Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tim Hudson - The unsung ace

Listing off the pitching aces in baseball is easy. There is Halladay, Kershaw, Verlander, Weaver, Sabathia, Strasburg and a few more. Few would think to put the Atlanta Braves' Tim Hudson on the list. But Tim Hudson is an ace. He wins the big games. He stops losing streaks. His rotation around him fluctuates in effectiveness. But nine times out of ten, he is going to throw a good game at you. And the Braves' success is so wrapped around Tim Hudson's fortunes that when he lost steam last September, the Braves could not overcome his mortality and fell out of a playoff spot on the last day of the season. Tim Hudson is a...dare it be said?...winner.

Hudson will never be among the leaders in WAR. He does not blow people away with a fastball. His strikeout rate is mundane. He makes his living getting batters to pound the ball weakly into the ground. And he has been doing it for years. Here are a few facts about Tim Hudson you might not know:

  • After last night's win, his career record improved to 193-101, a .656 winning percentage.
  • Hudson's winning percentage is the 22nd best of all time and behind only Weaver and Halladay among active pitchers (Minimum of 1,000 innings pitched).
  • He is pitching in his fourteenth season and has never had a losing record. He's never even had a .500 record.
  • Tim Hudson has only had one season in his career where his winning percentage was less than .600.
  • Since 1999, only five other pitchers have compiled more WAR.
  • Only eight pitchers since 1999 have a lower career BABIP than Tim Hudson (his stands at .279 for his career).
  • Only ten pitchers since 1999 have been better at stranding base runners.
  • Since 1999, only two pitchers have pitched more innings than Hudson and they are out of baseball.
  • He is tied with Halladay for the most wins since 1999.
  • Hudson's 2.54 ground ball to fly ball ratio is the third highest among active starters behind only Lowe and Westbrook.
  • Since 1999, Tim Hudson is fifth in WPA.
  • For his career, Hudson has a 0.7 home run per nine inning rate and he is currently in his sixth straight season with a rate under one.
  • His career ERA+ is higher than Sabathia, Cain, Lincecum, Lester, Peavy, Lee, Haren, Carpenter and Greinke.

So, yeah, Tim Hudson has had a fantastic career. And he seems to be just as good now as he was when his fastball had five more miles per hour on it. Hudson doesn't need a lot of run support to win. In games where the Braves have scored three to five runs a game, his record is 6-2 this season. Hudson beat both the Yankees and the Rays in interleague play this season.

Hudson has not had a losing month this season. His 2-2 record in May was the closest. Since then, Hudson has gone 10-2. In eight road starts, Hudson is 5-1 with a 3.06 ERA. His ERA is 3.96 at home, but he is 7-3 at Turner Field.

Tim Hudson is an ace. He is an unsung ace. But he is one. All he does is win. And he has been doing that for a long, long time.


Captain Canuck said...

good post. I totally agree. He's a beast.

Bill Miller said...

Glad someone has recognized what a fine career Hudson has had. His career WAR of 50.8 also begins to put him in the conversation as a possible future HOF'er. There are certainly far worse pitchers in The Hall.
Nice post,