With Daniel Hudson out for year, bullpen costs Dodgers in loss

On Saturday afternoon, the Dodgers learned they would be without setup man Daniel Hudson for the remainder of the season due to a torn ACL.

Later that night they were reminded how much they will miss him.

After the Dodgers came back from a three-run deficit early in their game against the Atlanta Braves, the Dodgers’ 5-3 loss was cemented during a high-leverage sequence that, had he still been healthy, likely went to Hudson would.

With a tie at the top of eighth, the Dodgers called hard-throwing right-hander Brusdar Graterol out of the bullpen.

Two batters later, the Braves had reclaimed the lead, with Graterol giving a leadoff double to Travis d’Arnaud before throwing a slider into the zone that thrashed Marcell Ozuna for a two-run home run.

“I liked Brusdar at this point,” manager Dave Roberts said afterwards.

Nonetheless, in an immediate example of the challenge ahead for the Dodgers’ understaffed bullpen, it was also a place that would have suited Hudson better earlier.

The Dodgers were already missing key helpers Blake Treinen and Tommy Kahnle, experienced right-handers who are not expected to return from injury until the final third of the season.

Other depth pieces like Danny Duffy and Victor González are also not expected until August.

In her absence, Hudson had risen to the pitcher/fireman role, often facing the most difficult part of an opposing lineup in the final innings to close the gap on 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 also 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 picked up the injury on Friday, had scans on Saturday that confirmed the tear and will return to Los Angeles to likely get one undergoing surgery, which will involve a six to nine month recovery process. “That’s definitely the most disappointing part.”

Roberts added, “When you lose a guy like Huddy, it has an exponential effect on everyone.”

The first three responders requested by the Dodgers on Saturday stepped forward. After starter Mitch White – filling in for the injured Andrew Heaney – gave up two heats in the third and retired in the fifth with two on board and no outs, left-hander Alex Vesia limited the damage to just one more heat.

Dodgers starting pitcher Mitch White throws at an Atlanta Braves batsman on June 25, 2022.

Dodgers starter Mitch White gave up three runs and five hits over more than four innings.

(Bob Andres / Associated Press)

In the sixth, veteran David Price flashed high speed in the season, hitting nearly 96mph during a scoreless performance. In the seventh, Phillips pulled the side in order.

The Dodgers offense, meanwhile, struggled early on with Max Fried, whom Roberts called the best left-hander in baseball after the game.

“It’s electrical stuff,” Roberts said. “He always seems to do his best against us.”

Braves left-hander Max Fried plays the Dodgers on June 25, 2022 in Atlanta.

Braves left-hander Max Fried, a former Harvard-Westlake standout, gave up two runs in 6 2/3 innings. He crossed out nine.

(Bob Andres / Associated Press)

In the seventh inning, however, the Dodgers (44-26) finally came alive. With two ons and two outs, Cody Bellinger narrowly missed a home run that drifted against the pole in right field but still managed an RBI single.

After Fried folded, Austin Barnes also hit a run home before Trea Turner drew a walk to load bases.

That brought Freddie Freeman to the table. Up to this point, the second night of Freeman’s homecoming in Atlanta had been subdued. But with a chance to give his new team a head start, the former Braves star was booed by his old fans.

“I’m on a visiting team,” Freeman said, unsurprised by the crowd’s reaction. “You expect it.”

The boos turned to cheers four pitches later as Freeman went down swinging.

The Dodgers eventually evened the score in the top of the eighth when Will Smith hit his 11th home run of the year for a 3-3.

Will Smith of the Dodgers is congratulated in the dugout after equalizing the score with a homer in the eighth inning on June 25, 2022.

The Dodgers’ Will Smith is congratulated in the dugout after leveling the score with a solo home run in the eighth inning.

(Bob Andres / Associated Press)

But in the bottom half of the inning — a situation Roberts said Hudson probably would have heard about — Graterol let the Braves (42-31) go forward again and gave Ozuna a too-high slide that caught the Braves in the middle was filed. field bullpen.

“They gave me their confidence to play in those innings and I tried to take advantage of that,” Graterol said. “Things happen, and there are good days and bad days.”

The Dodgers – who in another gruesome twist of fate found themselves defeated when their former goalman knocked Kenley Jansen aside with his 20th save of the season – can only hope for more good things.

“We’re going to find out who this guy is to bridge the gap to closer,” Roberts said. “To lose [Hudson]it is a great loss.”

https://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/story/2022-06-25/daniel-hudson-out-dodgers-bullpen-falters-loss-to-braves With Daniel Hudson out for year, bullpen costs Dodgers in loss

Emma Bowman

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