As a proud alumnus of The University of Alabama, I was watching with excitement in October 2005 when Urban Meyer took his first Gator team into Tuscaloosa and got dismantled. Brodie Croyle threw all over the Florida defense, Joe Kines’ Bama D shut Chris Leak down, the game was in hand, and then…
Tyrone Prothro, the fastest receiver in the SEC, still in the game in garbage time, went up for a ball in the end zone and shattered his ankle on the way down. (WARNING: Video link is not safe for breakfast.) Prothro was never the same after that (my brother, class of ’08, said that a couple years later, the fastest guy in the SEC was unable to outrun random students from my brother’s dorm rushing him as an intramural flag football QB), and neither was 2005 Alabama.
I bring up Prothro tonight because I turned on tonight’s game just in time to see Tim Hudson on a stretcher and the sort of long, quiet pause in a broadcast reserved exclusively for a Big Horrible Injury. Think Ware, think Lattimore, think McGahee. Fox Sports refused, and continues to refuse in the post-game to show the replay, but the clip is here (again: NSFB), and yeah… that’s probably really bad.
If you don’t want to watch the clip – and I do not blame you for this – the sequence of events is as follows:
2) throws it to Hudson covering first. Hudson’s doing that awkward thing where you have to find first with your foot and look at the first baseman and the ball with your eyes though. He winds up putting his foot across the heart of the first-base bag, which
3) Young is running full-speed toward. And the way Hudson has his foot positioned (which he could not have controlled, as mentioned above), there was nowhere for Young to run but
4) directly on top of Hudson’s ankle and the couple inches of leg above the ankle. It looked bad and it was bad; the Braves announced a few minutes ago that Hudson fractured his ankle on the play. All indications are that he’s out for the season if not more; if this is the last we’ve seen of Hudson in a Braves uniform, it’s been a privilege to watch him over the last almost-decade. And it’s fitting that he threw 7 2/3 innings, struck out nine, and only gave up two runs because they had to rush a pitcher in as an injury replacement and Luis Avilan gave up a long double.
The play itself was a freak accident and Young seemed to take it harder than anyone. No one was at fault; Hudson wanted to find the bag but couldn’t take his eyes off the ball, and Young was running hard in a straight line in real time. It just sucks. I hope it’s a clean fracture and Hudson heals quickly and can pitch again if he wants to.
Other than that, pretty much everything that happened tonight was good. Evan Gattis got his homer back on again, Dan Uggla continued to tell you that as frustrating as he can be, at the end of the year he’ll be a 30-homer second baseman and that’s not a thing you can really bitch about, and Andrelton Simmons joined the dinger party too. Both teams traded a couple of sloppy runs after the Hudson injury, but that’s understandable under the circumstances. The Nationals lost and the Phillies are down eight in the 8th; the division lead will probably be 8 games by the time you read this. Brandon Beachy threw six innings of two-run ball in his final rehab start for Gwinnett. His place in the rotation, once a topic of debate, is now rather obvious.