Tim Hudson Interview

Tim Hudson

Tim Hudson talks about pitching in the playoffs for his Atlanta Braves.

Q. I know that you've hung out a lot with the rookies this year. What has having that crowd following you around been like for you?
TIM HUDSON: It's been fun. I feel like I'm 21 again. No, those guys are awesome. They brought a lot of passion, a lot of youthful excitement to the scene. From what I hear, I think it's something that this team had like in the past. You know, I think, you know, they're excited about being in the Big Leagues. They're excited about tasting the success for the first time. It's going to be a lot of fun. Seeing those guys out there playing tomorrow, running around, you'll see the smiles on their faces. I think it's transferred over in a lot of us older guys. It's made the game a lot more fun this year, a lot of excitement. This is what it's about. You know, it's a kids' game. You have to go out there and have fun and play with a lot of excitement. I think that's what they brought this year.

Q. John Smoltz a little while ago said he didn't think you'd lose a game in this series or maybe in the playoffs, what do you think of that?
TIM HUDSON: He said that about me?

Q. He said that exactly about you.
TIM HUDSON: I'm glad he has a lot of confidence in me. You want your teammates to have confidence in you when you're out there taking the mound. You know, I feel like I'm going to win every game that I pitch, you know, whether it's postseason, you know, regular season, whatever, you know. I feel you have to go out there and pitch with confidence and expect to win. Obviously, you're not going to win every game that you pitch in throughout the season. But as long as I can go out there and give us a good chance to win, hopefully we can, you know, eliminate the small mental errors and just go out there and play hard, play the game right and try to, like I said, stay away from the little things that cause you to lose games in the short series. I think that's key in playoff baseball, is staying away from the little errors, the little mental mistakes that cause you to lose games. If we can do that, play hard, if I can go out there and make pitches, change speeds, set the tone early and be aggressive, then I think we're going to be okay.

Q. When you went to the Braves, is this what you envisioned?
TIM HUDSON: Well, any time you think about Atlanta Braves baseball, you think about postseason and success. Coming over here, I knew we were going to have a shot to do something special. It's been a little bit of a roller coaster ride this year, you know, but we're here right now. We feel like we have a good team that's going to be able to go out there and win and put up a championship for this city of Atlanta. I'm excited about being here. This is an organization and the team I grew up rooting for. I'm excited about being an Atlanta Brave and pitching in Game 1.

Q. The two of you (Clemens and Hudson) were involved in a lengthy scoreless game with these guys earlier in the season. With the pitching staff they have, is this the kind of thing you envision with this team, where you know runs are going to be hard to come by?
TIM HUDSON: They're playing some good baseball right now. They're pitching well. With Oswalt, Clemens and Pettitte, three of the best in the business. We know runs are going to be a premium. But it's going to be exciting, you know. The series that I tied up with them, the game I pitched in Houston, for me, that was a playoff atmosphere. That was playoff-type baseball for me. Playoff games are never easy. They're always tough. They're always hard-fought from both sides. You know, if you play the game right and you make pitches, it's going to be low-scoring games. These teams are in the playoffs because they have good defense and they have good pitching, and good pitching is always going to come over on offense. So, you know, if we can just go out there and scratch out some runs, hopefully they're the ones that make the little mistakes to score runs and let us have a few. So we just got to go out there and play hard, man. Play hard, battle, and hopefully we come out on the end of it.

Q. Tim, with the late starting time tomorrow, will there be shadows that come into play that will help the pitchers?
TIM HUDSON: I'm not sure. I'm not sure how the shadows are here at 4 o'clock. Something we'll have to wait and see. Hopefully, they won't be too bad. I don't want there to be any excuses from either side. I want us to go out there and, you know, have a great place to play and no shadows, and the team who pitches the best and plays the better defense hopefully will come out ahead.

Q. You were saying your health is as good now as it's been all year, isn't it the other way around? You're okay at the beginning, a little banged up at the end. You seemed to be better at the end. Could you explain that?
TIM HUDSON: That's usually how it works. This year I was dealing with some things earlier on in the year, throughout the season that, you know, you say you have to pitch through them. Throughout the season nobody's been totally 100%. If they say you go out there, pitch, you're 100%, they're probably lying because everybody's dealing with some little aches and pains here and there. Right now I can obviously say that I feel as good as I have all year. I'm fresh, you know. I had a little bit of time off during the year with that oblique injury. Right now as of a couple weeks ago, I can say it's totally gone. I feel fresh and ready to go. I feel like I'm pitching, throwing the ball as well as I have all year, pitching with some confidence and giving us a good chance to win when I go out there.

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