Hudson outdueled as Braves shut out by Cubs
CHICAGO (AP) — Tim Hudson pitched well enough to win
on most days. He allowed five hits and a run in seven innings but his
Atlanta Braves teammates had even more trouble with Chicago lefty Paul
Maholm and two relievers combined on a
four-hit shutout and the Braves wasted Hudson’s strong outing, losing to
the Cubs 1-0 Wednesday.
“Huddy was outstanding,”
Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I thought we had some balls hit
right at people with people in scoring position. They did a nice job
defending us there.”
Maholm (4-2) allowed three hits
in seven innings and combined with James Russell and Rafael Dolis to
blank the Braves in a game that took only 2 hours, 5 minutes. Maholm
walked three and struck out three as Chicago took two of three from
Atlanta after doing the same in the previous series against the
After Maholm came out to warm up for the
eighth, Russell replaced him and gave up a two-out double to Martin
Prado and a walk to Freddie Freeman, then retired Dan Uggla on a flyout.
Dolis worked the ninth for his third save in four
Hudson (1-1) gave up three hits through the
first six innings and — thanks to a pair of double plays — faced the
minimum 18 batters.
“It’s disappointing. I felt like
we played a pretty good game. Obviously they had a guy over there who
was throwing the ball pretty well, too,” Hudson said. “He made some
pitches. They had some breaks with some of their defensive alignments
with some guys on base. The ball was bouncing their way. Not a whole lot
else you can say about it.”
Hudson made just his
third start after recovering from surgery to repair a herniated disk in
his back last November.
“I was making some pretty
good pitches. Best I’ve felt so far this year,” he
“My sinker felt really good. It was coming out
good, it had some life to it. My other stuff, I felt like it was as good
as it’s been in a while. Through this whole process it’s been gradually
getting a little better.”
David DeJesus hit a
leadoff single in the seventh, and Tony Campana bunted him to second and
he reached third on Starlin Castro’s grounder to first. Bryan LaHair
then hit a hard grounder under shortstop Jack Wilson’s glove to give the
Cubs the lead.
“LaHair did a good job hitting that
sinker the other way with a little shift played on him,” Hudson said.
“He just played pepper with the shortstop, and that’s the
Prado doubled and reached third in the
sixth and after Uggla walked with two outs, Chipper Jones lined out to
second baseman Darwin Barney, who was positioned behind the bag at
second in a defensive shift. Otherwise, it would have been a run-scoring
“Chipper almost hit me in the forehead and
Barney caught it,” Maholm said. “It’s scary and then it’s very
The defensive shifts are something Cubs
manager Dale Sveum favors, saying that third base coach Pat Listach
studies all the opposing hitters and their tendencies, allowing the Cubs
to move defenders around by playing the percentages on which direction
the ball likely will go when it comes off the
“The shift won them the game today,” Jones said.
“You live with it, you’re gonna die by it. It’s just unfortunate today
we couldn’t really get anything going, and when we did, we hit a bullet
right at somebody.”
Atlanta’s Jones, who is retiring at the end of the season, was presented
with a Braves flag before the game by Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster. …
LaHair has reached base in 27 straight games dating to April 8. He also
singled in the second.