Stats the Fact, Jack: August 10, 2020

(A weekly look at several sports stats you may not know)

  • Can you have a home field advantage in baseball if there are no fans in the stands? Interesting question. Based on some numbers from the early games played in this year’s abbreviated version of Major League Baseball, it appears that maybe cheering fans do play a role in their team’s success at home. Through games of August 8, MLB home teams are 105-100, a .512 winning percentage. Last season home teams had a winning percentage of .529 for the season. We’ll have to see how this stat plays out the rest of this season.
  • In the Brewers’ 8-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on August 6, Christian Yelich had a home run and walked four times. Yelich became the 100th player in MLB history to have at least one home run and four or more walks in a game in baseball history. It was the 123rd time this feat was accomplished. He also became the first Brewer player to reach these numbers in a game. Yelich also scored three runs in the contest; it was the 43rd time in MLB history that a player had a home run, four or more walks and three or more runs scored in a game in MLB history. Barry Bonds accomplished the feat of a home run and four walks in a game six times in his career… Ted Williams did it five times… Edgar Martinez did it four times… and Babe Ruth and Mark McGwire did it three times each in their careers.
  • The Milwaukee Bucks were the only NBA team this season that had a shot at winning 60 games when the season resumed play in late July. They would have become the 14th team in NBA history to have back-to-back 60-win seasons, but will fall short of the 60-win season this year. The 13 teams that accomplished the feat of back-to-back 60-win seasons: Philadelphia (1967-68), Milwaukee (1971-72-73), L.A. Lakers (1972-73), Boston (1981-82-83), Boston (1984-85-86). L.A. Lakers (1985-86-87-88), Chicago (1991-92), Chicago (1996-97-98), Utah (1997-98), Dallas (2006-07), Cleveland (2009-10), Golden State (2015-16-17), San Antonio (2016-17).
  • The Chicago White Sox have a Rookie of the Year (ROY) candidate in centerfielder Luis Robert. Through the first 15 games of this season, Robert is batting .322 with nine runs scored, six RBI and four stolen bases. The Sox have had six ROY in their history: Jose Abreu (2014), Ozzie Guillen (1985), Ron Kittle (1983), Tommie Agee (1966), Gary Peters (1963) and Luis Aparicio (1956).
  • Did you know that based on a player’s age as of June 30, Prince Fielder hit the most HRs with the Brewers in his 20’s? Fielder hit 230 home runs with the Brewers in seasons age 20-29. Second on the list is Ryan Braun, who hit 211 home runs with the Brewers in his 20s. Robin Yount hit 11 homers as a teenager with the Brewers, tops in that age group (Gary Sheffied is second with four dingers). Most home runs by a Brewer player in his 30’s? Ben Oglivie with 158 followed by Cecil Cooper (144). Hank Aaron has the most HRs by a Brewers player in his 40s with 22. He is followed by Jim Edmonds with eight. (Source: Research on baseball-reference.com).
  • There has been speculation in the media that the Packers might take a look at former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown to upgrade their receiving corp. Might not be a bad idea based on this stat: Brown holds the NFL record for most consecutive games with seven or more receptions with 14 games. He is followed by Michael Thomas (New Orleans) and Demaryius Thomas (Denver) who each caught seven or more passes in eight consecutive games. The Packers record is held by Davante Adams who caught seven or more passes in five straight games.
  • When Aaron Rodgers throws his first TD pass in the 2020 regular season, he will become the second Packers QB to have thrown a regular season TD pass in three different decades. Rodgers had his first TD pass in 2007, tossed a bunch of them in the 2010s, and will likely throw a few this decade. The other Packers QB to have a TD in three different decades is Bart Starr. He had his first TD pass for the Packers in 1956 and then threw TD passes in the 60’s and 70’s.
  • The Brewers 1-0 win over the White Sox on August 5 was their first 1-0 win since April 3, 2019 when they defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 1-0. It was the 80th 1-0 win for the Brewers in the team’s history. Since 2015, there have been 213 1-0 games in the majors. The San Francisco Giants have won 14 of those games, tops in the majors. The other teams with 11 or more 1-0 wins since 2015: L.A. Dodgers (13), Chicago Cubs (13), Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay (each with 11).
  • San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr. recently became the ninth player in MLB history to hit 30 home runs in the first 100 games of his career. The others: Mark McGwire (he hit 37 in his first 100 games), Cody Bellinger (34), Rudy York (33), Pete Alonso (33), Gary Sanchez (33), Jose Abreu (31), Tatis Jr. (30), Aaron Judge (30) and Ryan Braun (30).
  • The Brewers have gotten off to a relatively slow start which may not bode well in this shortened season. They may have to depend on another September charge to make the playoffs. In September of 2018 and 2019, the Brewers had the second-best record in the majors. The Brew Crew was a combined 40-14 (.741) in regular season games after September 1 in 2018 and 2019. The Houston Astros were 40-12 (.769) those two seasons in September contests, tops in the majors. If you go all the way back to 2010, the Brewers were 159-123 in September games, fifth best in the MLB.
  • One final thought: Aaron Rodgers and Danica Patrick are no longer dating… Patrick said she was a Bears fan before her and Rodgers started dating… former Bears QB Jay Cutler and wife Kristin Cavallari are headed for divorce… does it make sense for Jay Cutler to start dating Danica Patrick? Just wondering.

 

 

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Stats the Fact, Jack: August 2, 2020

(A weekly look at several sports stats you may not know)

  • On June 29, four Brewers pitchers (Brandon Woodruff, David Phelps, Devin Williams and Josh Hader) combined on a one-hit shutout in the team’s 3-0 win over the Pirates. It was the first one-hit shutout by the Brew Crew pitching staff since May 7, 2011 when Yovani Gallardo and John Axford combined on a one-hit shutout of the Cardinals in a Brewers’ 4-0 victory. The last one-hit, complete game shutout by one pitcher for the Brewers was August 31, 2008 when CC Sabathia did it against the Pirates in a 7-0 Brewers win.
  • In that same June 29th game, the Brewers pitching staff had 14 strikeouts. It was the 92nd game in team history where the pitching staff had 14 or more strikeouts. The Brewers are 62-30 in those games.
  • Through the first six games of the 2020 season, Christian Yelich was one-for-27, a .037 batting average. In his previous two seasons in Milwaukee, Yelich was 9-for-22 (in 2019) and 10-for-26 (in 2018) in his first six games of those two seasons, a combined average of .396. In his career prior to this season, Yelich was 51-for-170 in the first six games of a season, a .300 average.
  • From 2010-19, the New England Patriots were 24-0 in games where one of their players amassed 100 or more yards rushing, the only undefeated team in that timeframe. The league as a whole was 761-284-7 (a .727 winning percentage) when teams had one player gain at least 100 yards rushing in a contest. The Packers were 20-5-1 (.788) from 2010-19 in games where they had a running back gain 100 or more yards in a game.
  • Former MLB manager John McNamara died on July 28, 2020 at the age of 88. He was the skipper for six different MLB teams in his career (Oakland, San Diego, Cincinnati, California, Boston and Cleveland) and won 1160 games in his managerial career. He is one of 64 managers in league history to win 1,000 or more games as a manager. He managed in one World Series… with the Boston Red Sox in 1986.
  • On one baseball broadcast I watched, there was discussion about how many home runs would lead the majors in the game-shortened season (60 games). The announcers opined that they thought 20 might lead the league this year. For the record, the most home runs in the first 60 games of a season is 32 by Barry Bonds in 2001. He is followed by Mark McGwire with 28 in the first 60 games of the 1998 seasons; Mickey Mantle with 27 HRs in the first 60 games of the 1956 campaign; and Babe Ruth with 27 long balls in the first 60 games of the 1928 season. The most home runs by a Brewers player in the first 60 games of a season happened last year when Christian Yelich had 22 in the first 60 games. Prince Fielder held the record with 21 HRs after the first 60 games of the 2007 season. Carlos Lee (2006) and Richie Sexson (2003) each hit 19 homers in the first 60 games of a season with the Brewers.
  • Prior to the start of the eight-game bubble season for the NBA, the Bucks had two players averaging over 20 points per game for the 2019-20 season: Giannis at 29.6 and Khris Middleton at 21.1. If they both finish the season over 20 points per game, it would be the third time in four years that the Bucks had two players average 20.0-plus points per game in a season. In 2017-18, Giannis and Middleton averaged 26.9 and 20.1 respectively; in 2016-17, Jabari Parker averaged 20.1 and Giannis averaged 22.9 per game. In three straight years starting with the 1999-2000 season, Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson each averaged over 20 points per game in a season for the Bucks, the only time in team history that the same two players averaged 20 or more points per game in three consecutive seasons.
  • Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones tied with Christian McCaffrey for the most TDs in the NFL last season with 19. Jones was 12th in the league with 1,084 rushing yards. Tennessee’s Derrick Henry led the league in rushing with 1,540 yards. The Packers have had a player lead the league in rushing only once in team history: Jim Taylor led the NFL in rushing in 1962 with 1,474 yards.
  • The shortened MLB season will likely prevent a few players from reaching important milestones in their careers. The Cubs’ Jon Lester started the season with 190 career wins and appeared a sure bet to reach 200 this season; he had won at least 10 games in 11 of his 15 seasons. Now reaching 200 this year could be a tough road for him. On the batters’ side, Yadier Molina and Ryan Braun were two players who looked like they would pass the 2,000-hit mark this season. Molina started the year with 1,963 career hits; Braun had 1,933.
  • Speaking of 2,000 hits, Ian Kinsler, who played for the San Diego Padres last season, announced his retirement in December, 2019. Kinsler had 1,999 career hits in a 14-year career and it looks like he will end his career one hit short of 2,000. One other MLB player ended his career with 1,999 hits: Jimmy Collins, who played from 1895-1908.

 

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Stats the Fact, Jack: July 27, 2020

(A weekly look at several sports stats you may not know)

 

  1. The NBA has decided that voting for this year’s major awards (MVP, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, etc.) will not include games that are played at the end of July (and into August) which will complete the 2019-20 season. Instead, the league has stated that these awards will be based on performances from the start of the 2019-20 season through March 11, 2020, when the league shut down due to the pandemic. This may be good news for Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. The reigning league MVP was one of the favorites to take home the MVP this season until the halt in play. Should he win the MVP award again this season, he would become only the 12th player in NBA history to win back-to-back MVP awards. The other 11 are: Steph Curry, LeBron James, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. Bird, Chamberlain and Russell are the only players to win the league’s MVP award in three consecutive seasons.
  2. In just two seasons with the Brewers, Christian Yelich has won a National League MVP Award and finished second the other year; he has amassed 80 home runs and 52 stolen bases with the Brewers in two seasons. In these two years, Yelich has accomplished what only 10 other Brewers players have… a career with the Brewers with 80 or more HRs and 50 or more stolen bases. The other Brewers players with 80 HR and 50 stolen bases in their Milwaukee careers: Ryan Braun (344 HR-215 steals), Robin Yount (251-271), Cecil Cooper 9201-77), Greg Vaughn (169-62), Paul Molitor (160-412), Corey Hart (154-83), Rickie Weeks (148-126), Don Money (134-66), Jose Valentin (90-75) and Carlos Gomez (87-152).
  3. Brandon Woodruff was the Brewers Opening Day starting pitcher for this season, becoming the seventh different pitcher to start the first game of the season for the Crew in the last seven seasons. The Opening Day Brewers pitchers over the past six seasons: 2020: Brandon Woodruff, 2019: Jhoulys Chacin, 2018: Chase Anderson, 2017: Junior Guerra, 2016: Wily Peralta, 2015: Kyle Lohse, 2014: Yovani Gallardo.
  4. Hall of Fame quarterbacks every once in a while have a bad game… a terrible game. Did you know that since 1966 (the start of the Super Bowl era) there have been seven Hall of Fame quarterbacks who had a game where they had no TD passes and five or more interceptions in that game? The seven: Terry Bradshaw, Dan Marino, Joe Namath (he did it twice!), Ken Stabler, Bart Starr, Fran Tarkenton and Johnny Unitas.
  5. Some of you may find this hard to believe, but Brewers manager Craig Counsell is the longest tenured manager in the National League. Counsell was hired to manage the Brewers on May 4, 2015. The second-longest tenured skipper in the N.L. is Miami’s Don Mattlingly; he was hired as the Marlins’ manager on November 2, 2015. Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was also hired in 2015 (November 23, 2015) and is the third-highest tenured manager in the N.L. Over in the American League, Oakland’s Bob Melvin tops the list as not only the A.L.’s longest-tenured manager, but all of baseball. He was hired by the A’s on June 9, 2011. Following Melvin on the list in the A.L. are Terry Francona (Cleveland-October 6, 2012), Kevin Cash (Tampa Bay, December 5, 2014) and Scott Servais (Seattle-October 23, 2015).
  6. LeBron James is averaging 10.6 assists per game this season. If he ends the season averaging 10.0 or more assists per game, he will become only the second player age 35 or older to average 10 or more assists per game for a season. The other player? Steve Nash. He averaged 10.0 or more assists per game in a season when he was 35, 36 and 37 years of age.
  7. Here’s a really interesting trivia question for you to share with your friends, especially if you are all Brewers fans: Can you name the three players who played 1,000 or more games with the Brewers but never made an All-Star team as a member of the Brewers? The answer: Jim Gantner (1,801 games), Charlie Moore (1,283 games) and BJ Surhoff (1,102 games). Surhoff was an all-star with the Baltimore Orioles in 1999. He played for the Brewers from 1987-95.
  8. Last season in the NFL there were four quarterbacks who passed for 4,500 or more yards: Jameis Winston, Dak Prescott, Philip Rivers and Jared Goff. Since the AFL-NFL merger (1970), there have been 62 times when a QB has passed for 4,500 or more yards in a season. Five of those happened in the 1980s, three in the 1990s, 11 in the 2000s, and there were 43 times it happened from 2010-19. Of those 62 QBs, 26 of the 62 were age 22-29, 14 of the 62 were age 30-33, and 22 of the 62 were age 34 or older.

 

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Stats the Fact, Jack: July 20, 2020

(A weekly look at several sports stats you may not know)

  1. Over the past couple of weeks, the Milwaukee media has been writing about how the Brewers will be looking to make club history in the 2020 season by making the playoffs for the third season in a row, something that has never been done in the history of the team. It is true that the Brewers have never made the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, but they are one of 11 MLB teams that have never accomplished this feat. The other 10 MLB franchises that have never made it to the post-season in three straight years: Arizona, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati, Colorado, Miami, New York Mets, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington. The Brew Crew is the only one of these 11 teams that could make it three in a row this season; Tampa Bay and Washington are the only other two teams on this list that made it to the post-season last season.
  2. In the past 20 seasons, which Chicago baseball team has won the most games in a season? In 2014, the Cubs and White Sox each won 73 games. In the other 19 seasons, the Cubs have won more games than the White Sox in 12 seasons. The White Sox won more games than the Cubs in seven seasons since 2000.
  3. Last year in the NFL (2019 season) about 45% of the TDs scored in the season were by players who were under the age of 25. In NFL history, there have been six players who scored 50 or more career TDs before they turned 25: Barry Sanders (57), Todd Gurley (56), Maurice Jones-Drew (56), Randy Moss (54), Jim Brown (53) and Emmitt Smith (53).
  4. Which NBA franchise has had the worst record this century? If you answered the New York Knicks, you are correct. The Knicks have a combined record of 693-997 (.410 winning percentage) from the 1999-2000 season until today. Three other teams have a cumulative winning percentage under .426 since 1999-2000: Washington (.423), Charlotte (.424) and Minnesota (.425).
  5. Terry Felton may not be a name that you are familiar with in baseball lore, but he holds a very dubious honor. Felton, a pitcher, was a second round pick of the Minnesota Twins in the 1976 draft. He played four seasons in the majors. In 1979 he was 0-0; in 1980, he was 0-3, in 1981 he was again 0-0; in 1982, however, he had a record of 0-13. After that 1982 season, he never again played in the majors. He ended his MLB career with a record of 0-16. He holds the record for most career losses without a win in the majors. Felton played two years in the minors in 1983 and 1984. In his minor league career he compiled a pitching record of 43 wins and 64 losses.
  6. It looks like we are less than two months away from the 2020 NFL regular season kicking off. Over the past 10 seasons, there are two teams that have compiled an 8-2 record in their opening week games… New England and Philadelphia. Five teams went 7-3 in their first game of the year from 2010-2019: Kansas City, Denver, Green Bay, Baltimore and San Francisco. The NFL’s worst opening game teams this past decade? Cleveland was 0-9-1, Indianapolis was 1-9, and the Giants were 2-8.
  7. The 2020 MLB season will consist of only 60 regular season games. In MLB history, the best record after the first 60 games of the year is 48-12 by the 1912 New York Giants. The 2001 Seattle Mariners, 1939 New York Yankees and 1907 Chicago Cubs tied for the next-best record after the first 60 games with a 47-13 record. Since 2010, there have been seven teams that won 40 or more games in the first 60 played in a season. Three of those teams won the World Series (the 2016 Cubs went 42-18; the 2017 Astros went 42-18 and the 2018 Red Sox went 41-19). For Brewers fans, the best the Brew Crew has done in the first 60 games of a season is 37-23 in 2018.

 

 

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Stats the Fact, Jack-July 13, 2020

Stats the Fact, Jack-July 13, 2020

(A weekly look at three sports stats you may not know)

  1. In the history of Major League Baseball, there have been 46 players who had 1,000 or more career plate appearances and no home runs. Topping the list is Dave Eggler who played from 1871 to 1885. He had 2,598 plate appearances without a home run. Only one player who played this century was on the list of 46 players: Reggie Willits, an outfielder who played from 2006-11with the Angels. He had 1,014 career plate appearances without an HR. Of the current players, pitcher Johnny Cueto tops the list. He has 618 plate appearances and no home runs.
  2. Michael Jordan played for the Chicago Bulls from 1984-85 until 1997-98. He had 29,277 points, 5,836 rebounds and 5,012 assists with the Bulls during that timeframe, most on the club in each category. Since the 1998-99 season until today, do you know who has the most career points, rebounds and assists as a member of the Bulls? Luol Deng tops the list with 10,286 points; Joakim Noah is number one on the rebound list with 5,387; and Kirk Heinrich had 3,811 assists for the Bulls since 1998-99, most in that category.
  3. There are 10 NFL teams who have a .500 or better record in the history of the NFL playoffs. The teams: New England Patriots (37-21, .638), Green Bay Packers (35-23, .603), Baltimore Ravens (15-10, .600), San Francisco 49ers (33-22, .600), Pittsburgh (36-25, .590), Oakland Raiders (25-19, .568), Dallas Cowboys (35-28, .556), Denver Broncos (23-19, .548), Washington Redskins (23-19, .548) and Carolina Panthers (9-8, .529).

 

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