New Brewers starter Gio Gonzalez got the victory in yesterday’s (September 19) win over Cincinnati, 7-0. He pitched six innings of two-hit ball and had five strikeouts. What made the win even sweeter for Gonzalez was that it came on his 33rd birthday.
Gonzalez became the 13th pitcher in franchise history to win a game on his birthday. It was also the second time it has happened in his career; he won a game on his birthday with the Washington Nationals.
This was also the second time this season that a Milwaukee pitcher was the winning pitcher in a game on his birthday; back on April 17, Dan Jennings was the winning pitcher.
Here’s a look at the 15 times a pitcher has won a game on their birthday for the Brewers franchise (two pitchers did it twice; two pitchers did it in 1969 when the team was the Seattle Pilots).
John Gelnar, 6-25-69 (with Seattle)
Fred Talbot, 6-28-69 (with Seattle)
Lew Krausse, 4-25-70
Marty Pattin, 4-6-71
Jim Colburn, 5-22-73
Jerry Augustine, 7-24-76
Pete Ladd, 7-17-82
Bob McClure, 4-29-86
Steve Sparks, 7-2-95
Scott Karl, 8-9-95
Steve Woodard, 5-15-98
Scott Karl, 8-9-98
Steve Woodard, 5-15-99
Dan Jennings, 4-17-18
Gio Gonzalez, 9-19-18
Of the pitchers listed above, two pitched complete games… Krausse and Woodard (on May 15, 1999).
There have been 78 pitchers who have won two or more games on their birthdays in MLB history. Topping the list is Bobo Newson who had five victories on his birthday. He is followed by Tim Wakefield and Jerry Reuss, each with four birthday wins. There are 17 pitchers who won games on three of their birthdays.
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PACKERSTATS-Game #2-2018 season
Written and Compiled by Jerry Tapp
Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 29-29 tie with the Minnesota Vikings on September 16.
- The 29-29 final score was the first time in NFL history that a game ended with a 29-29 score.
- This is the first 1-0-1 start after two games for the Packers in the Mike McCarthy era. The Packers have started the first two games of a season 0-2 only once (2006) during the McCarthy era, were 1-1 after two games in six seasons (2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017) and have begun the season 2-0 five times (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2015).
- Green Bay is now 12-5-2 versus the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field since 2000. In their last six games at Lambeau against the Vikes, the Pack is 2-2-2.
- The Packers are 58-42-4 (.577 winning percentage) in September games at Lambeau since 1966. They are, however, 23-10-1 in September games at Lambeau since 2000, a .691 winning percentage since 2000.
- Green Bay has now gone five straight regular season games without scoring on their first drive of the game.
- The blocked punt recovered for a TD by rookie Josh Jackson was the first special teams TD since September 9, 2012 when Randall Cobb returned a punt 75 yards in a game versus the San Francisco 49ers.
- Josh Jackson’s TD was the first by a Green Bay rookie since Jamaal Williams scored a TD last December 10. It was, however, the earliest point in a season that a rookie scored a TD since Eddie Lacy scored a TD in Game One of the 2013 season.
- Green Bay scored first in the contest. They are 84-25-2 (.766 winning percentage) in games they score first in the Mike McCarthy era (since 2006). The Packers are 55-9-2 in games at Lambeau Field since 2006 when they score first, a .848 winning percentage.
- The Pack had a 10-point lead at halftime. They are now 70-5-1 (.928) in games since 2000 when they have a lead of 10 points or more at halftime. They are now 51-1-1 (.972) when they have a 10-point lead or more at Lambeau since 2000.
- Mason Crosby made five field goals in the game, the third time in his career that he connected on five field goals. The Packers are now 11-0-1 when Crosby has four or more field goals in a game. The six field goal attempts (he missed one) are a career-high. Green Bay is 16-2-1 in games when Crosby attempts four or more field goals in a contest.
- The Pack had a 13-point lead going into the fourth quarter, 20-7. This was the first time since 2003 that the Packers did not win a game where they had a lead of 13 points or more going into the fourth quarter in a contest at Lambeau Field.
- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix intercepted his 12th pass of his career. The Packers, however, are only 5-4-1 in games where Clinton-Dix has an interception (he had two games with a pair of picks).
- Kirk Cousins became the fourth QB in history to have four TD passes and 400 or more yards passing in a game versus the Packers. Cousins had four TD passes and 425 yards in the game. The others: Matthew Stafford, Donovan McNabb and Randall Cunningham.
- The Vikings had 22 points in the fourth quarter. Green Bay has given up 20 or more points in the fourth quarter 12 times since 1966… they are 3-8-1 in those games. The 22 points scored in the fourth quarter were the third-most in the Super Bowl era against the Pack in the fourth quarter. The most: 31 points in the fourth quarter by the Atlanta Falcons in 1982.
- This was the 35th overtime regular season game in team history. GB is 14-15-6 in OT games. This was the fourth OT game the Packers have played in their last 16 contests.
- Minnesota kicker Daniel Carlson missed on all three of his field goal attempts. He is the first kicker to miss three FG attempts versus the Packers since Greg Zuerlein went one-for-four on October 11, 2015 for the St. Louis Rams. The last kicker to go 0-for-3 in field goals versus the Pack was Steve Christie of the NY Giants on October 3, 2004. Four kickers have gone 0-for-4 in field goal attempts versus the Packers; the last to do so was Detroit’s Eddie Murray on September 30, 1990.
- The Packers did not have a turnover in the game. They are now 53-10-2 (.831) in the Mike McCarthy era when they do not commit a turnover in a game.
- Aaron Rodgers attempted 42 passes, completing 30 of those passes, a 71.4% completion rate. It was the eighth game in his career where he attempted 40 or more passes and had a completion rate over 70%. That ranks him 13th on the all-time list. Drew Brees has 30 such games, 15 more than the two players tied for second in this stat, Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger.
The 2018 NFL is one week old. Some team fan bases are excited about the rest of the season while a handful of other faithful are wondering how bad of a season their team will endure.
How important is the first game of the year… specifically, how important is winning Game One in the NFL season to a potential trip to the Super Bowl? Here are 10 stats about winning the first regular season game of the year and how it relates to a spot in the Super Bowl that year.
- Of the 104 teams that have played in the 52 Super Bowls, 86 of them (83.7%) won their first game of that season. Sixteen lost their first game, and two teams had their first contest of the season end in a tie.
- One Super Bowl team lost their first game of that year in overtime… Tampa Bay in 2002 lost 26-20 to New Orleans in OT.
- In 2017, the two Super Bowl opponents, New England and Philadelphia, had different results in their first games of the ’17 campaign: Philly beat Washington 30-17 in Week One while the Pats were a 42-27 loser to Kansas City.
- Green Bay has played in five Super Bowls. In those five appearances, the Pack won their first game of the season four times (1966, 1996, 1997, and 2010) and had a tie game in their first game of the season in 1967.
- The Super Bowl team with the biggest Week One loss was the Patriots. In 2003, the Pats lost Game One 31-0 to Buffalo, yet they made it to the Super Bowl that season. Eight Super Bowl teams lost their first game of that season by 10 points or more.
- Speaking of New England, they have made 10 trips to the Super Bowl. They are 5-5 in Game One in those seasons.
- Seven Super Bowl teams shutout their opponents in Game One of that season.
- In the last 10 seasons, the 20 Super Bowl teams went 16-4 in their first game of the regular season.
- Five teams that won their first game of the season with an overtime victory went on to play in the Super Bowl that season.
- The biggest Week One win by a team that went on to play in the Super Bowl was the Oakland Raiders who won their first game of the 1967 season 51-0. The 1991 Washington Redskins won their first game that year 45-0 over Detroit on their way to a Super Bowl visit.
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How many wins would the Brewers need in the 2018 season to secure a Wild Card spot in this year’s playoffs (that’s assuming they don’t overtake the Cubs for the National League Central title)?
Since the 2012 season Major League Baseball has had in place a playoff format whereby two teams from each league get a Wild Card berth in the MLB post-season in addition to the three division winners. That means there have been 24 teams that have been Wild Card participants since that ’12 season.
In the American League, the 12 Wild Card teams since 2012 have won an average of 89.5 games; in the National League, the 12 Wild Card teams since 2012 have won an average of 90.9 games.
Of the 24 Wild Card teams (12 in each league since 2012), 11 won 90 or more games to reach the post-season; 18 of the 24 won 88 or more games.
Most wins by a Wild Card team since 2012 was 98 by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015. The fewest wins by a Wild Card team since 2012 was 85 by the Minnesota Twins last season.
The Brewers are currently 82-62 (through games of September 9). They are two games behind the Cubs in the N.L. Central race, but they hold the number one Wild Card spot in the league, 2.5 games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals, who have a one-game lead over the Dodgers for the second Wild Card spot in the N.L.
If we use 90 wins as a benchmark for making the playoffs, the Brewers would need to go at least 8-10 in their final 18 games to finish with 90 wins for the season.
Since 2012, only two teams with 90 or more wins failed to reach the post-season: In 2012, Tampa Bay won 90 games but did not make the playoffs… the next season the Texas Rangers won 91 but did not reach the post-season.
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PACKERSTATS-Game #1-2018 season
Written and Compiled by Jerry Tapp
Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 24-23 win over the Chicago Bears on September 9.
- The Packers have now won nine of their last 11 games against the Bears at Lambeau Field.
- This was the fifth regular season game in the long series with the Bears that the game was decided by one point. The Packers have won each of those five one-point games. The last one-point game in the series was back in 1997, a 24-23 win by the Packers.
- Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky had a 77.2 Passer Rating in the game. The highest passer rating of a Bears QB in a game at Lambeau Field is 124.4 by Jim Harbaugh in a contest in 1990 won by the Bears 31-13.
- The Bears scored first in the game, but it was the sixth straight time that the Bears scored first in a game against the Packers and lost that contest.
- The Packers were scoreless in the first half. The team is now 5-19 in games versus the Bears when they do not score in the first two quarters. Since 2000, Green Bay is 6-13 in regular season games when they are held scoreless in the first half.
- Green Bay QBs were sacked four times in the game. Green Bay is 56-133-3 (.299 winning percentage) in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) when they allow four or more sacks in a game
- The Pack was behind 17-0 at halftime. It was only the third time in 17 games since 2000 that the Packers have won a game where they were behind by 17 or more points at halftime. They are 5-48-1 (.102 winning percentage) in regular season games in the Super Bowl era where they are behind by 17 or more points at half.
- This was the first time in Packers history that they won a regular season game where they were behind by 17 or more points going into the fourth quarter. They had been 0-104 in those games prior to the win over the Bears.
- The Packers tallied 21 points in the fourth quarter, the 16th time since 1966 that they did so. They are now 14-2 in games where they score 21 or more points in the fourth quarter of a regular season game.
- Randall Cobb had nine catches for 142 yards (and the game-winning TD). The 142 yards receiving were a career-high.
- It was the fifth time in Cobb’s career that he had nine or more catches and more than 100 yards receiving in a game.
- The 142 yards for Cobb was the third-highest receiving yards by a Packers player in the opening game of the season in team history. The highest total is 165 yards receiving by Billy Howton in Game One of the 1957 season. James Lofton had 154 yards receiving for the Pack in the first game of the 1983 campaign.
- Aaron Rodgers had three TD passes in a game for the 59th time in his career. He ranks sixth all-time in this category behind Peyton Manning (93), Drew Brees (80), Tom Brady (78), Brett Favre (72) and Dan Marino (62). Rodgers is now four three-TD games behind Favre, who had 63 such games with the Packers.
- Rodgers had three TD passes and no interceptions, the 42nd time in his career that he has done that. He ranks fourth all-time in this stat behind Brady (55), Manning (51) and Brees (43).
- Rodgers had a Passer Rating of 130.7, the fifth time in his career that he had a Passer Rating above 130 against the Bears. The Packers are now 26-1 in regular season games when Rodgers has a Passer Rating above 130.