Hudson's hamstring pain was matched by the pain he and his teammates felt while winning just once and suffering four one-run losses during this six-game road trip.
"It's mind-boggling sometimes how good you can play at home and how putrid you are on the road,"
said Hudson, who believes he'll make his next scheduled start. "We've got to find ways to play better on
Considering the Braves' pitching staff allowed only seven runs in their first three losses on the road, the pitching certainly wasn't to blame for their frustrating road trip. But because they scored two runs or less in four of the losses, there's certainly reason to
point fingers at an offense that simply has proven to be anemic outside of Atlanta.
The Braves have hit .307 at home and .247 on the road. This could explain how
they've been able to win 22 of their 29 home games and lose 21 of their 28 road games.
"We need to get a voodoo doll or something," Braves second baseman Kelly Johnson said.
While the road demons remained until the conclusion of this road trip, at least they didn't deliver what
could have been a fatal blow. Through Sunday's first five innings, Reds rookie right-hander
Johnny Cueto had a no-hitter brewing, providing reason to believe things actually could get worse
for the Braves.
Gregor Blanco ended the no-hit bit by beginning the sixth inning with a bunt single that drew
the ire of Reds shortstop Jerry Hairston Jr., who obviously didn't think a speedy outfielder had the right
to obstruct history in a game where the difference was just three runs.
After Hairston voiced his displeasure in Blanco's direction, he came to the plate in the seventh inning
and received some choice words from All-Star catcher Brian McCann.
"I wanted him to know we were still trying to win a ballgame," McCann said. "That's Blanco's game. It's
not like it was me out there trying to bunt."
While Blanco thrives on his speed, one of McCann's best assets is his power, which he showed when he
followed Mark Teixeira's seventh-inning solo homer with one of his own. Suddenly, Cueto's shutout bid
was gone and the Braves were facing just a one-run deficit.
But the bottom of the seventh provided a fatal blow, as Hudson exited with a strained left hamstring and
right-handed reliever Blaine Boyer, who has made a team-high 31 appearances, exited with a sore right
knee. Both pitchers will be evaluated on Monday in Atlanta.
Yunel Escobar's throwing error helped the Reds score three times in the seventh inning, which was
highlighted by a Jay Bruce RBI single. Since making his Major League debut on Tuesday, Bruce has
recorded 12 hits in 22 at-bats. During this weekend's series, he had nine hits, including two homers, in
Under better circumstances, the Braves might have been heaping praise on Bruce,
who hit a walk-off homer on Saturday, then touched Hudson for a third-inning solo shot on
But given their frustrations, it was natural to hear Hudson respond sarcastically to a reporter's
question about Bruce.
The righty quipped, "I saw Ted Williams up there in every at-bat of every series. Is that what you want me to
Hudson, who had thrown 121 pitches during a tough-luck loss in Milwaukee on Tuesday, allowed four
runs -- three earned -- and seven hits in six innings. He suffered the hamstring injury while throwing
his first pitch in the seventh inning.
After surrendering solo homers to Adam Dunn and Bruce and also seeing Brandon Phillips and Ken
Griffey Jr. collect consecutive third-inning doubles, Hudson righted himself. But the Braves couldn't get on track against Cueto, who had gone 2-5 with a 6.33 ERA in his previous nine starts.
"We faced a guy who can't stop backing up third base when he's facing other teams, and then he goes out
there and has a no-hitter into the sixth against us," Hudson said.
Whether it was Hudson, Jones, McCann or Cox, the immense amount of frustration the Braves felt on
Sunday was evident. But at least for now, they're keeping their composure and not creating any
postgame clubhouse spectacles.
"The frustration is at an all-time high," Jones said. "But fighting amongst ourselves and confronting
people about their play is not going to do it. It's just going to make things worse. I've just got to go out
and lead by example, and maybe things will turn around."