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Thread: Insider Article praising Hanrahan

      
  1. #1
    LeeFoo's Avatar
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    Default Insider Article praising Hanrahan

    We're actually getting some POSITIVE National Feedback:
    Just moments after Alfonso Soriano drove a ball into the left-field stands at Wrigley Field on Friday to cut the Pittsburgh Pirates' lead in half in the ninth inning, Joel Hanrahan was summoned to the mound.

    There was no strutting from Hanrahan between pitches, no preening, no wasted emotion; he went about the business of attacking the strike zone in the way that a postal worker sorts mail. Fastball here, breaking ball there, another fastball. Minimal drama, maximum efficiency.

    Hanrahan has pitched this way all season, after spending the offseason focusing on precision. He played catch with LaTroy Hawkins in his offseason workouts and his goal, from day to day, was to hit the same target: Low and away for right-handed hitters. Glove side for a right-handed pitcher like Hanrahan.

    He has been told repeatedly, he said on Friday evening, "that I need to control that pitch -- down and away."

    Yep. A lot of successful closers have worked that way -- such as Giants reliever Brian Wilson, who became a champion while being devoted to that edge of the strike zone. In Hanrahan's first year in the majors, in 2007, he walked 38 in 51 innings, and year by year, his command has improved. Last year, he walked 26 and struck out 100 in 69⅔ innings.

    As he has improved, Hanrahan has become more intent on pitching to contact and resolving at-bats quickly. The Cubs' Tony Campana was the first to get a taste of that, taking a strike on the first pitch that Hanrahan threw, and three pitches later, he was walking back to the dugout after taking a third strike.

    Koyie Hill saw four pitches, and swung at the last two; Hanrahan's fastball was crackling, in the mid-90s, and he just kept pounding the strike zone with it. With two outs and nobody on base, Blake DeWitt was next, and after taking a strike, he swung and missed, twice. Hanrahan calmly walked off the mound, shook hands.

    Nine of the 12 pitches he had thrown had been strikes, and he had lowered his ERA to 1.52. Hanrahan has allowed only five walks in 23⅔ innings this season, while racking up 14 saves. "He's one of the best relievers in baseball right now," said an NL evaluator.

    There has been speculation on the Web that the Pirates might look to trade Hanrahan, but some rival executives have a completely different take. Pittsburgh is trying to make progress, trying to get back to .500. And Hanrahan, one GM said this week, "is a big part of that."

    Kevin Correia continues to pitch great for the Pirates, and now he has a 3.44 ERA.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Insider Article praising Hanrahan

    A sign that the Buccos are starting to get some respect. They got quite a bit tonight on the Cubs post game show on WGN.
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    Default Re: Insider Article praising Hanrahan

    They should get nothing but respect so far this year. The sports media is so biased that it's sickening. Cleveland has been beating everybody's brains in, and they're still a punchline on most shows. Unless you're large market, you'll never get respect.

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    Default Re: Insider Article praising Hanrahan

    When you think about it, Hanrahan is closer to being the best at his position than any Pirate has been in the past 19 years. I don't know if he's the best closer in baseball but he's at least in the conversation.

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    Default Re: Insider Article praising Hanrahan

    When he is throwing that slider, he reminds me alot of Mark Wohlers during his three year run as best closer in the game. Unlike Wohlers, who lost it when he started experimenting with a slow curve, I hope Hanrahan doesn't get away from what makes him so dominate.
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    Default Re: Insider Article praising Hanrahan

    They'll never call a closer on a sub-500 team "the best". Since they only equate pressure situations to teams in playoff hunts. Can be true in some cases, where a reliever with good stuff dominates on a low pressure team, gets moved at the deadline to a contender and then tanks. Remember Eric Gagne the Ranger?

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