- Buster Olney, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
The time-worn expression for hitters when they are seeing the ball well is that it must "look like a grapefruit" to them. Or a beach ball. Something big and irresistible and impossible to miss. When you watch San Francisco Giants starter Tim Hudson pitch, however, you wonder what the heck the hitters are seeing and what they are swinging at, because it looks like every pitch that he throws is at the kneecap and diving.
It must look to the hitters like they’re swinging at a wrinkle on a raisin, or a dimple on a golf ball. I mean, the ball just disappears, and most of the time they either top Hudson’s pitches into the ground or they nub it foul or miss it altogether.
Hitters will talk about comfortable at-bats, about feeling like they can get a good look at the ball and take a solid swing, even if they make an out. That’s what the conversation has been about the Astros’ Dallas Keuchel this season: Although he is getting great results, the hitters feel comfortable.
Batting against Hudson, on the other hand, must be like swinging at a mosquito with a pencil.