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Nationals’ Daniel Hudson reinstated from paternity list

Daniel Hudson

Washington Nationals closer Daniel Hudson has been reinstated from the postseason paternity list after missing Game 1 of the NLCS to be with his family during the birth of his child:

Hudson had been the most reliable reliever in the Nationals bullpen during the NLDS, and he took the closing role from left-hander Sean Doolittle in September. He pitched a scoreless ninth inning during Game 5 against the Dodgers before the Nationals scored four runs in the top of the tenth to advance to the NLCS.

The decision to miss Game 1 just hours before first pitch made Hudson a lightning rod for controversy. Former Miami Marlins president David Sampson was especially vocal on the matter:

However, the Nationals–especially manager Dave Martinez and general manager Mike Rizzo–fully supported Hudson’s decision to place family first (per Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY):

“It’s all about family, man,” Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told USA TODAY Sports after the Game 1 win. “We said, ‘You have to take care of your family,” that’s a No. 1 priority and you do what you have to do. No second thoughts about that, by any means.”

As it turned out, the Nationals did not need Hudson. Veteran starter Anibal Sanchez took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before giving way to Doolittle, who slammed the door by recording the final four outs as Washington took Game 1.

Hudson’s return will only serve to buoy a Nationals pen that has been the subject of criticism throughout the season.

With their closer back in tow and Max Scherzer on the bump, Washington has an excellent opportunity to go back to D.C. up 2-0 on the Cardinals.