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is-the-hudson-we-paid-for-back | March | 2007 Articles

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Is the Hudson We Paid for Back?

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After two seasons with Hudson, I've been unconvinced that we've gotten anything close to what we paid for in the RHP.† His much touted splitter hasn't been seen consistently since 2003 while he was still with the Oakland A's.† But,†several news outlets reported†Hudson declaring yesterday, "I've thrown more good splitters this spring than I've thrown in the last two years combined."† If yesterday's game is any sign, our number two guy in the rotation might pleasantly surprise us all this season.† He allowed 4 hits in six innings yesterday,†lowering his spring training ERA to an impresive 1.71.† Impressive when you realize his ERA last season was 4.86.† He also limited batters this spring to a .231 batting average thus far, having only one start left for the spring.† In his last start against the Tigers this spring, he†pitched five scoreless innings.† Not all of his spring outings have been so close to flawless, but overall he's had a great March. Hudson assured the press yesterday that this is the best he's felt about his pitching in two years.† Former teammate Kenny Rogers, who faced him yesterday, predicted he'll have a great season if he continues to pitch like he did against Rogers' Tigers yesterday.† In 2003, the last time he threw his splitter consistently over a season, Hudson went 16-7 with a 2.70†ERA.††The lowest ERA he's had with the Braves†was 3.52 in 2005.† As mentioned previously, his ERA last season was 4.86.† His 13-12 record last season was also the worst of his career.† Let's just hope the worst is behind him.† The Braves need Hudson to step up.† With Hampton ailing and battling back from his latest injury, Smoltz and Hudson need to anchor the front of the rotation.† I never worry about Smoltz - I always worry about Hudson.† I know he was excited to come to Atlanta and be close to his family in Alabama, and I know he's been just as hard on himself as the rest of us have been.† What I don't know is whether he's got the control and the confidence to come back this year and show us the pitcher he used to be.† The optimist in me feels hopeful, but I'll be waiting along with the rest of you to find out what 2007 will bring.

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