Hudson’s Veteran Presence Gives Braves Rotation a Lift

Braves News

Tim Hudson allowed one unearned run and two hits over 7.1 innings

With 26-year-old right-hander Kris Medlen on the mound, the Atlanta Braves have won 21 times in a row. The streak – and his 9-1 record and 1.51 ERA – is quite an impressive feat for a guy who has made 28 starts over parts of three Major League seasons. The Braves inched closer to a post-season berth on Sunday thanks to a starter with a different albeit equally interesting story.

Veteran right-hander Tim Hudson allowed one unearned run and two hits over 7.1 innings as Atlanta topped Philadelphia, 2-1. The Braves improved to 88-65 and have a comfortable six-game lead for the top wild card spot in the National League with nine games left on the regular season schedule.

Unlike Medlen, the 37-year-old Hudson has a long and detailed resume as a Major League starting pitcher. From 1999 to 2004, he was 92-39 with a 3.30 ERA for the Oakland A’s. The Columbus, Ga. native returned home when he was traded to the Braves after the 2004 season. He won 43 games in his first three seasons with Atlanta, but injuries limited him to 22 starts in 2008 and seven starts in 2009 before he rebounded to win 17 games in 2010 and 16 games last season.

Unlike 2011, when they collapsed in September and were knocked out of the playoffs on the last night of the season, the Braves have remained mostly steady this September. Hudson recovered with a strong outing on Sunday after allowing four runs in back-to-back starts. Overall this year, he is 16-6 with a 3.61 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and a .249 opponent’s batting average in 27 starts.

The Braves have solid young arms like Medlen, Mike Minor and Tommy Hanson in the rotation, but the presence of Hudson will give the team a valuable asset this postseason.

 


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