Tigers 10, Braves 4

Detroit Tigers vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – June 27, 2010 – ESPN.


I don’t know what’s wrong with Tommy Hanson. I don’t know that there is anything wrong with Tommy Hanson. He gave up six runs (one “unearned” after his own error) in 3 2/3 today, on eight hits — but the hits were all singles, mostly just grounders through holes, plus a fly ball that Melky should have caught. He walked two, and one of those probably should have been a strikeout, but you live by the bad call, die by the bad call, I guess. The catastrophe inning today was the fourth, when he allowed five runs. I would say that it’s bad luck, but it keeps happening. He is having trouble locating his breaking pitches, and they’re sitting fastball.

The Braves might have still had a chance, scoring pairs of runs in the fourth and the fifth, but each time it was followed by the Tigers answering with two runs of their own off of Christhian Martinez. The Lisp had been pretty good in these situations before, but not today. Chavez did a pretty good job behind him, and O’Flaherty pitched the ninth.

72 thoughts on “Tigers 10, Braves 4”

  1. I still say he is tipping his pitches. Buy I agree Mac, when his breaking ball isn’t there, he is toast.

  2. I have to say that I’m not too broken up about this loss. Perhaps we were due for a little karmic retribution after yesterday, anyway.

    I will say, though, that I was listening to that near-apocalyptic catastrophe while driving home from watching the U.S.-Ghana game yesterday, so I was already a little bit emotionally on edge, and that ninth inning got me incredibly pissed off. Like, more pissed off than anyone should be while driving. It wasn’t until later that I saw the pitch, and that call was an absolute joke. That is definitely the worst ball-strike call that I’ve seen since Eric Gregg. I actually have no idea what my reaction would have been if I’d seen that pitch live.

  3. I was at Hanson’s start against the White Sox last week, a game in which he was also singled to death. It seemed like the White Sox went up there unconcerned about the breaking stuff and focused only on Hanson’s fastball. The lack of swings and misses is what really stood out. I don’t believe there was a swing and miss in that game until the fourth inning.

  4. @2

    I think that’s possible. His pitching hand is exposed for a long time prior to delivering the ball. I don’t know if that is a problem, but it’s a very noticeable aspect of his motion.

  5. And like I said last time he pitched it’s not just exposed, it’s paused. I think any decent MLB player would be able to pick up the pitch a high percentage of the time. He either needs to get rid of the pause or figure out how to hide the pause behind his body.

  6. I would be afraid to mess with his mechanics, he’s got such an easy delivery, nice and straight. I think he’s just hit a rough patch, thats all.

  7. I have to think that if the pause was that big of a problem, people would have noticed it before now. It’s not that unusual — not many American pitchers have that noticeable a pause in their deliveries, but it’s common among Asian and Caribbean pitchers.

  8. True, but in most of those cases the pitcher’s body conceals the throwing hand. Hanson’s seems like it’s just hanging out there in open space. I’m not sure that’s what is going on, but I don’t think it can be discounted either.

  9. The catastrophic innings suggest he’s losing something (or perhaps tipping) from the stretch. The book on him has to be to look exclusively fastball since his breaking stuff hardly ever is a strike.

  10. something is up. when bad hitters are squaring up anything decent that you throw them then your tipping or everything is just flat. All pitchers go through spells, hopefully this was his last game during it

  11. or it could be that he’s just awful during day games

    17.1IP 23H 16ER 9BB 18K

    night games

    72.2IP 71H 29ER 22B 72K

  12. I don’t know, I didn’t expect him to match Verlander pitch for pitch but when Tommy came out at 91-92 and Verlander was at 98-99 on the same gun…starting to worry about his velocity a little. He had been a little hotter than that when he was dominating.

  13. So what are the odds Medlen turns out to be the better pitcher over the long haul?

  14. Random Question: During Friday’s game, for the Braves Alumni Weekend event, when Avery was in the booth I thought to myself: What ever happened to Steve Avery? He didn’t look very old sitting in the booth.

    I went to wikipedia (I know) and it said he was out of baseball by either ’98 or ’99 besides getting some innings with that awful Tigers team in 2003.

    Avery left the Braves when I was 12, and I remember him being pretty good, so I thought I’d ask Braves Journal what exactly happened to him. I figured a lefty like Avery could stick around the league forever, even if it was just a bullpen spot. Was it physical, mental, or both?

  15. @15
    i argued this point before on numerous braves sites, but was shot down. their minor league numbers arent that different.

  16. Avery’s peripherals were always fairly pedestrian; from 1991-93, when his ERA was 3.17 and he went 47-25, his strikeout rate was only 5.3 per nine. He had some arm problems in the strike years, and some bad luck. He may not have been that different a pitcher in 1994-95 than in the years before, but the Braves’ infield defense was much worse (Blauser playing much more, McGriff for Bream, Pendleton slowing down and replaced by Chipper). After that, he started having arm problems, and his control went south. At the end of his career, his velocity was reportedly totally gone — fastball in the low eighties — and he was throwing nothing but slop, mostly out of the zone.

  17. Guys, this isn’t hard.

    Hanson doesn’t throw his curveball enough. If he can’t locate his off-speed stuff, then MLB hitters will just sit on his fastball and tee it up when they get a good one to hit.

    They aren’t seeing which pitch is coming. Why would they just now be doing this? They didn’t notice it last year?

  18. Why would they just now be doing this? They didn’t notice it last year?

    Pitching motions can change, and bad habits can creep in. He’s a pitcher, not a metronome.

    Anyway, it’s just a guess.

    Hanson doesn’t throw his curveball enough.

    FWIW, Orel Hershiser disagrees. He says Hanson shows too much of his repertoire too early in games.

  19. 15, 18,

    It’s all about health really. Predicting which pitcher is going to stay healthy enough to have a productive career, even in their sophomore season, is a difficult task.

    I hold both of them in very high regard, but Hanson has the advantage in stuff/physicality, so I’d say he’ll probably have a better career if they both stay health.

    Medlen is still awesome.

  20. Medlen is a right handed Cole Hammels, and there is nothing wrong with that at all, but Tommy Hanson has the extra gear on his stuff that, to me, gives him a better chance to be an elite pitcher.

    With Tehran and Delgado at Myrtle, Minor at Mississippi, and the emergence of Medlen, does that make Jair Jurgens expendable considering he is repersented by Scott Boras?

    Also, how much would a Jurgens and Escobar package net on the market this year?

    Would the Braves be a better team with Infante at short and say Oswalt or Cliff Lee in the rotation?

    I still want a front line starter, preferably Lee, because I don’t feel there is a bat out there that is going to significantly help our lineup except maybe DeJesus for CF and Leadoff, pushing Prado to the 2 and Heyward back down to the 6 hole, and I don’t think the Braves have to give up that much for him if he is available.

  21. If the Braves trade Jurrjens or Escobar I hope they get a right-handed, middle-of-the-order hitter who is under team control for several more years in return.

  22. The fact that Hanson threw about 120 pitches in 2 consecutive starts earlier this month might have led to fatigue.

    The Braves have been riding him harder than I would like this year.

  23. Blazing hot weekend in ATL, charmingly accessorized with stifling humidity. But there’s nothing like getting to see your team win a couple of inspired games.

    Got to hang with Spike & meet Rob Cope, so a shout out to them.

    Now about that Strasburg fellow…

  24. Strasburg ? Never heard of him, so I looked at his stats and it says he lost his last start. Must not be that good.

  25. Strasburg’s mom has a tattoo that says “Son” and sharks have a week dedicated to him.

  26. If thats the case seat painter, I hope Huddy’s line is 7IP 5H 0R 1BB 5K…..

  27. So I spent a bit of time searching for videos of Hanson and I agree with Mac that the pause has pretty much always been there but it looks to me like the hand used to pause behind his head/body more last year than it does now. In my opinion, right now it looks like his hand is a good 8-12 inches clear of his head when he pauses. I really can’t imagine a better place to have a pause in your motion for the batter to pick up the ball; it’s at the end of his backward reach and right before the ball begins traveling forward. Perfect for the batter. There are several videos of Hanson pitching prior to this year and all of them I found he is hiding the ball pretty well when he pauses. This does not appear (to my uneducated eyes) to be the case this year.

  28. I don’t know about tipping his pitches, but it looks to me (and I haven’t seen him that much) that his breaking ball doesn’t have the “bite” it used to have. Seems to me that his curve used to be knee-buckling like Strasburg’s and it isn’t right now. Also, his fastball doesn’t seem to have a lot of movement. He isn’t missing a lot of bats. On the other hand, he isn’t getting drilled and has had a lot of bad luck; if it wasn’t for the bad call and the missed play in right, he might have been alright. I think one problem is Hanson seems to be losing his composure when things go bad; he should be giving up hits to the likes of Gerald Laird. And he had a chance to limit the damage (Don Sutton’s favorite concept) but couldn’t get Austin Jackson out (although even that ball was more a matter of being in the right place rather than being really hit hard). I have thought for a while that Hanson’s command isn’t what it needs to be; he has good stuff but not Strasburg-like and even with Strasburg (or any good pitcher) the key is command not stuff. I think he is throwing plenty hard enough but with no movement and poor command, the balls are there to be hit.

    But I also think it’s a little premature after a couple of bad games to say that Medlen is better; Hanson has only had something like 37 starts in the big leagues. Even Lincecum has gone through problems with his control this year.Part of it (although not an issue with the White Sox and Tigers) is that teams are seeing him for the second or third time and he is going to have to adjust. The fact is pitchers rarely have their best stuff; they usually have to find out what’s working and figure out a way to get through the lineup. Hanson doesn’t seem able to do that at this point; when he is on, he is dominating, but when not, he struggles.

    The way the Nats are hitting (and playing overall), the Bravos have a chance even if Strasburg dominates. And he is due for a bad game. My great hope is that he has his bad game against the Braves and then is back on against the Mets on Saturday (and, with that being a 4 pm game, it won’t be a lot of fun for the Mets, especially Francouer).

  29. Bench Tommy, his pitching of late gives Chip too many opportunities to use the “Death by a thousand cuts” cliche.

  30. Hanson’s mechanics are terrible and they’re getting worse, not better.

    He finishes straight up and is falling off toward 1st base which is why hitters are not even bothering with his curve ball. He shows the ball early and, quite simply, has been figured out.

    Trade him and Good Time Melky for Matt Kemp today.

  31. Trade Hanson? Do you take LSD with your coffee in the morning? A young potential ace under control affordably for years, I dont think so. I’d love to have Matt Kemp, but Hanson isnt going ANYWHERE…..you can mark my words on that one.

  32. That idea is insane, hank. Insane. Thankfully, I know that the Braves would agree with me.

  33. Now is the time for Roger McDowell to earn his pay, not to trade Tommy. Three starts ago he shut down a team for 7 innings that was leading the AL East, the kid isn’t “done” just struggling.

  34. Bobby, surprisingly, offered the best analysis after the game: “He struck out the side in the third inning and everything looked perfect. He got behind a few hitters and left his breaking ball up. He had a great breaking ball at times and a bad one, at times.”

    I’m certainly no expert, but I think he simply gets into bad habits when runners reach, particularly when he know he’s being victimized by bad luck/bad calls/bad defense. After the last start in Chicago, I think it got to him, and he lost his breaking ball for an inning.

    He won’t repeat what he did last year. He still has plenty to figure out, it seems. But he’ll adjust eventually and be fine. The question is, can we afford a non-ace-like performance from him this year?

  35. justhank @ 51: I agree. Rowland’s Office’s explanation of why Jim Palmer sucked (or did not) applies.

  36. If Hanson is that bad, why would the Dodgers trade for him? Apparently, he’s the worst pitcher in baseball now. I think Hanson for Jamey Carroll is probably a more likely deal. We can replace Hanson in the rotation with Jo Jo Reyes or, even better yet, bring back Horacio Ramirez.

  37. for those who forgot, the three starts this month before the bad ones looked like this

    18.1IP 15H 4ER 5BB 22K

    something is wrong, they’ll get it fixed.

  38. just looking at some stats on some very good pitchers, all have had some awful months

    CC 31IP 28ER
    Lincecum 36IP 20ER
    Peavy 28IP 25ER
    Burnett 23IP 29ER
    Verlander 28IP 21ER
    Hanson 25IP 18ER

    its about adjustments. You dont ship off the kid because of 4/5 bad starts in a season.

  39. I hate seeing the guy struggle, but I have a much easier time retaining hope when he’s getting beaten by singles, rather than Derek Lowe’s usual 5th inning double-homer-double routine.

    Also, the ump whose called horrible strike three gave us the win a couple days ago has admitted he was wrong. Jim Leyland’s getting good at shrugging his shoulders at umpire gaffes this season.

  40. Has there been any more word on Jesus’s thumb hurting issue? I knew he was getting a couple days off, but were they doing anything for it/to it?

  41. Reminder: Tommy Hanson’s ERA before his last two starts: 3.38

    Since then, he has had two bad starts, giving up 9 and 5 earned runs. Big deal. He’ll bounce back.

    In fact, earlier this year Tommy had a two start stretch when he gave up 5 (May 15) and 8 (May 20) runs. Then, his ERA went from 2.88 to 4.18.

    ..what happened next? 2 ER, 2 ER, 1 ER 2 ER, 0 ER, 4 Wins among them.

    He has to-date allowed only 7 HRs in 90.0 innings and struck out 90 for a 9.0 K/9.

    Chicken little has absolutely nuthin’ on some of y’all.

  42. Hyperbole is my friend.

    But I stand by my assertion that Hanson’s mechanics are terrible (or at least inconsistent) and showing the ball early is a very legitimate concern.

    Luis Tiant was a wise man that knew his limitations and thus created a delivery that hid the ball as long as possible.

    Do this: compare Hudson’s superb mechanics with Hanson’s tonight. With Hanson’s gifts he should be twice the pitcher Huddy is, but the barely 6′ tall War Eagle is our unquestioned ace right now because he’s tough, works hard and trusts and replicates his excellent pitching mechanics.

    Until and unless Hanson makes this leap (certainly there’s plenty of time to do so), he’s going to have innings where he gets shelled because he’s either way out of the zone or right in the heart.

    Besides, I really want Matt Kemp and the Dodgers desperately need pitching but won’t add salary because of the D-I-V-O-R-C-E. (Did you hear the divorce lawyers may end up splitting nearly TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS?!?!)

    Shakespeare was right.

  43. I know.

    What would it take to get Matt Kemp? I was at the game yesterday and we simply cannot have Melky in the outfield. That was disgraceful.

  44. Matt Kemp is good but not THAT good.
    .258 .316 .455 .771 – currently
    .292 .341 .476 .817 – career
    I get it. He is a CF – but who do you trade for him? Jurrjens? Medlen? because thats what it would take. Not me.

    Don’t get yourself in a lather about Kemp anyway. Its just Rosenthal making shit up.

  45. Rosenthal floated that Kemp to the Braves idea, and while it will never happen, it’s a fascinating mental challenge trade. Kemp won’t be traded because LA really doesn’t have a good centerfield option, and there is a huge potential to trade away a future star at the bottom of his value. It makes Reed Johnson your starting CFer for LA, and it makes Nate or Matt redundant here in ATL.

    Having said that I think one of JJ or Medlen plus Melky is a not unreasonable offer.

  46. I was at the game, too, sitting in right field. Melky froze on that ball in front of him.

    He could’ve caught it if he’d broken immediately. But he didn’t & it cost him.

  47. @65,

    Not to defend my profession, but I believe Shakespeare actually thought it would be bad to kill all the lawyers. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.