Milwaukee Brewers Closer Josh Hader Suffers Incredible 9th Inning Meltdown, Surrenders 3 Home Runs

by Patrick Norton
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Josh Hader is as important to the success of the Milwaukee Brewers as any other player on the baseball team’s 26-man roster. The dominant closing pitcher utilizes a powerful arm and lengthy body to his advantage, striking out batters left and right. But this year’s results just won’t come as easy for the flamethrower.

Sporting a 4.50 ERA before the All-Star Game, it’s the highest career mark for Hader. However, the left-hander remains on pace to shatter his personal single-season saves mark. Already completing 27 in 33 appearances, Hader’s numbers don’t warrant sounding an alarm quite yet.

The season hasn’t been a complete struggle for the reliever. Entering an Independence Day weekend series against the NL Central rival Chicago Cubs, Hader sported a miniscule 1.05 ERA. Facing Chicago’s atrocious lineup twice in three days, the Cubs tagged Hader with two runs, giving the lefty his second loss of the season.

Since the series finale, Hader has just one clean inning in four attempts. The closer’s woes culminated in full force in last night’s blown loss in San Francisco. An unbelievable sequence of events captures the entirety of Hader’s recent misfortunes.

Relieving Jandel Gustave to begin the 9th inning, Hader entered with Milwaukee possessing a 5-2 lead, good enough for a 96% win probability according to baseball-reference.com. On a 1-0 count, Giants catcher Joey Bart mashed a lead-off home run, cutting the lead to two. San Francisco’s Wilmer Flores then popped out, recording the lone out of Hader’s performance.

A Darin Ruf dinger closed the gap to one. Surrendering a single to Austin Slater, plunking Yermin Mercedes and loading the bases with a Thairo Estrada single brought Mike Yastrzemski to the plate.

On the first pitch of the at-bat – well… press play:

Social Media’s Field Day With Josh Hader’s Unbelievably Putrid Blown Save

Everybody has bad days at work. Whether it’s not producing enough, or just feeling fatigued, slumps occur in every profession. However, slumps in front of thousands of in-person witnesses – with Baseball Twitter in tow – often makes way for some incredible reactions.

It’s a historic outing for the closer, albeit a disappointment. But historic nonetheless. Furthermore, Hader’s struggles keeps the Brew Crew within reach of the second-place St. Louis Cardinals.

Additionally, in the event Hader’s issues persist, it’s possible we see a surprise entrant into closers market before the August 2 trade deadline. However, the top choice resides in the bullpen of the rival Cubs, unlikely to move directly north without a hefty price tag.

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