Monthly Archives: August, 2019

Today’s Sportstat: August 29, 2019

Back-to-back post-season appearances have been rare for the Brewers

Before reading the rest of this article, see if you can answer this trivia question: Of the current 30 baseball franchises, can you name the two that have never played in the post-season in back-to-back seasons? (The answer is contained in the article.)

Brewers’ fans certainly enjoyed the team’s pennant run last season that ended one game short of an appearance in the World Series. Sitting here on the morning of August 29, the Brewers have a lot of work to do if they want to get back to the post season… they are 5½ games behind the first-place Cardinals in the National League Central, and are 3½ games out of the second Wild Card spot in the N.L.

Making the playoffs in back-to-back seasons has not happened very frequently for the Brew Crew. In fact, the team’s only back-to-back post-season appearance was back in 1981 and 1982; and that was when the franchise played in the American League, meaning the National League version of the Brewers has never played in the post season in back-to-back seasons.

Of teams that have played in the post season in back-to-back seasons, the Brewers have the longest drought for repeating that accomplishment. There are, however, two current MLB franchises that have never played in the post season in back-to-back years. It’s not surprising that Miami, which began as a MLB franchise in 1993, is one of those teams. What is surprising is the other team: the Chicago White Sox. Think of this, the White Sox began as a MLB franchise in 1901 and have never played in the post season in back-to-back years.

Here’s a breakdown of the last time each of the 30 MLB franchises played in the post season in back-to-back seasons.

Never: Chicago White Sox, Miami

1982: Milwaukee (as members of the American League)

1997: Baltimore

2001: Seattle

2002: Arizona

2003: San Francisco

2006: San Diego

2009: Los Angeles Angels

2010: Minnesota

2011: Philadelphia, Tampa Bay

2013: Atlanta, Cincinnati

2014: Detroit, Oakland

2015: Kansas City, Pittsburgh, St. Louis

2016: New York Mets, Texas, Toronto

2017: Washington

2018: Boston, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland, Colorado, Houston, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees

 

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Today’s Sportstats: August 26, 2019

Will Matt Lafleur become the first Packers coach to reach the playoffs in his first season?

Reading this article, especially if you are a Packers fan, may be hazardous to your health…

Optimism runs pretty rampant in the NFL these days. The Packers and their fans are certainly hyped about the new season; an improved defense, hopefully, a great season from QB Aaron Rodgers, and a new offensive-scheme.

One reason for Green Bay optimism this season is a new head coach, Matt LaFleur. An offensive-minded coach, LaFleur is looked upon by the team and fans to resurrect the offense and get the team back to the playoffs. After eight straight seasons making the playoffs, the Pack the last two seasons failed to qualify for the post-season. The last time the Packers failed to make the playoffs in three straight years was back in the early 1990’s.

History, or better stated, statistics, indicate that the Packers making the playoffs this year could be a struggle. Here’s why… no Packers head coach has ever led his team to the playoffs in his first season! You read that right… no first-year coach has seen his team make the post-season in Green Bay. Not Lombardi, not Holmgren… none of them.

There have been 14 new head coaches for the Packers who started their careers at the beginning of a season (LaFleur will be the 15th). Of those 14, only four had a winning season that first year (three finished that first campaign with a .500 record). Mike Holmgren’s 9-7 record in his first year in 1992 and Mike Sherman’s 9-7 record in his first year in 2000 are the two coaches with the most wins in their first season in Green Bay. The other two coaches who had winning seasons in their first season as head coach in Green Bay were Curly Lambeau (he was 3-2-1 in his first year in Green Bay) and Vince Lombardi… he was 7-5 in his first season with the Packers in 1959.

Here is a look at the 14 Packers head coaches’ records in their first season in Green Bay.

1921, Curly Lambeau, 3-2-1

1950, Gene Ronzani, 3-9

1954, Lisle Blackburn, 4-8

1958, Ray McLean, 1-10-1

1959, Vince Lombardi, 7-5

1968, Phil Bengston, 6-7-1

1971, Dan Devine, 4-8-2

1975, Bart Starr, 4-10

1984, Forrest Gregg, 8-8

1988, Lindy Infante, 4-12

1992, Mike Holmgren, 9-7

1999, Ray Rhodes, 8-8

2000, Mike Sherman, 9-7

2006, Mike McCarthy, 8-8

Combined, the above Packers head coaches compiled a 78-109-5 record, a .419 winning percentage, in their first year at the helm of the Packers. Not very impressive, is it?

That brings us back to LaFleur. Can he win at least nine games and become the fifth Packers coach in team history to have a winning record in his first year with the team? Can he reach the playoffs in his first season, thus becoming the first Packers first-year coach to do so? Needless to say, there are some high expectations for LaFleur and this year’s Packers team. A playoff appearance in 2019 would be a “first” for a first-year coach.

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Today’s Sportstat: August 22, 2019

Ryan Braun looking for his 10th 20-HR season

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is the franchise leader with 340 career home runs. This season, through games of August 21, Braun has hit 18 home runs.

Braun needs two more HRs this season for his 10th 20-HR season in his career. If he reaches 20 homers this season, he will become the 98th player in MLB history to have 10 seasons with 20 or more home runs. (For what it is worth, 37 of the 97 players in baseball history who have hit 20 or more home runs in 10 or more seasons are in the baseball Hall of Fame.)

Braun’s nine seasons with 20 or more HRs with the Brewers is the team record. Here is a look at the Brewers players with the most 20-HR seasons with the team.

9-Ryan Braun
7-Geoff Jenkins
6-Prince Fielder
5-Corey Hart, Jeromy Burnitz, Rob Deer, Gorman Thomas, Cecil Cooper
4-Greg Vaughn, Robin Yount

Hank Aaron holds the MLB record for most seasons with 20 or more home runs with 20. Following are the 17 players who have hit 20+ HRs in a season in 15 or more seasons.

20-Hank Aaron

19-Barry Bonds

17-Frank Robinson, Willie Mays

16-Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Jim Thome, Eddie Murray, Reggie Jackson, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth

15-David Ortiz, Ken Griffey, Jr., Fred McGriff, Dave Winfield, Willie Stargell, Mel Ott.

Albert Pujols is the active leader in this category with 16 seasons with 20+ HRs. He does, however, have 19 HRs this season through games of August 21 and should jump into the Top 5 in this category with one more homer this season.

 

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Today’s Sportstat: August 19, 2019

The high and low of giving up 14 or more runs in a game

Let’s be honest… the Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff had a rough weekend. In two games on Saturday August 17 and Sunday August 18 against the Washington Nationals, the Brewers pitching staff gave up 14 runs in one game and 16 in the other. What makes this all the more interesting is that the Brewers did not lose both games; they split these two games with the Nats.

On Saturday the Brewers needed 14 innings to win 15-14 over the Nationals. On Sunday, Washington got off to a 13-0 lead and eventually won the game 16-8.

In the 15-14 win, Eric Thames hit a two-run HR in the 14th inning to put the Brew Crew up 15-13. It was the team’s seventh HR in the contest, tying a club record. The Brewers became the first team since 2008 to win a game where they allowed the opposition to score 14 or more runs. Back on September 2, 2008, the Atlanta Braves defeated the Florida Marlins 16-14.

There have been only 61 games since 1911 where a team won a game where their opponents scored 14 or more runs in a contest. It was the first time for the Brewers franchise. The Brew Crew is now 1-78 in games where they allow 14 or more runs in a game. It was also the fourth game this season that the Brewers allowed 14 or more runs in a game. The team record is six games in a season; they allowed 14 or more runs in six games in 1991.

Prior to Thames’ 14-inning HR, the Brewers had tallied 13 runs with six HRs. Teams that score 13 or more runs in a game with six or more home runs have won 197 of 200 games in MLB history. The three times when a team that scored 13 or more runs with six homers in a game were:

4-27-1965: Philadelphia, 6 HRs, 13 runs in a 14-13 loss to San Francisco

5-17-1979: Cubs, 6 HRs, 22 runs in a 23-22 loss to Philadelphia

6-30-1996: Dodgers, 6 HRs, 15 runs in a 16-15 loss to Colorado.

The Brewers finished that Saturday 15-14 win over Washington with 15 runs and seven home runs. Teams that have scored 15 or more runs in a game with seven or more home runs are now 50-0. There have already been six games this season in the majors where a team had 15 or more runs and seven HRs in a game. The previous MLB high for a season was four games.

One final note: In Sunday’s game, a 16-8 loss for the Brewers, the Brew Crew hit four HRs. In 2019, they have had 10 games where the team hit four or more home runs, compiling an 8-2 record in those games. The most games with four or more home runs in a season for the Brewers was in 1982 when they had 12 games with four or more home runs. They did it 11 times in 2012. They also had 10 games with four or more HRs in 1980. The Brewers are 145-33 (a .815 winning percentage) in their history in games where they hit four or more home runs.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: August 15, 2019

Highest Passer Rating for QBs at each age

If you follow the NFL, you know that the play of the quarterback is an important part of success in the league. Not only do we have young QB’s who are quickly becoming stars in the NFL (Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff), but we are also seeing QB’s well into their 30’s and 40’s who are performing at a high level.

To put some numbers to this, let’s look at which QBs have had the most success at each age. Specifically, let’s see which QBs have the highest Passer Rating at age 21 all the way up to age 41.

Just last season Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff, who turned 24 during the 2018 campaign, ended his age 23 games with a Passer Rating of 109.3, highest of any QB in NFL history at that age. But he wasn’t the only player to set a record last year for the highest Passer Rating at a particular age:

  • Los Angeles Chargers QB ended his age 36 NFL games with a 110.2 Passer Rating.
  • New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees, who was age 39 during the 2018 season, had a 115.7 Passer Rating, highest of any QB at age 39.
  • New England Patriots ageless signal-caller, Tom Brady, was age 41 during last season when he compiled a 97.7 Passer Rating, the highest of any QB at age 41.

Following are the quarterbacks who have had the highest Passer Ratings in games at ages 21-41 (minimum of 200 passes attempted to qualify for the list).

Age 21: Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay, 84.2, 2015

Age 22: Robert Griffin Jr., Washington, 102.4, 2012

Age 23: Jared Goff, L.A. Rams, 109.3, 2017-18

Age 24: Nick Foles, Philadelphia, 119.2, 2013

Age 25: Milt Plum, Cleveland, 110.4, 1960

Age 26: Brett Favre, Green Bay, 110.5, 1995-96

Age 27: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, 124.7, 2010-11

Age 28: Peyton Manning, Indianapolis, 121.1, 2004

Age 29: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, 110.1, 2012-13

Age 30: Tom Brady, New England, 117.2, 2007

Age 31: Matt Ryan, Atlanta, 117.1, 2016

Age 32: Drew Brees, New Orleans, 110.6, 2011

Age 33: Steve Young, San Francisco, 107.0, 1996-97

Age 34: Tony Romo, Dallas, 113.2, 2014

Age 35: Steve Young, San Francisco, 107.0, 1996-97

Age 36: Philip Rivers, L.A. Chargers, 110.2, 2017-18

Age 37: Peyton Manning, Denver, 115.1, 2013

Age 38: Drew Brees, New Orleans, 103.9, 2017

Age 39: Drew Brees, New Orleans, 115.7, 2018

Age 40: Tom Brady, New England, 102.8, 2017

Age 41: Tom Brady, New England, 97.7, 2018

One final note: Jared Goff, who set the record for highest Passer Rating for a QB age 23 last season, could drop down to second place at that age if Patrick Mahomes has anything to say about it. Mahomes who is 23 and won’t turn 24 until September 17, will have two games to play before his 24th birthday. He has a 108.6 Passer Rating at age 23, which is percentage points behind Goff who had a Passer Rating of 109.3 at age 23.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp