There’s no way around it — Tim Hudson has been bad to this point in the 2013 MLB season. The veteran right-hander has posted a 4-4 record and 5.37 ERA in 11 starts for the Atlanta Braves. Those numbers do not resemble the lifetime 201-game winner and 3.46 ERA pitcher.
The good news for Hudson — at least for one game — is that he has found success against the Washington Nationals and at Turner Field this season. Both those worlds happen to collide for game two between the Braves and Nationals on Saturday night.
Hudson would seemingly love to face the Nationals every game as he’s gone 14 innings of seven-hit, two-run baseball against the 26th ranked team in runs scored. That’s good for a 2-0 record and 1.29 ERA. His most memorable start of the season came in the April 30 meeting with the Nationals as Hudson went seven innings of three-hit baseball to pick up his 200th career win.
Hudson has limited the Nationals up and down the lineup. The only current National to have an average of .300 or better is Tyler Moore, who has one hit in three at-bats. Keeping Denard Span off the bases, a .200 career hitter against Hudson, will go a long way in keeping a limited Nationals’ offense off the scoreboard. Span collected three hits, including two triples and scored two runs in Friday night’s game.
Returning to Turner Field could also lead to an improved outing from Hudson. For the season, he is 3-0 with a 2.97 ERA at home. In comparison, Hudson is 1-4 with a 7.67 ERA on the road.
Hudson needs a good outing for his confidence moving forward. That seems odd on the surface for a pitcher who has 200 wins under his belt. However, the 37-year-old knows in the back of his mind that his best days are behind him and that his career is coming to an end.
What’s the good news for Hudson? The factors seem to be in his favor on Saturday night.