Hudson Pitches Another Shutout and Conrad Hits Another Deciding Homer
By Editorial Staff
Tim Hudson put together another masterful performance by pitching eight shutout innings and Brooks Conrad came through with the big hit again as the Braves beat the Dodgers, 1-0.
Hudson allowed three hits over the eight shutout innings, walking one and striking out six. He induced 13 ground balls to five fly balls and threw just 96 pitches. He wasn’t a strike throwing machine but took advantage of a weak Dodgers offense by keeping them off balance and inducing grounders early in the count.
Hudson walked the game’s leadoff hitter but left him on second. He gave up a one-out single in the second but induced a double play. After that single, he set down the next 12 in order, including striking out the side in the fifth. His second hit was a single in the sixth and his third hit was a single in the eighth; the first was left on and the second was forced out at second. The Dodgers never reached third base in the game and reached second base once. Billy Wagner allowed a leadoff single in the ninth but caught the runner stealing on a pickoff attempt, and followed with a strikeout to end the game.
Since allowing six runs to the Brewers back in mid-July, Hudson has allowed two runs in 36 innings. He has three shutouts in his last five starts.
The offense apparently had a competition to see who could be the worst at moving runners and driving them in. They put the leadoff guy on in four of the first five innings but didn’t come close to scoring. What made things worse was the fact that Hiroki Kuroda didn’t have his best stuff and was obviously struggling with the humidity. He fell behind hitters constantly but the Braves couldn’t take advantage. It took a solo homer by Conrad in the seventh to put the Braves ahead, where it remained for good.
Omar Infante added two singles. Troy Glaus picked up a double and if not for his bad legs would have scored a run earlier in the game on a wild pitch. Jason Heyward, Alex Gonzalez, and Brian McCann combined to go 0-11 with a walk as the 2-3-4 hitters.
The Mets beat the Phillies by the same 1-0 score due to a complete-game, one-hitter by R.A. Dickey. The Braves now have a three game lead. Ted Lilly and Derek Lowe face off Saturday night.