The first inning has been a struggle for Daniel Hudson this season.
So far this season, Hudson has posted a 6.00 ERA in the first inning, allowing 22 earned runs in 33 innings. From innings two to nine, he has only allowed 66 earned runs in 189 innings, an ERA of 3.14.
Hudson cannot afford a slow start against the Brewers.
The likely starter for game two in Miller Park, Hudson will be facing an intimidating Milwaukee lineup with two very real MVP candidates right in the middle.
And even though fans should be giddy the Diamondbacks won’t have to march into Citizens Bank Park and face the Phillies in the first round, the Brewers have the best home record in baseball. The road will not be easy.
Pitching on the road in Milwaukee, Hudson will need to start strong and keep the Brewer offense, anchored by Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, off the bases.
Hudson has allowed five homers and 15 walks in the first inning this season. If he has a wild first, it won’t take much for the Brewers to grab a big lead early.
After that Hudson tends to settle down, allowing just 12 home runs and 35 walks through the last eight innings of games this season.
And while Hudson has had his first inning woes, the Diamondbacks offense is notorious for their late inning heroics. No Brewers lead would be safe, especially once Hudson finds his groove.
If he can keep the guys at the front of the lineup off the bases and keep the damage from Braun and Fielder to a minimum, he may be able to go into Milwaukee and steal a win.