He pitched seven strong innings and retired the last 17 batters he faced, but it was Tim Hudson's head-first slide across home plate in his warmup jacket that Braves teammates will remember most from Sunday. "Play of the year," catcher Brian McCann said, smiling. "That was awesome." Hudson's fifth-inning gallop and slide into highlight reels and memory banks turned out to be the winning run in an 11-2 rout against Washington at Nationals Park. Leadoff man Martin Prado went 3-for-5 with two doubles and McCann had three hits and four RBIs for the Braves, who scored six runs in the eighth inning to blow the game open and clinch a 2-1 season-opening series win. Despite all the offense, the play teammates were talking about was "The Slide." It was a bold, unrestrained act by their 35-year-old ace, diving head-first to score a run in what was a one-run game at the time. Third baseman Chipper Jones was asked if he held his breath when Hudson slid. "I was too busy laughing; it was hilarious," said Jones, who added, when asked to critique the slide: "Not bad. He's going to have to get a new jacket." Hudson (1-0) did superficial damage to the jacket and to a knee, which was scraped. It might've been the first time he slid face-first at home since his days as a two-way star at Auburn, where he was Southeastern Conference Player of the Year in 1997.
Hudson's pitching (and sliding) highlight Braves rout
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Apr 4