Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson hasn’t appeared in a major league game since the first week of August due to a fatigued throwing shoulder.
But he is making steady progress and could be ready for the final week or two of the regular season.
According to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, the 25-year-old ace felt “really good” after a session of long toss Wednesday and is likely to throw his first bullpen session Friday if he continues to feel no renewed discomfort. A couple of simulated games would follow, then Hanson could be cleared to return to Atlanta’s starting rotation.
Hanson had a fantastic 3.60 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 142/46 K/BB ratio through 130 innings this year before the shoulder problems put him on the shelf. The Braves, who would appear to have the National League Wild Card locked up, will be hoping for big things from the talented young starter this October.
Entering Thursday’s NLCS Game 5, Dodgers outfielder Enrique Hernandez had never hit a home run nor even driven in a run in the playoffs in his four-year career. He had homered twice in a regular season game just twice and his career-high for RBI in a game was four.
Hernandez hit three home runs and knocked in seven runs to help power the Dodgers past the Cubs 11-1 to win the National League pennant and punch their ticket to the World Series. His first homer was a solo homer to center field in the second inning off of starter Jose Quintana. He blasted a grand slam to right field off of Hector Rondon in the fourth, then tacked on a two-run blast in the ninth inning off of Mike Montgomery to make it 11-1.
Hernandez is the 10th player to hit three home runs in a postseason game. Jose Altuve, of course, did it two weeks ago in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Red Sox. Before Altuve, Pablo Sandoval (2012), Albert Pujols (2011), and Adrian Beltre (2011) were the last players to accomplish the feat. As Jayson Stark points out, Hernandez joins Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, Adam Kennedy, and Beltre as players to hit three homers in a series clincher.
Hernandez’s seven RBI set a new National League record for a postseason game. Only four other players — Troy O’Leary, John Valentin, Mo Vaughn, and Edgar Martinez — accomplished the feat.
No one has hit three home runs and knocked in seven-plus in a game… until Hernandez. He certainly picked a good time to break out.