Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tim Hudson was breezing right along on Wednesday, having tossed seven-plus innings of scoreless, four-hit ball, striking out nine and walking three in one of his best performances of the year — an outing that ultimately ended in an 8-2 win over the New York Mets.
That’s when things took a turn for the worst. The topsy-turvy season for the Braves’ veteran hurler reached its lowest point when he took a flip from first baseman Freddie Freeman and stepped on the bag to retire Mets left-fielder Eric Young Jr.. That’s when Young took a step on Freeman’s foot, resulting in a leg injury.
Hudson laid on the ground for several minutes as teammates, trainers and manager Fredi Gonzalez came out to check on him. Young also stood beside him the entire time, saying a prayer and then apologizing to him as he was carted off the field.
Given Hudson’s painful facial expressions and the mood that was cast upon everyone in the ballpark, the injury appeared to be a serious one. Young even left the field in tears, showing genuine care despite the fact that the injury was obviously nothing more than a freak accident.
That’s when the realization set in for me, and perhaps others as well.
Hudson may have pitched his final game in a Braves uniform.
The 38-year-old will be a free agent at the end of the season, and since Atlanta possesses plenty of starters, it may elect to let him sign with another club.
Let’s hope and pray that the injury isn’t as serious as it looked, as the 6-foot-1, 175-pound right-hander is one of the most beloved Braves in recent memory.