Let’s play a game. Who would you rather have at the moment: Craig Kimbrel or Josh Hader? Five Craig Kimbrels or one Josh Hader? Two Phil Bickfords, an injured Blake Treinen, Craig Kimbrel and the ghost of Pedro Baez or Josh Hader? The answer is easy, Los Angeles Dodgers fans.
It’s Anybody But Josh Hader. But Dodgers fans don’t have to worry about that right now because this is the San Diego Padres’ problem … all thanks to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Leading up to the trade deadline when there were rumblings about the Brew Crew potentially moving Hader in the offseason, baseball fans were confused. What was the point of that? And why even get that rumor circulating while the left-hander is dominating and your team is atop the division?
Turns out, the Brewers were on to something, because Hader has cratered in unimaginable ways since the Padres made the move for him.
Truth be told, the cracks in Hader’s game emerged prior to the deadline dating back to July 4. Over the next three and a half weeks, the left-hander saw his ERA go from a 1.05 to a 4.24 and his FIP from a 1.72 to a 3.48. From Opening Day until July 3, Hader had only allowed two multi-hit outings. Over the following abbreviated span, he allowed five.
That’s continued with the Padres, who “revamped” their already solid bullpen and somehow managed to make it exponentially worse.
Dodgers fans need to thank the Brewers for trading Josh Hader to the Padres
Very funny how the Padres traded for a new closer just a few months after acquiring Taylor Rogers from the Twins. Before he was dealt, he led MLB with 28 saves, despite possessing an unsightly 4.35 ERA. But guess what! He had a 2.35 FIP and 1.11 WHIP with 48 strikeouts in 41.1 innings. Pretty good!
Enter Hader, who has appeared in seven games so far for San Diego, and has finished just three of them while accumulating 4.2 innings of work. It gets better, though. He’s allowed 12 earned runs on 12 hits and seven walks. He walked only 12 batters in his previous 34 innings. This is all good for a 23.14 ERA, 8.27 FIP and 4.07 WHIP.
His disastrous outing against the KC Royals over the weekend further showed how the Brewers saw the future with their former relief ace.
It could be a bout of bad luck … but it’s pretty much unlike anything fans have ever seen from a player of Hader’s caliber! This is bad luck across the board! Which translates to … just “bad.”
Have you seen anything like this before?
Even across only seven games, that feels impossible.
Hader’s yet to record a save with the Padres in nearly a month, too, and was relegated to mop-up eighth-inning duty his last two appearances. He also didn’t pitch from Aug. 3-7, and then again from Aug. 10-17.
Things seem to be going well … well enough for another late-season Padres collapse to the joy of every Dodgers fan across the world.