SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Hudson said he can see the finish line of his career. Monday's final pitch came earlier than expected, though.
Hudson dealt with familiar hip discomfort from the second inning on and was pulled amid fifth-inning struggles. After a 5-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds, Hudson said the issue isn't serious. Manager Bruce Bochy is hopeful he won't have to pull Hudson from the rotation again.
"We'll check on him," Bochy said. "I like the way he threw the ball. It's unfortunate the hip flared up on him."
Hudson has dealt with the discomfort on and off for a couple years and said it's nothing that treatment and Advil can't fix. He's scheduled to start Sunday here at AT&T Park and then next Saturday in Oakland, where his career started. It wouldn't be a surprise, given Bochy's desire to get Matt Cain back on the mound, if Hudson skips a start or gets pushed back, but on Monday that wasn't part of his thought process.
"It's just old," he said of the hip. "I got that old, tricky hip. That's just what it is."
Hudson pitched well until the fifth, and he felt his stuff was better than in his return to the rotation last week. He has three scheduled starts left in the big leagues and he's savoring these moments.
"I see the finish line," he said. "I see it coming. It's fine ... come on. I'm ready for it."
--- The finish line kept getting pushed back tonight for the Giants. Santiago Casilla made it interesting in the ninth, but Bochy stuck with Casilla as his pitch count approached 30 and Jeremy Affeldt warmed up.
"He's done a great job, a terrific job," Bochy said. "His pitches were getting up there, but I thought he still had good stuff. You put your closer up there and you put your hands behind your back to a point, but I thought he still had good stuff."
Casilla gave up a scorched liner to deep right but Marlon Byrd had it played perfectly. Game over. Casilla had a rocky stretch earlier this year, but he'll finish the season as the closer and he's at 33 saves after tonight.
--- There was a mound meeting in the fifth. Buster Posey asked Brandon Belt where he would go with the throw if a bases-loaded grounder went to first. Belt said he would go home on a backhand play, and that's just what he got. The throw from the former Texas prep star pitcher was right on the money, and that's no accident. I doubt there's a first baseman in the league who practices throws more than Belt does, and I'm not sure there's one out there who has a better or more accurate arm. Belt said he was going home because it was his easiest play from that angle.
"It's hard to stop and turn and make an accurate throw to second," he said.
That's a play you don't see often, but Belt handled it easily. He probably should be one of three Gold Glove finalists when they're announced next month.
--- You can definitely sense in the clubhouse the last couple days that the players realize the Dodgers aren't going to lose often enough to make this a race, but that doesn't mean the story lines vanish. For instance, today we got a unique one: If you missed it, here's my story on a second Matt Duffy being called up to the big leagues.