NEW YORK — In a split second, one of the best nights of Tim Hudson's 14-year career turned into the worst.
Now Hudson -- as well as the rest of his teammates and the innumerable big-leaguers who have come to respect Hudson as one of the finest competitors and individuals in the game -- must hope that only his season came to an end on Wednesday night.
Hudson suffered a fractured right ankle covering first base in the eighth inning of the Braves' 8-2 win over the New York Mets.
The Braves announced that Hudson will undergo surgery once the swelling goes down. Hudson, who turned 38 on July 14, is scheduled to become a free agent after the World Series.
Hudson won his fourth straight start -- and recorded the 205th win of his career, second-most among active pitchers -- by allowing two runs on four hits and three walks while striking out a season-high nine.
"That was one of the best games I've ever seen him pitch," Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said. "And to have that happen is just terrible."
Hudson was five outs away from his 26th career complete game when he threw the fateful 107th pitch of the night.
With runners at first and second, the Mets' Eric Young hit a sharp grounder to first base, where Freeman bobbled it before regaining control and firing to Hudson.
Hudson beat Young to the bag by a step but his foot hit the middle of the base instead of the side. As Young stretched, his foot landed on Hudson's ankle.
Hudson hopped once before falling face-first on the grass. Young, sensing immediately that Hudson was hurt, whirled and ran to his side as manager Fredi Gonzalez and trainer Jeff Porter bolted from the dugout.
"As I came down, I knew I didn't get any of the base; I got all of his foot," Young said. "I pretty much knew it was broke right when I did it. That's why I ran back to him and tried to console him as much as I could and to apologize."
Young remained there for the next several minutes as Hudson lay motionless with his hands on his head and a look of resignation on his face.
"I just hope he has a speedy recovery, getting back and doing what he does," Young said. "He pitched a great game. I hope he can get back out there and do what he loves."
In the game, Mets starter Jeremy Hefner (4-8) was rocked for his second straight start, lasting 4 1/3 innings and giving up six runs - five earned - and all three homers as New York lost for the fifth time in its last nine games.
NOTES: Mets LHP Jon Niese, on the disabled list since June 21 with a partially torn rotator cuff, could make a rehab start for the Gulf Coast League Mets as early as this weekend. ... Uggla reached 20 homers for the seventh time in his eight seasons. He swatted 19 last year.