MILWAUKEE – Fourteen last strikes for Milwaukee pitcher Josh Hader’s streak of 14 consecutive outs recorded via strikeout that was snapped in the 5-3 Brewers win on Saturday night.
1. Josh Hader is human, it turns out. It also turns out that Ryan Braun – who has come through in a few big moments this year already – is clutch, as well.
2. Hader entered in the eighth inning and promptly struck out Pittsburgh’s Sean Rodriguez looking to open the inning. Everything was normal, considering that was his 11th consecutive out recorded via strikeout.
3. Things went awry after that when he walked Gregory Polanco and then allowed a game-tying home run to Starling Marte. After things seemed over with Hader on the hill and the Brewers holding a 3-1 lead, it was suddenly tied.
4. Quickly rebounding to form, Hader retired the next two batters, Josh Bell and Corey Dickerson, to run his strikeout streak to 13 in a row and end the inning.
5. In the bottom half of the eighth the Brewers were able to create some magic that was capped off by Braun’s go-ahead double. Domingo Santana doubled to left field before Orlando Arcia struck out while attempting to bunt Santana over to third. Manny Piña then grounded to shortstop and after having a runner on second base with no outs, Santana was still standing there with two outs and it looked like an opportunity would be wasted.
6. Eric Sogard stepped to the plate and worked a four-pitch walk to extend the inning for Braun. With a 2-2 count, Braun connected with a slider from George Kontos sending it into center field scoring both Santana from second and Sogard from first.
7. Just like that, Hader’s mistake was erased, and the Brewers were in position to win once again.
8. The ninth inning was less eventful for Hader. He opened it up by striking out Francisco Cervelli looking, his 14th consecutive out recorded via strike out.
9. That’s where the streak ended.
10. Elias Diaz stepped into the box and popped out to second base ending the streak. While all outs count the same, it was mighty impressive to see Hader continually blow hitters away to the point where making any contact throughout the at-bat was considered a minor victory. The game then ended with a Jordy Mercer lineout to shortstop.
11. This was a nice bounce back win for Milwaukee after Friday night’s loss to Pittsburgh. It was only the sixth win of the season for the Brewers against a team over the .500 mark, which seems startling.
12. Jhoulys Chacin started the game on the mound for Milwaukee, which can be easily forgotten considering the late-game action, but he was terrific for the Brewers. He pitched six innings, allowed just one run on three hits while striking out four.
13. Chacin has certainly struggled at times this year, but if Milwaukee continues to receive performances like this one from a back of the rotation pitcher like Chacin, then they’ll be in a very good spot at the end of the season.
14. The Brewers and Pirates are back in action Sunday afternoon for the third and final game of this series. Chase Anderson (3-2, 3.38 ERA) is slated to start for the Brewers and Chad Kuhl (3-2, 5.01) is starting for the Pirates. First pitch from Miller Park is set for 1:10 p.m. CT.