Sep 13, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcherTim Hudson
(17) throws to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning of their MLB baseball game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports
After the shortest start of his career last Saturday, Tim Hudson came out last night at Petco Park hoping to get it all sorted out. The first inning demonstrated anything but that, and basically overshadowed the other shortcomings from last night’s game.
The problem is that now with the Giants dropping a game in the NL West, and losing some cushion in the wild card, they cannot afford to lose many more games. They can also not afford to have poor quality outings from their starters.
Albeit, Hudson did get out of the first inning, and pitched another 3 1/3 before handing the ball over to the bullpen. However, his pitches were just not working out, and the Padres were getting good contact all night against him. With only one start left on the schedule for Hudson, against the division-leading Dodgers, the Giants have that looming question mark about Hudson’s next start.
The problem is, it is way too late in the season to do any sort of experiments with the rotation. So if you’re really hoping for one of the September call-ups to rescue this rotation, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment.
One suggestion is to bring Tim Lincecum back into the picture, who retired 6 straight over 2 innings of work last night. Of course as recent history would tell us, he has the Padres’ number, no doubt about that. He certainly was feeling good about last night in the post-game interviews, saying that he was “…in a better place…”
However, in looking at his numbers against the Dodgers in the last two times he’s faced them, it’s not really that promising. Going 7 1/3 innings over one relief outing and one start, while giving up 11 earned runs over 16 hits is not good by any stretch of the imagination. Of course the only reason we saw Lincecum & Co. in the relief outing last weekend was because Hudson imploded in the first inning.
When all else fails, they could try a “frankenstarter”, now the Giants have all of these bullpen arms. But as I said, this is really not the time to experiment to see what you can get, especially with a plethora of relievers both tested and untested. Even with the wealth of arms, by using a “frankenstarter” you’d have to ensure that there will be some arms left to relieve (if needed) Yusmeiro Petit‘s next start.
I simply believe that the Giants don’t have viable options to replace Hudson, and Bochy’s usual reluctance in the post-game interview indicated that as well. Barring any further complications with his injury, Hudson will more than likely make his next and final start of the season. However, the room for error has gotten significantly smaller, and the leash should be much tighter than 4 runs in the first inning.