Tim Hudson has not died or anything. And there is no telling how his broken ankle will affect the rest of his career. But it was a sad and awful moment when he went down after inexplicably not getting his foot out of the way on that play at first. Tim Hudson has been one of the best pitchers of his generation. He has also been a lot of fun to watch over the years.
While this is not meant as a requiem for his career, I wanted to reprint an article I wrote back in February where I compared the careers of Roy Halladay and Tim Hudson. Halladay has long been considered the pitcher of his generation. And while Tim Hudson has not been as good, the difference is closer than you think. Now both are out with devastating injuries and you have to wonder what the future holds.
So anyway, apologies if you remember this. But I thought it was fitting to rerun this piece today. Remember that the statistics were from before this season started:
Roy Halladay has been a much more valuable pitcher over his career than Tim Hudson. Roy Halladay has won two Cy Young Awards and probably should have won another. Tim Hudson has never won a Cy Young Award and probably never will. Roy Halladay has accumulated ten more wins above replacement in his career according to Baseball-reference.com and twenty more according to Fangraphs. But all that being said, a lot of the same end results are remarkably similar.
Let’s start with some basic (and now mostly discredited statistics):
Roy Halladay: 199-100 .666 winning percentage, 3.31 career ERA
Tim Hudson: 197-103 .654 winning percentage, 3.42 career ERA
That’s pretty darned close, isn’t it? Halladay has pitched 403 times and compiled 2,687.1 innings. Hudson has pitched 406 times with 2,682.1 innings. Those numbers are virtually identical.
Tim Hudson has given up 2,504 hits and 210 homers. Roy Halladay has given up 2,594 hits and 224 homers. Those numbers are pretty darned close too.
For his career, Roy Halladay has allowed a .666 OPS against with 3,811 total bases allowed. Tim Hudson has allowed a .674 OPS against with 3,675 total bases allowed.
Roy Halladay has allowed 987 earned runs. Tim Hudson has allowed 1,019. That is a total difference of 32 runs for virtually the same amount of innings pitched.
Roy Halladay has faced 11,005 batters in his career. Tim Hudson has faced 11,157. Roy Halladay has induced batters to hit into 248 double plays. Tim Hudson has turned 282 ground balls into double plays. Tim Hudson has allowed 55 sacrifice flies, Roy Halladay, 59.
Roy Halladay has a .625 winning percentage on the road. Tim Hudson has a .620 winning percentage on the road. Roy Halladay has won 90 games on the road. Tim Hudson has won 93.
Roy Halladay has pitched 94 times when his own team scored two runs or less and has won 19 of those games. Tim Hudson has pitched 91 times when his own team scored two runs or less and has won 19 of those games.
A batter leading off an inning against Roy Halladay has hit a home run 69 times against Roy Halladay in 2,737 chances. A batter leading off an inning against Tim Hudson has hit a home run 67 times in 2,764 chances.
Roy Halladay has a combined OPS against of .672 against non-pitchers. Tim Hudson has a combined OPS against of .688 against non-pitchers.
Tim Hudson has only loaded the bases with no outs 28 times in his career. Roy Halladay has only put himself in that position 32 times. Roy Halladay has an OPS against of .661 in high leverage situations. Tim Hudson has an OPS against of .657 in high leverage situations.
Are a lot of these statistics cherry-picked? Well, yes, sure. And in the final analysis, Roy Halladay has been the better pitcher. His K/BB ratio is much better, his xFIP is much better and so forth. The purpose of this post was not to build a case that Tim Hudson has been as good as Roy Halladay. But perhaps the purpose has been to show the final results have been much more similar than you might have thought.