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Brewers: Josh Hader Becomes Fastest In MLB History To Key Milestone

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 24: Josh Hader #71 of the Milwaukee Brewers in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citizens Bank Park on April 24, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Brewers defeated the Phillies 1-0. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 24: Josh Hader #71 of the Milwaukee Brewers in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citizens Bank Park on April 24, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Brewers defeated the Phillies 1-0. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Josh Hader is a strikeout machine. He has been ever since the Milwaukee Brewers called him up to the big leagues in 2017. In fact, he’s been the most efficient strikeout machine in MLB history.

With two more strikeouts in his outing against the Reds on Tuesday night, Hader reached 500 strikeouts for his career in 244 games pitched. That’s the fewest amount of games to reach 500 strikeouts by a reliever in MLB history.

He was 1.2 IP away from beating Aroldis Chapman to the record for fewest innings pitched to this milestone.

Hader also locked up his 12th save of the season in as many appearances and ended a Brewers three game losing streak.

Josh Hader set an MLB record against the Reds as the Brewers southpaw reached 500 career strikeouts in fewer games than any other reliever.

Exclusively a starter most of his way through the minor leagues, the Brewers put Hader in the bullpen in 2017 as a way to get him to the big leagues faster. They put him in the big league bullpen in the middle of that season and never looked back, keeping him in a high leverage, multi-inning relief role for his first few seasons.

He racked up the strikeouts like it was nothing, posting a 15.8 K/9 in 2018 and a 16.4 K/9 in 2019. His 143 Ks in 2018 came against 306 batters faced, which comes out to 46.7% of at-bats ending in a strikeout. In 2019, that number was at 47.7%.

Hader has never posted a K/9 below 12.8 in his career and that was in his rookie season. His career average is 15.3 K/9.

Although Hader took just a few outs longer to reach this milestone than Aroldis Chapman, he was able to get to 500 Ks in far fewer games, and that can be attributed to his multi-inning role earlier in his career. Hader has been going back and forth with being on pace with early career Chapman for the past few years.

He’s been pitching almost exclusively in one inning situations since 2020, and it’s hard to argue with the results. He’s been efficient, productive, and able to pitch in more games without as much maintenance required. He had a stellar 1.23 ERA in 2021 and so far has kept a pristine 0.00 ERA through his first 12 outings of 2022 (knock on wood).

Hader is the best reliever in baseball. The Brewers have stated that numerous times and a record like this only further proves the point.

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Congratulations to Josh Hader for this huge accomplishment.

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