The Mets lost a game Tuesday night. The Braves lost a lot more.
Righthander Tim Hudson, who was pitching a shutout, suffered a gruesome-looking right ankle fracture when he was stepped on by Eric Young Jr. of the Mets on a play at first base in the eighth inning.
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Hudson, the winning pitcher in the Braves' 8-2 victory, went down and stayed down.
The Citi Field crowd gasped at replays of the injury. After a delay, Hudson was carted off to applause as the shaken Braves and Mets prepared to continue the game without him.
The Braves announced the extent of the injury after X-rays were taken at the ballpark. The team said the 38-year-old Hudson would have surgery in Atlanta after the swelling went down.
"I apologized to him," said an obviously shaken Young, who sprinted over to Hudson after the play, spoke to him while the pitcher waited to be taken off the field and then again later before Hudson was X-rayed near the Mets clubhouse.
"I told him it was an accident. I obviously wasn't trying to hurt him on the play. He just told me to keep my head up and keep playing the game the hard way, the right way. That made me feel somewhat better, but still bummed that he's going to be out for a little while."
The Braves won because of Hudson's 7 2/3 innings of four-hit, nine-strikeout ball and three home runs hit against Mets starter Jeremy Hefner (4-8).
But the immediate concern was for Hudson (8-7), who was visibly upset as he was strapped in and carted all the way from first base to behind home plate and up the third-base line before disappearing through an exit in the left-centerfield fence.
"It sucks to have that kind of freak accident happen to one of the good guys in the game," said David Wright, who suffered a bizarre injury of his own when he was hit in the back of the head and neck by his own broken bat on a backswing while grounding into a double play in the fourth inning.
Wright, who was stunned and only took a few steps toward first base, remained in the game. Asked how he felt, he said: "I feel like I got hit in the back of the head with a bat."
Wright, who has had concussion problems in the past, said he was checked out by Mets trainers. He said he was sore, but expected to play in Thursday's 12:10 p.m. series finale.
It will be a while before Hudson takes the mound again. The 205-game winner appeared to be in agony as he held his head while waiting for the stretcher and cart to take him off the field. The Braves gave no timetable for his return.
"I just hope he has a speedy recovery," Young said. "Getting back out there doing what he does. He pitched a great game tonight. Hopefully he can get back out doing what he loves."
The play was one that pitchers practice all spring training. Young hit a scorcher to first baseman Freddie Freeman, who blocked it with his chest as the ball rolled away. Freeman tossed to Hudson, who felt for the bag with his foot but apparently didn't have the balance to step down and then pull it right back up. Young landed right on the back of Hudson's ankle.
"Going for the base, I saw his foot right there in the middle," Young said. "As I came down, I knew I didn't get any of the base. I knew I got all of his foot. I pretty much knew that it was broken right when I did it. That's why I sprinted right back to him and tried to console him as much as I could."