I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but Tim Hudson has been really, really good for the Giants. At nearly 39 years old, and coming off a final season in Atlanta truncated by the gruesome broken ankle he suffered when Eric Young stepped on him during a close play at first base in New York, Hudson is having something like the best season of his career so far. No, a 1.99 ERA isn’t going to sustain, and nor is a .215 BABIP. But when you’re doing things like strike out 12 men for every one you walk — which he’s doing, with a 36/3 K/BB — and inducing grounders like few other pitchers in baseball, good things are going to happen.
Los Angeles, CA
Of course, it hasn’t really mattered who the Dodgers face lately, because they’ve been making most pitchers look like aces. Today’s Dodger lineup is more or less the usual, with two exceptions: Juan Uribe is again out of the lineup, with Justin Turner taking his place, and Andre Ethier gets back to left field, with Carl Crawford taking a seat.
On the surface, that’s fine. Ethier hasn’t started since Wednesday, and has two plate appearances in the last three games. Obviously, you need him to play if he’s ever going to produce. It’s just that yesterday, we were talking about how odd it was that he was sitting against Matt Cain, who Ethier crushes, and today he’s in against Hudson, who has held Ethier to a .174/.208/.391 career line. (Crawford: .308/.400/.462.) As you well know by now, I put almost zero stock into pitcher-vs-batter stats, but Don Mattingly clearly does, so this is confusing, to say the least.
Not that it probably matters much either way, and the Dodgers did win yesterday. It’s just very, very weird behavior. Hopefully, Clayton Kershaw will pitch so well that it won’t matter if you or I were in the lineup.
Elsewhere: Uribe is currently running in the outfield to get a better sense of his right hamstring; a DL stint still sounds unlikely. Hyun-jin Ryu will throw off a mound on Tuesday, and may not require a minor league rehab start. A.J. Ellis has been added to the Isotopes roster, and is in the lineup today at El Paso, hitting fifth and catching Red Patterson. He’ll play with Albuquerque tomorrow as well, and barring any setbacks should be back with the Dodgers soon, perhaps even before the end of the Marlins series that begins tomorrow.
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