the last 10 batters he faced and gave up only two hits and one run in five innings of the Braves’ 4-3 win against the Boston Red Sox at Champion Stadium.

After Marco Scutaro homered on the second pitch of the game, Hanson set down 15 of the next 16 batters, a streak interrupted only by Ryan Kalish’s second-inning single.

Hanson doesn’t buy into the stuff about spring training being too long for starting pitchers.

“For me, the more times I go out there, the better,” said the right-hander, who has a 1.29 ERA in 14 innings, allowing nine hits and one walk with nine strikeouts. “ I feel like I’m pretty close right now. Obviously I still have some stuff to work on, but I feel like I’m pretty close to being ready for the season.”

Hanson struck out the side in his final inning Wednesday.

“I really took an emphasis this spring on my fastball command, and throwing everything off of that, instead of worrying about my off-speed stuff so much,” he said. “I think when I get my fastball and I’m commanding it, it’s a lot easier to throw my breaking stuff off of that. So I just put a little more emphasis on it this spring, and obviously it’s helped.”

Hanson was asked if he believed the Braves could keep up with the Phillies in the NL East.

“I think so,” he said. “We definitely have a very tough division. But I think with our team, with our lineup, with our pitching, we’re definitely going to have a chance. Our biggest thing is, every night we go out there we’re definitely going to compete. So I think everybody in here feels really good about our team and going up against anybody.”

Etc.

After the Red Sox tied the score with two runs in the seventh on three hits against veteran lefty George Sherrill, the Braves regained the lead in the bottom of the inning on an unlikely play:  a safety squeeze bunt by backup catcher David Ross that scored catcher Brian McCann. Ross beat the throw for a single…. Freddie Freeman was initially listed as  designated hitter, but was replaced by McCann, who wanted to get more at-bats against left-handed pitching…. On the day that Jon Lester was announced as Boston’s opening-day starter, the lefty allowed eight hits and three runs in 4-2/3 innings. Chipper Jones was 2-for-3 to raise his spring average to .375.

49 comments Add your comment

Greenville Dawg!!!

March 16th, 2011
6:32 pm

ducky

March 16th, 2011
6:33 pm

let Feddie hit

Greenville Dawg!!!

March 16th, 2011
6:33 pm

Just in Time…Go Braves!!!

west side wizard

March 16th, 2011
6:39 pm

That’s Tommy! Work out the kinks then dominate. Hope he gets some run support this year… Go Bravos!

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co

March 16th, 2011
6:39 pm

Steve H

March 16th, 2011
6:39 pm

Anyone who has doubts about Chipper’s knee and capability at 39 needs to get their head hit again. Because obviously .. someone has already given them a good knock.

iFrech

March 16th, 2011
6:47 pm

Steve H:
it’s fairly obvious that Chipper’s knee is a big doubt. He’s blown it up twice in his carreer. Also, he’s not exactly the healthiest player ever…

I’m not saying I doubt him, I really hope he doesn’t need to be DLd and he gives us a .290, 20HR, 75 RBI season…playing most games.

but, history says otherwise.

Chipper is a complete stud when he’s healthy…but that isn’t always the case, unfortunatley.

gotigers72

March 16th, 2011
7:05 pm

I saw where George Sherrill got rocked again. I don’t know why the Braves insist on signing a washed up rag arm free agent veteran to their big league team at least once or twice a year. You know he’ll go north with them because he has been a MLeaguer before. Then he’ll cost them 5-6 games before they get rid of him, if they do. He had over a 6 ERA last year and RH hitters hit over .400 off of him! Why sign him? Because some scout/coach thinks they saw something in him? Please Fredi, don’t go there. You know a ML opposing manager is not gonna let him pitch against a LH hitter. And once in the game, he has to pitch against at least one hitter. DFA him and let one of the young relievers give it a shot. And send Proctor with him!

I saw where Joe West was one of the umpires in the game. I was hoping that fat, pig-faced, arrogant Sum-b**ch was gonna retire. He is not that bad of an umpire, but his arrogance is just overflowing, and his country singing is pathetic. Blue Cowboy my azz.

Peter

March 16th, 2011
7:26 pm

Yes George Sherrill had an ERA over 6 last year, but most of his struggles were against RH batters. Against LH hitters he was dominant. There are gonna be times when he comes into the game against a lefty and the opposing manager will NOT pinch hit a righty. Think about it. Will Charlie Manuel really pinch hit for Ryan Howard because he wants a righty up there to face Sherrill? Not bloody likely. Its not like hes our setup man. Hes a situational lefty. So lets not throw him to the wolves cause he has a bad outing in Spring Training.

Paddy

March 16th, 2011
7:40 pm

gotiger72…being an umpire requires you to be arrogant. It is a battle you can’t win! Their union is stronger than any out there. Just enjoy the games and forget who the crew might be.

Vain Jangling

March 16th, 2011
8:42 pm

Yeah, I’d say that Hanson is “pretty close to being ready for the season.” The dude is really living up to his billing coming up.

billmaier

March 16th, 2011
9:41 pm

Sherrill has been hit hard all spring. One bad outing? Sherril does not belong on the team along with no hit mather, but will make it because this organization does want to make our gm look bad. He just had to get K.k now it is Sherrill and mather– both will cost us games this year sherril pitching and mather not being able to hit big league pitching.

BravesWin

March 16th, 2011
11:10 pm

Love Hanson, but the delivery hitch drives me insane! I just hope he keeps driving batters insane with it! Go Tommy!

Otisnixonsmokescrack!

March 17th, 2011
12:40 am

You heard it here 1st. As a phillies fan. I’m telling you The braves are gonna win all in 2011. Karma is not on my phillies side this season.

Otisnixonsmokescrack!

March 17th, 2011
12:47 am

Sherill is garbage. Got totally owned by the phils in the 09 ps. But you gotta give him a chance.

Runnin

March 17th, 2011
1:10 am

What happened with Chipper’s knee in that at bat? He visibly winced after one swing.

GT71

March 17th, 2011
6:32 am

Karma or not, the Braves are in position to win it all.
As are every other team in MLB. That’s what makes spring training so much fun for fans. Especially the final 2 weeks of ST.
Hanson is sharp, the other pitchers doing well, Chipper hitting .375 and Freddie in the bigs – lookin good.
How about another 13-0 start.
That would cool the Phils jets!

LivinInAL

March 17th, 2011
8:12 am

Ross squeezes in McCann and beats the throw for a single. Priceless!

C. Tampa Ironworse

March 17th, 2011
8:13 am

On Chipper…EVERY credible baseball analyst has said the Braves are making a BIG mistake by batting Chipper third instead of Heyward. I hope Fredi doesn’t pull a Bobby and go down in flames by being loyal to Larry.

1eyedJack

March 17th, 2011
8:29 am

David Ross was definitely money well spent.

phil

March 17th, 2011
8:35 am

And how many of those credible analysts had the Giants pegged to win the Series last year? Exactly. Zero.

Larry doesn’t have much longer to go. This year, maybe next year if we’re lucky. Chipper will do fine hitting third and Hurtward will do fine sitting on the bench about half of the time complaining about his thumb, his back or something else. I like the kid but he’s been far from the savior everyone was screaming about last spring. Let the guy hit 6th and PROVE something this year and then we can go from there. Here’s hoping he hits .330, 35 homers, 120 RBIs.

ChillyMutt

March 17th, 2011
8:54 am

Impressive Mr Hanson.

collegeballfan

March 17th, 2011
9:01 am

I see nothing but positives coming out of this spring training.

Does this mean I need to be expect a tough start in the month of April?

Philly Phan

March 17th, 2011
9:36 am

Braves might have a shot at the Wild Card but not the division. It’s ours. 4 aces (Halladay,Lee,Hamels,Oswalt) trumps 2 aces (Hudson & Hanson),and 2 queens – pun intended- (Lowe & Jurrgens) every time !

I remember a bunch of players that had good springs then succked in regular season. Schafer was one of them. Sure Chipper looks good in spring but he must carry it over to regular season. When they faced two good pitchers (Cardinals) they got shutout.

Philly Phan

March 17th, 2011
9:37 am

We look forward to teeing off on Sherrill ! I’m sure Howard will hit a 400 foot shot off him…

BravesLegend

March 17th, 2011
9:42 am

@Philly Phan – it should be a great year, but the way it looks now, your 4 aces better throw shutouts every time because your offensive line-up is the walking wounded. Utley is a big question mark, Palanco recently hurt his surgically repaired elbow, Werth is gone, and Howard is good for at least 150 strikeouts a year. Like I said, it should be a great, interesting year. But I’ll take the Braves chances as we may not have 4 #1 starters but we have a great rotation that any club would love to have.

landofawe

March 17th, 2011
9:48 am

Runnin – to me it looked like the bat hit his left ankle on the follow through.

Bravesfan

March 17th, 2011
9:50 am

Wagner is still on the 40 man roster — Why?

bvillebaron

March 17th, 2011
9:55 am

billmaier and others:

Sherrill is a classic left handed specialist whose number against left handed batters even last year were terrific. He will be used primarily in that fashion. Besides, let’s not put too much emphasis on spring training performances.

reckingball

March 17th, 2011
10:20 am

@8:13am…….Who are the credible anaylsts that say Heyward should bat 3rd, what are their credentials.

reckingball

March 17th, 2011
10:23 am

@8:35am……Hurtward? When a player is hurt, should he continue to play with an injury and make it worse, as Heyward did last year? Or as Shafer did the year before?

reckingball

March 17th, 2011
10:27 am

@9:36……..The Phillies have a great team, but that does not mean that they automatically when the East.
They had the best team in the NL last year, but they didn’t take the pennant, did they?

Jimmy

March 17th, 2011
10:50 am

“You know a ML opposing manager is not gonna let him pitch against a LH hitter. And once in the game, he has to pitch against at least one hitter.” – gotigers72

You need to learn the rules of baseball. When a batter is announced, he has to hit. That is when the pitching change would happen. That is how they lock up the matchup they want. The only way a batter can be pinch-hit for, after he is announced, is an injury.

1eyedJack

March 17th, 2011
11:05 am

Hold up. You can pinch hit for a pinch hitter but a pitcher must pitch to one batter.

macSCbravesfan

March 17th, 2011
11:07 am

Does anyone out there know the story as to what happened to Glen Hubbard (no contract offered to him), and why? He’b been a fixture in the Braves organization for years. I’m glad the Braves kept Pendleton, but sorry that it cost “Yosemite Sam” his job.

Anyone have the scoop?

Total Grace

March 17th, 2011
11:25 am

Nope after the batter is announced then he has to hit. Plain and simple.

Nut Job

March 17th, 2011
11:27 am

I think YOU need to learn the rules of baseball….you can replace a pinch hitter with another pinch hitter, the hitter being replaced just goes down as a PH with no AB and can’t be used again.

Jimmy

March 17th, 2011
10:50 am
“You know a ML opposing manager is not gonna let him pitch against a LH hitter. And once in the game, he has to pitch against at least one hitter.” – gotigers72

You need to learn the rules of baseball. When a batter is announced, he has to hit. That is when the pitching change would happen. That is how they lock up the matchup they want. The only way a batter can be pinch-hit for, after he is announced, is an injury.

Nut Job

March 17th, 2011
11:28 am

No, he does not have to hit. Happens all the time.

Total Grace

March 17th, 2011
11:25 am
Nope after the batter is announced then he has to hit. Plain and simple.

Chuck

March 17th, 2011
11:44 am

I’d also like to hear an answer to the Glen Hubbard question, although it doesn’t make any difference. I guess someone had to go for Fredi to bring in his gang. Pendleton must be an extremely likeable guy, or something, because he wasn’t a leader as a hitting coach. I gathered that by the fact that struggling players would ask their dad, other players, parking attendants, etc., for help also.

BOOOOO Philly Phan

March 17th, 2011
11:46 am

You may have the edge when it comes to starting pitching but your lineup is getting weaker and weaker by the day and your bullpen stinks (just like it did last year). With the loss of Jayson Werth, there is no one to protect Howard and Utley is just as broken as Chipper is. Howard’s avg and HR total is going to be lower no doubt. Look at what happened to Oritz in BOS when Manny left. It’s hard being the only power threat in any lineup. The Braves may have some questions but so do the Phillies so why not just conceed that it’s going to be a race between these two teams?

63 year Braves fan

March 17th, 2011
11:53 am

I really like Fredi Gonzales as our manager. That squeeze bunt by Ross yesterday was a great call.
He plays hit & run and sends runners something Bobby never did. I think McCann should not bat 4th but 5th or 6th. Too many ground ball double plays which kill a potential big inning. Bat Uggla or Heyward 4th depending on left or right handed pitcher.

bbkorbel

March 17th, 2011
12:06 pm

GT71 stoled my thunder…Remember the last time the Braves replaced Bobby Cox as manager? And how the Braves started the season? Yes, I’m a history repeats itself type!

biff

March 17th, 2011
12:10 pm

Hubbard took a position with the Royals

Chuck

March 17th, 2011
12:21 pm

That figures about Hubbard. The Royals and Nationals have front office historical connections to the Braves.

macSCbravesfan

March 17th, 2011
12:34 pm

Thanks, Biff. It’s good to know he’s gainfully employed. I met him after a spring training game last year, and he was very nice to this old man. Was attentive to questions; gave informed answers, and actually lived in my city (Greenwood, SC) for a while. Nice guys DO land on their feet!

Chuck

March 17th, 2011
12:48 pm

I looked in the official rules, and it says that the pitcher must pitch to at least one batter once he officially stands on the “pitcher’s plate”.
Here’s what was found for the batter:
(2) The batter may leave the batter’s box and the dirt area surrounding home
plate when “Time” is called for the purpose of
(i) making a substitution; or
(ii) a conference by either team.
And also:
6.04 A batter has legally completed his time at bat when he is put out or becomes a
runner.
So continue the argument…

Chuck

March 17th, 2011
12:55 pm

I’m inclined to believe that once he steps into the batter’s box, he can’t leave till his at-bat is completed, but if he is announced and hasn’t yet stepped into the batter’s box, he can be replaced prior to stepping into the batter’s box. Any MLB umpires on this thread?

1eyedJack

March 17th, 2011
1:02 pm

Chuck, I think your right. Pinch hitting for the pinch hitter is done all the time. They call it “wasting a hitter”.

joe

March 17th, 2011
1:20 pm

the phils won’t win sh……t.

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