For a Pitcher, Hanrahan Is A Big Hit

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 10, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 9 -- Here is Joel Hanrahan's philosophy on hitting.

"I like to hit," Hanrahan said. "I wouldn't consider myself a hitter."

But the Washington Nationals rookie right-hander is showing something different. Thursday afternoon, when he threw 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball to help beat the San Francisco Giants, 3-1, he also contributed a one-out double in the fifth and scored the winning run ahead of Felipe Lopez's two-run homer.

Hanrahan has three major league starts, and he has an extra-base hit -- two doubles and a triple -- in each. He is hitting .500 and slugging 1.167 in six at-bats and has looked good enough that when he hit the double, Manager Manny Acta turned to bench coach Pat Corrales and said, "We got a pinch hitter already for September."

Over parts of seven seasons in the minor leagues, Hanrahan hit .205 with 11 extra-base hits in 132 at-bats.

Hill's Rehab Finale

Right-hander Shawn Hill made what is scheduled to be his final minor league rehabilitation start Thursday night for Class AAA Columbus. He threw five innings and allowed one run and four hits with no strikeouts or walks. He threw 54 pitches, 39 for strikes. General Manager Jim Bowden said Hill will start Tuesday for the Nationals against Philadelphia. . . .

Matt Chico makes the 24th start of his major league career Friday night, facing the Arizona Diamondbacks, the team that drafted him. He said he has no bitterness over the trade that sent he and fellow minor leaguer Garrett Mock to the Nationals for right-hander Livan Hernandez, who will oppose Chico tonight.

"None at all," Chico said. "Arizona's a great organization. Things happen for a reason, and I'm happy where I'm at now." . . .

Bowden would not comment on negotiations with the team's two remaining unsigned high-profile draft picks, high school pitchers Josh Smoker and Jeff McGeary. It appears there will be a flurry of activity before the Aug. 15 deadline, because four of the top five picks in the draft have not signed. Both clubs and players are waiting to feel out the market.

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