Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tim Hudson suffered a gruesome ankle injury Wednesday night in an 8-2 victory against the New York Mets at Citi Field.
With two men on in the bottom of the eighth inning and Atlanta up 6-0 with one out, Mets leftfielder Eric Young Jr. hit a chopper to Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, who was pulled off the bag. Hudson went to cover and as Young made his final strides he came down on Hudson’s right ankle and appeared to snap it.
Hudson crumpled to the dirt in serious pain. The game was stopped and Hudson was placed on a backboard and carted off the field. Young Jr. was also shaken and reportedly crying. He would stay on the field until Hudson was removed by trainers. When shown the replay, the home Citi Field crowd could be heard gasping in horror.
To his credit, the 38-year-old Hudson did make the out, and had gone 7 2/3 innings for four hits, nine strikeouts, three walks, and eventually two earned runs. He earned the victory and moved to 8-7 on the year for first-place Atlanta.
Braves catcher Brian McCann told the Atlanta Journal Constitution about Hudson’s invaluable veteran presence.
“He’s huge,” McCann said. “I mean, he’s the veteran presence around here that people go to. It’s Tim Hudson. The guy’s got 200 wins, and he's the best teammate you’re ever going to have. Everybody in here feels bad for him.”
The injury has been compared to the horrific tibia snap suffered by Louisville guard Kevin Ware during the NCAA tournament earlier this year. A baseball comparison is catcher Jason Kendall, who in 1999 tried to beat out a bunt but ended up dislocating his ankle and tore every ligament.
There is no word on when Hudson will return, but presumably his season is over. He has spent the last eight seasons with the Braves after being traded by the Oakland Athletics in 2004. Hudson has proven resilient before, earning the 2010 NL Comeback Player of the Year award.
The video below shows the play in its entirety and is graphic in nature, and should only be watched at the viewer’s discretion.