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
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.
Tim Hudson Interview
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