Alex Wood gets a chance to show he can be a part of Atlanta's rotation, which took a big hit on Wednesday night.
Wood, a rookie left-hander, steps in for the injured Paul Maholm to lead the Braves against the New York Mets in the finale of a four-game set at Citi Field.
Tim Hudson broke his right ankle in the eighth inning of Atlanta's 8-2 win last night. He'll undergo surgery once the swelling subsides, but it's expected he'll be out the remainder of the season.
That puts a burden on what will now be a much younger rotation for the NL East leaders. The 22-year-old Wood makes only his second big league start in his 17th appearance. That start came June 18 against the Mets when he allowed two hits and a run in three innings of the opener of a twin bill.
Zack Wheeler counters for the Mets. The right-hander is 2-0 over his last three appearances. Wheeler is coming off a no-decision against the Phillies on Saturday when he allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings. Wheeler got the win against the Braves on June 18 in the second contest of a doubleheader.
Wheeler is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two career starts at Citi Field.
The Braves got homers from Dan Uggla, Andrelton Simmons and Evan Gattis last night, but the focus was on the gruesome injury to Hudson.
He was carted off the field after being injured when Eric Young's spike hit flush on Hudson's right ankle at first base. Young hit a sharp grounder that went off the chest of first baseman Freddie Freeman. Hudson raced to the bag to accept the throw, and with his foot on the base, Young stepped on Hudson's ankle, and the foot twisted awkwardly.
"It's a freak play. Two guys going for the bag and (Young) just stepped on him. By the reaction of the crowd it wasn't good," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
The veteran pitcher tumbled to the ground in pain and medical personnel were careful not to move his legs, which were bounded together. Hudson was then put on a stretcher and lifted onto a cart.
Before he was wheeled off the field, Young came over and spoke to Hudson.
"I apologized to him and told him it was an accident. I obviously wasn't trying to hurt him on the play," Young said. "He just told me to keep my head up and keep playing the game the complete, hard way, the right way. He said there was nothing I could do about it. That made me feel somewhat better, but bummed that he's going to be out a little while."
The Braves lead the season series, 7-6, and have won 10 of the last 13 at Citi Field.