What would be a grading series without grading one of the best arms in the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen. We will dive into the 2018 season of Josh Hader and how he affected the Brewers this season.
Josh Hader was one of the big arms coming out of the bullpen for the Milwaukee Brewers this season. Every time he came into a game, fans were excited how many batters he would strike out with that mighty left arm. That rocking hair do, the tattoos on his arms may have had people to think that he looks like a grunge band member.
Little did they know that he would go on to win the 2018 Trevor Hoffman Reliever of the Year Award and make the All-Star Game.
Regular Season: A+
Hader had a remarkable year out of the bullpen for Milwaukee. Especially when it came to crucial games that needed to have the door shut. Here are his regular season stats:
The first half of the season for Hader was remarkable. He had a 2-0 record, 7 saves, a 1.50 ERA, 89 strikeouts, in 48 innings of relief. He only allowed 19 hits, 4 HR, 8 ER and 9 R with 0.792 WHIP. Those stats were good enough for Josh Hader to make his first All-Star Game in his career. He was one of five Milwaukee Brewers players to make the Mid-Summer Classic.
The second half of the season wasn’t as spectacular as his first half stats as hitters were starting to figure out that the fireball lefty really relies on the fastball. But, he did come out of the second half with a 4-1 record, 5 saves, a 3.78 ERA, his strikeout numbers went down as he only struck out 54 batters, and he pitched 33.1 innings. He allowed two less hits in the second half, allowed one more home run than in the first half, but he did allow 14 earned runs and had an .840 WHIP.
To finish the regular season, Josh had a 6-1 record, 12 SV, a 2.43 ERA, 143 SO in 81.1 IP, 9 HR, 23 R with 22 ER and a .811 WHIP. Those numbers were good enough for Hader to win the 2018 NL Trevor Hoffman Reliever of the Year Award.
When it came to making his debut in the postseason, Josh Hader did NOT disappoint. He played an important role in the NLDS against the Rockies. He pitched in all three games of the Division Series and his stats were incredible: 2.1 innings, 0.00 ERA, no hits, four strikeouts, and a 0.00 WHIP.
Then it came to the NLCS against the Dodgers and Hader played in four games as Craig Counsell didn’t want to overuse his best reliever. He did, however, pitch 7.2 innings and allowed five hits. But Hader didn’t give up any runs, he struck out 12 Dodgers, and had a .783 WHIP.
His total postseason numbers read: 7 G, 10 IP, 5 H, 16 SO, 0.00 ERA, and a .600 WHIP. Josh Hader clearly made himself a household name as a postseason superstar.
Overall Grade: A+
There was the incident during the All-Star game that Josh Hader went through about tweets he sent out seven years ago, but his teammates backed him up and were there for him. That might have fueled the success that Hader had during the season knowing that he had full support from his teammates and there was no hatred in the clubhouse, just brotherly love.