Washington Nationals pitcher Daniel Hudson on Saturday defended his decision to leave the team for the first game of the National League Championship Series to be on hand when his wife gave birth.
Hudson said he deleted his social media accounts a while back. Nevertheless, he learned of the online chatter - and criticism - over his Game 1 absence.
The team placed him on paternity leave so that he could be there when little Millie, the couple's third child, was born in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Friday morning. And on Saturday, Hudson said he had no regrets.
"I went from not having a job on March 21 to this huge national conversation on family values going into the playoffs," Hudson told reporters after the Nationals defeated the St. Louis Cardinals to take a 2-0 lead in the NLCS.
"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. Everybody's got their opinions, man, and I really value my family and my family time."
Hudson missed Washington's win Friday at St. Louis and pitched 2/3 of an inning Saturday afternoon to earn the save in the best-of-7 NLCS.
The 32-year-old closer said the Nationals were supportive and placed him on the paternity list. Under league rules, he could be away from the team for one-to-three days and still retain his playoff eligibility.
He made a whirlwind trip from Arizona to St. Louis to limit him to just one missed game.
"I knew I was going to go no matter what," Hudson said. "I didn't know that this was a new thing, to have a playoff paternity leave list. I had no idea. I was like, 'I can't be the only person to have a baby in the middle of the postseason.' And for it to blow up like it did, man, it's kind of crazy. But I didn't really give much thought about not going. My family is top priority for me."
Hudson posted a 3-0 record with six saves, a 1.44 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in 24 appearances with Washington. He also made 45 appearances with Toronto earlier in the season, sporting a 6-3 mark with two saves, a 3.00 ERA and 1.27 WHIP.
--Field Level Media