Web Analytics and Web Statistics by NextSTAT The Boston Sports Nut: Hansack untouchable in playoff outing

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hansack untouchable in playoff outing

Tosses six hitless innings before reaching pitch count.

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- That Devern Hansack was on a pitch count Thursday night at McCoy Stadium prevented him from making a run at International League history.
The right-hander, making just his second start since coming off the disabled list, didn't allow a hit over six innings against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre yet left the game after throwing 80 pitches. The PawSox bullpen was nearly as untouchable, allowing a pair of hits over the final three innings, but it was enough to preserve a 3-1 victory and even the Governors' Cup opening-round series at a game apiece.

"Phenomenal outing," Pawtucket manager Ron Johnson said. "What can you say? Six innings and no hits against the best team in the league. That was a very, very impressive outing. He dominated that lineup." Hansack was hit on the right arm by a line drive in his Aug. 17 start against Buffalo and didn't pitch again for 13 days. He threw two innings and 37 pitches against Buffalo on Saturday, but his four-hit, two-run effort in that affair provided no indication he would be so dominant against the Yanks.

While Johnson and the rest of the PawSox would have loved to see Hansack continue, there was no room for gambling. "We can't forget where we are and what we're about, not with a talent like Hansack," Johnson said. "We're developing people's careers here. To me, you become a bad employee if you lose your head and he runs up 95, 100 pitches. If we're going to do this [win], it's going to be with 24 people."

Hansack left after the sixth, but not until after some dramatic moments. He retired the first two batters he faced and was at 74 pitches before Johnson came out, just about convinced he would lift Hansack and not let him face Juan Miranda. But pitching coach Rich Sauveur lobbied to keep Hansack in for one more batter, and Hansack wasn't about to turn the ball over. "The choice was tough when I went out to the mound," Johnson said. "Initially, we had talked about [lefty Jon] Switzer coming in to face Miranda. But the props go to Rich, who said, 'Just go out there and see where we are.'"

No comments: