With the Washington Nationals up 6-2 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, the team decided to replace starter-turned-reliever Patrick Corbin with former White Sox pitcher, Daniel Hudson.
The 32-year-old came out to the mound for the ninth inning looking to secure the first World Series title in Washington Nationals history.
In the next at-bat, Hudson would strike out Jose Altuve to put the Nationals within one out of becoming World Series champions.
And on a 3-2 pitch to Michael Brantley, it happened as the left-handed slugger hacked and missed at a slider running in on him.
Within seconds Hudson spun around in a circle and tossed his glove to the third-base side as he ran to meet Yan Gomes to hug and jump around with the whole team.
It was a storybook ending for a team that at one point this season was 12 games under .500 (19-31). They battled all the way back to get to this point and Daniel Hudson played an instrumental role in stabilizing their bullpen.
After being acquired by the Nationals from the Toronto Blue Jays on July 31, Hudson registered a 1.44 ERA and 0.88 WHIP over 24 games (25 innings) while notching six saves in the process.
As detailed in this fantastic article by Jeff Passan of ESPN, Hudson also missed the first game of the NLCS this postseason as another miracle in his life happened, with his wife Sara giving birth to their daughter who they have initially just called “Baby Girl.”
Hudson started his career with the White Sox as he was drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 MLB Draft. However, he’d only spend three years in the organization and appear in nine games with them.
The right-hander actually came up as a starting pitcher and was only converted to a reliever later on in his career, with his White Sox tenure ending in 2010 when he was part of the trade that brought Edwin Jackson to the south side.
Seven organizations and multiple arm injuries later, including two Tommy John surgeries, and Daniel Hudson found himself on the mound at Minute Maid Park against the Houston Astros for the biggest moment in Washington Nationals history.
It’s such an incredible moment for a player who battled adversity to get to the point where he is and as a former-White Sox player, we should all be proud of his accomplishment as well as that of Adam Eaton and even the briefly-tenured, Javy Guerra.