Tommy Hanson spun an eight inning gem against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night, striking out eight and only walking one batter. Hanson managed to keep a staggering 13 fly balls inside the park, including at least one close call from Jim Edmonds in what looked like the only possible Brewers rally in the fourth inning. The Brewers still clearly weren’t making solid contact off Hanson and his nasty stuff – they only managed one batted ball worthy of being labeled a line drive by Baseball Info Solution’s stringers. Hanson managed this fantastic start despite the fact that only one of the 9 changeups that he threw resulted in a strike. He compensated for that by pounding the zone with his fastball and slider – 40 and 16 strikes out of 61 and 23 thrown respectively.
Doug Davis continued to generate ground balls tonight, with 7 of the 15 batted balls allowed by Davis resulting in ground balls. However, walks and poor defense killed Davis tonight, as he put 6 runners on base via the walk, including two (one intentionally) and a hit by pitch in the collapse in the 6th inning. That set up Manny Parra in a very unfavorable matchup against right handed batter Martin Prado, who blasted a grand slam to give the Braves a 7 run lead and put the game out of reach. Rickie Weeks also made a key error on a potential inning ending double play ball – even if only one out were recorded, the home run to Prado could have been avoided.
The Brewers got shut down by a good pitcher and the Braves lineup – one full of talented players – finally erupted. Going into the season, I would not have expected the Brewers to win a matchup between Hanson and Davis. Still, this result is disappointing after all the encouragement of the back end of the latest road trip. Tomorrow is another unfavorable matchup for the Brewers, as Dave Bush will pitch against Tim Hudson.
Another note – Carlos Gomez will go to the DL retroactive to May 6th. That means he will be eligible again on May 21st. OF Adam Stern – member of the Canadian World Baseball Classic team – will replace him on the 25-man roster. See Stern’s minor league numbers here, at Minor League Splits.