Then other Giants players approached the right-hander for more handshakes. Hudson then realized that they were congratulating him for recording his 2,000th career strikeout, which occurred when he slipped a called third strike past opposing starter Franklin Morales to open the sixth.
"It just says I've been playing for a long time," said Hudson, who struck out two more batters to finish with eight in eight innings before Buster Posey's two-run, walk-off homer gave the Giants a 4-2 triumph. Added Hudson, who broke into the Majors in 1999 with Oakland, "It's a milestone I'm proud of. I'm not really considered a strikeout guy, but I'm just glad I can go out there and still give the team a good chance to win."
Hudson certainly did that against Colorado. He allowed just four hits, including Corey Dickerson's fifth-inning leadoff homer, and appeared destined to break a personal four-game home losing streak before Justin Morneau stroked a ninth-inning RBI double off Giants closer Santiago Casilla.
"He just really had a good feel tonight for when to attack and when to nibble beyond the corners," said Posey, Hudson's catcher.
Bochy admitted that lifting Hudson before the ninth was a "tough call," since he had thrown only 87 pitches. But Hudson understood the decision.
"It's a one-run game in the ninth inning. We've got a closer ready to come in the game. It's the right call," said Hudson, who ranks 71st on the all-time strikeout list. "Unfortunately for me, it didn't work out as far as getting the decision. But we won the game in that inning, so that's all that matters."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.