Three-HR games a good sign for Brewers in 2014

Lucroyhomer

The Brewers had four home runs in last night’s 4-3 win over Cincinnati. All of the homers were solo shots (that’s a stat for another time) and it was the first time this season that the Brew Crew had four home runs in a game.

It was the 13th time this season that the Brewers had three or more HRs in a game. Their record in those games: 12-1. The only loss was a July 8 defeat at the hands of the Phillies; the Brewers hit three HRs in that 9-7 loss.

The Brewers 13 games with three-plus HRs rank second in the majors this season. The Toronto  Blue Jays have had 14 games with three-plus homers, compiling a 11-3 record in those contests. There have been 182 times this season that a team has hit three or more homers in a game. Teams have won 151 of those games, a .830 winning percentage.

Here’s a look at the records of each MLB this season when they hit three or more home runs in a game.

14: Toronto (11-3)

13: Milwaukee (12-1)

11: Houston (10-1), Colorado (8-3), Baltimore (11-0)

9: L.A. Angles (7-2), Atlanta (8-1)

8: San Francisco (7-1), Oakland (8-0), Chicago White Sox (7-1)

7: Detroit (5-2), Chicago Cubs (5-2)

6: Tampa Bay (5-1), Seattle )4-2), N.Y. Yankees (5-1), Cincinnati (4-2)

5: Pittsburgh (4-1), Miami (2-3), L.A. Dodgers (5-0)

4: Cleveland (4-0)

3: Washington (3-0), San Diego (2-1), Philadelphia (2-1), N.Y. Mets (2-1), Boston (3-0), Arizona (3-0)

2: Texas (1-1)

1: St. Louis (1-0), Minnesota (1-0), Kansas City (1-0)

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A MLB HR quiz; Brewers in the All-Star Game

ASG

The MLB All-Star Game will be played tonight in Minneapolis. Here’s a few items to get you ready for the game.

TRIPLE PLAY: All-Star Game home runs.
One subject… Three questions… Can you answer the three questions correctly and complete the TRIPLE PLAY?

There have been 178 home runs hit in the history of the MLB All-Star Game. Babe Ruth hit the first in 1933; Melky Cabrera’ s HR last season was number 178.

1. There has been only one grand slam in All-Star Game history. Can you name the player who hit this grand slam in 1983′s contest?

2. There have been 10 players who hit three or more home runs in All-Star Games. Three of those players had four or more career HRs in the All-Star Game. Can you name these three players? Hint: One of those players played his entire career with the St. Louis Cardinals; one played his entire career with the Boston Red Sox; the third player played 17 years in the majors for five different teams.

3. There have been three walk-off home runs in All-Star Game history. Which three of these 10 players listed had an All-Star Game walk-off homer: Ted Williams, Robin Yount, Willie Mays, Johnny Callison, Stan Musial, Kirby Puckett, Fred Lynn, Babe Ruth, Mike Schmidt, Billy Williams.

Answers at the end of this column.

Milwaukee Brewers in the All-Star Game
The Brewers have four players in tonight’s All-Star Game, three of whom (Carlos Gomez, Jonathan Lucroy, Aramis Ramirez) will start for the National League. Here’s seven facts about Brewers in the All-Star Game that you may not know…

The only Brewer player…

… to have four at-bats in an All-Star Game is Robin Yount (he had four at-bats in two All-Star Games, 1982 and 1983)

… to have two of more hits in a single All-Star Game is Ryan Braun (he had two hits in 2012)

… to have hit a home run in an All-Star Game is Prince Fielder (2011)

… to steal a base in an All-Star Game is Rickie Weeks (2011)

… pitcher to suffer the loss in an All-Star Game was Rollie Fingers (1981)

… pitchers to pitch three or more innings in a single All-Star Game were Lary Sorensen (1978) and Teddy Higuera (1985)

… pitcher to strikeout three or more batters in a single All-Star Game was Ben Sheets (he struck out three in 2008)

TRIPLE PLAY answers
1. California Angels outfielder Fred Lynn hit a third-inning grand slam in the 1983 MLB All-Star Game. Manny Trillo, Robin Yount and Rod Carew were on base when Lynn hit his homer.

2. Stan Musial has the most All-Star Game HRs with six. He is followed by Ted Williams and Fred Lynn, each with four. The seven players with three All-Star Game home runs are: Johnny Bench, Gary Carter, Rocky Colavito, Harmon Killebrew, Ralph Kiner, Willie Mays, Alfonso Soriano.

3. The three walk-off homers in the All-Star Game were hit by Ted Williams (1941), Stan Musial (1955) and Johnny Callison (1964)

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MLB’s 19-game winners

greg_maddux

(Greg Maddux)

One of the goals for most starting pitchers in the majors is to have the kind of season that nets them 20 wins (or more). That 20-win mark seems to be an important milestone each season that notes this pitcher had a “great year.”

Last season saw two pitchers fell one win short of this 20-win mark: St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright won 19 games in a season for the second time in his career. He has, however, won 20 games in a season, winning 20 in 2010. Washington’s Jordan Zimmerman also won 19 in 2013; he has yet to win 20 in a season.

There have been 192 pitchers who have won 20 or more games in a season. Wainwright last season became the 29th pitcher in history to win 19 in a season two or more times.

Greg Maddux, who will be inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame this summer, leads MLB pitchers with the most 19-win seasons, five. Here are the four pitchers who have won 19 in a season on three or more occasions.

Most 19-win seasons
5: Greg Maddux

4: Jim Bunning

3: C.C. Sabathia, Randy Johnson

Of the four pitchers listed above, all won at least 20 games in one season. Johnson had three 20-win seasons, Maddux had two, and Bunning and Sabathia each was a 20-game winner in one season.

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Are the Blue Jays ready to become AL East champs?

Toronto

Take a look at the MLB standings this morning and you see a lot of familiar faces at the top of the heap. Atlanta, Detroit and Oakland each won division titles last season, while San Francisco won the NL West in 2012 and the Brewers took the NL Central in 2011. It’s the team that sits in first place in the AL East that probably surprises a lot of baseball experts: the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays have not won a division title since 1993, and they have finished second in a division race only once since then (that was in 2006 when they were division runner-ups).

Toronto doe not, however, hold the mark for the longest wait for a division championship. In fact, two of the NL franchises have never won a division crown: Miami and Colorado. Of those teams that have won a divisional title, the Kansas City Royals have the longest drought; they have not won a division championship since 1985.

Following is a look at the last time each of the current 30 MLB franchises won a divisional title.

Never: Colorado, Miami

1985: Kansas City

1992: Pittsburgh

1993: Toronto

1997: Baltimore

2001: Houston, Seattle

2006: NY Mets, San Diego

2007: Cleveland

2008: Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox

2009: L.A. Angels

2010: Minnesota, Tampa Bay

2011: Arizona, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Texas

2012: Cincinnati, NY Yankees, San Francisco, Washington

2013: Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, LA Dodgers, Oakland, St. Louis

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Brewers winning with multiple run producers

Brewers5

With their win last night, the Milwaukee Brewers finished the first half of the 2014 season with a 49-32 record. Looking at some of the stats for the team, there are five players who are on pace to finish the season with 80 of more RBIs: Khris Davis (42), Ryan Braun (41), Carlos Gomez (41), Jonathan Lucroy (40) and Aramis Ramirez (40). If each of them should finish the year with 80 or more RBIs, it would be only the fourth time in team history that five players had 80 or more RBIs in the season.

Here’s a look at the three Brewers teams that had five players with 80 or more RBIs.

1982: Cecil Cooper (121), Robin Yount (114), Gorman Thomas (112), Ben Oglivie (102), Ted Simmons (97)

1996: John Jaha (118), Greg Vaughn (95), Jose Valentin (95), Dave Nilsson (84), Jeff Cirillio (83)

2010: Casey McGehee (104), Ryan Braun (103), Corey Hart (102), Prince Fielder (83), Rickie Weeks (83)

The Brewers have a sixth player, Mark Reynolds, who starts the second half of the season with 31 RBIs. If Reynolds could drive in 44 or more runs in the second half and join the five teammates on pace to finish over 80, that would give the Brewers six players with 75 or more RBIs. That would be only the second time in club history where six players ended the season with 75 or more RBI. The only season with six Brewers with 75 or more RBIs was in 1987: Robin Yount (103), Dale Sveum (95), Greg Brock (85), Rob Deer (80), Glenn Braggs (77), Paul Molitor (75).

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