The Washington Nationals didn't have reliever Daniel Hudson for Game 1 of their National League Championship Series matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday as he attended the birth of his third child, and his absence during the playoffs rubbed some folks the wrong way.
Following the team's Game 2 victory, which Hudson closed out, fellow Washington reliever Sean Doolittle defended his teammate's decision to go on the paternity list.
"If your reaction to someone having a baby is anything other than, 'Congratulations, I hope everybody's healthy,' you're an asshole," Doolittle said Saturday, according to Ryan Fagan of The Sporting News.
Many people were critical of Hudson's decision to leave the team, including former Miami Marlins president David P. Samson:
Hudson, 32, was originally kept off of the NLCS roster for paternity leave. His youngest daughter, Millie, was born Friday evening, and Hudson rejoined the team early Saturday morning.
"I knew I was going no matter what," Hudson said, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports. He noted that the Nationals encouraged him to be with his wife, Sara, for the birth.
"My family is a top priority for me," Hudson continued. "I heard somebody say one time, 'Baseball's what I do; it's not who I am.' And kind of once you have kids, or once I had kids, it really resonated with me. So to be able to be a part of that was awesome."
Hudson has been an instrumental member of the Nationals' bullpen since coming over from the Toronto Blue Jays prior to the trade deadline. In 25 innings down the stretch, the right-hander authored a 1.44 ERA. He's recorded three saves without allowing a single run in five postseason outings so far.
The Nationals are up 2-0 on the Cardinals in the NLCS.