The San Francisco Giants defeated the Oakland Athletics 14-10 today in a game which saw two pitchers beloved by both fan bases face off.
Tim Hudson and Barry Zito, once teammates in Oakland, took the mound to thunderous applause from both green- and orange-clad fans at the O.co Coliseum. However, the game was far from a pitcher’s duel.
Zito was tagged for four runs through the first two innings, allowing six hits and one walk. However, it was Hudson who would be pulled first. After a scoreless first inning, Hudson gave up three runs while walking three batters and hitting two more in the second.
After falling behind 2-0 to Josh Reddick, Hudson was replaced by Ryan Vogelsong, who was able to procure a double play to end the inning. As he left the mound, Hudson was met with tremendous applause from the fans in attendance, who he acknowledged with a wave and a curtain call later on.
Zito led off the third inning by issuing a walk to Buster Posey. It was enough to bring in Pat Venditte, who replaced Zito after two innings pitched. The 2002 Cy Young Award winner received a similar reception to his counterpart, as Zito exited in front of thousand of screaming fans.
The A’s would take the lead thanks to a five-run third inning. However, the Giants would later fight back with their own five-run inning in the eighth. Jarrett Parker’s grand slam in the top of the inning would prove to be the difference.
Hudson and Zito became household names for Bay Area baseball fans as two-thirds of Oakland’s sensational “Big Three” (along with Mark Mulder). Their stellar pitching helped turn the A’s into a consistent playoff contender in the early 2000s.
Both would later finally achieve World Series success across the bay with the Giants. In 2012, Zito’s dominant Game 1 performance helped San Francisco sweep the Detroit Tigers and claim its second title in three seasons. Two years later, it was Hudson making the start in Game 7 as the Giants edged the Kansas City Royals for their third championship in five years.
Today was also likely the last time either pitcher will take the mound in the major leagues. Hudson, 40, has announced this season will be his last. Zito, 37, had not pitched in the majors since 2013, having been called back up for today’s sentimental showdown.