could take the time to give a scouting report of Matt Cain, but we all know what he’s got. Tommy Hanson, on the other hand, is another very talented, young right hander with electric stuff. The Giants will have to find a way to get to him tonight to take a 2-0 lead in the series.
Hanson sports a 10-11 record, but don’t be fooled. Hanson was victimized by terrible run support, much like his Friday night counterpart, Matt Cain. He threw 202.2 innings in 2010 and struck out a respectable 7.68/9 IP, while only walking 2.49/9 and finishing with a quality 1.17 WHIP. He wasn’t lucky or unlucky on balls in play; he sported a .297 BABIP and his ERA is nearly identical to that of his FIP (3.31). He also did a pretty nice job of limiting the HR by yielding 14 taters total or a rate of .62/9.
Hanson will mostly throw three pitches: a fastball, slider and curveball. But, he will mix in a very occasional changeup. His best two pitches are his fastball and slider combination. His fastball is relatively straight but he locates it down in the zone and he can bring it. He averages around 93 MPH on the gun but can elevate velocity as necessary. His big strikeout pitch is a hard, two plane slider that has excellent downward movement and can be devastating when it’s on, very much like the slider Tim Lincecum was featuring last night.*
*Tim Lincecum learned the slider he’s now throwing just a few weeks ago. Instead of the merely right to left movement he was getting before, he’s now getting downward movement. It was likely this pitch that proved to be the catalyst to get the Freak back on track, and re-instill the bulldog confidence he exhibited in his first two full, Cy Young seasons.
Hanson actually posted better numbers on the road this season, so don’t expect a break in that capacity. And in what seems to be a common theme in the NL postseason, Hanson will be making his first ever playoff appearance – Matt Cain will be too. Let’s hope Hanson doesn’t struggle with the same first playoff appearance jitters both Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay clearly did!**
**Bill James Game Score: Lincecum 97; Halladay 94