Tommy Hanson could throw first bullpen session Friday

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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.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.