Saturday, July 25, 2009

Gallardo, Hanson take the mound in battle of talented young arms

Yovani Gallardo of the Brewers was born just six months before the Braves Thomas Hanson (almost to the day), but the former has been on the MLB scene for three seasons now, while Mr Hanson made his first start on June 7th of this year.

Hanson dominated AAA to the tune of 99 K, 17 BB, 40 H, and a sparkling 1.49 ERA in 66 1/3 innings pitched. When Hanson was called up to the big leagues his surface statistics remained outstanding (8 ER in 29 IP, including four wins), but there was reason to wonder how long it would last (16 K/17BB over that same stretch).

But ever since his start against the Nationals on the Fourth of July, Hanson has turned it around, striking out 18 batters in just 19 innings while walking just six. It will be interesting to see if Hanson has finally turned the corner.

Yovani Gallardo, on the other hand, has been heading in the opposite direction of late. Gallardo had a 2.86 ERA through the end of June, striking out 9.4 batters per nine innings. But since the beginning of July, Gallardo's control has been slipping. In his last 23 IP, Gallardo has walked 13 batters. Gallardo's past performance suggests he'll get back on track eventually. The Braves will just hope he waits until his next start to do so.

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