Our own Jeff Schafer posted this afternoon that Tim Hudson would get the start tonight in game 1 against the division rival, Philadelphia Phillies, but we’ve since learned from Mark Bowman on Twitter that Tim’s start will be pushed back to Saturday to give him an extra day’s rest. Instead, Paul Maholm will get the nod tonight against Cliff Lee.
As Jeff reported, Hudson was upset when Fredi Gonzalez pulled him out of the game in his last outing without giving Tim the chance for the win. Hudson is 0 and 6 in his last 10 starts, and has struggled this year to find his usual footing on the mound. Facing Cliff Lee is never easy, and particularly this year as Lee is 7-0 with a 2.15 ERA in his past 11 starts. Paul Maholm hasn’t particularly set the Braves’ starting rotation on fire himself, but he is 9-6 with a 3.69 ERA, while Tim Hudson has put together a 4-7 record in 2013 with an uncharacteristic 4.22 ERA.
All that said, Tim Hudson has not pitched nearly as bad as his record would indicate. He has certainly not been the pitcher who in 15 years as a pro has put together a career ERA of 3.45 and only finished a year with an ERA above 4 on two occasions, but his numbers are also not as bad as they appear.
The issues that Hudson has experienced could be the result of some lingering neck problems. Bowman also reported on Twitter that Hudson said his neck has been bothering him for about six weeks, and that it is not a big deal. No? Maybe not, but it’s not unheard of for a lingering problem to be hidden for fear of being traded. There may not be much to that rumor, but Peter Gammons said on Twitter that…
Tim Hudson has let some former teammates know he thinks he could get dealt. Watch Texas, Boston, San Fransisco…
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) July 5, 2013
Mark Bowman replied to questions about that comment on Twitter, and said…
W/o being asked, Hudson said there’s no basis to @pgammo‘s recent tweet that said Hudson has told former teammates he thinks he’ll be traded
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) July 5, 2013
My how the rumors in the proverbial rumor mill fly this time of year! Whether or not any of that back-and-forth holds a grain of truth, it’s safe to say that the extra night of rest can’t hurt Tim Hudson, especially with his struggles this season. We’d love to hear what you think. Just rumor, or will Tim Hudson be on the block come the Trade Deadline?