Category Archives: Baseball

Today’s Sportstats: September 12, 2019 (Bonus)

Brewers Mike Moustakas hits two HRs on his birthday

Mike Moustakas was the hero in the Brewers’ 7-5 win over the Miami Marlins on September 11. He hit a pair of two-run home runs in the contest. What made it all the more celebratory for “Moose” was that the two long balls came on his 31st birthday.

Moustakas became the 43rd player in MLB history to hit two or more home runs in a game on his birthday. He was the second player to do so this season; the Dodgers’ Joc Pederson hit a pair of home runs on his 27th birthday, April 21, versus the Brewers. Moustakas also became the second Brewers player to hit two or more HRs in a game on his birthday… Jose Hernandez did it for the Brew Crew on July 14, 2002 against the Pirates on his birthday.

Three of the 43 players in this group have hit two or more homers in a game on their birthday twice in their careers: Duke Snider, Justin Morneau and Kirk Gibson each hit a pair of home runs on their birthdays in two different seasons.

Nomar Garciaparra holds the MLB record for most home runs in a game on a birthday with three. He did that on July 23, 2002 as a member of the Boston Red Sox. Garciaparra had three home runs and eight RBI in Game Two of a doubleheader against Tampa Bay on his 29th birthday.

Back to Moustakas… previous to his two HRs on his birthday this season, he had not had much success on his birthdays in previous years. Prior to the 2019 season, Moustakas was 3-for-17 (.176 batting average) with no home runs on his birthday.

 

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Today’s Sportstat: September 4, 2019

Gavin Lux’s MLB debut is one for the ages

Kenosha, Wisconsin native Gavin Lux made his Major League debut on September 2 and it was a memorable one. Lux started at second base in the Dodgers’ 16-9 win over Colorado and had two hits, including a double, and scored three runs in five at-bats.

He became the 28th player in Major League history to have two or more hits and score three or more runs in his MLB debut; he was also the first Dodgers’ player to do so.

Here’s a few more stats from that game that you may not know:

  • Lux’s current manager, Dodgers’ skipper Dave Roberts, is also one of the 28 players in MLB history to have two or more hits and score three or more runs in his first career game. Roberts did it on August 7, 1999 as a member of the Cleveland Indians. Roberts had three hits (including a double) and scored three runs in his MLB debut.
  • Lux is the seventh player to have two or more hits and three or more runs in his MLB debut this century. The others: Kevin Frandsen (San Francisco, 2006), Andrew McCutcheon (Pittsburgh, 2009), J.P. Arencibia (Toronto, 2010), Jonathan Schoop (Baltimore, 2013), Joey Gallo (Texas, 2015) and Cedric Mullins (Baltimore, 2018).
  • Another member of this select group of 28 is former NBA star Danny Ainge. He made his baseball debut on May 21, 1979 and had three hits and scored three runs for the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Another member of the 28 is Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio. He had three hits and scored three runs in his MLB debt on May 3, 1936.
  • The first player to have two or more hits and score three of more runs in his MLB debut was Carson Bigbee on August 24, 1916.
  • The 28 players in this group saw their team win the game where they accomplished this rare feat 26 times and lose only twice in these games.
  • Twenty of these 28 occasions occurred at home for the record-setting players.
  • Lux was the sixth second baseman to accomplish this feat, tied with center fielders for the position that has accomplished this feat most often..
  • If we consider that Lux also had an extra-base hit (a double) in addition to his two hits and three runs scored in his first career game, he becomes the 19th player in MLB history to have two or more hits, score three or more runs, and have at least one extra-base hit in a Major League debut.

 

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Today’s Sportstat: September 2, 2019

Brewers may need a 20-win September to reach playoffs this season

The Milwaukee Brewers got off to a good start in the last month of the 2019 season with a 4-0 shutout of the Chicago Cubs on September 1. The Brew Crew remains three games behind the Cubs for the second Wild Card spot and a return to the post-season.

The Brewers will need an outstanding September to make the playoffs this year. With 27 games in the month, the Crew may need to put together a 20-win month to take one of the two Wild Card spots in the National League (or even overtake the Cards and Cubs and win the N.L. Central).

Fortunately for the Brewers, September has been a good month for the team over the past three seasons. In fact, they have the third-best September record in the majors over the past three seasons (2016-18) and have the best winning percentage of all National League teams over that same period. The Brewers had a .619 winning percentage in September games from 2016-18.

Here’s a look at the September/October regular season winning percentages for each of the 30 MLB teams over the past three seasons.

Cleveland .667, Houston .647, Milwaukee .619, Boston .614, Chicago Cubs, .609

New York Yankees .581, Washington .565, Los Angeles Dodgers .563, New York Mets .558, Atlanta .547, Oakland .536, Seattle .524, Tampa Bay .518, Colorado .517, St. Louis .512

Kansas City .483, Los Angeles Angels .476, Minnesota .465, Pittsburgh .464, Toronto .459, Arizona .452, San Diego .440, Chicago White Sox .437, Texas .429, Philadelphia .407, Cincinnati .400

Miami .398, San Francisco .378, Baltimore .369, Detroit .353.

The Brewers pitching staff started September on a high note as four pitchers combined to shutout the Cubs on September 1. It’s interesting to note that the Brewers pitching staff had the best ERA of all 30 teams in September/October regular season games in the past three seasons. The Crew’s pitching staff ERA was 3.19. The Cleveland Indians staff was second at 3.25. The Brewers pitching staff also allowed the fewest HRs and opponents’ batting average was the fifth lowest in the majors in September/October regular season games from 2016-18..

Can this year’s much-maligned pitching staff rise to the occasion in this season’s final month?

 

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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 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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