Dakota Hudson leaves Cardinals-Pirates with concerning elbow injury

Cardinals pitcher Dakota Hudson left the game against the Pirates in the second inning.

In a battle for a Wild Card, the last thing the St. Louis Cardinals wanted to see on Thursday night was pitcher Dakota Hudson leaving the game injured.

Unfortunately, that’s just what happened.

After just two innings of work, the right-hander had to leave his start early with an elbow problem, per Derrick S. Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Nothing specific seemed to set Hudson off. He simply walked off at the conclusion of the second inning and had to go straight to the clubhouse with a trainer.

Losing Dakota Hudson could greatly hurt the Cardinals’ playoff hopes.

Hudson allowed just one hit and no runs in the two innings he pitched. His replacement, Austin Gomber, made it through the third unscathed but conceded four runs in the fourth inning before being replaced.

The Cardinals’ vulnerability was on full display with the injury to Hudson. They are a half-game out of the Wild Card spots in the NL but have faced a grueling schedule filled with a series of doubleheaders, which appears to be taking its toll.

Besides veteran star Adam Wainwright, Hudson has been a stalwart for St. Louis. This season the 25-year-old has a 2.92 ERA. In his last start against Cincinnati on Sept. 12, he pitched six strong innings, allowing just one hit. It was his third win in a row.

It hasn’t been a great week for the Cardinals since Hudson’s last appearance. They’ve gone 2-4 in the last four days.

St. Louis will have to find someone to pick up the slack, in the short term to see off the Pirates and potentially the long term if Hudson requires time out. The extent of his injury and the time he’ll miss remains to be seen.

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