10/05/2003 2:40 AM ET
A's turn to Hudson for series win
Right-hander not concerned about going on short rest
BOSTON -- He's in his first year as A's manager, but Ken Macha has been around enough playoff baseball to know that his decision to start Tim Hudson on three days' rest in Sunday's Game 4 will be controversial.
By Kent Schacht / MLB.com
"I'll probably be opening myself to criticism for pitching guys on three days' rest, but too bad. I'm going to go with my best guys as long as they're OK," Macha said.
Hudson's been the A's best guy on the mound all season long. He led the staff in wins (16) and was second in the American League to Pedro Martinez in ERA (2.70).
Going by the numbers, three days' rest has been a mixed bag for Hudson. He's done it twice, once well out of the bullpen in 2001 in Game 5 at Yankee Stadium, and once not as well in a Game 4 loss in Minnesota last year.
"In 2001 in New York, I felt I had better stuff then on three days' rest than I did in the actual start," Hudson said.
Last season, Hudson battled a hip injury that affected his 3 1/3-inning performance in which he allowed seven runs -- three earned -- in Oakland's loss at the Metrodome.
But it was the hip, not the rest that was the problem there, he said.
"Last year I felt great coming off three days' rest. Physically, I feel fine with it," he said. "You have to go out there and do some things you normally wouldn't want to do during the season."
All the A's are hoping is that Hudson can do for them exactly what he did during the 2003 season. Although his win-loss mark sullied his chances for a Cy Young Award, he was one of baseball's top pitchers. Oakland went 26-8 in games he started, leaving a clubhouse depressed about losing a sloppy Game 3 in extra innings on Saturday confident about Sunday.
"We're throwing our best at them and we feel really confident," Mark Ellis said. "Hopefully he'll be at his best tomorrow and we'll play better behind him."
The A's did play well behind Hudson in his Game 1 no-decision. He needed some snappy defense to help him limit the Red Sox to three runs on 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings on Wednesday.
He has had success against Boston's hitters though, dominating the Sox to a two-hit shutout in Oakland this August. That's why he's confident heading into Sunday.
"I'll go out there and pitch my game. I always feel if I bring my best to the table out there, we're usually going to be successful," he said. "I'll let those guys make adjustments to me, just go out there and try to make pitches, bottom line."
Kent Schacht is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.