The Atlanta Braves have such a wealth of young arms that Tim Hudson will never suffer from a shortage of fresh-faced pitching Padawans to sit at his knee.
But because this is 2012, a year in which analyzing Tim Lincecum's struggles has become a minor sport in itself, the 37-year-old Braves righty couldn't help but offer his own advice on Sunday night.
This was after Hudson had pitched seven innings of one-run ball in a 7-1 win over the San Francisco Giants. That, of course, used to be a very Lincecum-like line but allowing three runs over five innings has grown to be the norm for The Freak this season. Which is exactly the performance Lincecum turned in while getting tabbed for the loss before being the subject of Hudson's analysis.
Afterward, Hudson was asked about Lincecum, and he respectfully said the two-time Cy Young Award winner could be "a lot more aggressive in the strike zone."
Hudson added, "Just as a fan and a veteran of the game, you want to try to help out young pitchers. From the other dugout, it's what I see. His stuff is good. He's still 91, 92, 93 (mph), plenty to win in this league, especially with that changeup. He doesn't have to make every pitch a swing-and-miss pitch ... I was the same way when I was younger. You feel like a stud out there when people swing and miss. As I've gotten older, I've preached to our young guys that strikeouts are sexy, but outs are outs, man, no matter how you get them."
Lincecum pointed out to reporters that Hudson's sinkerball gives the Braves pitcher a little more flexibility when it comes to his approach. But he also admitted "there are other things you could add to your repertoire." Which is kind of what Hudson — who has aged as well as any pitcher currently out there when it comes to an evolving approach — was getting at in the first place.
It's actually kind of cool to see Hudson reach out and offer some advice to an opposing pitcher who's struggling, though maybe it won't look like such a wise move if the two teams match up in the wild-card play-in game and Lincecum employs the help en route to a win.
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