Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the triple digits all weekend in Atlanta, with highs of 104 on Friday, 106 on Saturday and 103 on Sunday according to weather.com.
Of all Braves’ pitchers to have to pitch in the heat of the day this weekend in that kind of heat, Tim Hudson might be the worst candidate. The 36-year-old right-hander, who is scheduled to start Sunday against the Nationals at 1:35 p.m., has a history of cramping problems and struggling in the heat.
As recently as last September in Washington, Hudson had to be taken to the hospital to receive IV fluids after a start against Stephen Strasburg when he admittedly failed to hydrate properly, thinking the game would be rained out. This time he’s preparing well in advance.
“I’ve got 700 more of these to drink,” Hudson said with a smile, sipping on a bottle of water in front of his locker on Thursday afternoon.
Hudson normally gets a bag of IV fluids on the day he pitches. This time he plans to get two. He also says he’ll change uniforms a couple of times during the game as well.
“The one thing that concerns me is losing so much fluid and so many electrolytes,” Hudson said. “But if I’m able to prepare for that days before and that morning with some IVs, I’m not too concerned with it.”
Hudson grew up in Auburn, Ala. but got used to pitching in low humidity during his five years in Oakland, Calif.
“I pitched in Oakland too long and I turned into a sissy,” Hudson said. “72 and breezy.”
He figures Nationals starter and former Athletics’ left-hander Gio Gonzalez might struggle a little bit for that same reason on Sunday.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez thinks the Braves can use the heat to their advantage, maybe not against the Nationals this weekend but against West Coast teams that come to Atlanta throughout the season.
During this hot spell, though, he has cut back the length of infield and batting practice. And he said catcher Brian McCann will take either Friday or Sunday off against Nats left-hander Ross Detwiler or the left-hander Gonzalez.