Daniel Hudson signed a minor league contract with the Angels in February. He opted out near the end of spring training, catching on with the Blue Jays before the start of the regular season. For the Blue Jays, who would go on to finish 67-95, Hudson put up career-altering numbers: a 3.00 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 23 walks across 48 innings. The resurgent Nationals acquired him from the Jays at the July 31 trade deadline in exchange for minor leaguer Kyle Johnston. In his new uniform, Hudson would allow just four earned runs with a 23/4 K/BB ratio in 25 innings, helping the Nationals claim the first NL Wild Card.
On Wednesday night in Houston, in Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros, Hudson worked a 1-2-3 inning, striking out the final two batters to clinch the first championship in Nationals franchise history. That is quite the year. From minor league contract and opting out to hoisting a championship trophy.
Here is Hudson’s memorable final pitch to Michael Brantley to end Game 7: