There is a new member of the 200-win club among Major League pitchers, and his name is Tim Hudson.
Hudson threw 7 innings of lights-out baseball on Tuesday night in route to his milestone victory, and it wasn’t simply his arm that got the job done. In addition to his 7 one-run innings, Hudson went 2-for-3 with his bat including a very interesting solo home run in the 5th inning that glanced off of golden child Bryce Harper’s glove before leaving the yard. It was a fitting end to a perfect day for Hudson, and really, for the entire Braves team.
The story was Hudson’s theatrical performance, but the Atlanta bats were also awake in a big way during the match-up. Andrelton Simmons led off the game with a home run off of Nats starter Gio Gonzalez, and the Braves tagged the 20-game winner with 5 earned runs (including 7 hits and 5 walks) in just 4 innings. Simmons led the way with 3 hits, but Chris Johnson (2-for-5, RBI, 2 Runs), Freddie Freeman (3-for-5, 3 RBI), and Evan Gattis (2-for-4, 2 RBI) all had big days at the plate for Atlanta.
In the midst of a blowout victory, it is easy to forget that the Braves dominance over Washington has now spanned multiple series. Atlanta has now won 9 straight decisions over the Nationals, and in doing so, they’ve limited Washington to 1 run or less in 6 of the 9 tilts.
In the end, this night was all about Tim Hudson. In addition to the obvious milestone of the 200 wins themselves, Hudson became just the 3rd active pitcher to reach the plateau (joining Andy Pettitte and Roy Halladay), and he becomes the 113rd pitcher in MLB history to reach 200. The more impressive statistic for Hudson, however, is his 65.6% winning percentage on his career (200 wins to just 105 losses), and while the “wins” stat is certainly a subjective measure, there is no argument against the impressive track record of Hudson.
The Braves have begun this 4-game set with Washington with two wins, and they’ll look to make it three straight (and 10 straight over Washington overall) as Paul Maholm squares off with Jordan Zimmermann on Wednesday night.