While Stephen Strasburg entered the game with all the hype, Tim Hudson was the pitcher that walked off the mound with the headlines. The D.C. coverage is all about Strasburg today; but our Braves' blog, Talking Chop, reminds us that he wasn't the only guy on the mound last night.
Tim Hudson continued his incredible (and incredibly consistent) season tonight in the mugginess of Turner Field. Through seven gritty innings--all of them in a scoreless tie--Tim induced grounder after grounder, keeping the Nationals' hitters completely off-balance. He wasn't all finesse, though. He struck out 6 men, and when he needed a strikeout, he got it.
Even though the Braves are their bread and butter, they too couldn't resist talking about the young phenom Mr. Strasburg.
Strasburg struck out 5 straight in the 5th and 6th innings, the only time all night when he really looked as good as the hype. The Braves actually had a few opportunities earlier in the game to score off the phenom, but they couldn't quite come through. They had a runner thrown out at the plate to end the 1st and grounded into two double plays. Through 4 innings, Strasburg had only 2 strikeouts, and was pitching more like Tim Hudson than like himself (he finished with 10/16 ground balls, or 63%). It was impressive, yes, but not "Oh my God, I've never seen anyone this good!!!" impressive.
I hate to admit it, but they are right. Even though he had not allowed a run through six innings, its hard to look at Stephen Strasburg's performance last night and declare he was on his game. He had guys on base for most of the game, and even though it didn't affect the score line, pitching from the stretch might have affected him. But like Talking Chop has pointed out, tonight, it was all about Stephen Strasburg. Tim Hudson was simply better.