Sep 4, 2010, 11:00 AM EST
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Joel Hanrahan blew away Ryan Zimmerman to earn his third save for the Pirates.
PITTSBURGH — There was a time when the last thing Joel Hanrahan wanted was to be handed the ball for the ninth inning with his team leading by three or fewer runs. May 2009, for example, comes to mind.
When the Nationals sent Hanrahan to the Pirates as part of the four-player trade that also included Nyjer Morgan, Sean Burnett and Lastings Milledge, there were plenty of people around the Nats organization who figured the big right-hander would never be successful as a big-league closer.
As good as Hanrahan's stuff was, he didn't seem to have the mental capacity to pitch the ninth inning of a tight ballgame. Five blown saves in 10 opportunities and a 7.71 ERA tend to raise some red flags.
In Pittsburgh, though, Hanrahan has rediscovered himself. And in blowing away the Nats during the ninth inning last night to preserve an 8-5 victory, he showed his former team why he's being viewed around these parts as a viable closer once again.Read more »
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