10/04/2002 9:42 pm ET
Three days' rest? No problem
Hudson prepared mentally and physically for Game 4
By Kent Schacht / MLB.com
The A's are known around the Bay Area for a humorous advertising campaign in which different players star in television commercials that accentuate their personalities.
In the spot that features Tim Hudson, the right-handed starter is shown throwing pitches in an empty stadium hours after the game ends, exaggerating his passion for being -- and staying -- on the mound.
That's why Saturday's Game 4 (1 p.m. ET, ABC Family), in which Hudson will pitch on three days rest for only the second time in his big league career, is no big deal to the hurler or his manager.
"I know he is a competitor," A's skipper Art Howe said. "He never wants to come off the mound. That's his makeup."
Even though he struggled, giving up eight hits and four earned runs, Hudson wasn't happy when Howe yanked him from Game 1 after 5 1/3 innings. But he thinks that one key to success in Game 4 may be the fact that he is pitching on three days instead of his usual four days rest.
"If anything, as a sinkerball pitcher, the more strong you are, the worse off you are a lot of times," added Hudson. "So I think coming back a day early may help me out a little bit with some of my sinkers and keeping the ball down in the zone."
Keeping the ball down is what Hudson didn't do well Wednesday. The Twins repeatedly capitalized on balls left up to score their four runs.
"I think I was really overthrowing my last outing and that was a big reason why most of my pitches were up all day," said Hudson. "I think if I can just make that adjustment, instead of missing up, I can miss down, and I can get some ground balls instead of those deep fly balls that I was getting the last time out."
Friday, Hudson said all-systems are go as far as his preparation, which he said has not been all that different than his usual four days off between starts.
"Four days in between starts, there is a lot of down time usually," said Hudson. "So normally I usually throw two bullpens in between starts, so what I did this time around is cut it down to one, threw a bullpen [Wednesday]. I would be off today just playing some catch and doing some treatment and stuff, and I will be ready to go [Saturday]."
Hudson added that having his head prepared to go on three days rest is as important as his body.
"It's just mentally just going out there a day early and knowing that you have to get the ball one more day early," he said.
Besides, if history is any indicator, Hudson thinks he will be better than ready to go, with the chance to close out the Twins hanging in the balance.
"The only time I came back a day early was last year in the playoffs. I came out of the bullpen in relief in Game 5 in New York and felt like I had as good or better stuff coming out of the pen in New York as I did when I started," said Hudson. "So that's really encouraging coming into [Saturday]."
Kent Schacht is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.