The San Francisco Giants lost a near huge lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers during a rough June, but the team has been able to regroup and is now in a battle with its rivals; a battle that may not be decided until the final game of the season.
This is where Giants starter Tim Hudson comes in. Hudson was arguably the team’s best pitcher during the first two months of the season, but he went 0-4 with a 6.07 ERA in his final five starts before the All-Star break. Hudson got eight days of rest and dazzled in his next start against the Miami Marlins.
Hudson took to the mound against the Philadelphia Phillies Thursday and continued his post-All-Star break brilliance. He gave up two unearned runs on eight hits, two walks and he struck out six over six innings. Hudson’s ERA dropped to 2.65 on the season and his WHIP is at 1.13 now. The performance did not earn him a victory because mound counterpart Cole Hamels shut down the Giants. The Phillies won 2-1 at Citizens Bank Park behind the ace’s eight innings of one-run, six-hit, one-walk ball. He struck out 10 batters and lowered his ERA to 2.72.
Hudson’s performance from here on out is so crucial to the Giants because he is the team’s third starter and would likely see time if the Giants make it to the National League Division Series. While Tim Lincecum has been fantastic as of late, he may be better suited in the playoffs coming out of the bullpen like he did during the 2012 World Series.
Hudson needs to pitch like a top-of-the-line starter to keep pressure off of Matt Cain—he has been up-and-down the last two seasons and Madison Bumgarner—who has not felt like a true ace.
Hudson has defied time and age and he will need to do so for just a little while longer if the Giants are going to make yet another World Series championship run.