Hudson ready to roll from spring into season

Hudson ready to roll from spring into season

Hudson ready to roll from spring into season
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Daniel Hudson is healthy, he feels fully prepared and all of his pitches are working.

For the D-backs right-hander, that's all he really needs heading into the season. The gaudy numbers he put up in spring training were simply an added bonus, further proof that he'll be ready to go when he makes his debut as the club's No. 2 starter Saturday against San Francisco.

Five innings of one-hit ball on Sunday wrapped up a solid spring for Hudson, who finished at 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA in his five starts. He allowed just nine hits in his 19 spring innings, holding opposing hitters to a .136 average.

"I don't think they really matter that much, but you can't argue with the results," Hudson said. "If I would have come out with a nine ERA, but the ball still felt good coming out of my hand, I'd have felt just as good going into the season as I do right now."

Hudson kept Dodgers hitters off-balance all afternoon -- though Los Angeles rested most of its regulars and the few who were in the lineup were removed in the early innings.

The 25-year-old righty threw 66 pitches, 42 of them for strikes, and retired the last 14 batters he faced, five of them on strikeouts.

"I feel comfortable with everything right now," Hudson said after allowing just one run Sunday. "I can't say enough how good the ball feels coming out of my hand. I'm just ready to go and ready for the season to start."

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said he sees a noticeable difference in Hudson's last two springs.

"He's just more mature," Gibson said. "He understands what he has to do, and he's more able to control his emotions. We'll see if he takes that into the season, but he's had a good spring for us." Hudson allowed his only hit when Dodgers first baseman James Loney doubled home the game's first run. From there, he settled into a groove, retiring the next 14, as the D-backs cruised to an easy win in Glendale.

But the first-inning trouble he ran into Sunday was also a recurring theme in his solid 2011. Hudson's hoping that doesn't carry over, and he doesn't see why it will.

"I tried so many different things last year that you just kind of chalk it up to being one of those crazy things that you just went through one season and hope that it doesn't carry over," Hudson said. "But if something happens and I give up a few runs in the first inning coming out on Saturday, you just figure it out and move through it."

As for that start on Saturday at Chase Field, Hudson was asked if he felt ready for it a week ago, because the way he was pitching certainly indicated as much.

"A little bit longer than that," he replied. "It was a long spring. Now that we're getting down to the end I think we're all pretty excited to get going and play some games that actually mean something."