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Rising MLB superstar you've never heard of is historically crushing hitters

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Is it possible that the best pitcher in the National League this year isn’t Max Scherzer, who’s won the last two Cy Young Awards?

Or that it’s not Clayton Kershaw, a sure-fire Hall of Famer and a three-time Cy Young Award winner?

How about Josh Hader?

No, he’s not a starter for the Brewers. In fact, he’s not even their closer.

But whatever the second-year lefty sees, he blows away.

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No, seriously … he strikes out nearly everyone.

As Matt Snyder of CBS Sports pointed out, the 24-year-old’s 39 punch-outs in just 18 innings this year project to 19.5 strikeouts per 9 innings.

Here’s a little perspective — Aroldis Chapman holds the MLB record with 17.67 k/9 back in 2014.

Hader’s fastball is one thing; his slider is just plain dirty.


That’s Joey Votto — who has one of the best eyes in baseball — frozen on Monday night.

Votto had plenty of company from his Reds teammates, as Hader pitched 2 2/3 innings — nine batters in all.

Do you think Hader is a superstar in the making?

Not one of them put the ball in play — he struck out eight and walked one.

That put Hader in the record books as the only reliever in baseball history to rack up eight strikeouts in less than three innings of work.

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“I don’t know what to say about Josh — literally,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “Your mouth’s kind of wide open watching it. It was absolutely incredible.”

The funny part is that Hader isn’t even the Brewers’ closer.

All-Star closer Corey Knebel is expected to miss another month with a hamstring injury.

Counsell, meanwhile, says the most important thing is to get Hader on the field, and not hold him for only save situations.

“If he gets outs, it’s working. We can save him until the end and not get to the ninth. As long as we’re using him. I’d rather make sure we’re using him and be able to use him in multiple innings and good matchups and pick the hitters a little bit. I think it’s a better way for us to go,” he said, according to MLB.com.

With Milwaukee battling St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Chicago for supremacy of the N.L. Central, we can only wonder how long Counsell can be a “hater” about using Hader to close things out.

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Mike is an 11-time Michigan Emmy Award winner who has spent nearly 30 years working in sports media.
Mike has spent nearly 30 years in all aspects of sports media, including on-air, 10 at ESPN and another 10 at Fox Sports Detroit. He now works as a TV agent, and lives with his family in West Bloomfield, MI.
Birthplace
Sudbury, Massachusetts
Honors/Awards
11-time Michigan Emmy winner
Education
Emerson College
Books Written
The Longest Year: One Family's Journey Of Life, Death, And Love/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Tigers/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Lions
Topics of Expertise
Sports




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