White Sox left-hander Chris Sale has never faced the Giants but that doesn't mean he hasn't haunted a Bruce Bochy-managed team before.
While managing last year's National League All-Star team, Bochy was told by one of his All-Stars -- whom he chose to keep anonymous -- that he'd only play under one condition.
"I had one hitter go, 'I just hope I don't have to face Chris Sale,'" said Bochy. "And he did."
Bochy isn't typically the type to speak about the next day's starters, yet his admiration for Sale didn't stop at that All-Star tidbit.
"Everybody knows what great stuff Chris Sale has," said Bochy. "Of course, his numbers speak for themselves. The guy just throws hard from that angle, doesn't walk guys."
On Wednesday, Bochy will be countering one Cy Young candidate with one of his own, except his just so happens to be 13 years older.
Right-hander Tim Hudson will be tasked with maintaining his MLB-leading 1.81 ERA on Wednesday as he looks to put an end to the Giants' four-game skid. Sale is well aware of Hudson's lengthy resume even though he was just 10 years old when his counterpart made his Major League debut June 8, 1999.
"I try not to put too much emphasis on who I'm facing, but obviously his body of work over his career, especially over this past year and coming back from a big injury like that [makes him] really just being one of the most dominant pitchers in the game," said Sale.
Hudson has gotten better with time since returning from his gruesome ankle injury, posting a 2.17 ERA in the first month before settling in with ERAs of 1.46 and 1.42 in May and June. Hudson has produced seven scoreless frames in two of his three June starts but as Sale proved in his last start, he's not easily intimidated by dominance.
Sale matched reigning American League Cy Young recipient Max Scherzer blow for blow in last Thursday's start, striking out 10 while not permitting a walk in seven innings. Sale's only run came on a fifth-inning solo homer from Victor Martinez, but Scherzer ended up earning the win with his first career complete game.
Sale, who owns a 1.97 ERA and 68 strikeouts across 59 1/3 innings this season, believes the same blueprint will be needed Wednesday.
"You've got to be on your game, you can't take a pitch off," said Sale. "Much like my last game against Scherzer, it's who flinches first. If you get some run support, you've got to hold them, too, because it's few and far between."
Giants: Colvin comes in handy
Outfielder Tyler Colvin is enduring a mini-slump, batting .200 (10-for-50) after beginning his Giants career with a .385 binge (10-for-26).
But Colvin, who has started 19 of 36 games since his contract was purchased from Triple-A Fresno, will continue sharing left field with Gregor Blanco.
Bochy values Colvin, who received some extra attention from local media Tuesday. Colvin, 28, was the Cubs' first-round selection (13th overall) in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.
"He's gotten a lot of big hits for us," Bochy said, "and he gives us depth in the outfield."
White Sox: Gillaspie squares off against old team
Conor Gillaspie played in only a handful of games for the Giants before he was traded to the White Sox, but as Sox manager Robin Ventura knows, there's always extra motivation going against the team that traded you.
"Hopefully he gets a few hits to remind them he used to play there," Ventura said. "Most guys, especially if you were drafted by the team and brought up and you come over here, it's pretty natural to have that. But again, that's good motivation."
Gillaspie, who had two hits in Tuesday's series opener, was San Francisco's first-round pick in 2008 but played in just 29 games for the Giants over three seasons (2008, 2011, 2012). With Gillaspie out of Minor League options, the Giants decided to trade him to the White Sox prior to the 2013 season for Minor League reliever Jeff Soptic.
After a mediocre showing last season, Gillaspie has been a pleasant surprise for Chicago in 2014. He's hit .333 in 47 games, which would rank second in the AL with the required plate appearances.
"He's grown a lot, even last year where he was when he first came over," Ventura said. "He's just more confident. He understands what he needs to do. I think the biggest adjustment has been the hitting. He felt, he looked and felt that way even in Spring Training from the first day he came to camp."
Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.