San Diego Padres: Brad Hand Keeps Bouncing Back from Adversity
By Tim Ryder
The San Diego Padres locked up their closer, Brad Hand, to a contract extension in the offseason with big plans in mind and high hopes. Though there have been low points, the left-hander keeps rebounding from them.
Brad Hand threw two perfect frames, in extra innings, in the San Diego Padres’ 2-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Opening Day. The next night, Hand allowed five runs (two of them earned) on four hits and a walk in a blown save/loss.
Some fans were already proclaiming the $19.75 million contract extension that the Friars had signed Hand to in the offseason as a bad move. After one rough outing!! Brad Hand bounced back in a big way to quiet some of those concerns.
From March 30 until the blown save and subsequent loss he suffered on April 30 in San Francisco, Hand didn’t allow a single earned run (he did give up three unearned runs on three walks and a hit in two-thirds of an inning on April 5 versus Colorado).
So from April 6 (the day after Hand’s three-walk outing) until April 25, in 8.1 innings over eight appearances, Brad Hand held the 28 hitters he faced to a .115/.179/.154 slash line with 14 strikeouts and two walks.
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San Diego Padres’ investment in Hand is starting to pay dividends
After a six-day stretch of not making any appearances for the San Diego Padres after April 25, he made his three-hitters-too-long outing in the Nick Hundley walk-off loss in San Francisco.
As we’ve talked about here in the past, the minute Hand issued a walk to Buster Posey, he should have come out of the game.
It was clear that he just didn’t have a feel for his fastball and was relying too much on his off-speed stuff.
Since that night in AT&T Park, Brad Hand has made three appearances, all an inning apiece.
He’s only allowed one baserunner (a base hit to lead off the ninth in Saturday’s win over the Dodgers before striking out the next three batters), struck out six and walked none.
Hand is currently tied for third in the league with nine saves (Jeurys Familia, 9; Brad Boxberger, 11; Wade Davis, 13), has a lower batting average against than three of them (Davis, .143).
Next: Padres Take Two of Three From Dodgers
Just as icing on the cake, Brad Hand has more strikeouts (27) this season than any closer in the NL with more than four saves and is not named Josh Hader, who has 43 in 20 innings. Yeesh.