Josh Hader becomes first pitcher ever to strike out eight batters in outing of less than three innings

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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.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.