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).
22: San Francisco
20: Boston, Chicago White Sox
15: Chicago Cubs, Minnesota, Seattle
14: L.A. Dodgers
13: Houston, Texas
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
- 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!
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp