Hudson (0-1) allowed four runs across 4.1 innings Sunday, striking out four batters and taking the loss against the Pirates. He walked one batter and gave up seven hits. Hudson kept Pittsburgh's bats quiet for three innings but allowed homers to Colin Moran and Jose Osuna in the fourth inning. He coughed up one more run on a Josh Bell sacrifice fly in the fifth before being lifted from the game. Hudson will look for better results in Milwaukee against the Brewers next weekend.
Hudson threw 43 pitches in Thursday night's intrasquad game at Busch Stadium and settled in after a rough start, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports. The right-hander endured his roughest stretch in the first inning, when he yielded singles to Kolten Wong, Paul Goldschmidt and Paul DeJong, the latter hit driving in two runs. Hudson appeared to find a groove after that point by not allowing another hit over the subsequent two frames, although he did issue two walks and uncorked a wild pitch. "You get to kind of experiment to figure out what works whenever you start facing guys over and over and over," Hudson said. "That's when I think it'll allow me to kind of take a step back, but also kind of gain some mental edge going forward. We're talking throughout this whole process. So someone gets a hit, I get a guy, it's a lot of back and forth. Maybe they see something, maybe I see something. We're just trying to grow and get better as we go."
Hudson threw live batting practice to multiple teammates in Saturday's summer camp workout at Busch Stadium, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports. The right-hander faced a formidable lineup of Matt Carpenter, Paul Goldschmidt, Dexter Fowler, Paul DeJong, Matt Wieters, Harrison Bader and Kolten Wong, which was a welcome departure from the throwing sessions against a pad that Hudson carried out during the three-month-plus shutdown. The 25-year-old also used his time away from the team to continue working on smoothing out his delivery, a process he'd started during the offseason in an effort to improve his command. "I feel comfortable with what I'm doing," Hudson said. " I was trying to mess with some stuff at the end of last year, and going into spring this year, I was able to show it off a little bit. From here on, I just felt like that off time was me engraving it."
Hudson posted a 2-1 record, 2.92 ERA and 0.97 WHIP across 12.1 innings over four Grapefruit League appearances before spring training was suspended. The right-hander is firmly entrenched as the No. 3 starter when the starting rotation is at full strength, and despite some control issues in his last start of spring March 8, Hudson enjoyed a productive exhibition slate overall. The 25-year-old stretched out to 74 pitches in that outing, and he'll presumably also have a ramp-up period to the regular season to complete his preparations. Hudson enjoyed a standout 2019 campaign -- his first as a full-time starter in the majors -- posting a 16-7 record and 3.35 ERA across 174.2 innings.
Hudson is slated to throw at least 45 pitches in twice-a-week bullpen sessions while spring training remains suspended, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports. Rogers reports manager Mike Shildt and his staff are in the process of setting up a maintenance program for the team's starting pitchers to follow during the suspension of spring training. The templates will be individualized to an extent for each player, but Hudson, the projected No. 3 starter, is likely to see his fall approximately within the 45-pitch, twice-a-week guideline. The right-hander had worked up to 74 pitches in his second start of Grapefruit League play last Sunday against the Marlins, but that elevated count was primarily due to control issues he experienced during his 3.2 innings of work.