Entering Tuesday, Josh Hader had a streak of 38 consecutive innings in 40 appearances without giving up a run. This season, he was 18-for-18 in save opportunities with opponents going just 4-for-55 with six walks and 26 strikeouts. His 40 consecutive scoreless appearances tied him with Ryan Pressly for the most consecutive scoreless appearances in MLB history. Tonight, he entered the ninth with a chance to claim the sole spot atop that list.
Alec Bohm and Matt Vierling had other ideas, as their two solo home runs in the ninth would be enough to take the lead for a 3-2 win.
Jason Alexander made his second career start tonight for the Brewers, and it was another solid one. He gave up some hard-hit balls, including a Didi Gregorius triple to deep center in the second, but was able to use his ability to create ground balls to get out of some jams. The combination of a ground ball double play and ground out to third got him out of a jam in the first that saw men on first and second with no outs, and a man at third with two outs. After that aforementioned triple by Gregorius in the second, he was left stranded after a groundout and a strikeout ended the inning.
Meanwhile, the Brewers were able to jump on Ranger Suarez early. In the first, the slumping Christian Yelich beat the shift with a jam shot to right. Andrew McCutchen then drove in the speedy Yelich from first on an RBI double down the line in right, making it a 1-0 lead for the Brewers.
The Phillies broke through for a run in the third. Following an infield single and a walk, a pair of sacrifice flies evened up the score, making it 1-1. The inning could have gone a lot worse, however, as a single by Castellanos made it runners at first and second with two outs. Luis Urias then made an incredible diving play on a hard-hit grounder to short, getting the force out at second and eliminating the threat.
Both teams would be held scoreless until the bottom of the fourth. Christian Yelich added a second hit on the day by leading off the inning with a single. After back-to-back strikeouts, Yelich advanced to second on a wild pitch by Suarez. Still with two outs but Yelich now on second, Rowdy Tellez lofted a soft liner down the line in right, driving in Yelich and making it a 2-1 ballgame.
In the fifth, Alexander found himself in another jam, this time with the bases loaded and only one out. The jam wasn’t entirely Alexander’s fault, however. With one out and men at first and second, a chopper down the line was misplayed by Pablo Reyes behind the bag. Reyes appeared unsure whether or not the ball was in play or not, and upon closer inspection, it looked very close to being on the foul side of the line. However, the ball was called fair and because it was in front of the umpire, it couldn’t go to review. After a few borderline pitches were called balls, J.T. Realmuto grounded into an inning-ending double play. That would be all for Alexander, as his final line would be five innings, seven hits, one earned run and one strikeout.
Clinging to a 2-1 lead, the bullpen did what it needed to do to get to the ninth. The trio of Holby Milner, Brad Boxburger and Devin Williams allowed just one base runner. This set up perfectly for the Brewers All-Star closer Josh Hader to enter the game in the ninth holding a 2-1 lead. As mentioned at the top, Hader had been perfect in 2022 with a record of 18-for-18 in save opportunities. That record became 18-for-19 in a hurry, as Alec Bohm led off the inning with a 426-foot blast to left field to tie the game. Following a Bryson Stott flyout, Matt Vierling made it a 3-2 Phillies advantage as he sent a slider into the left-field bleachers. For Hader, this was his first blown save in exactly 11 months, dating back to July 7, 2021 in game one of a double header against the Mets.
The Brewers would put up a fight in the bottom of the inning, loading the bases for Reyes. Reyes couldn’t repeat the magic Jace Peterson had last week with the bases loaded, striking out instead and giving the Phillies the 3-2 victory. The loss extends the Brewers losing streak to four games. Despite the losing streak, the Brewers still hold a slim ½ game advantage over the rival Cardinals, who lost on a walk-off home run to the Rays in extras.
The Brewers also saw starting second baseman Kolten Wong exit the game with an injury in the fourth. The Brewers called it right calf discomfort, and he is day to day according to Counsell after the game.
These two teams are back at it again tomorrow, as Adrian Houser squares off with Aaron Nola. The first pitch is at 7:10 pm CT and you can watch live on Bally Sports Wisconsin or listen on the Brewers Radio Network.
Josh Hader's stats and spot in the record book courtesy of Mike Vassallo on Twitter.