This Date in A's History, April 12

The Stinger! - Getty Images

It’s never not a good day to reminisce about the days of Tim Hudson in an A’s uniform.

After coming so painfully close to dethroning the champion Yankees in the previous season’s ALDS, the A’s were expected to fall back to earth in 2002, especially with their scraggly slugger Jason Giambi joining the dark side. My sister Tricia was not pleased:

“Rickey, Armas, McGwire, Stew, Eck; for those guys I was definitely heart broken. As for Giambi, I was just pissed. Hence the curse that I put on him and the Yankees. He will not get a ring before we do.”

(And he hasn’t!)

Thanks to award-winning performances by Miguel Tejada (MVP) and Barry Zito (Cy Young), and a 20-game win streak that turned the baseball world on its ear, the A's actually won more games in 2002 without Giambi than they had in 2001 with him.

Anyways, there was a book and movie, as you may have heard.

Noticeably missing from the “Moneyball” film was any mention of the Big Three – Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Zito. Consistent dominance is hardly the stuff of which Hollywood tales are born.

Well I am here to right the wrong, to rid the world of its injustices, and give Tim Hudson his day in the sun.

Yeah sure, he allowed ten Angels to reach base in seven innings of work. But only one of those came around to score. So there.

Still, the A’s trailed 1-0 entering the seventh. But they needed only three batters to take the lead for good. Eric Chavez walked, Tejada singled, and both scored on Terrence Long’s base hit and an error by Garret Anderson. Long ended up at third, and he scored easily on a single by Ramon Hernandez.

Tejada added a two-run homer in the eighth for the 5-1 win. Them boys were good.

Hudson did his part, dodging bullets left and right and keeping the Angels from getting too far in front while the A’s bats warmed up. Only twice did he retire the side in order.

The A’s moved to 7-4 on the young season, a season that would prove to be more wildly successful than anyone imagined. Seems we have read that script before.

As for Tim Hudson, he was his usual stellar self in 2002 (6.9 WAR). Two seasons later, he was shipped to Atlanta, setting off a stunning three-day period that saw Mulder pack his bags for St. Louis.

The Big Three was no more.

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