Tim Hudson had quietly put himself into consideration for the National League Cy Young race for the National League. He was 14-5 with a 2.13 ERA after his start against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Things were looking good and he was looking almost un-hittable in the month of August. Entering the game against the Colorado Rockies on August 23rd, Tim Hudson was 5-0 with an 0.82 ERA in the six starts leading into that game. That stretch had put Hudson firmly into the Cy Young race and even made some pundits believe he was a favorite.
However, he was roughed up against the Rockies that day to the tune of 6 innings and 4 earned runs in the loss. Those struggles have continued for Hudson. In his last 5 starts he is 1-3 with a 5.17 ERA. Opponents are batting .404 against him during this 5 game stretch. He has also given up 4 home runs in this stretch, whereas in the previous 25 starts that he had made this season he had only given up 10. That was an average of 1 home run every 2.5 games coming into the game in Colorado. His ERA has risen from 2.13 to 2.62 during this stretch.
Hudson still deserves Cy Young consideration. He has pitched his butt off all year long and the Braves would definitely not be where they are without him. He is still among the league leaders in ERA and wins. He has been able to go toe-to-toe with many of the top starters in the National League.
One has to wonder if this is just a rough stretch for Hudson in which he can pitch his way out of it. One also needs to question if Hudson is getting fatigued. He is coming off Tommy John surgery and only pitched 42.1 innings last year. He had only pitched 142 the year before. The last time he pitched over 200 innings was in 2007.
The Braves are hoping for the former option. They have become dependent upon Hudson as the ace of their staff. They need him to carry them into the playoffs and further. The Hudson of the last 5 games will not carry them far.