If Tim Hudson could beat the Washington Nationals tonight, 16 of his 200 career wins would come against the now-D.C.-based franchise with his first win over the Montreal Expos back on June 15, 2003 when he was still with Oakland and the first over the Nats on July 27, 2005 in Hudson's first year with Atlanta. Hudson threw a scoreless 1-2-3 first in his sixth outing of the year for the Braves and 28th career start against Montreal/Washington. The opening frame ended after 14 pitches when Bryce Harper missed a 3-1 pitch and popped it up to B.J. Upton in center for the third out of the first inning of the second game of the Nats' four-game set with the Braves.
Two outs into the home-half of the frame, Hudson had a 1-0 lead to work with after Andrelton Simmons lined an 0-1 four-seamer from Gio Gonzalez that didn't get far enough inside to left, off the top of fence and out.1-0 Braves. One out after a one-out walk to Justin Upton an RBI double by Evan Gattis scored Atlanta's left fielder from first when Nationals' left fielder Tyler Moore misplayed the bounce back off the wall allowing Upton to score. 2-0 Braves. After Gonzalez issued a two-out walk to Dan Uggla, Nats' backstop Wilson Ramos reached in and made contact with B.J. Upton's bat as the elder Upton grounded out, so B.J. was given first and the bases were loaded for Reed Johnson, who K'd swinging on Gonzalez's 29th pitch of the frame.
10 pitches got Tim Hudson three outs in the top of the second and had him at 24 overall after two 1-2-3 frames. He took Gio Gonzalez's 35th pitch of the game to left and almost out, doubling off the top of the left field fence to start the Braves' second. Gonzalez went all out to dive and catch a popped up bunt by Simmons for the first out of the frame, but an RBI line drive to left by Chris Johnson drove Hudson in and made it a 3-0 game. A wild pitch moved Johnson into scoring position so a two-out single by Freddie Freeman drove him in. The Braves took a 4-0 lead on the hit and pushed the Nats' lefty up to 53 pitches before he struck Dan Uggla out to end the second inning.
A 12-pitch third had Tim Hudson through three hitless frames, though he walked Gio Gonzalez with two down to spoil any hope of a perfect game. 36 pitches overall for the Braves' right-hander. After Gonzalez walked B.J. Upton to start the Braves' third, he picked Upton off first for the first out of the inning. Gonzalez then struck Reed Johnson and Tim Hudson out for Ks no. 6 and 7 in 3.0 IP. Hudson walked Bryce Harper with one down in the Nats' fourth, but got a force at second and a groundout to short and had 4.0 scoreless on the board on 49 pitches after a 13-pitch inning after which he still hadn't allowed a hit. When Andrelton Simmons lined to center on the seventh pitch of his fourth-inning-opening AB, Gio Gonzalez was up to 77 pitches overall. Gonzalez got K no.8 with a 94 mph 1-2 four-seamer to Chris Johnson. Justin Upton took walk no.5 from the Nats' starter. One out later, Evan Gattis lined to center to bring Simmons home and send Freddie Freeman from first-to-third after he'd grounded into a force at second that took Upton off the basepaths. 5-0 Braves. Gonzalez got Dan Uggla swinging for his 9th K in 4.0 IP, but the Nationals' starter was down 5-0 and up to 95 pitches.
Tyler Moore doubled to start the Nats' fifth with the team's first hit, moved to third on a Chad Tracy groundout and scored on a Wilson Ramos' roller to third. 5-1 Braves. Hudson got the third out of the inning on a groundout by Roger Bernadina and ended a nine pitch frame at 58 overall. Zach Duke retired the first two batters in the Braves' fifth before Tim Hudson took him deep to right and in and out of Bryce Harper's glove for an opposite field solo home run the Nats' right fielder almost caught but lost over the wall. 6-1 game. A single by Andrelton Simmons, double by Chris Johnson and an intentional walk to Justin Upton loaded the bases for Freddie Freeman and a misplayed grounder by Adam LaRoche let two runs in. 8-1 Braves. E:5? Nope, ruled a hit.
• Hudson's HR:
Andrelton Simmons bobbled a Denard Span grounder so he had no chance of making a play at first. Leadoff hit, but two outs later, Span was still on first after both Danny Espinosa and Bryce Harper had K'd swinging. Adam LaRoche got a hold of a 3-1 sinker and sent out it out to deep center, but not deep enough that B.J. Upton couldn't catch it. Upton made a leaping catch and hit the wall hard. 8-1 after five and a half in Turner Field. Zach Duke needed 12 pitches to retire the Braves in order in the sixth...
Ian Desmond tripled to the right field corner off Hudson to start the top of the seventh. Desmond's second triple of the year was followed by a groundout to third by Tyler Moore that didn't get the run in. Back-to-back Ks followed to strand Desmond on third with Chad Tracy going down swinging and Wilson Ramos taking a called strike three. Hudson was up to 96 pitches and six Ks and done after seven. Duke made quick work of the Braves in a seven-pitch seventh. Right-hander Anthony Varvarro needed 12 pitches to get through the eighth. Still 8-1 Braves.
Freddie Freeman singled off Henry Rodriguez with one down in the Braves' eighth and 3 for 5 on the night (with a .319 AVG on the year). Two outs later he was stranded at first, however, when Rodriguez completed a 12-pitch frame. Varvarro came back out for the ninth and retired the Nationals in order to lock down Hudson's 200th career win. Congrats, Tim.
Zimmermann vs the Braves tomorrow in Turner Field.
Braves win, 8-1 final.
Nationals now 13-14