When Dakota Hudson walked off the mound last night, after holding Washington to 2 runs over seven innings, he continued an extraordinary run of starting pitching, both for himself, personally, and for the team here in the final month of the 2019 regular season.
Dakota has now put together quality starts in 6 of his last 7 outings, going 6-1 with a 1.59 ERA. The last 173 batters to face him hold a batting line of .139/.244/.245.
Halfway through September, now, and the Cardinals have four starters with ERAs under 2.00 for the month – and Hudson’s is the worst of those (1.89). With three starts each this month, Dakota trails Adam Wainwright (0.45), Jack Flaherty (1.23) and Michael Wacha (1.64). The entire rotation sits at a 1.96 ERA 16 games into September.
It will be interesting to see how long they can keep this up.
Meanwhile, Hudson is enjoying consistent success the more he stays grounded. In the figurative sense, of course, this refers to his pitch-to-pitch focus – something manager Mike Shildt calls “staying in the moment.” But there is an equally important literal sense to Dakota’s staying grounded.
In his 7 innings last night, Hudson induced 13 ground balls. That is a huge key for him. Thirty starts into his major league career, and Dakota has induced at least 10 ground balls in 15 of them. He has 12 quality starts in those games, going 9-2 with a 2.48 ERA in 90.2 innings.
None of the 13 grounders hit against him last night were hits, and only 4 of the last 64 groundballs he has allowed have found holes.
Dakota is pitching extremely well right now.
St Louis had only 5 hits last night, but two of them belonged to Tommy Edman – who extended his hitting streak to 6 games. He has also hit safely in 10 of his last 11. He is hitting .364 (8 for 22) over the six games, and .326 (14 for 43) over his last 11.
Paul DeJong was hitless in three at bats again last night. Paul has been held hitless in 5 of his last 8 games, hitting .133 (4 for 30) in that span. He is hitting .193 (11 for 57) in September, with only 3 walks (contributing to a .242 on base percentage).
St Louis has now scored first in six straight games and 12 of the last 14.