We will Eschew our regular wrap format this morning. Because there's one thing and one thing only you needed to know about last night's game between the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs. The San Francisco Giants started Tim Hudson. The Chicago Cubs didn't. The Cubs started Jake Arrieta. Stakes horse vs. Allowance horse. Even at Hudson's advanced age- Hudson pitched. Arrieta threw. The difference was 4 runs.
You forget just how amazing Tim Hudson has been in his career. Hudson-Zito-Mulder carried the A's for generations while the team was being stripped of players year after year. Great stuff, good mechanics and a drive has kept Hudson solid all these years and helped overcome two gruesome injuries. Anyway, he was fabulous, keeping Cub hitters off balance all night. Hudson threw 7 shutout innings, scattering 6 hits and striking out 5. You just knew the Cubs weren't hitting him tonight.
Conversely, Jake Arrieta started for the Cubs, and he wasn't awful. In fact, the way we ultra baby our pitchers with kid gloves and always looking on the bright side of things- Arrieta's line of 6 innings pitched while only letting up one more hit than Hudson ( 7) while striking out one more player (Seven) might seem kinda good. But I see a guy with a full arsenal of weapons who has no idea how to shoot. And while I loathe to drape myself in the Hawk Harrelson "TWTW" flag, Arrieta has a fundamental approach to pitching that makes me question if he's ever going to get it. You can see the pitchers that want to be great. And when you throw mid-90's with the breaking stuff that Arrieta can throw, why isn't he throwing like Tim Hudson? I mean what's the point. He could be great….. Why wouldn't you want to be "Great"?…… You can see the pitchers that want to be great. Been seeing it on Hudson for 15 years now. Shark wants it so bad it hits you in the face like bad BO. I think Arrieta's happy when he goes 6. Anyway, Sandoval and Posey acted like they could hit Arrieta anytime they wanted- and they did for RBI singles in the first and the fifth each. That there is your ballgame. I just wish his talent wasn't dwarfing his pitching ability the way it is right now. I mean honestly…. a back end starter who throws mid-90's with killer off speed stuff who has no confidence and eats at your bullpen. Does that type of pitcher even make sense? You'd like to think he figured it out by now. Tim Hudson was 20-6 and would have been Cy Young had he not run into Pedro Martinez and one of the greatest seasons ever pitched in his second season as a pro.
Anyway, that's a bit much paralysis by over-analysys for this game. But short story- Hudson better than Arrieta. Giants better than Cubs. Rubber game late this afternoon. Timmy Smoke vs (hopefully) a good version of Edwin Jackson. Should be a fun one. Onwards.