Tommy Hanson was bumped from the rotation and demoted to Triple-A about four weeks ago after posting a 5.69 ERA for the Angels and things haven’t gotten any better in Salt Lake.
Hanson has made four starts against Pacific Coast League hitters, allowing 14 runs in 19.2 innings while serving up five homers. It’s been a miserable season for Hanson, who’s struggled on the field and spent significant time on the bereavement list following the death of his stepbrother.
Mike Scioscia told William Boor of MLB.com that Hanson will remain at Triple-A for the PCL playoffs and then “see if he can take a step forward and we can see where he fits in on our club.” Hanson, who was acquired from the Braves in exchange for Jordan Walden, figures to be non-tendered this offseason.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.