on Saturday afternoon, the evaders learned they would be man without set up Daniel Hudson for the rest of the season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Later that evening, they were reminded how much they will miss him.
After coming back from a three point deficit earlier in their game against the Atlanta Braves, the Dodgers’ 5-3 loss was cemented during a high-leverage streak that, had he still been healthy, would likely have gone to Hudson.
With the score tied in the top of the eighth, the Dodgers called up a hard-throwing righthander Brusdar Graterol out of the bullpen.
Two batters later, the Braves had re-took the lead, with Graterol giving up a leadoff double to Travis d’Arnaud before throwing a slider into the zone that Marcell Ozuna thrashed for a two-run home run.
“In that spot there, I loved Brusdar,” manager Dave Roberts said afterwards.
Nevertheless, in an instant example of the challenge ahead of the Dodgers’ short-handed bullpen, it was also a place that would have suited Hudson before.
The Dodgers had already missed important relievers Blake Trains and Tommy Kahnle, veteran right-handers who aren’t expected to get injured until the final third of the season.
Other lows such as Danny Duffy and Victor González are also not expected until August.
In their absence, Hudson had moved up into the set-up/firefighter role, often facing the toughest part of an opposing lineup in the final innings to help bridge the gap closer. Craig Kimbrel in the ninth.
Not only was his 2.22 ERA the third-lowest in the Dodgers’ bullpen behind Evan Phillips and Yency Almonte, but Hudson had the second-best WHIP, most holds, and third-best strikeout percentage.
“I threw the ball pretty well and helped us win games,” said Hudson, who sustained the injury Friday, had scans on Saturday confirming the tear, and will return to Los Angeles for surgery that will come with a six-to-month recovery process. nine months. “That’s definitely the most disappointing part.”
Roberts added: “If you lose a guy like Huddy, it has an exponential effect on everyone.”
The first three relievers to call the Dodgers on Saturday acted. After appetizer Mitch White — who replaced the injured Andrew Heaney — gave up two runs in the third and left with two on board and no outs in the fifth, lefthander Alex Vesia limited the damage to just one run.
In the sixth, veteran David Price flashed season high, reaching nearly 96 mph in a scoreless outing. In the seventh, Phillips retired the side.
The Dodgers’ attack, meanwhile, struggled early on Max Friedwho named Roberts the best left-handed pitcher in baseball after the game.
“It’s electrical stuff,” Roberts said. “He always seems to be trying his best against us.”
However, in the seventh inning, the Dodgers (44-26) finally came to life. With two on and two out, Cody Bellinger narrowly missed a homerun that hit the post in rightfield, but still managed to score an RBI-single.
After Fried left, Austin Barnes also singled and a run at home before Trea Turner walked to load the bases.
That brought Freddie Freeman to the plate. Until then, the second night of Freeman’s homecoming to Atlanta had been subdued. But with a chance to give his new team an edge, the former Braves star was booed by his longtime fans.
“I’m on a visiting team,” Freeman said, not surprised by the crowd’s reaction. “You expect it.”
The booing turned to cheers four throws later, as Freeman went down swinging.
The Dodgers did eventually get a tie in the top of the eighth, then Will Smith hit his 11th home run of the year to make it 3-3.
But in the bottom half of the inning—a situation that Roberts said likely would have belonged to Hudson—Graterol let the Braves (42-31) move back forward, leaving a slide too high for Ozuna who was in the middle of the inning. the Braves was placed. bullpen field.
“They gave me the confidence to throw in those innings and I tried to take advantage of it,” Graterol said. “Things happen, and there are good days and bad days.”
The Dodgers – who, in a more cruel twist of fate, had sealed defeat when their former closer, Kenley Jansenhit the side for his 20th save this season – can only hope for more good.
“We’re going to find out who that man is to bridge the gap,” Roberts said. “Losses [Hudson]it is a great loss.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times†