Monthly Archives: February, 2020

Today’s Sportstat: February 22, 2020

Complete Games not a common theme during Counsell’s tenure

If you follow baseball, you know that relief pitching and managing the bullpen are key factors in today’s game, and that starting pitching, and specifically, complete games, is a quickly dying occurrence.

The Milwaukee Brewers are a prime example of this trend. Manager Craig Counsel begins his sixth season with the team and the way he handles the pitching staff is either the reason for the most recent success Counsell and the Brewers have had, or it is a cause for frustration for Brewers fans (and maybe the team’s starting pitching staff).

Debate about why this has happened within the Brewers pitching staff can shift from a strong bullpen to a weak starting staff. Most everyone has an opinion. But the numbers don’t lie… complete games are on the decline for every team and the game has changed, especially when it comes to how pitching staffs are handled.

The complete game stats are pretty significant when you look at the past five seasons with Counsell in charge. From 2015-19, the Brewers had only two complete games (Taylor Jungmann on July 11, 2015 and Jimmy Nelson on June 18, 2017). That is tied for the fewest complete games in the majors over the past five years with the Tampa Bay Rays pitching staff.

If we look at the past two seasons, the Brew Crew had zero complete games, one of four teams that did not have a complete game over the past two seasons. The others were the Rays, Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres.

Here is a look at the number of complete games each MLB pitching staff had in the past five seasons (2015-19).

34: Cleveland
22: San Francisco
20: Boston, Chicago White Sox
15: Chicago Cubs, Minnesota, Seattle
14: L.A. Dodgers
13: Houston, Texas
12: Detroit
11: Oakland, Pittsburgh, Washington
10: N.Y. Mets, Toronto
9: Kansas City, Philadelphia
8: Colorado, L.A. Angels, N.Y. Yankees, St. Louis
7: Arizona, Atlanta, Cincinnati
4: Baltimore, Florida, San Diego
2: Milwaukee, Tampa Bay

In addition:

  • The Brewers have had zero complete games in three (2016, 2018, 2019) of Counsell’s five seasons. The only other season where the Brew Crew had zero complete games was in 2012.
  • The last season where the Brewers had double-digits in complete games was in 2008 when they had 12.
  • Most complete games in a season for the Brewers pitching staff? In 1978 they had 62 complete games; the following year they had 61.
  • In the first 26 years of the Brewers franchise (1969-94) the team had a total of 836 complete games; in the last 25 years (1995-2019) the team had 89 complete games.

You get the point!

 

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Today’s Sportstat: February 20, 2020

Milwaukee Bucks: Six stats to keep an eye on as the season draws to a close

The Milwaukee Bucks jump into the second half of the 2019-20 NBA season with the league’s best record. With a 46-8 record, the Bucks have 28 games remaining on the schedule. The team, and a few of its players, is closing in on some noteworthy stats. Here are six stats that you’ll want to pay attention to as the regular season gives way to the playoffs.

  1. Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 30.0 points per game, 13.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists. He could become the fifth player in NBA history to finish a season with an average of 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Wilt Chamberlain (1963-64 and 1965-66) and Oscar Robertson (1960-61, 1961-62) each did it twice in their careers; Elgin Baylor did it in 1960-61, and the most recent player to reach these numbers was Russell Westbrook in the 2016-17 campaign.
  2. As mentioned above, the Bucks have a 46-8 record. The team’s best regular season record was in 1970-71 when they went 66-16. The second-best record was the following year when the team went 63-19. Last year’s Bucks were 60-22, tied for the third best record in team history with the 1972-73 and 1980-81 squads. This year’s team will need to finish 21-7 in their final 28 games to top the 1970-71 team’s record of 66-16.
  3. Guard George Hill has been lights out from the three-point arc this season. He has made 131 threes, but the impressive part of that is his percentage… he is shooting threes at .511 percentage through the first half of the season. There has been only five times in NBA history that a player has shot over 50% on three-pointers with a minimum of 150 threes made in the season. The five times: Detlef Schrempf (.514 percentage, 181 made threes) in 1994-95, Steve Kerr (.524-170 threes) in 1994-95, Tim Legler (.522, 245 threes) in 1995-96, Steve Kerr (.515, 237 threes) in 1995-96 and Jason Kapono (.514, 210 threes) in 2006-07. Hill has a chance to join this list.
  4. Through games of February 12, the Bucks have an active streak of 78 consecutive regular season games with at least 100 points. That is tied for 6th as the longest streak in league history. If they finish the season with 100 or more points in each of their remaining 28 games, that would increase the streak to 106 games at the end of the season. That would be the third longest streak in NBA history. Denver has the longest streak with 136 straight games with 100 or more points (in 1981 and 1982) and the San Antonio Spurs are second at 129 games (1978- 80).
  5. Brook Lopez has 135 blocks and has attempted 242 three-pointers this season. He should pass the 250 mark in three-point attempts soon; that would give him three seasons where he has had 100 or more blocks and 250 or more three-point field goal attempts. He would become only the fourth player in league history to reach those numbers (100 blocks and 250 three-point shots attempted) in three or more seasons. The others: Shawn Marion (he did it four times), Rasheed Wallace and Karl-Anthony Towns (three times each).
  6. Last season the Bucks set a team record with nine different players making 50 or more three-pointers in the season. With 28 games remaining, the team already has eight players with 50 or more made threes (Middleton-114, Matthews-82, Korver-77, Antetokounmpo-73, Brooks Lopez-72, Hill-67, DiVencenzo-62 and Bledsoe-56). The Bucks need two more players to reach the 50 mark to break the team record of nine players with 50 or more threes made in a season. The best bets are Ersan Ilyasova (he has 44 this season), Pat Connaughton (he has 35) and Sterling Brown (he has 31).

 

 

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Today’s Sportstat: February 17, 2020

Counsell bringing stability to Brewers dugout

Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell in 2020 will be starting his sixth season (yes, he has been the manager for five seasons already!). That is noteworthy from the standpoint that only three other Brewers managers in team history had a stretch of more than five years as manager of the team.

Back in 2015 when Counsell was handed the job after a stint in the Brewers front office, many questioned the move, especially considering that Counsell did not have any managerial experience. But with two consecutive post-season appearances in 2018 and 2019 and a regular season record 24 games above .500, Counsell, with more success in the future, could make a move to challenge the most career games and career wins by a Brewers skipper.

For the record, Counsell is 405-381 record (.515 winning percentage) in his five seasons with the Brew Crew.

Consider this:

  • Counsell is only 53 wins from taking over second place on the team’s list for most wins by a manager. There’s a good chance that could happen this year.
  • He is 158 wins as a manager from the top spot. A pair of good seasons in 2020 and 2021 could launch Counsell into first place on that list.
  • His 786 regular season games managed for the team ranks fourth. He is 34 games out of third place. To take over the top spot from Phil Garner, Counsell will probably have to manage the team well into the 2022 season to surpass Garner.
  • He is one of four Brewers managers with 400 or more career wins. The only Brewers manager with 500 or more wins is Garner with 563.
  • Of the seven Brewers managers who managed the team for 500 or more career regular season games, Counsell’s .515 winning percentage is tied for second with Tom Trebelhorn, only .003 points behind George Bamberger, who tops the list at .518.
  • Counsell last season became the only Brewers skipper in team history to lead the team to two post-season appearances. He also became the 93rd manager in MLB history to have two or more appearances in the post-season on his managerial resume.
  • His six playoff wins as a manager of the Brewers ties him with Harvey Kuenn for most in team history.
  • His 10 playoff games managed with the team is third on the list behind Kuenn with 12 and Ron Roenicke with 11.

Here is a list of the seven men who have managed the Brewers for 500 or more regular season games (also noted is their win-loss record and winning percentage in those games).

Phil Garner, 1180, 563-617 .477

Ned Yost, 959, 457-502 .477

Tom Trebelhorn, 819, 422-397 .515

Craig Counsell, 786, 405-381 .515

George Bamberger, 728, 377-351 .518

Ron Roenicke, 673, 342-331 .508

Del Crandall, 609, 271-338 .445

Note: Of the remaining 12 men who have managed the Brewers in the team’s history, none skippered the team for more than 300 games.

 

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Today’s Sportstat: February 15, 2020

Antetokounmpo, Middleton represent Bucks at 2020 NBA All-Star Game

The 2020 NBA All-Star Game will be played Sunday at the United Center in Chicago. The Bucks will have a pair of players in the contest: Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.

Middleton became the 12th Bucks player in team history to make the NBA All-Star Game two or more times in his career with the Bucks. Giannis, on the other hand, became only the fourth Bucks player to make four or more All-Star appearances in a career with the team.

In the Bucks history, 19 different players have made a total of 45 appearances in the All-Star Game. Leading the way is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who, as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, made six appearances in the mid-season contest.

Here is a look at the 19 Bucks players who have been chosen to play in the NBA All-Star Game.

6 appearances: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

5 appearances: Sidney Moncrief

4 appearances: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Marques Johnson

3 appearances: Ray Allen, Vin Baker, Bobby Dandridge

2 appearances: Terry Cummings, Khris Middleton, Oscar Robertson, Glenn Robinson, Brian Winters

1 appearance: Bob Lanier, Jon McGlocklin, Ricky Pierce, Jim Price, Michael Redd, Alvin Robertson, Flynn Robinson

For the record, the only time the NBA All-Star Game was played in Milwaukee was in 1977 at the Milwaukee Arena. There were no Bucks in that game. Former Bucks draft choice Julius Erving was the MVP of that game. He was the first-round choice of the Bucks (12th overall pick) in the 1972 draft.

 

 

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Today’s Sportstat: February 8, 2020

 

Brewers players with most HRs in a season versus National League foes

Christian Yelich last season had eight home runs (in 16 games) versus the St.Louis Cardinals. That broke a more-than-a-decade old record held by Ryan Braun who slugged seven homers against the Cards in the 2008 season.

What’s interesting about this stat is that Yelich, due to injury that sidelined him from September 10 to the end of the season, actually missed three games against the Cardinals in the final month and may have added to his record-setting number of eight.

Yelich’s eight HRs against the Cardinals in 2019 is tied for second-most in Brewers team history in a season against one team. Former first baseman Eric Thames, now a member of the World Champion Washington Nationals, holds the team record with 10 home runs in 2017 against the Cincinnati Reds. Yelich’s eight homers against the Cards in 2019 ties him with Prince Fielder who had eight home runs against the Pirates in 2010.

Here is a look at the Brewers players who have the most HRs in a season versus each of the other 14 teams in the National League.

Braves: Richie Sexson, 5, 2003

Cardinals: Christian Yelich, 8, 2019

Cubs: Richie Sexson (2002 and 2003), Jeromy Burnitz (2006) and Ryan Braun (2016)… 6 each

Diamondbacks: Jeromy Burnitz, 5, 2001

Dodgers: Geoff Jenkins, 5, 2000

Giants: Richie Sexson, 4, 2003

Marlins: Prince Fielder (2009, 2010, 2011), Mike Moustakas (2019)… 4 each

Mets: Carlos Lee (2005), Corey Hart (2010), Prince Fielder (2011)… 4 each

Nationals: Geoff Jenkins, 5, 2001

Padres: Geoff Jenkins (2003), Ryan Braun (2012)… 4 each

Phillies: Ryan Braun, 6, 2012

Pirates: Prince Fielder, 8, 2010

Reds: Eric Thames, 10, 2017

Rockies: Travis Shaw, 4, 2018

 

 

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