Tim Hudson wrapped up a brilliant career today by throwing 2.1 innings against the Dodgers in his final start before retiring after 17 seasons in the big leagues for the A’s, Braves, and Giants.
Hudson received a standing ovation from the crowd in San Francisco and a barrage of hugs from Giants teammates lined up to see him off the field.
At age 40 he’s still effective enough to keep pitching, posting a 4.44 ERA in 123 innings, but injuries have taken their toll on Hudson and he’s held firm to a preseason commitment to hang things up.
He finishes with 222 wins and a 3.49 ERA in more than 3,100 career innings, making four All-Star teams and finishing among the top-five in Cy Young balloting three times.
Hudson’s raw stuff, strikeout rates, and physical size were never eye-catching, but he was consistently among the most extreme ground-ball pitchers in baseball and did a fantastic job keeping the ball in the ballpark while topping 200 innings in eight seasons.
He racked up 53.5 Wins Above Replacement for his career, which ranks fourth among all pitchers since 2000 behind only Roy Halladay, Mark Buehrle, and CC Sabathia. Our own Matthew Pouliot took a look at Hudson’s career relative to the other top starters from this era and concluded that he’s at worst a borderline Hall of Famer.