Monthly Archives: July, 2014

DH not a bright spot for the Brewers

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(Rickie Weeks)

When National League teams have an interleague game at the home of their American League opponents it gives the NL team a chance to get an extra batter in the game via the designated hitter rule. Hopefully for the NL team it adds some offensive punch to their lineup.

The Milwaukee Brewers have struggled with the DH is the last couple of years. In the last two games versus the American League’s Tampa Bay Rays, the DH spot has gone hitless… Rickie Weeks went 0-for-3 on Monday and Carlos Gomez went 0-for-four last night. Aramis Ramirez will handle the DH spot this afternoon.

In 2014, the DH has been used by the Brewers in nine games versus A.L. teams. The Brew Crew DHs have gone five-for-38, a paltry .132 batting average this year. Take a look back at 2013. Brewers DHs went five-for-38 (again, a .132 average) in 10 interleague games. Things weren’t much better in 2012… Brewers DHs were nine-for-39, a .231 average.

Since 1998 when the Brewers moved to the N.L. Central from the A.L. Central, the best DH in the Brewers lineup was Prince Fielder. Fielder played 18 games as DH in his Brewers career and has the most hits (18), HRs (3) and RBIs (7) for Brewers DHs since 1998. His batting average in those 18 games as DH was only .247.

Of the 26 Brewers players since 1998 who were in the lineup as DH in at least two games, only five players had a batting average above .300: Geoff Jenkins (7-for-11, .636), Carlos Lee (7-for-18, .389), Johnny Estrada (3-for-8, .375), Raul Casanova (6-for-18, .333) and Jeff Liefer (3-for-9, .333). The worst Brewers DH? Eric Young was one-for-13 in three games as Brewers DH, a .077 batting average.

There are six players on the current Brewers roster who have been a DH for the team since 1998. Of the six, only Rickie Weeks has a batting average over .200. Weeks is eight-for-29, .276 as a Brewers DH in the N.L. The others: Ramirez (.196), Jonathon Lucroy (.167), Khris Davis (.125), Ryan Braun (.107) and Gomez (.000).

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The first two years didn’t define Glavine, Maddux

Glavine, Maddux

Atlanta Braves pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux were inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame yesterday. Both won over 300 games (Maddux, 355; Glavine, 305). But if you would have looked at their stats after their first two seasons in the majors, you would have never thought that they would eventually be enshrined in baseball’s hall.

Maddux, who made his MLB debut in 1986 with the Cubs, was 2-4 his first season in the majors and had a less-than-impressive 6-14 record his second year. Glavine, who debuted in 1987 with Atlanta, had a 2-4 record his first season (same as Maddux) and a 7-17 record the following year (those 17 losses that year were the most in Glavine’s career).

Maddux’s 8-18 record after his first two seasons and Glavine’s 9-21 record after their first two years certainly did not shout “Hall of Fame” careers. But when looking at the records of other Hall of Fame pitchers after their first two years, we see some similar results. Of the 30 Hall of Fame pitchers who finished their careers after 1950, 15 had a win-loss percentage over .500 their first two seasons. Thirteen, however, were under .500 after their first two years (two were exactly at .500).

Here’s a look at the win-loss records after the first two seasons of the 30 Hall of Fame pitchers who finished their careers after 1950.

Hall of Fame pitchers (careers ended after 1950) first two seasons in MLB

Under .500
Phil Niekro 2-3
Gaylord Perry 4-7
Sandy Koufax 4-6
Bob Gibson 6-11
Nolan Ryan 6-10
Rollie Fingers 6-7
Greg Maddux 8-18
Fergie Jenkins 8-9
Tom Glavine 9-21
Hal Newhouser 9-10
Catfish Hunter 17-19
Robin Roberts 22-24
Don Sutton 23-27

Exactly .500
Steve Carlton 3-3
Early Wynn 3-3

Above .500
Tom Seaver 32-25
Whitey Ford 27-7
Dennis Ecklersley 26-19
Bert Blyleven 26-24
Hoyt Wilhelm 22-11
Don Drysdale 22-14
Jim Palmer 20-14
Juan Marichal 19-12
Bob Lemon 15-10
Bob Feller 14-10
Bruce Sutter 10-6
Satchel Paige 10-8
Warren Spahn 8-5
Jim Bunning 8-6
Rich Gossage 7-5

Note: Of the 41 Hall of Fame pitchers who finished their careers prior to 1950, 27 had a winning percentage over .500 after their first two years; 12 had winning percentages under .500 (two had exactly a .500 winning percentage).

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Solo home runs account for all the runs… it’s pretty rare!

BrewersHR

The Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday defeated the Reds, 4-3. No big deal, right? Well, what happened in that game has happened only 131 times since 1914… about an average of once a year.

The Brewers scored all of their four runs in that July 22 game on four solo home runs. It was the second time in 2014 that a team scored four or more runs all on solo homers… it happened on June 1 when the Reds scored four runs on four solo home runs against the Diamondbacks.

In the past 100 years in the majors, the most solo home runs in a game that accounted for all the runs scored by a team were six. That happened twice: On May 21, 2010, Toronto had six solo home runs in an 8-6 loss to Arizona; it also happened on August 3, 1991 when the Oakland A’s had six solo home runs in an 8-6 loss to Minnesota.

There have been 19 times since 1914 when a team had five solo home runs account for all of their runs in a contest. The last time it happened was earlier this season when the Pirates had five solo homers in a 7-5 loss to the Cubs. In two of those 19 games, the five solo home runs hit by the team were the only five hits in the game… the last time was in 2012 when the Rockies had five solo home runs, their only hits in the game.

Of the 110 times where a team had four solo HRs account for all of their runs, the Detroit Tigers have had it happen nine times, most since 1914. Toronto and Cincinnati have had it happen seven times. For the Brewers, their four solo HRs accounting for all four of their runs in the July 22nd game was the sixth time it has occurred in their history.

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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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