GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Tim Hudson threw 70-plus pitches, worked a few long innings, he spent time running the bases after hitting two singles and he even fouled a ball off his foot.
His left foot.
Hey, you can only give a surgically repaired right ankle so many tests in one day.
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“It was a step in the right direction from a conditioning standpoint,” said Hudson, smiling after an 8-5 exhibition win over the Cincinnati Reds at Goodyear. “I’ll be honest with you, my offseason was dramatically different to what it usually is. I’m still playing catch-up.”
Hudson could’ve fooled everyone in his first two outings, when he didn’t give up a run. He was taxed harder this time, giving up four runs on five hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings. It was an outing that would’ve been cleaner if not for an 0-2 fastball to Skip Schumaker that Hudson tried to elevate at the letters. It sagged and got tagged for a home run.
Overall, Hudson emerged from a tiring day with his ankle still intact. He’s pleased with the way it’s responded this spring, even though he knows there are times it will bark at him.
Oh, and about those two hits … he did better than keep the rotation's streak alive after Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner hit singles the two previous days. Hudson upped the ante.
“The key is dragging your bat up there looking like you can’t hit,” a grinning Hudson said. “Look as old as you possibly can, and then the pitcher feels sorry for you and throws you a fastball.”
Hudson once broke Auburn’s single-season RBI record formerly held by Frank Thomas. So he can swing the bat, even if he hasn’t bragged to his fellow starters about that.
“Oh, I don’t know,” he said. “I’ll show ‘em my scrapbook some day.”
OK, so here’s the bait. A reporter asked: Is Hudson the best hitter in the rotation?
“You’re saying that, not me,” said Hudson, although he went on to throw down a bit of a gauntlet . “Bumgarner, he’s one of those 5 o’clock hitters. He’s pretty special at 5 o’clock. He can put ‘em in the seats.”
Can’t wait to hear what Bumgarner thinks about that.
Notes: Buster Posey was 3 for 3 and hit his first home run of the spring, a three-run shot. “I know he’s been working on some things this spring to get back on track, or what he thinks is on track,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. … Ehire Adrianza’s two-run home run came right-handed and was his second of the spring. His first homer came from the left side. Bochy remarked that he is impressed with Adrianza’s balance. With Marco Scutaro still not scheduled to take live batting practice, it’s not a stretch to think Adrianza could be the choice to start at second base on opening day. … Brandon Hicks hit a ground-rule double, giving him five extra-base hits (four doubles and a home run off Clayton Kershaw) among his six hits this spring. … Erik Cordier and Mitch Lively each pitched a scoreless inning and neither right-hander has given up a run this spring. … Brandon Belt was sent home with a stomach virus.