In the game of baseball, a player can go from goat to hero (or hero to goat) in the span of one inning.
Case in point: On Thursday, July 28, I attended the Brewers-Arizona game at Miller Park. I watched as outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis struck out in the first, fourth and sixth innings. Then, while leading off the eighth inning for the Brew Crew, Nieuwenhuis launched a solo HR. From goat (three strikeouts) to hero (a solo HR).
It got me thinking about players who for the Brewers have had similar games, contests where they struck out three or more times and had a home run.
For Nieuwenhuis, his three strikeout-home run game on July 28 was the second such game in 2016; he also did it on June 24 in a Brewers win over the Nationals. Only one other Brewers player has had three or more strikeouts and a home run in the same game this season… Chris Carter did it on May 19 against the Cubs. In the 2015 season, there was only one player who accomplished this rare feat in a game: Ryan Braun.
If we go back in Brewers’ history, there have been 88 games where a Brewers player had three or more strikeouts and a home run in the same game; that was accomplished by 42 different players. Topping the list is a couple of active players who are no longer with the team: Carlos Gomez and Rickie Weeks. Both had seven games in their Milwaukee careers where they had three strikeouts and a home run in the same contest.
Here’s a look at the players who had three or more such games with the Brewers.
7: Carlos Gomez, Rickie Weeks
6: Rob Deer
5: Richie Sexson
4: Ryan Braun
3: Jeromy Burnitz, Prince Fielder, Bill Hall, Corey Hart, Ben Oglivie, Gorman Thomas, Jose Valentin, Greg Vaughn
Only once in Brewers’ history has a player had two HRs and at least three strikeouts in a game: Dale Sveum did it on June 12, 1988 when he had two home runs and struck out three times in the Brewers 16-2 win over the Chicago White Sox.
There has been 10 times where a Brewers player had four or more strikeouts in a game where they also slugged a home run. The last player to do so was Mark Reynolds on April 5, 2014. Eight different Brewers players have had four strikeouts and a home run in a game with Jeromy Burnitz and Rob Deer doing it twice in a Milwaukee uniform.