(A weekly look at several sports stats you may not know)
- Can you have a home field advantage in baseball if there are no fans in the stands? Interesting question. Based on some numbers from the early games played in this year’s abbreviated version of Major League Baseball, it appears that maybe cheering fans do play a role in their team’s success at home. Through games of August 8, MLB home teams are 105-100, a .512 winning percentage. Last season home teams had a winning percentage of .529 for the season. We’ll have to see how this stat plays out the rest of this season.
- In the Brewers’ 8-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on August 6, Christian Yelich had a home run and walked four times. Yelich became the 100th player in MLB history to have at least one home run and four or more walks in a game in baseball history. It was the 123rd time this feat was accomplished. He also became the first Brewer player to reach these numbers in a game. Yelich also scored three runs in the contest; it was the 43rd time in MLB history that a player had a home run, four or more walks and three or more runs scored in a game in MLB history. Barry Bonds accomplished the feat of a home run and four walks in a game six times in his career… Ted Williams did it five times… Edgar Martinez did it four times… and Babe Ruth and Mark McGwire did it three times each in their careers.
- The Milwaukee Bucks were the only NBA team this season that had a shot at winning 60 games when the season resumed play in late July. They would have become the 14th team in NBA history to have back-to-back 60-win seasons, but will fall short of the 60-win season this year. The 13 teams that accomplished the feat of back-to-back 60-win seasons: Philadelphia (1967-68), Milwaukee (1971-72-73), L.A. Lakers (1972-73), Boston (1981-82-83), Boston (1984-85-86). L.A. Lakers (1985-86-87-88), Chicago (1991-92), Chicago (1996-97-98), Utah (1997-98), Dallas (2006-07), Cleveland (2009-10), Golden State (2015-16-17), San Antonio (2016-17).
- The Chicago White Sox have a Rookie of the Year (ROY) candidate in centerfielder Luis Robert. Through the first 15 games of this season, Robert is batting .322 with nine runs scored, six RBI and four stolen bases. The Sox have had six ROY in their history: Jose Abreu (2014), Ozzie Guillen (1985), Ron Kittle (1983), Tommie Agee (1966), Gary Peters (1963) and Luis Aparicio (1956).
- Did you know that based on a player’s age as of June 30, Prince Fielder hit the most HRs with the Brewers in his 20’s? Fielder hit 230 home runs with the Brewers in seasons age 20-29. Second on the list is Ryan Braun, who hit 211 home runs with the Brewers in his 20s. Robin Yount hit 11 homers as a teenager with the Brewers, tops in that age group (Gary Sheffied is second with four dingers). Most home runs by a Brewer player in his 30’s? Ben Oglivie with 158 followed by Cecil Cooper (144). Hank Aaron has the most HRs by a Brewers player in his 40s with 22. He is followed by Jim Edmonds with eight. (Source: Research on baseball-reference.com).
- There has been speculation in the media that the Packers might take a look at former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown to upgrade their receiving corp. Might not be a bad idea based on this stat: Brown holds the NFL record for most consecutive games with seven or more receptions with 14 games. He is followed by Michael Thomas (New Orleans) and Demaryius Thomas (Denver) who each caught seven or more passes in eight consecutive games. The Packers record is held by Davante Adams who caught seven or more passes in five straight games.
- When Aaron Rodgers throws his first TD pass in the 2020 regular season, he will become the second Packers QB to have thrown a regular season TD pass in three different decades. Rodgers had his first TD pass in 2007, tossed a bunch of them in the 2010s, and will likely throw a few this decade. The other Packers QB to have a TD in three different decades is Bart Starr. He had his first TD pass for the Packers in 1956 and then threw TD passes in the 60’s and 70’s.
- The Brewers 1-0 win over the White Sox on August 5 was their first 1-0 win since April 3, 2019 when they defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 1-0. It was the 80th 1-0 win for the Brewers in the team’s history. Since 2015, there have been 213 1-0 games in the majors. The San Francisco Giants have won 14 of those games, tops in the majors. The other teams with 11 or more 1-0 wins since 2015: L.A. Dodgers (13), Chicago Cubs (13), Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay (each with 11).
- San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr. recently became the ninth player in MLB history to hit 30 home runs in the first 100 games of his career. The others: Mark McGwire (he hit 37 in his first 100 games), Cody Bellinger (34), Rudy York (33), Pete Alonso (33), Gary Sanchez (33), Jose Abreu (31), Tatis Jr. (30), Aaron Judge (30) and Ryan Braun (30).
- The Brewers have gotten off to a relatively slow start which may not bode well in this shortened season. They may have to depend on another September charge to make the playoffs. In September of 2018 and 2019, the Brewers had the second-best record in the majors. The Brew Crew was a combined 40-14 (.741) in regular season games after September 1 in 2018 and 2019. The Houston Astros were 40-12 (.769) those two seasons in September contests, tops in the majors. If you go all the way back to 2010, the Brewers were 159-123 in September games, fifth best in the MLB.
- One final thought: Aaron Rodgers and Danica Patrick are no longer dating… Patrick said she was a Bears fan before her and Rodgers started dating… former Bears QB Jay Cutler and wife Kristin Cavallari are headed for divorce… does it make sense for Jay Cutler to start dating Danica Patrick? Just wondering.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
Most NFL touchdowns this decade
Which NFL player has had the most touchdowns this decade? Which player will end this decade with the most TDs?
The 2019 NFL season will be the last of this decade. When we close the book on this season, who will be the league’s most prolific TD machine?
After the second week of this season, we have a three-way tie for the most TDs this decade. The three? The recently-retired (but will he stay retired?) Rob Gronkowski, new Kansas City running back LeSean McCoy, and a player who has been in the news a bit these last few weeks… Antonio Brown. Each player has 80 TDs this decade. Brown scored a TD last week in his first game with his new team, the New England Patriots, to create the three-way tie.
If you were a betting man (or woman) who would you think would end the decade with the league’s most TDs? You might lean towards McCoy, especially if he becomes a major cog in the Chiefs’ offense. Gronk is probably a long, long shot, but who knows, he could come out of retirement at some time this campaign. Brown, on the other hand, might be a good bet, but with the black cloud hanging over him because of his off-the-field escapades, he may not even finish the year on an NFL roster.
Behind this trio are a pair of “retired” players, Dez Bryant and Marshawn Lynch, both with 75 TDs this decade. Tight End Jimmy Graham and running back Adrian Peterson have both scored a TD this season and are tied for sixth on the list with 72 touchdowns. Neither look like prime candidates to approach double-figures in TDs this season and seriously challenge for the title of most TDs this decade, but you never know.
Here is a look at the players who have scored 60 or more TDs this decade.
80-Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, LeSean McCoy
75-Dez Bryant, Marshawn Lynch
72-Jimmy Graham, Adrian Peterson
62-Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp