After bidding farewell to his former Bay Area team, Tim Hudson will take one last curtain call before closing out an outstanding career.
Hudson makes his 479th and final regular-season start as the San Francisco Giants finish a four-game series with the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday afternoon at AT&T Park.
The majors’ active leader with 222 wins, Hudson (8-8, 4.30 ERA) revealed last month he will end a 17-year career containing four All-Star appearances and eight seasons of 15 or more victories at the conclusion of this campaign. The 40-year-old posted a winning record 15 consecutive years before going 9-13 in his Giants’ debut in 2014.
"I just feel it’s the right thing to do," he said during his Sept. 9 announcement. "It’s the right time for me and my family. I played this game a lot longer than I ever thought I would."
Hudson’s swan song will be brief, as he’s currently dealing with a sore hip and spent two stints on the disabled list this season with shoulder issues. He threw just 34 pitches while allowing three runs in 1 1-3 innings in Saturday’s return to Oakland, where he spent his first six seasons and started opposite ex-Athletics teammate and good friend Barry Zito in a 14-10 win.
Hudson threw six scoreless innings in a 5-1 home victory over Arizona Sept. 20 and is 2-0 with a 2.04 ERA in four starts since rejoining the rotation Sept. 8. He’s also won both season meetings with the Dodgers, including a 2-0 decision May 19 in San Francisco behind 6 1-3 scoreless innings.
He’ll have a tough act to follow after Mike Leake registered his first career shutout with a two-hitter in Wednesday’s 5-0 win, denying Los Angeles (88-70) a chance to tie the New York Mets in the race for the NL’s best record.
The Dodgers and Mets will square off in next week’s division series with home-field advantage yet to be determined with four games remaining. New York owns the tiebreaker by virtue of a 4-3 season series edge.
Los Angeles, 52-26 at home and 36-44 on the road, hosts San Diego for three games after Thursday’s matchup at AT&T Park, where its lone win in nine season visits came via Clayton Kershaw’s one-hit, 13-strikeout division-clinching gem Tuesday.
Kershaw and Zack Greinke will head a playoff rotation that may include Brett Anderson (9-9, 3.75) if he can sort out his recent struggles.
Anderson has been hit hard in two straight starts, surrendering six runs and 10 hits in four innings Saturday at Colorado after allowing five runs and 10 hits over 4 2-3 in an 8-4 loss to Arizona Sept. 21.
The oft-injured left-hander is three innings shy of eclipsing a career-high 175 1-3, set during his 2009 rookie year with Oakland, and will establish a personal best with his 31st start. Anderson pitched in 30 games total while logging just 123 innings with the A’s and Rockies from 2012-14.
He is 0-4 with a 5.64 ERA in five starts at AT&T Park and sports a 6.10 ERA in two 2015 losses there.
Matt Duffy went 3 for 4 with a two-run homer for San Francisco (83-75) and is 3 for 9 off Anderson this season. Brandon Crawford is 5 for 9.