Category Archives: Baseball

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!

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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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Today’s Sportstat: November 21, 2019

Is Mike Trout making a case to be considered baseball’s greatest player?

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout became the 11th player in baseball history to win a third MVP Award. Trout was the 2019 American League MVP, an award he also won in 2014 and 2016.

In eight years in the majors, Trout has three MVP Awards, has finished second in the balloting for the award four times (2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018) and was fourth in the voting for the honor in 2017. That’s eight Top 5 finish in the A.L. MVP voting in the first eight years of his career, and seven Top 2 finishes in the first eight years of his career. Oh, did I mention, Trout just turned 28 in August of this past year.

These are some pretty staggering numbers. Trout’s third MVP award this past season came in his age 27 year; of the other 10 players who have won three or more MVP awards, only one player, Stan Musial, won his third MVP honor in his age 27 season.

Here is a look at what age each of the 11 players with three or more MVP Awards won their third MVP honor. (Barry Bonds leads this group with seven MVP Awards; the other 10 players listed each won three MVP Awards.)

Age 27: Stan Musial, Mike Trout

Age 28: Barry Bonds

Age 29: Albert Pujols

Age 30: Yogi Berra, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle

Age 31: Alex Rodriguez

Age 32: Joe DiMaggio

Age 33: Roy Campanella

Age 36: Mike Schmidt

Trout won his three MVPs over the course of six seasons. All of the players who have won three MVPs won their first three over the span of four to seven years. Barry Bonds won his first three MVP Awards over the course of four seasons, while Musial, Berra, Campanella, Rodriguez and Pujols each won their three MVPs over a five-year span. Trout and Joe DiMaggio each won their three MVP Awards over a six-season span, while Foxx, Mantle and Schmidt won their three MVPs over seven years.

Here’s three more stats about Trout’s MVP honors:

  • His four second-place finishes in the MVP voting are tied for the most in MLB history. Musial, Pujols and Ted Williams also finished second in the MVP voting four times in their careers.
  • Trout’s seven Top 2 finishes in the MVP Award are tied for second most in baseball history. Bonds tops the list with nine, while Trout is tied for second with Musial and Pujols.
  • Trout’s eight Top 5 finishes in the MVP voting is tied for sixth most all-time. Bonds finished in the Top 5 of the MVP Award 11 times, most in MLB history. He is followed by Pujols with 10 Top 5 finishes, Mantle, Willie Mays and Ted Williams with nine, and Trout and Hank Aaron with eight Top 5 MVP appearances. Trout is the only player in history to finish in the Top 5 of MVP balloting in each of his first eight seasons in majors.

When you consider that Trout is only 28 years of age, the scary thought is that if he stays healthy, he may still have some more MVP seasons ahead of him. Of the 11 men who have won three or more MVPs, eight of them won an MVP in their 30s.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: October 31, 2019

93-win Nationals make World Series history

Four different teams won 100 or more games in the majors in 2019: Houston, the L.A. Dodgers, the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins. When the ’19 post-season started, the common opinion and baseball wisdom had one of these four, especially either the Dodgers or the Astros, hoisting the championship trophy at the end of the World Series. In fact, many people had penciled in the Dodgers and Astros as the World Series combatants.

So much for common opinion and baseball wisdom. Of course, no one told the Washington Nationals what was supposed to happen.

The Nats, who won 93 games in the ’19 regular season, defeated the Dodgers three games to two in the National League Divisional Series and then won four road games against the Astros to win the title.

The World Series featured the 93-win Nats and the 107-win Astros, who led the majors in regular season victories this past season. That’s a 14-win disparity. In the history of the World Series, there has now been 32 times where the two teams playing in the Fall Classic had a 10-win or more disparity. The team with 10 or more regular season wins has now won the World Series in 20 of those 32 while the team with 10 or more fewer regular season wins have won 12 times, including this year’s Nationals.

This was the 10th time in World Series history that one of the teams had 14 or more regular season wins than their World Series opponent. Here are those ten times:

2019: Houston-107 wins vs. Washington-93 wins (14-win difference)
2018: Boston-108 wins vs. Los Angeles Dodgers-92 wins (16-win difference)
1998: New York Yankees-114 wins vs. San Diego-98 wins (16-win difference)
1961: New York Yankees-109 wins vs. Cincinnati-93-wins (16-win difference)
1954: Cleveland-111 wins vs. New York Giants-97-wins (14-win difference)
1944: St. Louis Cards-105 wins vs. St. Louis Browns-89 wins (16-win difference)
1932: New York Yankees-107 wins vs. Chicago Cubs-90 wins (17-win difference)
1927: New York Yankees-110 wins vs. Pittsburgh-94 wins (16-win difference)
1907: Chicago Cubs-107 wins vs. Detroit-92 wins (15-win difference)
1906: Chicago Cubs-116 wins vs. Chicago White Sox-93 wins (23-win difference)

Of the ten times listed above, in only three of those matchups did the teams with the fewer regular season wins win the World Series: the 1906 Chicago White Sox, the 1954 New York Giants, and the 2019 Washington Nationals.

One final stat: The Astros became only the eighth team in World Series history to enter the World Series with 105 or more regular season wins and then lose the World Series. The eight teams:

2019 Houston (107 wins)
2004 St. Louis (105 wins)
1969 Baltimore (109 wins)
1954 Cleveland (111 wins)
1953 Brooklyn (105 wins)
1943 St. Louis (105 wins)
1931 Philadelphia A’s (107 wins)
1906 Chicago Cubs (116 wins)

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp