Programming note: D’backs-Giants coverage starts today at 12:30 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO – Tim Hudson likes to joke about his old age, but no, there won’t be a bonfire atop his cake when he celebrates his 39th birthday on Monday.
Open flames aren’t allowed at 30,000 feet, and Hudson is flying to the All-Star Game.
Although it won’t be official until Madison Bumgarner throws the first pitch Sunday, Hudson has been informed he will be named to replace his Giants teammate on the NL’s active roster.
“Huddy’s had a great first half,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, speaking in general terms about Hudson. “He certainly deserves to go … We thought he’d go out there on a consistent basis and give us a chance to win, throw a lot of quality starts, which he has done and I think exceeded. A lot of these outings, he’s been so good.”
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Hudson is 7-6 with a 2.87 ERA and has averaged 6 2/3 innings per start. He has walked just 19 batters in 119 innings, and his control plus ground-ball rate were two of the qualities that the Giants found appealing when they offered him a two-year, $23 million contract in November.
This will be Hudson’s fourth All-Star appearance but just his second over the last 10 seasons. He last appeared in 2010 with the Atlanta Braves. This one probably means the most, since Hudson wasn’t sure he’d ever pitch again while he was being carted off the field with a significant ankle fracture on July 24 of last season at New York’s Citi Field.
Hudson led the majors with a 1.81 ERA as late as June 12, posting 10 quality starts out of 13 outings, before having three rough ones out of his last five.
Bochy held off naming his second-half rotation order, since Hudson’s appearance in the Midsummer Classic might require an alteration to the starting five.
Bumgarner is still going to the All-Star festivities in Minnesota but was eligible to be replaced because he’s starting the Sunday prior to the break. Outfielder Hunter Pence rounds out the Giants contingent.