From the start of the season until July 31, the day before he was traded to the Padres from the Milwaukee Brewers, he had a 4.24 ERA that was uncharacteristically high for him, a pitcher with a 2.71 career ERA.
The Padres took a chance, believing they could help him hit his stride.
From August 2 until September 5, however, Hader was awful.
Horrible, terrible, not good.
Over that span, which covered 6.2 innings, the left-hander surrendered a whopping 13 (!) earned runs for a 17.55 ERA.
But the Padres stuck with him, and sometimes (more often than not, to be fair) patience pays off.
Here is what the southpaw has done over the last 14 games, since September 7.
“Josh Hader since September 7th: 14 G, 13.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 20 SO, 2 BB,” Talkin’ Baseball tweeted.
Josh Hader since September 7th:
14 G, 13.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 20 SO, 2 BB pic.twitter.com/KINRWbBxRC
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) October 16, 2022
Let’s take some time to digest the meaning of those numbers.
A Truly Dominant Performance
In 13.2 innings since that date, Hader has allowed just seven baserunners, and none of them have come around to score.
Of course, a 2/20 BB/K ratio helps.
Simply put, he has found the cure to what ailed him, probably a mechanical issue.
Hader went on to make the postseason with a team that values him and may be open to sign him to a long-term contract, while the Brewers missed the postseason despite having many chances to knock the Philadelphia Phillies out of that last spot.
Some of those late season losses the Brewers suffered were on the bullpen.
Fate is a fascinating thing.
Hader will get the chance to compete to appear in his first World Series.
If he keeps pitching like this, games against the Padres are shortened to eight innings, not nine.
He is as automatic as it gets right now.