That one was an ordeal. A boring ordeal, at that. I feel like I’ve seen this game before … oh, that’s because I was in attendance. Version 1.0 was a 6-0 loss to the Padres and Odrisamer Despaigne, the El Duque clone who threw seven shutout innings against the Giants in his first major league start. That was back on June 23, when the Giants weren’t playing well at home. Anywhere, really.
Friday night was Version 2.0. Seven shutout innings for Despaigne, and the Padres won 5-0. All five runs were scored against Tim Hudson, four of those runs in a first inning that looked a lot like what we saw from Hudson on Saturday night against the Dodgers. The difference in this game was what happened after Hudson was lifted in the fifth inning. After Javier Lopez got a couple lefties out, Tim Lincecum entered the game in the sixth and pitched a couple scoreless innings. No hits, no walks, two strikeouts.
Is the younger Tim moving back ahead of the older?
This brings up one of those “I’ll be honest” moments. If the Giants were facing any other team than the Padres, just about everyone who watched that game — probably including yours truly — would be advocating for Lincecum and Hudson to switch roles.
I wrote up a little postseason roster projection on Friday afternoon. Lincecum wasn’t on it, mostly because he’s been the team’s worst pitcher over the last month. That’s saying something on a team with Juan Gutierrez, Ryan Vogelsong, Jeremy Affeldt and Hudson.
Is Hudson done? His ERA is 9.92 in September, as he’s given up 30 hits in 16 1/3 innings. While Lincecum has looked erratic for weeks, Hudson looks exhausted. He’s leaving balls up in the zone, his sinker isn’t really sinking all that much, and all is lost.
Or is it? Hudson gave up six runs (five earned) at Coors Field, a park where Hudson — like so many others — has struggled. Then he gave up three runs over six innings in a 6-1 loss at Detroit. Not an especially happy evening, but a quality start nonetheless. Then Hudson only lasted an inning against the Dodgers before getting knocked around early against a much weaker offensive squad in the Padres.
Hudson was an All-Star this season and he’s only made one relief appearance in his career. He’s making his next start on Wednesday in Los Angeles. But if he gets rocked once again, and he lets the team know that his hip isn’t feeling all that great, the postseason roster (if necessary past a play-in game) might not be a given.
— The Giants are 3.5 games behind the Dodgers and 5.5 games ahead of the Brewers. The Wild Card, she is nigh. But the Pirates are just one game back of the Giants after winning their fifth in row.
— Joe Panik had two of the Giants’ three hits.
— Angel Pagan looked like he tweaked his back while striking out in the sixth. Michael Morse came into the game in that inning as a pinch hitter, struck out, and stayed in the game. When it comes to who’s healthy on a night-to-night basis, who knows with this team anymore.
— Best wishes to Willie McCovey. The Giants released this statement today:
Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey was hospitalized last week for complications stemming from an infection. He is being treated at a local hospital and his recovery is progressing every day. The Giants remain in close contact with Willie and his family and urge all fans to keep Willie in their thoughts as he recovers. Fans wishing to send Willie get well messages can do so via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail to Willie McCovey c/o San Francisco Giants, San Francisco, CA 94107.