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#pounditSunday, May 26, 2024

Brutal Josh Hader stat goes viral amid early-season struggles

Josh Hader in his Astros uniform

Mar 30, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Josh Hader (71) throws a fielded ball to first base for an out against the New York Yankees during the ninth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros have to be questioning whether they have Josh Hader out there pitching for them right now or Bill Hader.

The five-time All-Star reliever Hader got pulverized again on Monday during a game against the Atlanta Braves. Entering the contest in a ninth-inning non-save situation (the Astros were trailing 2-1 at the time), Hader allowed a walk and four straight hits before even recording a single out. He would exit the game with two earned runs allowed and then get another two tacked on after successor Brandon Bielak let two more inherited runners score. Houston went on to lose 6-1 to fall to an ugly 6-12 on the season.

The bum outing brought Hader to eight earned runs on the year (through nine total appearances). That is now exactly as many as Hader had allowed throughout all of last year with the San Diego Padres (61 total appearances).

Hader’s strikeout and walk rates are virtually identical to what they were last season. But Hader is giving up a whole lot more base hits and allowing those to snowball on him. It probably does not help either that Hader has moved to a less pitcher-friendly park and is now working with a rookie manager in Joe Espada who is still learning how to manage a bullpen.

The 30-year-old Hader, who signed a five-year, $95 million contract with the Astros over the winter, surely won’t be quite this terrible all year. But his early-season implosion has been a sight to behold, and even some of Hader’s former teammates are taking swipes at him.

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