Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

An effective Hudson is the key to stretch run

As we have witnessed the fact that the A’s are just not playing really good baseball these last two weeks, there is some room for optimism. While within the last two weeks the A’s pitching has been mediocre at best, the offense under-achieving, and defense a disappointment, you can’t be hopeless when you have the raw pitching potential the A’s have. While the hitting is scuffling, you don’t have to score tons of runs to win a game pitched by Mulder, Hudson or Zito–just a few. Will it be enough to catch the scrappy Angels, the Floyd induced-Red Sox and fundamental Mariners? Who knows, but if the A’s have a shot at playing baseball in October, an effective Tim Hudson is the key.

Yes, Huddy doesn’t get much run support, he has a low ERA, but you can’t ignore the hits he is giving up on a regular basis that making it hard to always get out of major jams.

The league has to some degree caught up to Tim Hudson–especially the A.L. West Teams that see him more than others. When Tim Hudson came up in 1999, the hitters unfamiliar with him were swinging at the split finger pitch that was out of the strike zone.

These days, the book on Tim Hudson is to lay off the split finger pitch and make him get the ball up in the zone, and that is what’s happening to him. The adjustments the hitters are making are causing him to have a big pitch count and walk a lot of batters, forcing a pitch up in the zone. And at times, Hudson’s ball is moving so much, he doesn’t even know where it’s going.

The league has adjusted to Tim Hudson, now he has to adjust to American League Hitters. The last two years that the A’s have surged into post season, Hudson has pitched the “Big Games” and has dominated.

Remember, when he pitched the final and clinching game of the season against the Texas Rangers in 2000? He told his hitters, “Just get me one run, and I’ll take it from there.”

Remember, game 2 of the ALDS at Yankee stadium in 2001? He quited the hostile Yankee crowd and shut down the Yankees, while getting only two runs from his offense.

This year will require the same performance if the A’s want to contend for a championship.

While Hudson is a part of the “Big Three” for the A’s, I view Mulder and Zito having more of an assortment of pitches to get hiiters out with. Mulder has nasty command, and Zito has an awesome changeup.

And if the A’s are going to surge like always this time of year, they must have not only Mulder and Zito effective, but Tim Hudson as nasty as ever. When those three are going, plus a healthy Lilly, you have an 85% to win 60% of the games pitched by them.

Will that be enough? I think so.



1 Anonymous { 08.01.02 at 1:01 pm }

good insight,dale. it’s a pleasure to see comments

posted by a person who knows the game

2 Anonymous { 08.01.02 at 1:22 pm }

Very smart. Huddy is good at getting out of jams, but he seems to also get into a lot of them this year. The other night, he magically gets out of the first and third nobody out. The next inning, boom, boom, first and third nobody out all over again with Jim Thome due up. Ugly.

I think you are very right about the AL West catching up to Hudson. Now, it’s his move again. What will he come up with?

Steve B.

3 Anonymous { 08.02.02 at 1:31 pm }

Thanks for your kind words. I do think that the book is out on Tim Hudson and batters aren’t swinging at the split finger anymore, and just forcing him to pitch up.

4 Anonymous { 08.17.06 at 12:20 am }

majesty punishment subways graven?consequential:garner

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