These comments were all made in reference to Tim Hudson and his recent shut-out win over the Cubs. What’s more, the comments were made by the other team!
Tim Hudson, 38, is San Francisco’s most reliable starting pitcher this season. He’s handling hitters with ease, as was the case Tuesday night against the Chicago Cubs. He threw seven innings, with five strike outs, no walks, and only six hits allowed. Hudson has allowed two earned runs or less in nine of his ten starts, and pitched seven full innings in eight of them.
Hudson’s season was questionable during the pre-season. Last year Hudson broke his right ankle while playing with Atlanta. The injury threatened to end his career. The Giants picked him up in a $23 million contract for two years in November. He has since emerged as one of the most valuable additions to the team, and a major reason they currently have the best record in the league.
Filling out the rotation is Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner, both All-Stars, and two-time National League Cy Young Award recipient Tim Lincecum. Hudson, a three-time All-Star himself, is holding his own, to say the least, with an ERA of 1.92 and only two losses in 10 games.
In interviews this season, Hudson jokes that he has been tricking hitters with smoke and mirrors. In more recent comments, he says that he has simply just learned to pitch better. He says he’s studying scouting reports more often, replacing power with strategy and research. “From a command standpoint, this is probably the best I’ve been.”
Fans are less analytical about him. Upon leaving the field after the seventh inning on Tuesday, Hudson enjoyed an energetic standing ovation from the sellout crowd. The Giants were on the board with four runs, which was all that was needed after two perfect innings by relief pitchers Jeremy Affeldt and Jean Machi.
Hudson started his MLB career in 1997 when he signed with the Oakland Athletics. His first game was in 1999. In 2005, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves. He’s a sinkerballer, throwing that pitch about half the time. Sinkerballs have significant downward movement at the plate, which tends to induce grounders. He has pitched over 200 games, one of the more senior pitchers in the league.