With 8 straight K's, Hader revving up to 100 for 1st time in career

October 21st, 2022

We've all seen how the adrenaline coursing through a Major League pitcher's veins while he's on the mound in the postseason can increase his velocity from what it normally is during the regular season.

But when it takes him over the 100 mph threshold, that's another level entirely.

Padres closer Josh Hader hit 100 mph on the radar during a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close out Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Phillies on Wednesday at Petco Park. San Diego's 8-5 victory evened the series as the scene shifts to Philadelphia for Game 3.

It marked the sixth time this postseason that the left-hander has thrown a pitch with a velocity of 100 mph or greater. Prior to this postseason, Hader had hit 100 mph or greater with his fastball exactly ... zero times. He's always thrown hard -- in the high 90s -- but remarkably, he's upped that velo to triple digits this October after making some mechanical tweaks.

"[The adrenaline] helps," Hader said. "I don't think that's all of it. There's things that I do throughout my work that helps me get stronger, helps me build strength. The mechanical thing I've been working on has been a huge thing. Being able to be A-1 in my mechanics is going to give me the best results on my fastball."

The result? Eight consecutive strikeouts for Hader over three games -- NL Division Series Games 3 and 4 against the Dodgers and NLCS Game 2 against the Phillies -- which according to OptaSTATS is a postseason record.

"This is a do-or-die situation," Hader said. "We have to win these games. ... These crowds are a lot different as well. So when you've got fans amping you up, it's a little bit different."