One night after one of their worst performances in weeks, Friday’s 9-3 loss to Milwaukee, the Braves should be in good hands tonight: Tim Hudson is pitching.
I realize Tommy John surgery isn’t the equivalent of bionics, but after a while you start to wonder if Hudson was rebuilt with robot parts. A ridiculous 15 of his 18 starts have been quality starts, which is tied for fourth in the majors. He leads the Braves in wins (9-4), earned run average among starters (2.30), innings pitched (121 1/3) and opponents’ batting average (.219).
He also was the only pitcher in this year’s All-Star Game for either league who is in his first full season coming back after Tommy John surgery (he missed most of last season before coming back in September).
“I’m definitely lucky,” Hudson said. “Just the fact that I was able to come back and be strong and feel like I did when I was 25 — it’s just a blessing. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to come back. All you can do is give it your best effort and do everything you’re supposed to do and just hope and pray it turns out good. That’s kind of been the case. I never dreamed I’d have an All-Star first half. It just shows the determination and hard work pays off.”
I’ve got some good stuff from him on the surgery including his th0ughts on why he didn’t want a tendon from a cadaver used in his surgery. But I’ll save that for the column later, assuming Hudson has a strong outing against the Brewers, and why wouldn’t he?
A few things before we get started:
♦ After some rain earlier, the tarp is being off the field. There’s no expectation right now that the start of the game will be delayed.
♦ Chipper Jones is out of the lineup with a strained hamstring. He said it “doesn’t hurt just to sit and walk around,” but stopping and running is a different issue. It doesn’t seem to be a major issue, but it’s not known if he’ll be available for pinch-hitting duties.
♦ Also out of the lineup: Jason Heyward, who claimed he’s “just chillin’” and it’s a day of rest. With David Ross catching, that means Jones, Heyward and Brian McCann — most of the heart of the order — are all on the bench.
Earlier posts today