There’s no other way to say it, Tim Hudson was superb. His first inning woes were absent and though the Giants scored one in the second it was immediately answered by the Braves in the top of the third. In reality they never looked like getting to him after that though Burrell’s double in the ninth resulted in a second run, Hudson quickly got Ross and pinch hitter Schierholtz. He might well have finished the game but with Posey pinch hitting Skipper Gonzalez went to Craig Kimbrel for the third straight game. Kimbrel’s fastball was still 95-96 and Posey flied out harmlessly to end the game.
Hudson’s final line – eight and two-thirds innings 9 hits, 2 runs, 4 Ks and no walks – looks like the Giants played better than they actually were. After the three hit second inning they had more than one base runner only once, in the ninth. Meanwhile Tim Lincecum wasn’t bad but he wasn’t the Tim Lincecum we’ve cum to expect; he was wild and the Braves were surprisingly patient. For the first time in his career he walked six men and had a lot of three ball counts. He even walked unintentionally Nate McClouth twice. That’s worthy of note because in McClouth’s last 106 only four times has he drawn two unintentional walks. Dave O’Brien tweeted that Lincecum’s final line was evil 5 runs on 6 hits, 6walks with 6Ks. I don’t know about evil but I bet the Giant’s ace would like it exorcised from his memory.
The Chipper-less Braves with Freeman hitting third, looked very composed and in control at the plate. Prado delivered McClouth three times with Brian McCann driving in the other two off of tough left Javier Lopez in the seventh. the top four in the lineup were 6-17, Prado and Heyward had two hits each while Freeman and McCann each had one. The soul flat spot was Dan Uggla’s continued ineptitude. He struck out twice. hit two other balls weakly and left two runners on while going 0-4 as his his batting average sank to .176. Perhaps he needs a day off, Brandon Hicks could not do worse.
Tomorrow we got for (should I say it out loud?) a sweep when Brandon Beachy matches up with Jonathan Sanchez. Fredi Gonzalez expects Chipper to return and plans to rest Brian McCann before we head to San Diego for a three game set. Beachy is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA coming off a fine outing in LA. Sanchez is 2-1 with a 3.13 ERA after allowing only 1 hit in six inning against Colorado the last time out.
A final thought. Eric Hinske played his butt off today but we REALLY need another outfielder on the bench. Matt Young was IMHO insurance against a complete implosion by Nate McClouth. With McClouth just about hitting his baseball card –.243/.321/.329/.649 – Young was excess to requirements. I couldn’t help but note however that Matt Young would surely have thrown Burrell – who runs like he’s carrying a piano on his back – out on that short single to center. McClouth was either not paying attention or his arm is worse than I thought because Burrell scored easily. Let’s fix that shall we Mr. Wren?