Yeah. There went the pitchers' duel. It was fun and all, but I think he (Tim Hudson) would say the same thing. Neither of us made that many great pitches. I made a lot of mistakes tonight and got away with a bunch. They hit a bunch too. It was a good win for us. Our bullpen came in and did an outstanding job.
What did you say to him at first base during the game?
When I grounded out? I just told him, "I can't hit that."
You did hit one, didn't you?
I hit one. I think he made a mistake when he was trying to come in on me, but he came back over the plate. I was still 0-fer.
La Russa said you were struggling all night. Why is that?
I just wasn't making good pitches. I was missing over the plate. The homer to Jordan was a cutter right over the middle. Most of the line drives they hit were right down the middle. My ball was moving and I got a lot of ground balls on that, my split. But, for the most part, I just made a lot of mistakes tonight. I'd make two or three bad pitches in a row and then, I'd make a great pitch and get a double play. It's not like everything was bad. I kept getting in trouble and having to make pitches to get out of it. We scored some runs. (sighs) I tried giving them all back…
On Hudson's 77-2 career mark when getting four or more runs of support.
You get him five or six runs and he's going to win 95% of the time. Our guys got those four runs in the first inning and it was big for us.
Did you pitch different with the four early runs?
No. I just tried to make pitches. I just left everything up, especially in that first inning. I got the ball down better as the game went on – to get some ground balls. But, in that first inning, everything that they got was up and over the plate.
Were you tired at the end?
I know I threw only 85 or 90 pitches or somewhere around that (it was 93). But, I was tired. Like I said, it was a battle. I was 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 3-1. As far as intensity, it is tougher than getting quick outs all the time. It is a mentally-draining game.
Could you foresee early trouble based on warm-ups?
No, actually, I felt great in the pen. I had a lot more energy for this game than normal. Like I said, in the first inning, I was leaving a lot of stuff up and that may have had something to do with it.
Was the early lead a distraction?
No, I was still focused on what I was doing. Obviously, it was a surprise that we got runs like that. You try to keep focus and make pitches. You've got to keep going. You have to stop picking. That is probably what I did in my first two starts – pick too much. Tonight I would miss, then I would throw a ball over the plate and then get a ground ball. I'd make pitches when I had to.
What did pitching coach Dave Duncan tell you?
I told him I was missing and he said "Keep grinding". That is really all I can do.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org