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June 11, 2024 10 mins
Houston Astros closer Josh Hader joins The Matt Thomas Show following a 4-3 loss on the road against the San Francisco Giants on Monday. Rafael Montero allowed three runs on four hits in the bottom of the 10th inning making it the Astros second walk-off loss in a row after Hader gave up a walk-off two-run homer to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday. "We need a sense of urgency," Hader said. "We all know that," and "it's not going to be an easy fight," but we have to "stick to what we know" to make a run at the division lead. The Astros currently hold a 30-37 record on the season and are 7.5 games back from the lead in the AL West. Hader discusses signing his five-year, $95 million contract with the Astros, the largest deal ever for a relief pitcher in present-day value. Finalizing the deal was a "pretty quick turnaround" and the thought was to "try and get a World Series with a team that has done it multiple times." The deal allowed Hader to return to the Astros organization after being a member of the minor league system from 2013 to 2015. When Hader joined the Astros, he was given the closer role but has also stepped up and pitched more than one inning on occasion. "I'm available for multiple if we're going to need it." Hader also talks about his "really good relationship" with catchers Victor Caratini and Yainer Díaz, staying warm during night games in San Francisco, the hair tips he shares with Spencer Arrighetti and more.
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Episode Transcript

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(00:00):
The Houston Astro. Astro this exclusiveAstros segment on Sports Talk seven ninety It's
brought to you by Expinity Street AstrosBaseball from the best seat in the house
with Expinity because it's only live once. It is the Matt Thomas Show at

(00:21):
two thirty one, and we arevery pleased to be joined by the closer
of the Houston Astros joining us fromSan Francisco getting ready for Game two between
the Giants and the Stros. JoshHater making his first appearance on the program.
Josh, it's Matt and Ross.Thanks for joining us. How are
you this afternoon. How's it going, Fellows? Pretty good? Can't complain.
I understand, my man, thatyou guys have me. Hey,

(00:42):
thank you very much. Hey,let's go back a little bit before we
get to what's happened the last coupledays and look, the last couple of
days of suck it is what itis. Take us back to the process
when you found out the Astros wereready to commit the big dollars to you
in the long term contract and whatthat period was like for you trying to
find that new baseball team. Yeah, I mean it was a pretty quick
turnaround. We had some discussion earlyon and uh and of last year and

(01:07):
kind of stayed in touch, andthen coming in January, they reached out
again and you know, had higherinterests and made an offer. And my
wife and I we have some historyand being in Texas obviously being in Corpus
a long time and through the minorleagues of Houston, it only felt right

(01:30):
to kind of bring bring all thatback and you know, try and get
a world series with the team that'sdone it multiple times. Was it a
little bit of a full circle momentfor you because you were a part of
the organization that eventually was sent offto Milwaukee. Did you feel like,
all right, let's buy gone throughbygones, I know what things are going
a lot better around these parts ofwhen I left, so you know what,
why not join the group then?Absolutely? I mean just knew the

(01:53):
players as well, and knew whatthe staff was about, and knew where
where the team was headed, soyou know, we were really excited to
join. Talking with Josh Hader hereon Sports Talk seven ninety and what has
it been like for you being hereback in this organization and a little bit
of a different feel obviously when youwere first here, but you hear a

(02:14):
lot of pictures who come over talkabout the data and the things that are
made available here in Houston that maybearen't available other places. Sure I would
I would say there's there's a mixbetween that, you know. I think
also like having the guys that wehave on our staff, being able to
bounce ideas off of them and reallyjust trying to dig deeper into the game.

(02:37):
You know. You know, wehave a lot of guys that have
been around the league a long timeand they know what they're doing. So
to be able to talk baseball them, even the young guys as well,
just to talk baseball with them andyou know, learn different things what works
for them and apply it to theyourself. And you know, I think
that's the biggest thing about baseball aslong as you're ankering with what you do.

(02:59):
I was, so you know whatyou do best, but you know,
being able to tinker a little bitand try new things to kind of
hear yourself better, it's always good. You know, this league is always
going to adjust to you, soto be able to kind of try and
stay one step ahead is always agreat idea. And there's been a lot
of talk at least last year aboutyou on your Diaz and learning to be

(03:20):
in everyday catcher and calling games.What's it been like with you your experience
working with him and also Victor Caratini. It's great, you know. I
think the real big thing is justyou know, trying to you know,
know what we like to do incertain situations. And I think that's been
a really good thing for for yourhonor and also just big as well,
just you know, getting to knoweach and every one of these guys and

(03:44):
you know, really just going throughthe stressful parts of of you know,
accounts at bats. I think that'swhen you really learn about each other,
is when you have to you know, make pitches, make calls and do
all that. So it's been realfun, you know, obviously just getting
to know them as well. ObviouslyI've spent some time with Vic and Brewers,
but you know, it's really goodrelationship between us. I don't know

(04:06):
how many at bats you had againstyour current teammates, you know, having
been primarily National League guy, Butwas there anybody that when you got to
camp, you're like, they'll neverhave to face you again. I feel
pretty good about that, Honestly,I don't I think we've maybe faced gifts
in one time, at least myselfpersonally, you know. Obviously, you

(04:28):
know, thankfully I didn't have toface them too many times because this lineup
it's hard to, especially if youwere a starter, just to maneuver around
this lineup. That's uh. Inthe top down guys you know can put
a ball out of the parking timeof the day. So it's definitely nice
to be on this side of thetracks, that's for sure, Josh.
Also part of you this year hasbeen the ability to give the team more

(04:49):
than three outs, and I thinkit's been a little bit of a storyline.
And when did that conversation come intoplay? Obviously you said, look,
you're committing to me long term financially, and the least I can do
is give it to you. AndI think from an aspect of physically you
can certainly do it. But themental of having to step in and go
back out for a second inning isthis Is that a large adjustment period or

(05:11):
do you feel like, look,I've been there, done that. It
sounds that big of a deal.I don't think that was actually ever a
conversation that really came up, youknow, I think coming into the team
and coming into spring training, andit was you know, you're the closer
and kind of do one ending thing. And I think that's how it is.
But I always told him, like, you know, I'm available for

(05:31):
multiples if we're gonna need it.But I think, you know, kind
of having the opportunity to have aroutine that I built over the years that
you know, allows me to beready, you know, the arm care
that I do and just really justtrying to stay strong throughout everything. So

(05:53):
I think that just gave me theability to know how to, you know,
be prepared for that second ending whenyou go out, you know,
how to you know, get yourbody recovered to bounce back for the following
day. And it's just you know, really just experienced through doing it earlier
on in my career and then getan opportunity to just strengthen my arm and

(06:15):
just have good bounce back recovery routine. You've been in the bullpen with two
different teams. Is the bullpen chatterabout the same food, politics, TV?
Women? What's what's it like hereas compared to other places you've been.
I don't know, I've never beena bullpen with all that other stuff.
But I guess they say keep itlow key. You and Spencer Arraghetty

(06:40):
swap haircare tips. Nah, notreally, but he does got some good
flow. He's starting to let itflow. I told him, I said,
man, I think it looks thuttereddown. He he definitely pulled that
trigger up of keeping it up.So you know, you gotta let that
stuff eat well. You know,you carry a huge response ability besides being
the closure. Josh Ryan Sanek hadgreat Maine for the Astros the last so

(07:03):
full of years. You know thatthat carries a huge role for this organization.
Yes, yeah, for sure,That's why we got Spence over there.
He's taken some of the holds,so we got to take it together,
you know. Yeah, hey,before we let you run. Obviously,
the the ups and downs of thisseason is not what we all thought

(07:23):
was going to happen. What's theclubhouse like? Is it steady? Is
it sometimes a little more tense?Is it relaxes it? Mean? Take
us into that world that you know, I think fans live and die with
each loss because there's been so muchsuccess here. But for you as a
player, especially a new player comingin, where are we when it comes

(07:43):
to walking in to see where theoverall temperature of the team is right now
in your urgency to get back inthis American League West race. Look,
yeah, I mean this clubhouse istop notch. Every one of us are
fighting for each other. We havea great group where the camaraderie is is
top now, you know, sothe clubhouse aspect of that is is great.

(08:09):
But you know, obviously we knowthat we have we need a sense
of urgency to start pulling series together. You know, we need to start
winning series. And and we allknow that. We all know that.
You know, the the longer weget into this, you know, the
the shorter of opportunity we have.So just for us to stick to stick
to what we know, we gotto play good baseball. We got to
put things together and put all thepieces to the puzzle. So we we

(08:33):
we have the sense of urgency ofwhat we need to do. And now
it's just going out there and makingit all happen. And yeah, I
think I think we we know whatwe have ahead of us, and we
know it's not going to be aneasy fight. But you know, what
I know about these guys is thatthey never quit. So at the top,
you know, that's all we canever ask for, is you know,
going out there giving us one hundredpercent and you know, putting putting

(08:54):
everything in the right right place.And you know, once we once we
call the one sixty to, youknow, hopefully we'll be in the spot
where we need to be. Andvery last question, tell the audience how
different it is being in San Franiscofor a night game as compared to a
day game. I've never froze somuch in my life in the month of
June watching them play there. What'sit like for you trying to keep warm
on a June night in San Francisco. Honestly, it's it's it's that Chris

(09:18):
cool air, you know. Ithink that's that's where it comes down.
I mean, it's like fifty five, but it does feel like it's about
forty five. But I will sayI've never sweat so much in a forty
five degree attempt. So you know, once you're moving and you're getting around,
it's it's not as bad as youthink. But if you're sitting there
watching a game, you can freezeyour butt off. So I will say

(09:41):
it's it's a different, different feelfrom daytime to night time. Well Josh
Day, warm to night, andthanks for joining us for the first time
on this shows. It's very niceto visit with you. Continued success,
good luck and get you guys geta series one out in there in the
night in the Bay Area. We'lltalk again soon. Thanks for the visit,
absolutely guys, I appreciate it.You got a Josh Eden with us here
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