On April 14th, 2018, the Milwaukee Brewers faced the New York Mets, who had won nine straight games, but were trailing 4-1 when Hader entered the game and proceeded to strike out the next five batters in order before inducing Jay Bruce to fly out harmless.
Knebel was injured after only a few games, so veteran Matt Albers tried to take over as the closer, but Albers struggled mightily. On April 17th, in a 2-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, he recorded another outstanding two-inning save.
He was in the top 10 in the National League for strikeouts even though he had only thrown 11 2/3 innings of work at that point in the season.
A five-pitch walk to Tucker Barnhart with one out in the 8th was the only flaw in his performance against the Reds on April 30th:
He replaced Brandon Woodruff in the 7th inning with one out and faced nine batters, striking out eight of them. A 6-5 win was the result of another save from him.
He just required 37 pitches, or a little more than four per batter, to get the job done! Until recently, no pitcher has ever managed to get 8 strikeouts in just three innings.
Elias Sports Bureau says he struck out 66 batters in May, the most by a reliever before June; Scott Williamson (65 in 2000) previously held the record.
The rest of the way, his ERA dipped to 2.00 in June and 2.84 the first half of July before settling at 1.50 with 89 strikeouts in 48 innings to conclude the first half at 1.50.
What Is Josh Hader’s Batting Average?
Josh Hader’s Batting Average is .127.