Apr 8, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Hudson (17) throws to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning of their baseball game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports
I have a confession to make. I know many of you will want to take away my San Francisco Giants’ fan card after I admit to this. Los Angeles Dodgers’ lefty Clayton Kershaw is one of my favorite pitchers. He is one of the best current day pitchers out there. He has won a Cy Young Award and at the age of 26, he has already played 7 years in the MLB.
The conundrum to this is I am a Giants’ fan; and my number one favorite current day pitcher is Tim Hudson. Hudson is a veteran player. Even though he has not won a Cy Young, he has played 16 years in the Big Leagues. At 38, Hudson is no young-pup, but he isn’t a salty dog, either.
These 2 amazing players are slated as probable pitchers for Sunday’s Giants/Dodgers game at Chavez Ravine. Right now, I am going to compare Hudson versus Kershaw. Be forewarned this is going to be laden with stats.
Let’s start with RHP Tim Hudson. After Tuesday’s loss to the Pirates, Hudson has an ERA of 1.99. He has pitched 7 games, with an astonishing record of 4 wins and 2 losses, with one no decision game this season. Since the start of the 2014 season, he has faced 202 batters, and only allowed 37 hits.
Now let’s take a look at LHP Clayton Kershaw. Until Tuesday’s matchup against the Washington Nationals, Kershaw had been on the 15-day DL with back issues. He has pitched 2 games this season, with an ERA of 0.66. Both starts have been wins for Kershaw. He has faced 55 batters and allowed 14 hits in his 2 starts.
Overall, Hudson is a veteran pitcher. In his 16-year major league career, he has faced 11,893 batters, and has allowed 2,661 hits. He has played with the Oakland Athletics and the Atlanta Braves before being signed with the San Francisco Giants. Hudson has an overall ERA of 3.42.
Kershaw, on the other hand, has played less than half of that since the beginning of his major league career. He has faced 4,795 batters and has allowed 910 hits. His overall ERA is 2.58. In his career, his resume shows he has played with the Los Angeles Dodgers since his first major league debut.
Sunday’s toe-to-toe battle may or may not prove who is the better pitcher. In reality, pitchers also have to rely on their team to have their back. Hudson could have a terrific game, walk off the field with the Giants ahead, but end up with a loss or a no decision. The stats show he is a pitcher with years of experience. Of course, there are other factors to consider. How he’s feeling that day, the weather, what he ate for dinner the night before, and other variations I won’t go into.
We also must take into consideration Kershaw was on the DL due to a back ailment. This may have a huge impact on his performance. He may have 7 years under his belt, but those 7 years of experience may not mean much if he happens to contort himself in such a way that he throws his back out again.
On the field, it’s all about stats, hanging sliders, and curveballs. Off the field, it’s about love and compassion for their fans, families, and their community.
Both players are fan-friendly, bring a positive presence to the dugout, and are both family men. Hudson is married and has 3 children. He and his wife are involved in many community organizations, including his family’s own foundation, The Hudson Family Foundation. Kershaw is married with no children. Like Hudson, Kershaw and his wife are involved in many community organizations, including their new family foundation, Kershaw’s Challenge.
Taking all of this into consideration, it is tough to judge who is the better player. Both are great people on and off the field. Sunday’s game will only show who is the better player in that day’s game.
Rivals, or teammates, at the end of the day, it boils down to just one commonality: baseball.