Brewers reliever Josh Hader was called on to get an eight-out save on Monday against the Reds. He was more than up to the task, getting all eight of his outs on strikeouts. As MLB’s Stat of the Day notes, he’s the first pitcher ever to strike out eight batters in an outing of less than three innings.
Hader entered with one out and the bases empty in the bottom of the seventh, fanning Joey Votto and Scott Schebler to get out of the inning. In the eighth, he worked around a one-out walk of Tucker Barnhart by fanning Eugenio Suarez, Alex Blandino, and Adam Duvall. In the ninth, Hader struck out Billy Hamilton, Jesse Winker, and Jose Peraza to nail down the save.
The Brewers’ bullpen has been incredible, owning a 2.43 ERA on the season, third-best in baseball behind the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays. They have been quite able to deal with the loss of Corey Knebel, who went on the disabled list in early April with a hamstring injury.
Hader now sports a 1.00 ERA with a 39/5 K/BB ratio in 18 innings on the season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.