Arizona Diamondbacks fans have witnessed the almost inexplicable performance of starter Shelby Miller in 2016.
Now, they’re seeing a similar situation unfold with a member of the bullpen.
Right-hander Daniel Hudson got knocked around in a one-inning stint during Tuesday’s 10-4 loss to the Washington Nationals at Chase Field.
Hudson relieved Randall Delgado to start the eighth inning with Arizona trailing 7-3. Twenty-seven pitches later, the 29-year-old had given up five hits and three earned runs. All of Washington’s runs came with two outs in the inning.
One of the D-backs’ most reliable relievers through the season’s first three months, Hudson saw his ERA balloon to 7.22 after Tuesday night’s action. In his last 15 outings (9.2 innings), Hudson has allowed 33 hits, 31 runs (26 earned) and has posted an ERA of 24.21.
Hudson didn’t speak to reporters after the game, but manager Chip Hale failed to come up with a reason for the pitcher’s recent performance.
“I don’t know,” Hale said. “It’s definitely confidence. There’s no doubt about that. That’s just showing — he’s having a hard time with the confidence factor.
“I don’t think there’s an injury. He’s at 97 or 98 (mph). Location again. We’ve just got to keep battling and keep working with him and see if we can figure this thing out. He’s too good for that.”
He showed how good he was earlier this year. In his first 30 appearances of the season, Hudson allowed only five earned runs in 29 innings of work (1.55 ERA) while adding 24 strikeouts and walking only nine. Opposing hitters batted only .130 against him in that span. Since June 23, batters are feasting on Hudson, posting an unbelievable .541 average.
- MLB.com: Five potential free-agent fits for J.D. Martinez
- The 5: Defining moments in the D-backs’ 2017 season
- Reports: D-backs’ Gardenhire finalist for two managerial openings
- ‘We gave everything’: Dodgers end Diamondbacks’ surprise season
- Watch: D-backs’ Miller throws for first time since Tommy John surgery