As the Philadelphia Phillies roll into Atlanta for a three-game set against the Braves, they are set to see Tim Hudson on Friday night. This is the Tim Hudson whose competitive advantage these days seems to rely on hitting the other team's players and attempting to shorten their season.
He is especially prone to doing this when playing teams that compete in his division. And since the Phillies have owned this division for the past four years, their players have the biggest bulls-eye for Hudson.
In 2010, Hudson nailed Phillies third basemen and number two hitter Placido Polanco in the elbow. At the time Polanco was hitting .397 and was top in the National League for batting average. The Phillies posed the only challenge to the Braves' slim hopes of winning the division, and Polanco was proving to be a key member of the offense. By injuring Polanco, Hudson took out a big part of the Braves only competition. It was either intentionally done with malice or just loss of control.
As it turns out, Hudson is somewhat known as a pretty good control pitcher, the type who can effectively hit his spots with regularity. So….
Polanco was not the same the entire season. He hit the DL twice and both times elbow soreness was blamed. He ended up playing a full 20 games less than he did the previous season.
Following the end of the season, he was forced to have surgery to remove bone fragments in the elbow that Tim Hudson hit with a pitch.
No big deal though, right? It happens once in a while. Well what if it happens twice in a short while?
Later in the year the Braves were again playing the Phillies, this time the end of the season was drawing near and the Braves were feverishly fighting for a postseason spot. The Phillies had already sewed up the division, but there was a possibility the two teams could meet in the postseason. Further, the Phillies had managed to come in and annihilate the Braves hopes of a division title and possibly even a Wild Card spot by sweeping the second-to-last series of the season.
It was a game in Atlanta during the last series of the year. The games meant nothing to the Phillies, whom had already clinched. Their only objective was to make it out of Atlanta without any injuries. Tim Hudson was going to do all he could to see that that didn’t happen.
Hudson was on the mound fighting for a Braves Wild Card spot and Carlos Ruiz was up. Ruiz had been on fire and was a big reason why the Braves were no longer playing for the division. He had just had a tremendous series against the Braves the week before.
You will never guess what happened. I know it’s hard to believe, but Hudson hit Ruiz with the same fastball that he had hit Polanco with. Where? In the elbow.
First time, maybe. Second time? Come on.
Hudson was fourth in the Cy Young voting in 2010. He was 17-9. He had 138 strike outs and an ERA of 2.83. He only hit nine batters with a pitch and two of them were Phillies and both on the elbow. How is anybody supposed to believe that those pitches weren’t on purpose? What do you think the odds are of that happening?
I’m not gonna sugarcoat it: Tim Hudson is a scumbag. He can no longer compete with his skills so he takes cheap shots in an attempt to injury his teams rivals. It really is the lowest, dirtiest way to play the game.
I seriously hope that the proper officials are taking note and watching closely the events that transpire on Friday night in Atlanta.
And oh yeah…Tim Hudson, we owe you one…or maybe even two…