Josh Hader Becomes 1st Pitcher to Record 8 Ks in Fewer Than 3 Innings

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2018

CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 30: Josh Hader #71 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the ninth inning of a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on April 30, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Brewers won 6-5. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader earned a save in dominant style Monday in his team's 6-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.

The southpaw entered in the bottom of the seventh inning and proceeded to strike out eight of the nine batters he faced, walking the other one. The Brewers cited Elias Sports and announced Hader became the first pitcher in modern Major League Baseball history (dating back to 1900) to tally eight strikeouts in less than three full innings.

Hader took the mound with Milwaukee nursing a one-run lead after it exploded for three runs in the top half of the frame. A throwing error by Tucker Barnhart allowed Christian Yelich to score, and Domingo Santana's double brought home two more and gave the Brewers the lead for good.

The relief pitcher was able to throw so many innings since he was relatively fresh, having not appeared in a game since Wednesday's victory over the Kansas City Royals. Monday was the first time he pitched more than two innings this season.

He has been dominant in the early going of the 2018 campaign and sports a 1.00 ERA, 0.50 WHIP and 39.0 strikeouts through 18.0 innings. Opposing batters have been virtually helpless against him with a .070 batting average, per MLB.com.

According to Jeff Wallner of MLB.com, Randy Johnson was the last pitcher to notch a save with eight strikeouts, but his performance came in a four-inning save in 1996.

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It was just the type of performance the Brewers needed to bounce back from their four-game sweep at the hands of the division rival Chicago Cubs over the weekend. Hader didn't appear in any of those contests, but he helped keep Milwaukee just one game back of the National League Central leaders with Monday's historic outing.

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