Unfortunately for Hudson and the Giants, he wasn't the most formidable pitcher with a bat Thursday. That distinction belonged to Miami's Dan Haren, who rapped two hits and accounted for three runs in the Marlins' 7-2 triumph.
Haren (4-1) bashed a two-run double in the second inning before singling and scoring in the fifth. He also limited the Giants to two runs and eight hits in seven innings after blanking them on five hits through the first six innings. Hudson, a 17-year veteran, admitted that Haren, who's in his 13th season, was "pretty much the difference in the game."
Said Hudson, who allowed six runs and a career-high 15 hits in 6 2/3 innings, "If I can just get him out, we have a pretty good chance of winning." He reasoned that without Haren's hitting, he would have surrendered two runs and 13 hits.
"It's kind of a strange [pitching] line," Hudson acknowledged. "I have to make better pitches. There's no question about it."
Hudson lamented his inability to finish off hitters at opportune times, though he said, "Honestly, I felt like I had a pretty good sinker."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy faulted himself for the pounding Hudson absorbed. Intent on resting a weary bullpen, Bochy said, he hoped he wouldn't have to summon any relievers before the seventh.
"That last inning was my fault," Bochy said. "I tried to get through that inning with Huddy."
Hudson became the fourth Giants pitcher to allow at least 15 hits in a game since the franchise moved West in 1958. Juan Marichal (June 15, 1968) and Gaylord Perry (Sept. 28, 1968) each were peppered for 16 hits, and Billy O'Dell (April 16, 1962) yielded 15.
Interestingly, the Giants won all of those previous high-volume-hit games behind complete-game efforts. That, of course, was the era when pitchers were expected to finish what they started. Marichal stranded 11 runners while beating Tom Seaver, Perry left 12 Reds on base and limited them to 4-for-16 hitting with runners in scoring position. That reflects why they're in the Hall of Fame. O'Dell was helped by a remarkable offensive outburst in a 19-8 triumph over the Dodgers.
Hudson's consolation: His single ended a 49-at-bat hitless streak, the longest among National Leaguers.