Christian Yelich loves to hit HRs vs. the Cardinals
When Christian Yelich hit a three-run HR against the Cardinals on April 16, it was his eighth home run against the Cards this season in only seven games. Those eight homers against the Cardinals this year established a new record for home runs by a Brewers players against the Cards in a single season. The previous record was seven HRs hit by Ryan Braun in 2008 vs St. Louis.
Here is a look at the Brewers who have hit the most home runs versus the Cardinals in a single season:
8-Christian Yelich, 2019 (through games of April 17)
7-Ryan Braun, 2008
6-Christian Yelich, 2018… Richie Sexson, 2001… Khris Davis, 2015
5-Rickie Weeks, 2010… Eric Thames, 2017… Corey Hart, 2011… Bill Hall, 2006… Jesus Aguilar, 2017… Aramis Ramirez, 2013… Prince Fielder, 2007
Braun holds the Brewers all-time record for most career home runs versus the Cardinals with 25. It’s interesting to note, however, that Yelich, in just seven short months as a member of the Brewers, is already tied for sixth on this all-time list with 14 career four-baggers against the Cards.
Following Braun on the list of most career HRs against St. Louis: 19-Prince Fielder, 17-Geoff Jenkins, Corey Hart, 15-Rickie Weeks, 14-Yelich, Richie Sexson, 13-Bill Hall.
The Brewers play against the Cardinals 19 times this season, meaning that Yelich will have several more opportunities to increase his record of HRs versus the Cardinals. The Brewers and Cards face-off against each other in a three-game series April 22-24, and then the two teams don’t play again until three three-game series on August 19-21, August 26-28 and September 13-15.
Yelich became the 14th Brewers player in history to have seven or more home runs against one team in a season. The 14:
Eric Thames vs. Reds, 10 in 2017
George Scott vs. Tigers, 9 in 1975
Greg Vaughn vs. Royals, 8 in 1996
Prince Fielder vs. Pirates, 8 in 2010
Christian Yelich vs. Cardinals, 8 in 2019
Tommy Harper vs. Angels, 7 in 1970
Gorman Thomas vs Royals, 7 in 1979
Robin Yount vs. Orioles, 7 in 1982
Gorman Thomas vs. Red Sox, 7 in 1982
Ryan Braun vs. Cardinals, 7 in 2008
Prince Fielder vs. Reds, 7 in 2009
Ryan Braun vs. Reds, 7 in 2011
Corey Hart vs. Astros, 7 in 2012
Christian Yelich vs. Reds, 7 in 2018
Two more HRs against the Cardinals this season would put Yelich in a tie with Thames for most HRs by a Brewers players versus one team in a season… three would break the record.
Yelich could also make a run at the MLB record; Lou Gehrig in 1936 hit 14 home runs against the Cleveland Indians. That is the most by a player versus one team in a season. With eight against the Cards as of April 17 and 12 more games this season against the Cards, Yelich would need to hit six more home runs against St. Louis by the end of the season to tie Gehrig for this unique record.
For those who are interested, Reggie Jackson holds the record for the most career home runs against the Brewers. He hit 62 versus the Brew Crew. He is followed by Sammy Sosa with 44 and Albert Pujols with 42. Sosa holds the number one spot for most home runs against the Brewers in a season… he hit 12 versus the Brew Crew in 1998.
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In less than two seasons in Milwaukee, Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar has slugged 35 home runs in just 561 plate appearances, a long ball every 16 plate appearances.
How does that rank with other Brewers players? Aguilar’s 16.0 plate appearances for every home run are currently second on the franchise list. Topping the list is a recent former first baseman, Chris Carter, who spent all of one season with the team in 2016. He had 41 HRs in 644 plate appearances, one homer for every 15.7 plate appearances.
Following are the Brewers players who have the fewest plate appearances per home runs in a career with the team (minimum of 35 career home runs to qualify for the list).
Chris Carter, 15.7 (644 plate appearances, 41 HR)
Jesus Aguilar, 16.0 (561-35)
Eric Thames, 16.4 (687-42)
Russell Branyan, 16.5 (576-35)
Richie Sexson, 17.2 (2288-133)
Prince Fielder, 18.3 (4210-230)
Carlos Lee, 18.7 (1123-60)
Larry Hisle, 18.7 (917-49)
Khris Davis, 19.0 (1142-60)
Jeromy Burnitz, 19.8 (3269-165)
Rob Deer, 19.8 (2711-137)
Gorman Thomas, 19.9 (4133-208)
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Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Eric Thames was one of four players this season to slug 30 or more HRs but have less than 70 RBIs. Felix Mantilla was the first player to reach this rare stat when he had 30 HRs and 64 RBI in 1964.
The four players this year were Thames (31 HRs-63 RBI), Kyle Schwarber (30 HRs-59 RBI), Scott Schebler (30 HRs-67 RBI) and Lucas Duda (30 HRs-64 RBI).
There have now been 12 players since 1901 with 30 or more home runs and less than 70 RBIs in a season. The four this year was the most in a season.
Schwarber, Curtis Granderson and Jedd Gyorko hold the record for fewest RBIs with 30 or more HRs… they each had only 59 RBIs with 30 or more home runs. Schwarber did it this season, while Granderson and Gyorko did it in 2016.
Brewers’ first baseman Eric Thames slugged his team-leading 27th home run last night in the team’s 6-5 win over Cincinnati.
When you look at Thames’ numbers for this season, one stat seems to jump out… although he has 27 HRs and leads the team, he only has 51 RBI (third on the team behind Shaw and Santana).
It will be interesting to note if Thames gets 30 HRs this season and if his RBI totals stay low. Of all the Brewers players who have hit 30 or more homers in a season, the fewest number of RBI was 82 by Tommy Harper in 1970 (he had 31 HRs and 82 RBI that season). Two other Brew Crew members had only 83 RBI with 30+ homers: Corey Hart in 2012 had 30 HRs and 83 RBI; Prince Fielder in 2010 had 32 home runs and 83 ribbies.
At the MLB level, there have been eight players in history to have 30 or more home runs in a season with less than 70 RBI. Last season a pair of players (Curtis Granderson of the Mets and Jedd Gyorko of the Reds) each had 30 HRs and only 59 RBIs. That is the fewest number of RBI’s of a player who slugged 30 or more home runs in a season.
It seems to be a question I get asked quite a bit these days, although it’s never worded the same:
“How are they doing it?”
The “they” are the Milwaukee Brewers, and the “it” is winning games and sitting in first place in the National League Central.
The answer to this type of question has a lot of potential responses. Let me point out three players in particular (Zach Davies, Travis Shaw and Eric Thames) with a handful of stats to trumpet their first-half success.
Zach Davies: The second-year right-hander has a 10-4 record at the break. He is the first pitcher since Wily Peralta in 2014 to have 10 wins in the first half of the season (Peralta was 10-6 at the All-Star break in ’14).
Davies becomes the 15th pitcher in team history to have 10 or more wins in the first half of the season… it has happened 19 times. Ben Sheets holds the team record with three seasons where he had 10+ wins in the first half. Chris Capuano and Lary Sorenson are the other Brewers pitchers to have 10+ win before the All-Star break in multiple seasons with the team.
Jim Colborn holds the team record with most first half wins with 13. He was 13-5 before the All-Star break in 1973.
Of the pitchers who had 10+ wins in the first half of the season with the Brewers, only two were able to win 20 for the season: Teddy Higuera in 1986 and Colborn in ’73.
Travis Shaw: With 65 RBI at the break, Shaw became the 12th Brewer to reach that number in the first half of a season. He is the first to do so since Prince Fielder in 2011.
Fielder (three times), Carlos Lee (twice) and Greg Vaughn (twice) are the Brewers players who had 65+ RBIs in the first half of a season multiple times.
Fielder holds the team mark for most RBIs in the first half of a season with 78; he did it in 2009. Lee had 76 in 2005 and Vaughn had 75 in 1996. Other Brewers players with 70 or more RBI’s before the All-Star break were Jeromy Burnitz (73 in 1996), Lee (73 in 2006), Fielder (72 in 2011), Richie Sexson (70 in 2003) and Fielder (70 in 2007).
Eric Thames: With 23 home runs in the first half of the 2017 season, Thames became the eighth Brewers player with 23+ home runs before the All-Star break. Fielder tops the club with 29 HRs at the break in 2007. Lee (in 2006) and Burnitz (1999) are next with 26, followed by Sexson with 25 (in 2003). Ryan Braun was the last Brewers player with 23 or more homers at the break; he had 24 in 2012. Vaughn also had 24 in 1996. Thames tied Braun (23 in 2008) and Gorman Thomas (23 in 1979).