Grading the Padres’ big-name trade acquisitions in postseason

Jerry Trotta
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 21: Juan Soto #22 of the San Diego Padres hits a single during the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in game three of the National League Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 21, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 21: Juan Soto #22 of the San Diego Padres hits a single during the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in game three of the National League Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 21, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Oct 19, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Josh Hader (71) pitches in the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during game two of the NLCS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Josh Hader (71) pitches in the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during game two of the NLCS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

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.

Grade: A+

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