Hey, everybody, Tim Hudson's back just in time for the stretch run! He'll take the mound for the Braves tonight in Miami as they attempt to bury the Marlins and make up ground in the Wild Card standings. Hudson is recovering from Tommy John surgery and, despite making six rehab starts in the minors, is still a little shaky. You would be too if you were away from your chosen profession for 13 months. Here's Tim in his own words, thanks to Carroll Rogers of the AJC:
"Do I think I'm going to be in midseason form and everything?" Hudson said. "I hope. But realistically, probably not. But I definitely feel a lot like I normally would coming out of spring training."
If he needs reassurance, and perhaps some calming down, Chipper Jones will be just a few feet to his right in the bottom of the first tonight:
"I know he's really geeked up to pitch," Chipper Jones said last night. "Let's hope he's not too geeked up because he's not a 97, 98 mph guy. He's a finesse guy that has overpowering stuff. And he needs to have his location and his movement. And if he has that, he'll be fine."
Hudson will face the Marlins' Anibal Sanchez, whose own injury problems have limited him to just 25 starts over the last three seasons. Fella's labrum has been shredded up worse the the Velveeta in Chipper Jones' fridge. It's delicious on baked beans, y'all! So with these two creampuffs on the mound, we can expect either a pitchers duel that lasts into the eighth inning, or two ambulance trips to Coral Gables Hospital. Either way.
In other medical miracle news, Aaron Boone was called up by the Astros just mere months after undergoing open heart surgery. He had a bicuspid valve repaired, whatever that means, but rumours that Ed Wade had traded Boone's aorta to the Royals in exchange for Yuniesky Betacourt's esophageal sphincter proved to be unfounded.