VIERA, Fla. — While Atlanta’s Tommy Hanson took another step toward being ready for the start of the season, Washington right-hander Stephen Strasburg found out what he’ll be doing on Opening Day.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson announced before a 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Braves that the 23-year-old Strasburg will start the season opener for Washington April 5 in Chicago.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Strasburg said. “But there’s still a lot of work to be done, and it’s just one game. Hopefully, the games will be mattering a lot more at the end of the year for us.”
For Atlanta, it was Hanson’s third outing – second official start – of the spring after missing roughly the first two weeks of camp with a mild concussion sustained in an auto accident in February.
The right-hander went four innings, allowing one hit while striking out two and walking one. The one run was unearned.
“I thought he was OK,” Braves manager Freddy Gonzalez said of Hanson. “That’s what we’re looking for.”
Hanson, who will likely go six innings in his next start, said he believes he’ll be ready for the start of the season, whether that means he’ll pitch at home against the New York Mets or Houston Astros.
As for Wednesday’s outing, Hanson was pleased with his slider, the command on his fastball and his changeup. However, he wasn’t happy with his curveball.
Overall, the 25-year-old was pleased with how he is progressing.
“It’s good. I’m figuring out what I need to work on, and each time there’s one or two things that pop up that I need to work on,” Hanson said. “I don’t feel overwhelmed, but I don’t feel like I don’t need to work on anything. I’m getting more comfortable each time out.”