MILWAUKEE — Tommy Hanson has been battling sickness again, and that might just be a bad thing for the Brewers.
Hanson revealed Friday he was sick when he made his last start — Monday against the Giants when he struck out 11 batters to set an Atlanta Braves rookie record. Hanson pitched sick against the Boston Red Sox on June 28 and allowed two hits in six shutout innings.
Hanson said he started to feel bad again Sunday and has been battling a sore throat. He said tests for both strep throat and mononucleosis came back negative. He has lost 12 pounds, down to 209, because didn’t want to eat or drink with his throat so sore.
But he was in the third day of a cycle of antibiotics Friday and beginning to feel better.
“I’ve felt horrible, but I feel a lot better today,” Hanson said. “The medication they’ve got me on seems to be helping, so hopefully that’ll knock it out. ... It’s really just getting my strength back and eating, getting some weight on.”
One thing that will take his mind off how he’s feeling is his excitement over another shot at the Brewers. Hanson faced them in his major-league debut June 7 and gave up three home runs on his way to a seven-run outing, six of them earned.
In seven starts since then, Hanson is 5-0 with a 2.14 ERA.
“The thing I remember most was the three home runs were pitches that weren’t good pitches,” Hanson said. “They were fastballs that had too much of the plate. If I could cut back on a couple of those, it should be a lot better end result.”
If Hanson keeps pitching like he has, he’ll enter the mix for National League rookie of the year. The man to beat right now is Phillies pitcher J.A. Happ. That could change if Happ gets traded to Toronto for Roy Halladay and ends up in the American League.
Hanson has noticed Happ’s 7-0 record and his 2.68 ERA, but chasing down that award is not a focus, he said.
“It’s not something I’ve thought about; it’s not something I’m going to think about,” Hanson said. “If that was to happen, it’d be awesome, it’d be a huge honor, but it’s definitely not something I’m thinking about.”
Maybe Marlins for Gonzalez
After 24 hours of rest and icing his arm every hour, reliever Mike Gonzalez still was facing the prospect of sitting out until the Braves open a series Tuesday in Florida because of a bone bruise in his left forearm.
“Realistically speaking,” said Gonzalez, who was hit by a line drive on his pitching arm during the eighth inning Thursday.
X-rays were negative, but he has had to work hard to keep the swelling down. The Braves don’t want him even running yet because the blood will rush to his arm, Gonzalez said. They don’t want him to play catch until Sunday. He said he would have a hard time squeezing a ball yet anyway.
Fregosi sees perfection
Braves assistant to the general manager Jim Fregosi was in Chicago on Thursday scouting when Mark Buehrle threw his perfect game for the White Sox. Fregosi has been a part of a half-dozen no-hitters, but that was the first time he had seen a perfect game.
“[Buehrle] was throwing 85, 86 [mph] when he started the game,” Fregosi said. “In the ninth inning, he was throwing 91.”
He said it was neat to be a part of it. “That place was rocking,” he said, and of former Brave Dewayne Wise’s catch to save the perfect game in the ninth? “Best catch I’ve ever seen in that situation.”
Fregosi has been scouting the White Sox most of the week, but the Braves are not believed to be interested in first baseman Paul Konerko, as some have speculated. He comes with a hefty price tag of what’s remaining of his $12 million salary this year and $12 million next year.
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