While the Braves were hoping to save Tim Hudson to pitch in Game 1 of the Division Series, he was prepared to take the mound Wednesday against the Phillies with a shot at the playoffs on the line.
Hudson was the man on the mound for the Braves the final day of the 2011 season, when he beat the Phillies to help the Braves clinch the wild card. He limited them to four runs in seven innings in an 8-7 win.
“My last two starts I considered playoff type games; essentially they were that important,” said Hudson, who won both of them, against the Mets and Nationals. “(Wednesday) is no different.”
Hudson will face right-hander Joe Blanton, who is expected to pitch the first couple of innings in what will be a “bullpen” game for the Phillies. Manager Charlie Manuel wants to get Cole Hamels and Vance Worley into the game as well.
Entering Tuesday, the Braves had won only three of their previous 10 games and Hudson had won two of them. He had to leave his last start against the Nationals with cramps (three runs in 5 2/3 innings) and spent most of that night in the hospital receiving five bags of IV fluids, but that shouldn’t be a factor this time. Hudson said it was his fault for not hydrating properly for the humidity in Washington.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said if the Braves are forced into a one-game playoff for the wild card Thursday in St. Louis, Brandon Beachy would pitch. That game is set to start at 8:07 EDT and be broadcast on TBS, if necessary.