If you turn on an Atlanta Braves game during the Grapefruit League season and it looks like pitcher Tim Hudson is struggling during every inning, don’t fret over it. It’s not nearly as bad as you think. Hudson is one of those veteran pitchers that are extremely good at using the spring season the way a pitcher should. He makes it work for him instead of only getting his work in. Allow me to explain.
During the regular season when Hudson gets into a jam, it’s the real deal. But you don’t see him stressing over it. He just goes about his business and labors through it the best way he can. What you see in Spring Training from Hudson is the reason he can be so relaxed during crunch time when it counts. The jams that he seems to get into every inning during the spring are key to his being able to work through tough innings when it’s real. Is that not genius?
They say practice makes perfect and then that perfect practice makes perfect. It seems that in the case of Hudson and other pitchers that do this during spring games, imperfect practice makes perfect. Nothing can be more unsettling than watching a good pitcher stress and eek through jams in a game. When Hudson does it, no matter the result, he is calm and relaxed the entire time.
I cannot think of a better example for the younger pitchers in the Braves rotation and bullpen. Practice pitching when you aren’t on. Get to where you are comfortable pitching when you aren’t comfortable on the mound. It makes perfect sense to me and clearly it is working and has always worked wonders for Hudson.