Jun 24, 2022; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Daniel Hudson (41) reacts after being injured against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers got a 4-1 road victory over the defending champion Atlanta Braves on Friday night (in Freddie Freeman’s emotional return), but they lost a very important player to a season-ending injury in the process.

Dodgers reliever Daniel Hudson suffered a torn ACL while trying to field a slow groundball off the bat of Ronald Acuña Jr. in the top of the eighth inning. Hudson collapsed to the ground in pain after trying to go after the ball.

So, that’s awful news for Hudson, and it’s a huge loss for the Dodgers’ bullpen.

Hudson, 35, was having a terrific season for the Dodgers. The right-hander had a 2.22 ERA, a bullpen-best 2.06 FIP, and excellent strikeout (11.10 K/9) and walk rates (1.85 BB/9). He led all Dodgers relievers in wins above replacement (WAR) per FanGraphs at 0.8. He was the main setup man ahead of closer Craig Kimbrel — who’s had some shaky outings and a 4.30 ERA — and even had five saves on the season.

Before factoring in Hudson’s injury, FanGraphs and FiveThirtyEight still project Los Angeles to win the most games in the National League.

But this team appears more vulnerable than the juggernaut Dodgers of the past three seasons, and it’s fair to assume that President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman will look to upgrade the roster at the trade deadline to boost their title chances.

With the loss of Hudson, it would certainly make sense for the all-in Dodgers to target another high-leverage reliever ahead of the trade deadline, such as Chicago Cubs closer David Robertson or Pittsburgh Pirates closer David Bednar.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.