The Nationals achieved a 2-0 series lead over the Cardinals in the NLCS on Saturday, with the last out of their 3-1 victory being recorded by pitcher Daniel Hudson. It also marked the culmination of a whirlwind for the righty Hudson, who caught a fair amount of flack for missing the team’s Game 1 matchup–despite the fact that his absence was a result of the birth of his third daughter. The modest firestorm surrounding Hudson’s prioritization of family values was, perhaps as much as anything, a reflection of how quickly social media can convert molehills into mountains in this day and age.
Hudson, at least, isn’t losing perspective on the situation, as he demonstrated to Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic (link). “I went from not having a job on March 21st to this huge national conversation on family values going into the playoffs,” Hudson explained to Ghiroli. “Life comes at you fast. Man, I don’t know how that happened and how I became the face for whatever conversation was going on.” Although it’s tempting for many to view ballplayers as mercenaries singularly focused on winning games, Hudson’s comments provide a reminder that the men of Major League Baseball are, first and foremost, men–with all of the same personal issues and considerations that the rest of us workaday humans also experience. We at MLBTR, for one, extend sincere congratulations to Hudson’s family on the birth of their new baby girl Millie. After settling for a $1.5MM guarantee from the Blue Jays last year, Hudson will hit the open market this offseason after pitching to a 2.47 ERA across 73 innings in 2019; it stands to reason that he should be able to secure a new guarantee that will leave plenty left over for diaper money.
More from the buzzing environment surrounding D.C.’s team…
- In another Ghiroli piece, the unique career of Anibal Sanchez is appreciated in the afterglow of his dominant Game 1 NLCS showing (link). As Ghiroli points out, Sanchez has operated in familiar territory in 2019–as the often-overlooked “fourth starter” operating behind a trio of fearsome frontline aces. During his time in Detroit, Sanchez was something of an afterthought in the shadow of three guys named Verlander, Price, and Scherzer, and he’s taken a similar position in D.C. as the elder statesman of a staff featuring Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, and Max Scherzer (again). If Sanchez was feeling bashful about not receiving shine in the leadup to this postseason, he didn’t show it on Friday: in a rousing performance that saw him deploy pitches anywhere from 66 to 93 mph, Sanchez became the first pitcher in LCS history to throw at least 7 2/3 innings and not allow more than one walk and a hit. Interestingly, Ghiroli notes that the pitcher nearly retired in the winter of 2018, even going so far as to tell his agent that he would hang up his spikes if he didn’t receive a contract offer by his birthday on Feb 27–the Twins eventually came calling with just a few days to spare, and the Nationals of 2019 are thankful that the rest might end up being postseason history.