Tim Hudson was (2-0) in two 2013 starts against the Washington Nationals before tonight, with seven hits, two walks and two earned runs allowed over his first fourteen innings on the mound against the Atlanta Braves' divisional rivals this season. In an April13th outing in the nation's capital, the 37-year-old right-hander needed 90 pitches to get through seven innings in which he gave up just four hits and one run in a 3-1 win. On April 30th, Hudson threw 96 pitches and held the Nats to three hits, two walks and the only other earned run he's allowed the Nationals to score on him so far this summer. That game ended up an 8-2 Braves' win at home in Atlanta.
Hudson started against the Nats for the third time this season and against the franchise that was once the Montreal Expos for the 29th time in his 15-year career tonight in Turner Field. The one-time Oakland A's draft pick who's pitched for the A's and Braves exclusively over the course of his career, was an Atlanta Black Cracker's starter tonight against the visiting Homestead Grays as both teams honored their respective Negro League heritages by wearing throwback uniforms as part of the Braves' Heritage Weekend celebration.
The Nationals went down in order against Hudson in the first. Nationals' starter Gio Gonzalez struck both Jason Heyward and Justin Upton out for the second and third outs of a 13-pitch, 1-2-3 bottom of the inning in the second game of three Washington will play in Atlanta this weekend. Hudson handled the next three Nats in order as well, setting Adam LaRoche, Ian Desmond and Roger Bernadina down in a 16-pitch second that had him at 29 total after two scoreless frames. Gio Gonzalez threw a six-pitch bottom of the inning against the Braves, with Freddie Freeman flying to deep left in front of Evan Gattis (groundout to second) and Chris Johnson (groundout to short). 0-0 after two in Turner Field.
Danny Espinosa grounded out. Kurt Suzuki K'd swinging. And it was Gio Gonzalez, of course, who stopped Hudson's streak of retired batters at eight when he singled by a diving Andrelton Simmons' at short with two down in the top of the third. Gonzalez improved to 5 for 17 on the year at the plate with the two-out hit, but a force at second on a Denard Span grounder to short ended an eight pitch inning that left the Braves' starter at 37 pitches total after three scoreless innings pitched. Still 0-0 in Atlanta.
A leadoff walk to Dan Uggla, who walked for the eighth time in 18 career plate appearance against Gio Gonzalez, started the Braves' third, and Uggla moved around to third base when B.J. Upton singled to center on a 1-1 fastball in the next at bat. Tim Hudson bunted Upton over to second/gave up an out to put two runners in scoring position with one out and Andrelton Simmons due up, and the shortstop's groundout to his counterpart brought in the Braves' first run. 1-0 Atlanta in the third. And 1-0 after three when Gio Gonzalez got Jason Heyward looking with a 94 mph 1-2 fastball to end a 25-pitch frame at 47 overall.
Steve Lombardozzi reached on an error by Freddie Freeman when the first baseman fielded a grounder and tossed one over the covering pitcher at first. Braves' skipper Fredi Gonzalez and home plate ump Larry Vanover got into a shouting match over a call on a 2-2 sinker from Tim Hudson to Ryan Zimmerman in the next at bat, and Gonzalez got tossed when things escalated quickly into an on-field argument. Zim grounded out to short on the full-count pitch that followed the fracas, but Lombardozzi made the decision to run keep on running around second and he made it safely to third ahead of Freeman's throw on what was really a fairly routine grounder. #hustle; #grit. Adam LaRoche's groundout to Dan Uggla, who was drawn in at second, allowed the Braves' infielder to hold Lombardozzi at third and throw to first without a run scoring. An RBI single to center by Ian Desmond tied things up, however, when Desmond took a 2-2 cutter from Hudson to center to bring Lombardozzi in. 1-1 in the 4th in Atlanta. 62 pitches for Hudson after four.
After a 14-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth in which he collected two Ks for five total in four innings pitched, Gio Gonzalez was at 61 pitches overall. 1-1 with the Braves after four in Turner Field.
Danny Espinosa, Kurt Suzuki and Gio Gonzalez went down in order in a 10-pitch top of the fifth by Tim Hudson. 72 pitches total for the Braves' starter after five. Chris Johnson took a 94 mph 1-2 two-seamer to right for a leadoff double in the bottom of the inning. Dan Uggla's fly to Denard Span moved the potential go-ahead run over to third, prompting Davey Johnson bring his infield in with one down and B.J. Upton at the plate. Upton popped unproductively to short for the second out of Atlanta's fifth and Upton heard it from the crowd on his way back to the dugout. Tim Hudson grounded out to third in the next at bat to end the fifth and strand Johnson at third. 20-pitch inning, 81 overall for Gonzalez.
Ryan Zimmerman singled with two down in the top of the sixth. Tim Hudson was upset with himself after he walked Adam LaRoche to put two on with two out, but he got a fly to right from Ian Desmond to end a 17-pitch inning at 89 pitches. Gio Gonzalez's 83rd pitch of the night was an 0-2 fastball that Andrelton Simmons sent through the left side of the infield for a leadoff single in the Braves' sixth. An 0-2 fastball got Jason Heyward swinging for out no.1 and his sixth K, the third from Heyward (0 for 3). Justin Upton flew to left for out no.2 and Freddie Freeman's groundout to second made it three-straight after the leadoff single. 14-pitch inning, 95 overall.
A 12-pitch, 1-2-3 inning against the Nationals' 6-7-and-8 hitters had Tim Hudson at 101 pitches overall after seven innings in which he allowed just the one unearned run. Adam LaRoche showed off his Gold Glove on a throw from deep in the hole at short by Ian Desmond that got Evan Gattis for the first out of the home-half of the seventh. Chris Johnson flew to right for out no.2, then Gio Gonzalez dropped a 3-2 curve on Dan Uggla and collected his seventh K with his 10th pitch of the inning and his 105th of the night.
Gio Gonzalez's line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 Ks, 105P, 72S, 8/4 GO/FO.
Jeff Kobernus stepped in for Gio Gonzalez in the top of the eighth inning and K'd swinging at Tim Hudson's 108th and last pitch of the night. Luis Avilan took over against Denard Span. Span flew to Justin Upton in left for out no.2 of the Nats' half of the inning, and Steve Lombardozzi K'd swinging for out no.3. Still 1-1 in Atlanta. Drew Storen took the mound in the bottom of the eighth. B.J. Upton K'd swinging at a 1-2 slider. Brian McCann took a 2-2 bender for a called strike three. An Andrelton Simmons' groundout to short ended a 12-pitch, 1-2-3 inning by the Nationals' right-handed reliever.
Ryan Zimmerman singled over Andrelton Simmons on a soft fly to left on the first pitch Craig Kimbrel threw in the top of the ninth. Zimmerman took third on a double to center by Adam LaRoche in the next at bat, and Ian Desmond stepped in with two runners in scoring position against the Braves' closer. Desmond took a 98 mph 2-2 fastball for a called strike three. Zimmerman tried to score from third on a grounder to Chris Johnson off Roger Bernadina's bat, but Johnson threw home to Evan Gattis, who tagged Zim out. Two down. And Danny Espinosa popped up on the first pitch he saw. 1-1 after eight and a half.
Reed Johnson hit for Jason Heyward with Fernando Abad on the mound in the Braves' ninth, and Johnson singled to center on a 1-0 fastball from the Nationals' lefty. Justin Upton K'd swinging at a 91 mph 3-2 two-seamer for out no.1. Freddie Freeman stepped in for a lefty-vs-lefty battle and lined out to Danny Espinosa at second. Espinosa made the catch and threw to first, Double play. 1-1 after nine. FREE BASEBALL!!!
Jordan Walden retired the Nationals in order in the top of the tenth. Nats' skipper Davey Johnson turned to Henry Rodriguez in the bottom of the tenth of a 1-1 game. Rodriguez vs Evan Gattis. The first pitch hit the backstop. The second came in low, 2-0. The third and fourth pitches missed as well as Rodriguez surrendered a four-pitch leadoff walk. Jordan Schafer came on to run with pinch hitter Ramiro Pena at the plate. Pena popped up to Adam LaRoche on a 100 mph fastball from Henry Rodriguez. Schafer stole second without a throw with Dan Uggla at the plate. The Braves' second baseman worked the count full and walked to put two on for B.J. Upton whose RBI single to right ended the game. Roger Bernadina came up throwing, but Schafer beat the throw home. 2-1 Braves.
Nationals now 28-28.