San Francisco Giants

MLB ERA leader Tim Hudson stops Giants’ losing skid

Tim Hudson 2014 San Francisco Giants

You’re not going to get the most comprehensive recap today, but after taking the last three losses off I figured I should at least put something out there after the Giants finally won a game over the Nationals. The final score was 7-1, Tim Hudson was fantastic as usual, and the Giants finally proved that it’s possible to collect a significant number of hits (13) and walks (four) against Nats pitching.

“At least we could show them that … we’re better than what they saw,” Hudson told reporters.

I followed this game on my phone via MLB’s Gameday app on the way to LAX, taking a brief break from staring at a screen while going through security. Our flight was delayed, then they boarded us earlier than scheduled anyway.

It was a Virgin America flight, so I was able to watch the eighth inning. Jean Machi induced yet another double play grounder and lowered his ERA from 0.32 to 0.31, and the Giants scored two runs on Hector Sanchez’s single with men on second and third in the bottom of the inning.

Then the plane began to back away from the gate. Sergio Romo took the mound in the top of the ninth, but I missed his inning due to the flight safety music video. I guess he struck out the side, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say he threw some good sliders.

I thought I’d be able to watch all the highlights afterward, but the captain (the flight captain, not Buster Posey) – who was nice enough to provide several updates – let us know we would be sitting in a taxi line for about 40 minutes. Then the satellite signal went out.

Long story short: the delay lasted longer than an hour and I missed most of this game, including all seven innings of vintage Hudson.

Hudson allowed no earned runs to lower his ERA to 1.81, which makes him the leader among all Major League starters. He allowed an unearned run in the fourth after Posey’s passed ball allowed Adam LaRoche to advance to second base — Ryan Zimmerman knocked in LaRoche with a single.

I saw a montage of Hudson strikeouts (he had five) after CSN Bay Area’s signal came back, and it looked like his cutter was moving quite a bit. Now that’s some grade-D+ analysis, right there.

/takes a bow

I assumed that he’d allow at least one run in the fifth, when I had to put my phone through the security conveyor after the Nats led off the inning with consecutive singles to put men on first and third. By the time my shoes were back on, the Giants were out of the inning and the score was still 2-1, as Hudson struck out Blake Treinen and got Denard Span to ground in to a double play.

“He’s a competitor. It’s definitely fun playing behind him. He’s prepared, he gets after it. He’s been a big addition and a big part of the reason why we’re playing so well,” Hunter Pence said.

Extra BASGs

— “It’s a tough group. They have a lot of character. They didn’t think about the three previous games,” said Bruce Bochy, who by putting Posey in the lineup for a day game after a night game showed how much he wanted to win this particular contest.

— Pence went 3-for-3 with two walks, raising his slash line to .294/.367/.462.

— Michael Morse went 3-for-4 on the day Thom Loverro’s hacky column questioning Morse’s intelligence went viral.

— If you missed our latest podcast with Alex Pavlovic, you should check it out. Good stuff on Posey, possible deadline deals, weird official scoring decisions in other National League ballparks, plus a lot more. It’s Alex’s fourth time on with us, which puts him in a tie with Ethan Sherwood Strauss in the race to see who’ll become the BASGcast version of Alec Baldwin hosting SNL.

— Brandon Crawford went 2-for-3 with a walk and one of the Giants’ two extra-base hits, and according to the Giants PR staff he’s reached base in 15 of his last 31 plate appearances. It’s hard to overstate his value this season, so I’m not going to try.

— The Giants failed to hit a home run for the sixth straight game. Since Posey’s game-winning home run against the Mets on Friday, the Giants are … stuck on 69.

/takes another bow, dodges overripe tomato

— Despite the Giants losing three straight for the first time since April 17-19, they only lost one game in the standings to the Dodgers, who earlier today dropped their second straight in Cincinnati. The Giants still have the best record in baseball (43-24), and hold an 8.5 game lead on Los Angeles.

— Thanks to @LOLKNBR, America’s favorite anonymous sports talk radio addict, for covering the last two games for me while I was dining at L.A. restaurants. It’s not easy to write a recap even if you’re able to watch the entire game, and he worked really hard and did a great job capturing the essence of both losses (writing until 1:30 am a couple nights ago, and finishing not a great deal earlier last night). Hopefully he can see what it’s like to write about a win next time.

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