It’s been a wild day in the Bay Area sports (and sports media) world, but I can’t leave Goodyear Ballpark before writing a little something on the San Francisco Giants’ 8-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
“The line wasn’t what I wanted it to be, but I feel like today was a very good workday for me,” Tim Hudson said.
It was a busy day for a pitcher still working his way back from a shattered right ankle that required surgery months ago. He threw over 70 pitches, went 2-for-2 and scored two runs, which meant he got to test his ankle on the bases. Both hits — a single to left and a double to right — were sharply hit and part of three-run rallies, which helped make up for the four runs he surrendered in three and two-thirds innings.
Here are some photos I took of his first hit, a single to left.
“Obviously it wasn’t a walk in the park. It was work that I needed. It was nice to be able to go out there and try to make some tough pitches in some tough situations and run the bases. It was a good test today,” Hudson said.
“It was definitely a good step in the right direction from a conditioning standpoint.”
This was the first time I’ve seen Hudson handle “postgame” questions (starters talk to reporters during the middle innings after being removed from Spring Training games), and Hudson seems like he’s going to be a fun guy to talk to this season. Well, provided the team wins anyway.
Like Madison Bumgarner, Hudson’s southern drawl is the first thing you notice. And being a southern gentleman, Hudson was in no mood to boast about his hitting prowess.
“Honestly, (Reds pitcher Tony Cingrani) hit my bat a couple times. When they know you’re going to throw you a fastball, it’s a lot different than where’s there’s a chance they’ll throw you something else. I was pretty overmatched the first six pitches of that first at-bat. Then I just sold out to a fastball. Able to get the barrel on it. Second at-bat was just one of those things where I put the bat out there and he hit it,” Hudson said.
Don’t let him fool you — we’re talking about a really good hitter as far as starting pitchers are concerned. The Giants might have a skinny version of Don “Caveman” Robinson on their hands.
Here’s another similarity between Hudson and Bumgarner: Hudson seems like a guy who isn’t afraid to throw a verbal jab or two. And today, he tossed a light punch Bumgarner’s way when asked about how his skills as a hitter compare to the other pitchers on the team.
“Those guys are good. Bumgarner, he’s one of those five o’clock hitters. He’s pretty special at five o’clock. He can put ’em in the seats,” said Hudson, who seconds later went into self-deprecation mode when I asked if that meant he’s a “7:30 hitter.”
“I don’t even know what kind of hitter I am,” Hudson said. “I’m at the point now where I just try not to get hurt when I’m up there. The key is dragging your bat up there and acting like you can’t hit. Just look as old as you possibly can. They feel sorry for you, and they throw you a lot of fastballs.”
Giants news and notes
— Bruce Bochy said he’d get an update on Marco Scutaro after the game from trainer Dave Groeschner and pass it on tomorrow. Based on Bochy’s facial expression and body language, it probably doesn’t make sense to expect Scutaro to be ready for Opening Day.
— One guy who might replace Scutaro, at least for a while, is Ehire Adrianza. Adrianza hit his second home run of the Spring today. He’s gone deep from both sides of the plate, which Bochy likes.
“He’s had a good spring. Both sides. Saw some good pitching today, he looked like he threw out some nice at-bats. The home run was nice. He lined out to shortstop too,” Bochy said.
“The kid’s got good balance up there, from both sides. What’s impressive is he hasn’t been switch-hitting all that long, but he looks good from the left side.”
— I asked Bochy about whether Gary Brown (who had a hit and went 1-for-2 on stolen base attempts) looks any different than he did a year ago. Bochy didn’t sound quite as pleased with Brown as he did when speaking about Adrianza.
“He’s working on some things. Actually has been a little bit of a slow start. He had a good day today. Thought he was a little more aggressive with the bat and running the bases. That’s the kind of game he has to play.”
— Tim Hudson’s wife Kim tweeted this yesterday:
— Kim Hudson (@kimberlybhudson) March 11, 2014
Tim’s take: “It was last night, we got there and it was like 50 minutes to get seated. So we just ordered something to go. It was an hour to get the food.”
And this today:
Someone may not be real happy with his pitching performance today, but I know those two hits made him smile. 🙂 pic.twitter.com/LzhYOWGudi
— Kim Hudson (@kimberlybhudson) March 11, 2014
“Oh did she?” Hudson asked when told that Kim was posting about Hudson on social media. With a laugh, he said, “She ain’t supposed to be tweeting. She’s a twit.”
— I posted several photos I took of Buster Posey’s first home run of the Spring. I’m biased, but they’re worth checking out, just to see the way Posey fell to one knee on his follow-through.