First and foremost, the performance of San Francisco Giants‘ hurler Tim Hudson this season has been nothing short of astonishing. Not only have his sparkling ERA (1.99), and stingy BAA (.191) been on full display, but it’s been his control (O.5 BB/9) which has truly stood out so far in 2014.
Sunday afternoon was a chance for Hudson to not only conquer the curse of Chavez Ravine (just one career win while pitching in the confines of Dodger Stadium), but to accomplish that feat going up against the opposing intimidation of Los Angeles Dodgers‘ southpaw Clayton Kershaw. Not to mention an opportunity to keep climbing the spotlight ladder. Hudson’s legendary career is no secret, but it’s time he is included in any current elite conversations. The 38-year-old kid still has plenty left in the tank.
With 12 ground-balls rendered through five shutout innings, everything was going according to plan. Then in the sixth, you guessed it: just like clockwork, the curse began to rear its ugly head. Yasiel Puig taking him over the wall was the first bad omen, but when Hanley Ramirez records a double on a routine grounder to shortstop during a left-side of the infield shift in the very next at-bat, you know the Baseball gods are in a mischievous mood.
Thanks to a go-ahead two-run blast by second baseman Brandon Hicks in the seventh, the curse was seemingly on its way to being lifted. However, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, and Hudson looking on in line for the win; Ramirez stepped up to the plate once again. To Giants fans who witnessed what happened next (a two-run, game-tying, wall-scraping blast), I feel your pain.
Hudson flat out deserved better. When you lead the league in minimum pitches per inning (12.5) and own a recent stretch of eight earned runs over your last 36.4 innings pitched; a victory is warranted.
The evil brought forth by the Baseball gods knows no bounds, but with San Francisco ultimately coming out on top, it looks like the spirit of Mother’s Day evened the score.