MESA, Ariz. — Tim Hudson wanted to do more work out of the stretch late in the spring, saying his mechanics needed work. Monday’s outing wasn’t exactly what he had in mind.
Making his last start of the Cactus League season, Hudson gave up four runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings. He has allowed 16 hits over 10 2/3 innings in his last two starts — a regular line for Giants starters this spring — but said there’s no concern as the regular season approaches.
“I think guys are still doing some things they probably wouldn’t do during the regular season,” he said. “Guys are pitching differently.”
While this time of year is mostly about letting veterans get their pitch counts up, Hudson pointed out that there’s been another factor in the rough spring for the Giants starters. This isn’t a rotation built around overwhelming stuff, and with few scouting reports, veterans like Hudson aren’t able to lean on a game plan and mix and match their way through a quality start.
“Come game time, we’ll have game plans to execute and we’ll understand how to pitch to the big league hitters, instead of guys from A-ball, Double-A … guys we won’t see until September (call-ups),” he said.
Manager Bruce Bochy said he’s nearly ready to set his rotation, and he feels that even though his starters have struggled, they’re where they need to be physically. Only two Giants starters have gotten through six innings in a start this spring, but pitch counts are where the Giants hoped they would be.
“I think we’re pretty comfortable,” Bochy said. “And we’ve got some help for them with the two long guys (Ryan Vogelsong and Yusmeiro Petit).”
The Cubs ambushed Hudson from the start, getting a run on a leadoff triple by Dexter Fowler and a double by Chris Coghlan. Hudson stranded Coghlan and left two more Cubs on base after a run scored in the second. The Cubs had two more hits in the third and two in the fourth, scoring a run each time. Hudson was pulled after a walk of David Ross loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth.
The 8-5 loss was the 20th of the spring for the Giants, and afterward Bochy again vented about the poor execution, especially defensively. The Giants have been playing cleaner baseball over the past week, but Monday’s effort was filled with mistakes.
“I bet five or six runs shouldn’t have scored,” Bochy said. “You give them credit, they took advantage of it, but we didn’t play well at all today.”
Other news and notes from the day we all brought the Cubs tarp jokes out of the attic …
HEALTH WATCH: Travis Ishikawa had an MRI on his sore back, but it came back fairly clean. Bochy said Ishikawa could be back in the lineup on Thursday.
NOTEWORTHY: So much for Joe Panik's slow spring; he had two more hits Monday, including a well-struck homer. Panik is tied for the team lead with three homers ... If you live in the Richmond, Va. area, go check out the Flying Squirrels this summer, if only to see Daniel Carbonell and Mac Williamson in the same outfield. They're unlike most Giants hitting prospects. Carbonell has showed off his athleticism all spring, and he had a two-run double Monday ... Steven Okert didn't make it through his one inning, but it's notable that he's still in the clubhouse after all the weekend roster moves. The Giants brought Derek Law to San Francisco for the Bay Bridge Series last year so that he could get a feel for a major league stadium, and Okert seems in line for the same experience.
QUOTABLE: There was, naturally, a ton of Kris Bryant talk at the Cubs park today. Tim Hudson said he understands why teams do stuff like this, in part because the A’s held him back until Jun 8, 1999, even though he was dominating the upper minors.
“It cost me a little bit of money, but I didn’t care — I was just happy to get called up,” he said. “I wasn’t nearly the prospect (Bryant) is, that’s for sure … I hear that he looks the part. From what I understand, on the field he looks even more like the part.”