1. Josh Hader
Finally, someone who’s been consistent since the calendar turned to October. Hader’s Padres tenure got off to a nightmarish start. Fans will recall the jokes and trolling from Brewers and Dodgers fans when the left-handed closer owned a 25.71 ERA (12 runs on 12 hits in 4.2 innings) over his first seven appearances.
Hader rediscovered his All-Star form down the stretch of the regular season and evidently used that finish as a springboard into October, where he’s been un-hittable. It’s almost a shame the Padres haven’t used him as much as they have.
In five playoff appearances, Hader has yet to allowed an earned run to go with 10 strikeouts and four saves. It’s a small sample size, yes, but Hader hasn’t given up a hit or allowed a baserunner since Game 2 against the Dodgers.
There’s no way around it: Hader’s been flawless this postseason and it’s no coincidence the Padres have won every game he’s appeared in.