How Joe Girardi broke Josh Hader’s historic streak of 40 saves
Updated: Jun 8, 2022
Source: Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal
For MLB managers named “Joe,” it is fair to say that these past several days have been quite unpleasant. Within just four days of each other, former Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Madden and former Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi were relieved of their duties after severely under performing to open the season.
Source: Jim Salisbury, NBC Philadelphia
While Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, arguably the two best players in the MLB, continue to thrive, the Angels as a team continue to crater and ultimately collapse year-in and year-out. However, as fascinating the blunder of a debacle that Joe Madden left behind in Los Angeles, the Angels are a story for another day.
While one former Joe-managed team appears to be headed into the ground, Joe Girardi’s former “fourth-place Phillies” seem to be on the rise. Just three days after Girardi’s was fired, the Phillies traveled to Milwaukee to face a strong Brewers team with the best closer in all of baseball, Josh Hader.
Going into the game, Hader had not blown a save nor had he allowed a run in his previous nineteen appearances this season. In fact, Hader looked to extend his streak of forty straight scoreless appearances (including last season), which tied Houston Astros closer Ryan Pressly for the longest stretch of scoreless appearances in MLB history. On June 7, 2022, Hader would have set the record at forty-one had Alec Bohm and Matt Vierling not had something to say about it.
Leading 2-1 heading into the ninth inning, Brewers manager Craig Counsell handed the ball to his all-star closer Josh Hader. Shockingly, despite his recent struggles, Alec Bohm laced a leadoff homerun to tie the game at 2-2. Two batters later, Bohm’s teammate Matt Vierling entered the game as a pinch hitter for his first plate appearance in almost a month and nuked a solo bomb to notch a 3-2 lead.
The Phillies’ jaw-dropping comeback marked Josh Hader’s first blown save since July 7, 2021, snapping the MLB's longest active streak at 32 consecutive converted saves (per ESPN).
Hader’s manager Craig Counsell spoke highly of the all-star closer following the loss, stating perfection over time is difficult to sustain and an imperfect outing was inevitable, even for someone of Hader’s caliber.
“He’s been so good. It’s surprising, but at some point it’s going to happen.”
Ultimately, for the Phillies, they look to find some hope as soon as possible and get back on track before the all-star break. Bryce Harper seems to be back to his MVP level of play and the Phillies have a great shot to move into second place in the NL East if they can string a couple wins together.
Was it Joe Girardi’s fault? Who knows. But if a new voice in the locker room proves to be the catalyst of a turning point in the season, then who cares.