The Milwaukee Brewers have been waiting for a bullpen like this for a long time. The closer role had highlights here and there over the last few years, but the bullpen overall was not great. In the first 40 games for the Brewers, Josh Hader has 33 strikeouts,16 innings pitched and leads the league in 2+ inning games in relief. Who is better than Hader? Not many.
Good Relief Pitching A Major Bonus For Brewers
Relief pitching has been a major topic for discussion over the last decade or more. Since the Milwaukee Brewers have not been able to come up with the money to stack a four- or five-man starting rotation, the team has had to rely on relief pitching.
Since 2000, the Brewers lead the entire league with 544 save opportunities. The team ranks second with 181 blown saves. However, the team leads in “games finished” with 1321.
Since 2014, the Brewers rank second when looking at “inherited score”, or runners on base that score AFTER pitcher enters the game. Without base runners to worry about, saving the game become much easier.
Josh Hader Is On A Great Path
There are times this season when fans have known that the Milwaukee Brewers have the game locked down. For 2018, that time is when Josh Hader or Jeremy Jeffress enter the game. The Milwaukee Brewers are 14-0 when both relievers appear in a game this season.
Jeffress throws right and Hader brings the left into the mix, giving the team a great chance at closing out a game with a win. Having weapons like Hader and Jeffress in the bullpen has been working out well for the team. Wins on the road are tough enough, but as they record more, the rest of the league is taking notice.
Hader pitched in 35 games last season and recorded zero saves, walked 22 batters and had 68 strikeouts. With 48 strikeouts in 14 games pitched this season already, Hader has already cemented himself as one of the best out of the bullpen.