Ten years after he last pitched for Oakland, Tim Hudson is ready to take the mound for the Bay Area’s other team.
The right-hander makes his San Francisco Giants debut Wednesday night on the road against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Hudson, who turns 39 in July, went 92-39 with a 3.30 ERA with Oakland from 1999-2004 before heading to Atlanta, where he was 113-72 with a 3.56 ERA over the past nine seasons. Though Hudson admits it was hard to leave a Braves organization he grew up rooting for, a chance to return to the area where his career began proved too good to pass up after Atlanta declined to make him a qualifying offer.
"Making a trip back across the country quite honestly isn’t something I anticipated a couple years ago," said Hudson, whose 205 career wins are tied with CC Sabathia for the most among active pitchers. "When the Giants were interested in me, I quickly realized it was going to be a definite possibility."
Hudson went 8-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 21 starts before his 2013 season ended July 24 when the New York Mets’ Eric Young Jr. inadvertently stepped on the back of the pitcher’s lower right leg and broke his ankle while he covered first base. Recovered from that injury, Hudson went 2-2 with a 4.26 ERA in six spring training starts.
He was 7-0 with a 1.33 ERA in his first nine starts against the Diamondbacks before going 0-1 with a 7.59 ERA in two last season. Hudson allowed five runs in five innings of a 5-3 loss at Arizona on May 15 to fall to 4-1 with a 1.87 ERA in six starts at Chase Field.
Hudson will try to help the Giants (1-1) bounce back after they blew a 4-0 first-inning lead and lost 5-4 to Arizona (1-3) on Tuesday. A.J. Pollock snapped an 0-for-13 slump with three hits, two runs and an RBI for the Diamondbacks, who couldn’t hold a pair of four-run leads en route to Monday’s 9-8 series-opening defeat.
Pollock scored on a passed ball in the fourth but replays showed San Francisco pitcher Matt Cain appeared to tag Pollock. Giants manager Bruce Bochy was unable to challenge the call after he had unsuccessfully used one moments earlier on a pickoff attempt of Pollock at first.
"That is the gamble you take," Bochy said. "Sure there could be another play but you don’t know that."
Arizona has 27 hits in the series after recording 13 while losing twice to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Australia.
With two hits in each contest this season, Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt is batting .398 during a 23-game hitting streak. He went 3 for 5 with two doubles against Hudson last season.
Brandon Belt’s three-run, first-inning homer for the Giants was his second in as many days and fifth hit in nine at-bats to start the season. He was 4 for 11 last year against scheduled Arizona starter Trevor Cahill (0-1, 11.25 ERA).
The right-hander hopes to bounce back after he allowed five runs, eight hits and walked four in four innings of a 7-5 loss to the Dodgers on March 23.
"I was just out there trying to do anything I could to get through it," Cahill told the Diamondbacks’ official website. "I don’t know if it was just the adrenaline, trying to do too much, trying to be too fine."
He is 0-2 with a 6.08 ERA in four starts versus San Francisco at Chase Field since posting a 1.25 ERA while winning his first three against the NL West foe at home.