Not one complaint was uttered after the San Francisco Giants signed Tim Hudson. However, there were some doubts floating around, because he’s a 38-year-old pitcher coming off ankle surgery. Sure, Hudson always seemed like the kind of pitcher who was incapable of laying an egg in any of his starts, but it’d been a while since he’d thrown a pitch that mattered.
Hudson won his first start as a San Francisco Giant, and now he’s the winningest active pitcher in the big leagues.
It makes some sense to “kill the win,” especially if you’ve followed Matt Cain’s career. But once you get past 200, it’s hard to just toss the win aside. Especially for a guy like Hudson, who picked up No. 206 with 7 2/3 scoreless innings (three hits allowed, seven strikeouts, no walks) in his Giants debut.
Full disclosure: as a credentialed reporter, I’m not supposed to say stuff like this publicly (or “publically,” as Rich Lieberman would say), but Hudson’s reputation as an awesome teammate exists for a reason. I only got the chance to witness one post-start interview with Hudson during Spring Training, but he might be the most disarming professional athlete I’ve ever been around. His wit: dry and sharp. Throw in a southern accent and a resume that’s ridiculous, and it’s no shock that Hudson and Buster Posey are already in lockstep.
“Buster, he called a great game. I was able to go out there and execute pitches. Able to get into a rhythm early in the game, keep the ball down in the zone, just try to hold the bottom of the strike zone. Got away with a few mistakes throughout the game. But for the most part, whenever I needed to make a pitch, Buster put down the right fingers and I was able to make it,” Hudson said.
Hudson was nearly perfect. When he wasn’t, Angel Pagan was sprinting to his left or right, making an incredible catch. He also drove in the Giants’ first run of the game and went 2-for-5 with a stolen base.
“He played a great centerfield today. I had a couple mistakes where they got the barrel on some balls and he was able to run them down,” said Hudson.
“It’s nice to have some defense behind you, running balls down. I try to keep the ball on the ground as much as I can, but every now and then you mess up and they’ll (catch) one in the gap for you. He did a great job running them down. Nice luxury to have.”
I know Pagan is important to this team, but the kvetching about his extended absences seemed a little excessive last season. Yeah, he missed over half the year. GET OVER IT, HE ISN’T WILLIE MAYS.
/Pagan’s cap flies off, romance novel covers flutter lustfully throughout the outfield
On second thought, maybe Pagan at full strength is more important to a team than the Mets ever could’ve imagined.
Mostly, tonight was a nerve-soothing reminder that the Giants won’t give up five-plus runs every game. Hudson *might* not continue on this Cy Young pace, but he’s healthy and looks like a guy with a lot of good starts (and winz) left in his right arm.
— Presented without comment:
— Michael Morse’s double could’ve been caught by D-Backs centerfielder Tony Campana, but Morse hit one of those line drives that looked like it was probably whistling as it soared through the desert air. Then Bochy pinch-ran for Morse … in the sixth inning. It’s a weird way to handle left field, but as long as it works.
— And by “works,” I mean no balls getting hit in Morse’s direction. That probably won’t last.
— Hunter Pence is still hitless. That probably won’t last, either.
— You know who never goes hitless? Pat the Bat. (Is Bochy trying to distract Burrell or Bill Hayes?)
— Javier Lopez looked awful this spring, and Bruce Bochy said his elbow was bothering him early on. Guess he’s fine now.
— Did someone tell Mike Krukow to “let it all hang out,” or “let us worry about the FCC” before the season started? If so, atta babe!
[Romo strikes out Goldschmidt looking] Kuip: “Got him. And Goldschmidt knew it.” Kruk: “Slider and it absolutely locked his bowels.”
— LOL KNBR Callers (@LOLKNBRCallers) April 3, 2014