WASHINGTON -- With a little less than half of the season left, Tommy Hanson has already surrendered a career-high 19 home runs. But the Braves right-hander does not seem much more concerned about his command than the frequency with which his pitches are getting hit over outfield walls.
"I think a lot of them I have been trying to be aggressive," Hanson said. "When nobody is on base, I want you to put it in play. That has happened a lot. I'm just trying to be a lot more aggressive and not walk guys. But as soon as guys get on, I start to nitpick and I just need to stay aggressive."
Thirteen of the home runs Hanson has surrendered this season have been solo shots. But while allowing eight runs in just four innings on Friday night against the Nationals, he was damaged by two-out, three-run home runs hit by Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman.
"I think I pitched better than the results showed, but you can't look at that," Hanson said. "It is what it is. I gave up eight runs in four innings. That is not very good. I need to do a better job. If I give up solo home runs, I'm fine with that. It's three-run home runs that kill you."
While allowing at least six earned runs in both of his starts since the All-Star break, Hanson is following the same path he traveled last year before he was shut down on Aug. 6 with right shoulder discomfort.
Hanson entered last year's All-Star break with a 2.44 ERA, then allowed at least five runs in three of the five starts that followed. But his shoulder has not been a problem this year.
"Nothing is bothering me," Hanson said. "I feel great. I just think there has been a problem with my command. The All-Star break got me out of whack. I'll get back in a groove."