Burnes, Hader named to All-MLB First Team

November 24th, 2021

The Brewers rode dominant starting pitching and an overpowering bullpen to a National League Central title this season. Look no further than and for a snapshot of that formula.

No game summed up Milwaukee's blueprint better than its Sept. 11 contest in Cleveland, when Burnes spun eight innings and Hader recorded the final three outs for a combined no-hitter. Hardware has followed their special seasons -- the latest coming via All-MLB honors.

On Tuesday, both Burnes and Hader were named to Major League Baseball's All-MLB First Team, making the Brewers one of four teams with at least two players on the top squad. Burnes was one of five starting pitchers selected, while Hader joined White Sox closer Liam Hendriks as the only relievers on the First Team.

This comes after Burnes won the NL Cy Young Award last week and Hader took home the 2021 Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year Award for the third time in four years.

"He's always had command since he signed with us," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of Burnes on MLB Network last week. "He had a little bit of an issue in 2019 -- it was doing too much. Now, I think he's settled into who he is, and with all the nasty pitches he has, it was a tough at-bat."

And an historic season.

Burnes -- Milwaukee's first Cy Young recipient since 1982 -- led the Major Leagues in ERA (2.43), expected ERA (2.01), WAR (7.5, via FanGraphs), strikeout rate (35.6 percent), strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.88), FIP (1.63), home runs per nine innings (0.38) and barrel rate (2.9 percent).

Burnes' FIP was the second lowest in the divisional era (since 1969), trailing only Pedro Martinez in ‘99. The right-handed Burnes set an MLB record with strikeouts to begin a season (58) without issuing a walk, and he tied an MLB record on Aug. 11 with 10 consecutive strikeouts.

Hader won the Reliever of the Year accolade in both 2018 and '19, but his teammate, righty Devin Williams, picked up that award during the pandemic-shortened '20 campaign.

This past season, Hader reclaimed his title with an MLB-leading 45.5 percent strikeout rate and a career-low 1.23 ERA in 60 appearances. The lefty racked up 34 saves, including 20 in a row during a dominant stretch in the first half.

"It's really amazing to think that Josh Hader is getting better," Counsell said in July after Hader made his third NL All-Star team.