1. Brewers reliever Josh Hader has had a whirlwind of a week after derogatory tweets of his surfaced during the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Tuesday night.
2. Hader’s tweets have been talked about constantly since they were exposed, and with good reason. He had messaged discriminating about minorities, people of differing sexual orientations, as well as women. At the time he pressed send on the tweets he was a 17-year-old at Old Mill High School in Millersville, Md.
3. Obviously, much time has passed between then and now. It’s been over six years and people certainly change, but the message is still a harmful one and it’s worrisome that those were the things on his mind.
4. Since the tweets surfaced, he has apologized, had a team meeting, and now taken the mound at Miller Park. Hader entered in the seventh inning of Saturday night’s game against the Dodgers with Milwaukee holding a 4-2 lead over LA.
6. As one can see in the above tweet, Hader was warmly received. It’s always an interesting thing to see how a fan base reacts to a player after a controversy such as this one arises. It’s rare that a player is booed in his home stadium under any circumstances.
7. “[That reaction] means a lot,” Hader said after the win. “Having Milwaukee’s support, knowing that they know my true character and forgiving for my past. That’s not who I am today.”
8. People change, Hader isn’t the first person to make a mistake when he was young, he won’t be the last one, either. He apologized, as he should have, but there’s still work to be done. He wants to put this situation behind him as quickly as possible, as anyone would. But it’s not going to vanish into thin air just like that.
9. When the Brewers hit the road next weekend and Hader comes out of the bullpen in Atlanta against the Braves, the reception certainly won’t be anything like the one at Miller Park on Saturday.
10. “I’m not expecting that everyone is going to forgive me early,” he said. “I just hope that people see my true character today and I hope that I can show them that that’s not who I was.”
11. Hader will have plenty of time to show he’s a changed man in the days ahead. While he was on the mound, he looked like his normal self, which is exactly what he and the Brewers needed to see.
12. Hader pitched two scoreless innings allowing one hit while striking out four of the seven hitters he faced. The lone hit he allowed was to Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp.
13. “This is what I love to do,” he said. “It helps me clear my mind and that’s really what it did today. [Being back on the mound] felt natural. It’s something that eases my mind a lot. It’s just my relaxation.”
14. As for the rest of the game, it looked early on as if things were going to go swimmingly for the Dodgers and that it was going to be tough sledding for the Crew.
15. In the first inning, Milwaukee starter Chase Anderson struggled. He threw 43 pitches and allowing both of the runs Los Angeles would score. Meanwhile, in the bottom half Clayton Kershaw cruised through, striking out the side.
16. The fortunes for the Brewers changed in the second inning that started off with Ryan Braun – fresh off the disabled list – reaching base on a Catcher’s Interference. He was advanced to second on a Tyler Saladino single before tagging up to third on a Hernán Pérez lineout to center. Braun finally came around to score on a ground out to shortstop off the bat of Keon Broxton.
17. The Brewers then took the lead in the sixth inning with a three-run outburst. The inning began with a Christin Yelich hitting a 413-foot home run to dead center to tie the game. The Brewers were then able to capitalize on an error from Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy allowing Braun to score after he previously doubled. Piña, who reached base on the error by Muncy, came around to score as Broxton tripled him home to give the Dodgers the 4-2 lead.
18. Much of the reason the Brewers were able to take that lead was the pitching of Corbin Burnes. He came on in relief of Anderson in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and no outs. Burnes escaped unscathed thanks to an out at home after Kershaw tried to advance following the ball getting behind catcher Erik Kratz, a strikeout, and a fly out. He then pitched the sixth inning as well and earned the win in his Miller Park debut.
19. The win snaps Milwaukee’s seven-game losing streak that dates back to July 10th. Thanks to Chicago splitting a doubleheader with St. Louis the Brewers pick up a half-game on the Cubs in the standings and now trail by 2.5 games in the Central.
20. The Brewers and Dodgers will complete this three-game series on Sunday afternoon at Miller Park. Brent Suter (8-5, 4.39 ERA) will start for Milwaukee while Alex Wood (5-5, 3.92 ERA) toes the rubber for the Dodgers. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. CT.