Tim Hudson Joins Small Club with Win Against Oakland Athletics


On Sunday, San Francisco Giants‘ pitcher Tim Hudson earned his 220th career win by beating the Oakland Athletics. In doing so, Hudson became the 15th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to beat all 30 big league clubs.

The Giants gave Hudson an early lead, putting three runs on the board, two courtesy of a Matt Duffy home run, in the bottom of the first inning. He gave one of those runs back in the second inning, as Josh Reddick led off with a double, moved to third on a groundout, and scored on a wild pitch.

Duffy answered again in the bottom half of the second, driving in his third run with an opposite field single to push the score to 4-1. From there, it was all on Hudson. He worked a perfect top-half of the third inning, and then relived his glory days by lining a double to left field in the bottom-half of the third.

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Hudson had to grind through the fourth inning. After retiring the leadoff batter, Ben Zobrist singled up the middle for his fifth hit of the series. With two outs, Ike Davis hit a ground rule double, then Brett Lawrie singled to right field to score Zobrist. Pinch-hitter Billy Butler blooped a single that fell in the Bermuda Triangle to score Davis and make it 4-3 in San Francisco’s favor. Hudson induced a groundball off Marcus Semien‘s bat to end the inning.

The fifth inning was no picnic for the 40-year-old either. He allowed a leadoff single to Mark Canha, but then retired Billy Burns on a flyball to left, struck out Stephen Vogt for his first punchout of the night, and on a full-count, he finished the inning by getting the red-hot Zobrist to fly out to Gregor Blanco.

Hudson handed the bullpen the lead to start the sixth inning, and they held strong for him. Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt recorded an out in the sixth before Ike Davis reached on an infield single/throwing error. Clean-up man George Kontos picked up Affeldt, getting two outs to strand the runner at second to end the sixth. Kontos followed up with a one-two-three seventh inning.

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Javier Lopez was the next man up, and he forced three groundballs to quickly retire the side in the eighth. Santiago Casilla came in during the ninth, and he took everyone on a roller coaster ride. He walked the leadoff hitter, then allowed a single, but he buckled down and struck out pinch-hitter Josh Phegley for the first out. Buster Posey, playing like an MVP, threw out Jake Smolinski, who inexplicably tried to steal third base as the tying run in the ninth. Casilla then struck out Semien to end the game and seal the deal for Hudson.

It took three tries for Hudson to finally beat the Athletics, and he got by with a little help from his friends. The first attempt came in 2008, as a member of the Atlanta Braves. He allowed five runs in five innings, and suffered the loss. In 2014, Hudson took another loss while giving up six runs in 5.1 innings.

Al Leiter is the club’s president, as he was the first to accomplish the feat. On April 30th, 2002, as a member of the New York Mets, Leiter fired seven innings of one-run ball to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, completing the 30-team checklist.

Hudson is the second pitcher this season to join the club. Kyle Lohse of the Milwaukee Brewers did so earlier in the year. Coincidentally, Lohse also beat a team he formerly played for, the Minnesota Twins.

The other members of this small group are Randy Johnson, Barry Zito, Kevin Brown, Terry Mulholland, Curt Schilling, Woody Williams, Jamie Moyer, Javier Vazquez, Vicente Padilla, Derek Lowe, A.J. Burnett, and Dan Haren

This is a special win, not only because of the exclusive club that Hudson joins, but for a few extra reasons as well. First, this win is a little sweeter because Hudson beat the team with whom he started his career, as a 23-year-old rookie in 1999. He spent six season in Oakland, forming a third of the team’s “Big Three” in the rotation, along with Mark Mulder and Barry Zito. Hudson won 92 games with the A’s, and sported a 3.30 ERA and 1.222 WHIP, along with a sparkling .702 winning percentage.

Earlier in the season, Hudson beat the Braves, his other former team, for the first time, making them his 29th victim.

Secondly, the win is made better because of how badly Hudson has struggled through this season. Hudson, in what is expected to be his final year before he rides off into the sunset, has been less than stellar. Entering Sunday’s game, Hudson had a 5.8 record with a 4.76 ERA (second-worst mark of his career) and 1.412 WHIP (third-worst of his career). That just gives Sunday’s win a little something extra.

Next: Time to Freshen Up the Giants' Bullpen?