The small mystery of who would get the ball on opening day for the Atlanta Braves has come to an end as Fredi Gonzalez has tabbed veteran Tim Hudson for the job. Hudson went out after getting the news and proved why he deserves it with a six inning shutout of the Washington Nationals that scattered six hits. That kind of performance isn’t the only reason that Hudson is the man for the opening day job.
If you saw his interview after his last spring start, Hudson said that he felt better and was close to having things where he wanted them to be. He said that most of the work would be done between outings and that with hard work, it would come. Then, he went out and showed why the label of veteran pitcher means something. His journey to get his arm ready for the start of the season took a little longer than he wanted, but his arm has done exactly what he said it would do all spring long.
Add to that the fact that Hudson goes out and enjoys pitching most of the time. His good friend and former teammate Adam Laroche called for Hudson to throw him a knuckle ball during the game and Hudson through it. Not only did he throw it but it just missed the strike zone. After Laroche drove the next pitch through the hole for a single, Hudson threw his gum at him.
That is a man that can have fun. Sure it was a spring game but that level of relaxation while getting his arm ready for the season shows how well in control he is of his arm and his own preparation. Now, he might go out and get shelled on opening day. I doubt it but even if he does, this is still the veteran ace of the pitching staff. Good move Fredi Gonzalez.