One of baseball’s greatest players, Willie McCovey, passed away yesterday at the age of 80. As someone who came to love baseball in the 1960s, I greatly admired McCovey and closely followed his career (I’m also pretty sure I had his baseball card… or more than a few of them). He helped form a dynamic duo for the San Francisco Giants with Willie Mays.
Here are a few stats you may not know about McCovey:
- McCovey played for three different teams in his career, all California teams: San Francisco Giants (19 seasons), San Diego Padres (three seasons) and the Oakland A’s (one season).
- He went four-for-four in his MLB debut on July 30, 1959 with a pair of triples. He is one of only 18 players to collect four or more hits in his Major League debut. Cecil Travis holds the MLB record for most hits in a debut with five; he did in 1933. Of the 18 players who had four or more hits in their MLB debut, McCovey is one of only four players to go a perfect four-for-four in his first game.
- McCovey had a pair of triples in that first game and is one of only four players to hit two triple in a debut. The last player to do so was John Sipin on May 24, 1969 for the San Diego Padres in a game versus the Chicago Cubs.
- McCovey, nicknamed “Stretch,” had a 22-game hitting streak as a rookie. The longest hitting streak by a rookie in MLB history is 34 games by San Diego Padres catcher Benito Santiago
- McCovey wore number 44 his entire career.
- He was a Rookie of the Year, All-Star Game MVP, and a National League MVP.
- Although he hit 521 career home runs, he hit 40 or more HRs only twice in his career.
- McCovey is one of only 16 players to have 35 or more home runs and 130 or more walks in a season (he had 39 HRs and 137 walks in 1970).
- He is one of only 11 players to lead the league in slugging percentage in three consecutive seasons (he did it in 1968, ‘69 and ’70). The others: Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby, Chuck Klein, Johnny Mize, Ted Williams, Frank Robinson, Mike Schmidt and Barry Bonds.
- The most home runs he hit in the minors in a season was 29; he did that twice.
- He did have five sacrifice bunts in his career.
- A member of the 27-member 500-HR Club, McCovey has the third fewest games played of the 27 players (9,692), the third fewest hits (2,211) and the fourth most intentional walks (260).
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
Ten Stats You May Not Know About MLB Game Sevens
by Jerry Tapp
The Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers will face off in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS) tonight with the Brewers playing at home. This will be the 59th game 7 in MLB history. Forty-two of those game 7’s were in the World Series; seven were in the American League Championship Series (ALCS); and this will be the 10 Game 7 in the history of the NLCS.
Here’s 10 stats you may not know about the history of Game 7’s in baseball’s history.
- The most runs scored in a Game Seven were 15 by the Atlanta Braves in a 15-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1996 NLCS.
- There have been 16 shutouts in a Game Seven.
- There have been 16 one-run games in Game Sevens.
- The most frequent score in a Game Seven is 3-2. That has happened six times.
- There have been 15 times where the winning team won Game Seven by a margin of five runs or more.
- The Dodgers have lost five Game Sevens in their history, four as the Brooklyn Dodgers (1920, 1947, 1952 and 1956). They also lost a Game Seven last year in the World Series to the Houston Astros. The Brewers have lost one Game Seven in their history… a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1982 World Series.
- Home teams are a very average 31-27 (.534 winning percentage) in Game Sevens.
- There have been five Game sevens that went into extra innings. The home team is 4-1 in those games. The only road team to win a Game Seven in extra innings were the Chicago Cubs in the 2016 World Series over the Indians in Cleveland.
- Of the 16 teams that have won an LCS (A.L. or N.L.) eight went on to win the World Series that year. The last team to do so were the Astros last year who beat the Yankees in seven games in the ALCS and then won the World Series last year.
- The Game Seven loser in the previous 16 LCS contests has scored less than three runs in 13 of those 16 games.
- Bonus Stat: How many runs will it take to win Game Seven? Of the previous 16 LCS that went to a Game Seven, teams that scored three or more runs were 16-3 (.842 winning percentage); teams that scored four or more runs in that Game Seven were 13-2 (.867 winning percentage); and those teams that scored seven or more runs in Game seven were a perfect 6-0.
TODAY’s SPORTSTAT-October 11, 2018
This is the fifth year in the Milwaukee Brewers 50-year franchise history (one year in Seattle as the Pilots, 49 seasons in Milwaukee) that they have made the playoffs. The National League Championship Series (NLCS) versus the Los Angeles Dodgers is the eighth different playoff series the team has played in those 50 seasons: they played in one post-season series in 1981, two in 1982, one in 2008, two in 2011, and face the Dodgers in their second playoff series of 2018.
Here are several stats about the past history of the Brewers in the playoffs and some stats about Brewers players in the post-season.
- The Brewers have never won a Game 6 or a Game 7 in the playoffs in their history. They are 4-3 in Game Ones; 2-5 in Game Twos; 4-3 in Game Threes; 4-2 in Game Fours; 3-2 in Game Fives; 0-2 in Game Sixes; and 0-1 in Game Sevens.
- The team has a playoff record of 17-18 (through the 2018 Colorado series). They are 12-6 (.667 winning percentage) at home and 5-12 (.294) in road playoff contests.
- The Brewers are 6-8 after a loss in the playoffs… 7-7 after a win.
- If the Brewers have lost two straight games in a playoff series, they are 6-0 in the next game after a two-game playoff losing streak. If they have won two straight in a playoff series, the Brew Crew is 2-3 in the next game.
- Milwaukee is 5-2 in their first home game of a playoff series.
- The Brewers have won three playoff series in their history (1982, 2011 and 2018) and have lost four series (1981, 1982, 2008 and 2011).
- Ryan Braun holds the Brewers team record for most career post-season hits with 27. He is followed by Robin Yount (22), Paul Molitor (22), Charlie Moore (17), Cecil Cooper (15) and Jerry Hairston (15). How many of you had Hairston on this list?
- Prince Fielder has the most career HRs in the post-season for Milwaukee with four. Molitor and Ted Simmons follow with three each, and Braun, Corey Hart, Ben Oglivie, Gorman Thomas and Rickie Weeks (two each) are the only other Brewers players to have two or more career post-season home runs for the club.
- Cooper tops the list with 13 career post-season RBI for the Brewers. The only other Brewer with 10 or more is Braun with 12.
- Mike Caldwell is the only Brew Crew pitcher to win more than one post-season game for the Brewers.
- Shaun Marcum is the only Brewers pitcher to lose three or more post-season games for the Brew Crew. He was 0-3.
- John Axford (3), Bob McClure (2) and Pete Ladd (2) are the only relief pitchers to have more than one save for the Brewers in the post season.
- Yovani Galardo leads the Brewers pitching staff with the most career post season strikeouts with 20. He is followed by Pete Vukovich (16), Don Sutton (140, Zack Greinke (13) and Chris Narveson (13).
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
The 2018 MLB playoffs get started on October 3. Let’s take a look at a few stats you may not know about the 2018 regular season and a couple of Milwaukee Brewers stats.
- The Baltimore Orioles became the fifth team in MLB history to win fewer than 50 games in a full-schedule regular season (either a 162 or 154-game schedule). The O’s won only 46 games this year. The other teams: 2003 Detroit Tigers (43 wins), 1962 New York Mets (40 wins), the 1961 Philadelphia Phillies (47 wins) and the 1952 Pittsburgh Pirates (42 wins).
- Three American League teams, the Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and New York Yankees each won 100 games this season, the first time in MLB history that three teams from the same league won 100 or more games in a season. It was the seventh time in MLB history that three MLB teams won 100 or more games in the same season, but the first time all three teams were from the same league (American or National league). Three teams won 100 games last year, two A.L. clubs, the Astros and Indians, and one N.L. team, the Dodgers. The other years when three MLB teams won 100 games: 2003 (Atlanta, San Francisco, N.Y. Yankees), 2002 (Atlanta, the Yankees, Oakland), 1998 (Braves, Yankees and Astros), 1977 (Kansas City, Philadelphia and the Yankees) and 1942 (Brooklyn Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals and Yankees).
- The most improved team in 2018 based on how many more wins they had in 2018 than 2017 were the Oakland A’s. They increased their win total by 22 wins in 2018 over the previous season. The team with the biggest drop in wins was the Orioles who saw their win total from 2017 drop by 28 victories. Here are the teams that increased their win total this year over the previous season: Oakland (+22), Atlanta (+18), Boston (+15), Philadelphia (+14), Seattle (+11), Milwaukee (+10), Tampa bay (+10), N.Y Yankees (+9), San Francisco (+9), N.Y. Mets (+7), Pittsburgh (+7), St. Louis (+5), Colorado (+4), Cubs (+3), Houston (+2)… and the teams that saw their win totals decrease this season over 2017: Baltimore (-28), Kansas City )-22), Washington (-15), Miami (-14), L.A. Dodgers (-12), Arizona (-11), Cleveland (-11), Texas (-11), Minnesota (-7), Chicago White Sox (-5), San Diego (-5), Toronto (-3), Cincinnati (-1). Two teams, the Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels, each had the same number of wins in 2018 as 2017.
- Christian Yelich slugged 25 home runs in the second half of the 2018 season, the second most homers by a Milwaukee Brewers player after the All-Star break in team history, Richie Sexson holds the record with 27 second half HRs; he hit them in 2001. Others on the list: Prince Fielder, 24 in 2009; Ryan Braun, 23 in 2007; and Gorman Thomas, 22 in 1979.
- The Brewers ended the 2018 season by going 20-7 in the last month (that includes their tiebreaker win against the Cubs on October 1, which counts in the regular season stats and is considered a September win for the sake of monthly win totals). The 20-7 record in September was a .741 winning percentage, the highest September winning percentage in team history. The Brewers won 60% or more of their games in September in six other seasons: 1992 (22-9, .710), 1988 (18-8, .692), 1987 (21-11, .656), 2012 (20-11, .645), 1991 (21-12, .636) and 2011 (15-10, .600).
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
When it comes to games with two or more home runs, Ryan Braun is the king for the Milwaukee Brewers.
In the span of four days, Braun hit a pair of home runs in two games; Braun hit a pair against the St. Louis Cardinals on September 25 and then hit two against the Detroit Tigers on September 28.
Braun tops the Milwaukee franchise with the most multi-home run games in a career with 32. He is followed by Prince Fielder with 22 and Gorman Thomas with 19. Braun is, however, nowhere near the leader board when it comes to the most multi-HR games in MLB history. Leading the way is Babe Ruth with 72 followed by Barry Bonds with 71. Others with 60 or more career multi-HR games: Sammy Sosa (69), Mark McGwire (67), Willie Mays (63) and Hank Aaron and Alex Rodriguez (each with 62).
The Brewers have had five players hit two or more home runs in a game this season. Braun has done it four times followed by Jesus Aguilar with three games. The other three Brewers players with multi-HR games this year (each with one game) are Keon Broxton, Eric Thames and Christian Yelich.
Following are the MLB players with the most multi-HR games in a season.
11: Sammy Sosa, 1998; Hank Greenberg, 1938
10: Giancarlo Stanton, 2017; Sammy Sosa, 2001; Alex Rodriguez, 2002; Albert Pujols, 2009; Mark McGwire, 1998; Ralph Kiner, 1947; Jimmie Foxx, 1938; Barry Bonds, 2001.
9: David Ortiz, 2005; Mark McGwire, 1999; Willie Mays, 1955; Andruw Jones, 2005; George Bell, 1987; Jose Bautista, 2010.
Robin Yount holds the Brewers record for most games with two or more home runs in a season with seven (he did it in 1982). Gorman Thomas had six multi-HR games, also in 1982, while Richie Sexson had six in 2001. Braun had six multi-HR games in both 2012 and 2016.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp