Before Tuesday night, the Cubs had, in general, hit Tim Hudson pretty well. So there was, at least, a chance that they might do it again and win this series.
Well, scratch that. Hudson was dominant, allowing just five singles and a double (to Mike Olt, whose blast barely missed going over the left-center field wall) and the Giants shut out the Cubs 4-0, evening up the AT&T Park set. As poorly as the Cubs have played on the road the last two years, and particularly against National League West teams, it was the first Giants win over the Cubs in San Francisco since 2012 (you certainly remember the Cubs' sweep there last year). In fact, since 2008 the Cubs are 12-12 in San Francisco, their only non-losing record in any N.L. West city.
Jake Arrieta had a shaky first inning, giving up two runs and really, if you were sleepy after that -- it was nearly 10 p.m. in Chicago -- you could have gone to sleep and not missed much. Arrieta did settle down before giving up another pair of runs in the sixth. He threw 94 pitches, which is not an inordinately large number for six innings, and went six for the second straight time, so there's that, anyway. There doesn't seem to be any sign of the shoulder trouble that forced Arrieta to miss the first month of 2014.
Arrieta also had the first Cubs hit of the game after Hudson retired the first eight Cubs easily, a bouncing single into center field. It was his second hit of the year, but Cubs pitchers are still hitting poorly: 13-for-99 (.131) with 43 strikeouts.
Can you tell I'm reaching here to try to say positive things about this game? There weren't many. Only two Cubs reached second base: Justin Ruggiano, who singled, went to second on a Starlin Castro single in the fourth, and then Olt, on his double in the fifth.
Jose Veras threw a scoreless inning. Jury's still out on whether he can be an effective pitcher for more than one consecutive outing.
Give the other guy credit where it's due. Hudson was really, really good Tuesday night, and two Giants relievers (Jeremy Affeldt and Jean Machi) had 1-2-3 innings.
And because of all that, the game, which ran two hours and 39 minutes, ended at 11:54 p.m. CT. These days, any West Coast game that ends before midnight CT is rare, so I'll give some thanks for that, and hope the Cubs can do something against Tim Lincecum Wednesday afternoon in the series finale. Edwin Jackson goes for the Cubs. A reminder that game time is 2:45 CT; the game preview will post at 1 p.m. CT.