Today’s Sportstats: March 25, 2019

Brewers Opening Day line-up and Opening Day pitchers

The Brewers 2019 season beings this Thursday March 28 with a home contest against division rivals the St. Louis Cardinals. Here are two stats you might find interesting about the Brewers Opening Day line-ups from the past.

Opening Day starters-by position: Did you know that Robin Yount has the most Opening Day starts for the Brewers at two different positions? Yount started at shortstop on Opening Day for the Brewers 10 times and started as the Opening Day center fielder eight times, both tops for the team. Care to take a guess at which players rank second to Yount for most Opening Day starts at shortstop and center field for the Brewers in their history? The answer is at the end of this article.

Here is a look at the players who have made the most Opening Days starts at each position for the Brewers in their 50-year history.

Catcher: Jonathan Lucroy and B.J. Surhoff, both with 5

First Baseman: Cecil Cooper, 9

Second Baseman: Jim Gantner, 11

Third baseman: Don Money, 7

Shortstop: Robin Yount, 10

Left Fielder: Ryan Braun, 8

Center Fielder: Robin Yount, 8

Right Fielder: Sixton Lezcano and Jeromy Burnitz, both 5

Designated Hitter: Paul Molitor, 4

Pitcher: Ben Sheets, 6

Opening Day starting pitcher: Brewers manager Craig Counsell about two weeks ago announced that Jhoulys Chacin would be the team’s Opening Day starting pitcher on March 28 versus the Cards. While Chacin, who will be the sixth different Opening Day starter for the Brew Crew in the last six seasons, said he was honored with the assignment, being the Brewers Opening Day starting pitcher has not been a good omen over the past few years for the Brewers.

Consider this:

  • Of the last five pitchers to be the Opening Day starter for the Brewers, none finished the season with 10 or more wins. The 2018 starter, Chase Anderson finished last season 9-8; the 2017 starter, Junior Guerra ended that year 1-4; the 2016 Opening Day starter Wily Peralta ended the ’16 campaign with a 7-11 record; the 2015 starter Kyle Lohse ended that year 5-13; and 2014 starter Yovani Gallardo ended that season 8-11. That’s a collective 22-36 record, a pathetic .379 winning percentage.
  • Of the Brewers last 20 Opening Day starting pitchers, only eight ended that year with a winning record.
  • Of the Brewers last 20 Opening Day starting pitchers, only twice did that pitcher end the year with 15 or more wins (Yovani Gallardo in 2011, 17 wins, and Gallardo again in 2012, 16 wins).
  • The combined season record of the Brewers last 20 Opening Day starting pitchers was 189-197, a .490 winning percentage.

Answer to the question: The Brewers shortstop with the second-most Opening Day starts for the team is J.J. Hardy with five; the Brewers center fielder with the second-most Opening Day starts for the team is Carlos Gomez with five.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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