Friday night the Milwaukee Brewers began a three game series in Miami against the Marlins. In what turned out to be one of the best starting pitching duels of the season between Corbin Burnes and Pablo Lopez there was history made, but it came from Brewers closer Josh Hader.
A Close Battle
This was a rather typical Brewers game. It was close extremely close and the offense did not give Burnes any run support.
Burnes and Lopez each went seven incredibly strong innings, each only allowed one run and struck out seven and 11 respectively.
Heading into the top of the 9th the game was notched at one apiece. The Crew looked to put another run on the board so they could give Hader a chance for a save. They loaded the bases with nobody out which was exactly what they needed. Jace Peterson came to bat with one out and drew an easy four pitch walk to bring home the go ahead run.
The Marlins wouldn’t give up any more, but they now had to face Hader down one.
Hader Slams the Door
Coming into this game Josh Hader sat at a perfect 12 for 12 in save opportunities. He had pitched 11.1 innings where he only allowed two hits and five walks while striking out 18. Not to mention his opponent batting average was a measly 0.54.
In the bottom of the 9th the Marlins sent three of their best hitters to the plate in Jazz Chisholm Jr., Jesus Aguilar and Jorge Soler. Chisholm Jr. is one of the brightest stars in the game with so much talent and power, Aguilar was responsible for the only run for the Marlins with a third inning solo homer and Soler is only the former World Series MVP.
Yet, even with all of this power, Hader was able to induce two soft groundouts and a foul flyout to make for a very quick and easy save.
This was Hader’s 13th save of the season, but most importantly it was his 13th in 13 save attempts. That breaks the record for most consecutive saves to begin a season in Major League history. He passed Lee Smith for the Orioles in 1999 and Jose Mesa for the Pirates in 2005.
Uniquely, save number 13 on the season came on Friday the 13th, a truly scary day for Marlins hitters as they faced Hader.
Hader continues to rack up the accolades as he also became the second quickest closer to 500 strikeouts behind Aroldis Chapman with his last save against the Reds on Tuesday.
Josh Hader has been the best closer in the National League if not in all of baseball since taking over the Brewers closer role in 2019. The Brew Crew has played tons of close games over the years and they are able to win so many of them because of the incredible success of their closer. Hader looks to keep this historic start to the season going for as long as possible.
Go check out our Shop!