In his first major-league start since undergoing back surgery last November, Braves ace Tim Hudson impressed at home against the Pirates: 5.0 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 6 K, 2 BB. Of his 96 pitches on the afternoon, 63 went for strikes, and he also recorded seven ground-outs against three fly-outs.
“It was exciting,” Hudson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution afterward. “You've got the big stadium and the fans and major league hitters over there ready to try to knock it down your throat. It was fun. It's great to be back and try to earn my paycheck.”Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of Hudson's outing was his velocity. While none of his pitches averaged 90 for the day, there's good news to be found within his pitch-by-pitch readings, which come courtesy of Brooks Baseball:
While Hudson, with his rich movement and ground-ball tendencies, is hardly the kind of pitcher who needs high gun readings in order to thrive, it's a good thing that, in his first start back, he was able to throw hard by his own standards. What's also a good thing is that the hardest pitch he threw all day -- a 91.8-mph sinking fastball -- came when he day was almost over and his pitch count was in the 90s.
Sure, Hudson was facing baseball's worst offense and ran too many deep counts, but there are a lot of positives to take away from his first major-league start of 2012.