—Tommy Hanson has "gingerly" taken a gigantic step backwards following his impressive rookie campaign that catapaulted him into the third slot in the 2010 starting rotation.
Hanson went 11-4 in his 21 starts in 2009 and posted a boastful 2.89 ERA while striking out 116 in just 127.2 innings of work.
So far this season, Hanson has thrown a variety of "hittable pitches", as they say in the business, and his ERA—now 4.17—has taken a tremendous hit. In fact, Hanson has given up just one fewer earned run so far in 2010 than he gave up all of last season and he's done so in 42 less innings of work.
Against the White Sox, Hanson lasted just 3.2 innings and surrendered 13 hits, 9 earned runs while striking out zero—the first time he's failed to fan a batter in his career.
Perhaps the California kid is feeling the sting of the southern heat—just like the rest of us—and the pressure that comes along with be touted as the next great Atlanta pitcher. Let's just hope he's got some sunscreen.
—Tim Hudson has been stellar all season long (7-3, 2.54 ERA) while Derek Lowe has been sufficient at best (9-5, 4.42).
Both "Huddy" and Lowe pitched well enough to win on Wednesday and Thursday in Chicago—14 innings, 4 earned runs, 11 hits, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts—but the Braves bats went back into hibernation and gave both hurlers little, if any, run support.
—In what will most likely be his last game against his former mates—assuming he doesn't get another two-year, $36 million contract offer from a National League club—Andruw Jones didn't play very much but was still on the winning side of the scoreboard at the series' conclusion.
Andruw was a great player during his time in Atlanta and possibly the best outfielder to ever suit up under the management of Bobby Cox.
But all divorces, regardless of how cordial they may appear, are somewhat awkward and uncomfortable.
It's just a shame that Andruw and his
soul stealing agent, Scott Boras, weren't able to reach an agreement with the Braves front office and allow Andruw to roam center field in the ATL for his final few seasons in the Big Leagues.
Is anyone really going to remember Andruw's epic failure during his one over-paid season in Los Angeles or the designated hitter roles he occupied in Texas and Chicago?
Let's hope not.
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