FOX Sports South checks in with play-by-play announcer Chip Caray to get the latest on the Braves.
FOX SPORTS SOUTH: Tim Hudson was lost to a gruesome ankle injury on Wednesday against the Mets. What does his loss mean to this team, not only as a pitcher, but also as that veteran presence in the clubhouse?
CHIP CARAY: All those things are very, very important. But obviously you know about his performances: he's never had a losing season in the major leagues and he's a veteran guy that has been through playoff battles before.
From an experience standpoint, that's a huge loss. This is a club that has expectations of not just getting to the playoffs but advancing deep and hopefully winning the World Series and now your rotation has exactly zero games -- outside of Kris Medlen in last year's Wild Card Game -- of playoff pitching experience.
That's really difficult to overcome. It's one thing to say guys have an awful amount of talent but you never know how guys are going to react, especially young guys that have never been through the playoff fires before.
Tim Hudson was a guy that you knew he felt very comfortable, the way that he had been pitching, of being matched up with anybody's No. 1 guy in Game 1 of a playoff series. Now that search for that guy is on for the final two months and hand-in-hand with that goes the leadership, the poise, the ability to take a guy under his wing and say 'Hey, here's what you might want to look for. Here's what I'd try. Here's what I went through.'
There isn't that sounding board as much and those are all really, really big things that go beyond just the guy that was the anchor at the top of your rotation.
FSS: Who do you see picking up the mantle and providing that leadership? Is it Brian McCann, who has been around for such a long time?
CC: He has been and certainly leadership is something that sort of evolves over time. The senior-most guy on that rotation now is Paul Maholm, he has more major league experience (236 starts over nine seasons) and so we'll see.
FSS: As a broadcaster, when something like the Hudson injury happens, how does your responsibility and what you expect of yourself change?
CC: Obviously our responsibility is describe what we saw and fortunately we work in a medium where there are pictures that can say much more than we every could.
The one thing that we tried not to do what speculate on the severity of the injury, but obviously with Joe Simpson's experience and my experience, we've been around games long enough to know and seeing ankles and elbows and fingers bend in ways they're probably not supposed to bend, we knew right away that was really, really bad.
How long he was out, what specifically happened, obviously we weren't privy to, so all we did was sit and watch and try to describe the medical situation and shut up and let the pictures tell the story.
Obviously all of us who know Tim, like Tim and respect Tim and his family just felt sick to our stomachs and I think we conveyed that on the air. You're winning the game but you just want to get it over with so you can wash the horrible taste of that away and have some closure with what's going on.
FSS: Now the Braves have dealt with that injury and they're back home against the Cardinals and what is the real measuring stick for them at this point in the season. How do your see this series playing out?
CC: If you go by records the Cardinals are the best team in baseball, so yeah, this is a true measuring stick. I think this team has always had the ability to rise to the level of its competition and have their best games against some of the best teams in the game.
The Cardinals have great pitching, they have terrific defense, they score a ton of runs and they hit extremely well with runners in scoring position. They are the No. 1 team in baseball for a reason and we'll find out how the Braves matchup with them.