The last time Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tim Hudson pitched, the club tallied season highs in runs (13) and hits (19) to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 13-4, helping the 37-year-old end a 10-game winless streak during which he had posted an 0-6 record and a 4.50 ERA.
When Hudson takes the mound in Thursday’s four-game weekend home series opener against the Cincinnati Reds, he’ll look to win his second straight start and inch closer to .500. His record currently sits at 5-7, although a lot of that is because the Braves have failed to provide him with adequate run support.
To do so, the veteran right-hander will need to perform better than fellow starter Paul Maholm did in a 6-2 Braves loss to the Miami Marlins on Wednesday when he surrendered all four of the runs he allowed in the first inning, putting the team behind the eight ball from the get-go.
While the Braves lead the National League in come-from-behind wins, most of those rallies have not taken place when they trailed by as many as four runs or more. When they were at their best during the first month of the season, they were bashing balls out of the park at a high rate and scoring time after time en route to the best April mark in Major League Baseball.
Atlanta has been inconsistent since, at times showing signs of returning to its early-season form — a la Hudson’s last start — while at other times struggling to do much of anything.
On Thursday, the Braves will need a blast from the past, both from Hudson and their offense.