Later that night, they were reminded just how much they’ll miss him.
After coming back from a three-run deficit earlier 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 would have gone to Hudson.
With the score tied in the top of the eighth, the Dodgers summoned hard-throwing right-hander Brusdar Graterol out of the bullpen.
Two batters later, the Braves had retaken the lead, with Graterol giving up a leadoff double to Travis d’Arnaud before throwing a slider in the zone that Marcell Ozuna clobbered for a two-run home run.
“In that spot right there, I liked Brusdar,” manager Dave Roberts said afterward.
Nonetheless, in an instant example of the challenge ahead for the Dodgers’ short-handed bullpen, it was also a spot that, previously, would have suited Hudson more.
Already, the Dodgers had been missing key relievers Blake Treinen and Tommy Kahnle, experienced right-handers not expected back from injuries until likely the latter third of the season.
Other depth pieces such as Danny Duffy and Victor González aren’t expected back until at least August, either.
In their absence, Hudson had ascended into the set-up/fireman role, often facing the most difficult part of an opposing lineup in the latter innings to help bridge the gap to closer Craig Kimbrel in the ninth.
Not only was his 2.22 ERA third-lowest in the Dodgers’ bullpen behind Evan Phillips and Yency Almonte, but Hudson had the second-best WHIP, the most holds and the third-best strikeout percentage.
“I was throwing the…