Tommy Hanson is slowly becoming the ace of the Atlanta pitching staff. His win Saturday night in Philadelphia also put him into the record books.
With his 10th win of the season, Hanson became the first pitcher in Atlanta Braves history to win at least 10 games in his first four seasons in the big leagues. Greg Maddux had double-digit win totals in his 11 years in Atlanta, but he started his career with the Chicago Cubs. Tim Hudson did the same, but he came up with the Oakland A’s. No pitcher that started their career in Atlanta has ever accomplished this feat.
Hanson also became the 7th pitcher in Atlanta history to have at least four consecutive seasons of at least 10 wins. Here are the other six pitchers:
Phil Niekro – 14 consecutive seasons of at least 10 wins – (1967-1980)
Pat Jarvis – 4 seasons – (1967-1970)
Tom Glavine – 14 seasons – (1989-2002)
Greg Maddux – 11 seasons – (1993-2003)
John Smoltz – 5 seasons (twice) – (1989-1993, 1995-1999)
Tim Hudson – 4 seasons – (2005-2008)
Tommy Hanson – 4 seasons – (2009-2012)
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Hanson won 11 games in his rookie season in 2009, then 10 games in 2010, followed by 11 wins in his injury-shortened 2011 season. He’s 10-5 this season, with a 3.71 ERA in 18 games started.
For his career, Hanson is now 42-27 with a 3.37 ERA in 95 starts.
The Braves had a good end to the first part of the 2012 season with four straight wins, which included four straight quality starts by the starting pitchers. In the four wins, Atlanta’s starters allowed only eight runs in 27.1 innings (2.64 ERA).
This is good news for a rotation that has the fourth-worst number of quality starts in the major leagues with only 36. The Mets, the team fighting with Atlanta for second place behind Washington in the NL East, lead the majors with 56.
It also helps that Jair Jurrjens has a 2.14 ERA in his four starts since returning from Triple-A Gwinnett. Jurrjens has allowed nine runs (six earned) on 24 hits in 27.1 innings, with five walks and 10 strikeouts.
Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at www.foxsports1670.com. Follow Bill on twitter @BillShanks and email him at email@example.com.