(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.
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Bucks off-season moves reveal more three-point bombs coming next season
Based on the moves the Milwaukee Bucks have made this off-season, it appears that not reaching the NBA Finals last season won’t stop them from staying the course with their style of play. Anyone thinking that missing out on an NBA title would force the team to adjust their offensive strategy can forget that thought.
Although the team lost a couple of three-point weapons in Malcolm Brogdon and Tony Snell, the signing of Wes Matthews Jr. and Kyle Korver shows the team is committed to having three-point shooters in the starting line-up and coming off the bench.
Last season the Bucks set a team record with five different players making 75 or more three-pointers during the season (Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brodgon and Tony Snell). That broke the record of four players with 75+ made three-pointers in a season (it happened four seasons, 2016-17, 2012-13, 2010-11 and 2002-03). In addition, the team last year had eight players who attempted 150 or more shots from beyond the arc, again a team record. The eight: Lopez, Middleton, Bledsoe, Brogdon, Snell, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Pat Connaughton and Ersan Ilyasova. Seven players attempted 150 or more three-pointers in 2016-17, the previous mark: Giannis, Brodgon, Snell, Matthew Delavedova, Jabari Parker, Mirza Teletovic and Jason terry.
Replacing Brogdon and Snell will be the aforementioned Matthews and Korver. Here is what they bring to the team from three-point range:
- Matthews was 150-for-403 (37.2%) from beyond the arc last season. In his 10-year NBA career, Matthews has made 75 or more threes in nine of those seasons and he has attempted 150 or more threes in all 10 of his seasons. He has played 60 or more games in each of his 10 campaigns and he is a career .382 three-point shooter.
- Korver is recognized as one of the league’s top long-distance shooters. He was 113-for-294 (38.4%) on threes last season. In his 16-year NBA career he has made 75 or more threes in 15 of those seasons and he has attempted 150 or more threes in 15 of his 16 campaigns. A durable competitor, Korver has played 65 or more games in all but one of his 16 NBA campaigns. He is a career .429 three-point shooter. An added benefit is that Korver played under current Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer in Atlanta; not only that, but in four NBA seasons Korver led the league with the highest three-point shooting percentage… three of those four seasons were in Atlanta playing for Budenholzer.
One downside of the Matthews and Korver signings is that both players are in their 30’s; Korver will be 38 next season and Matthews will be 33. Brogdon is still relatively young in NBA years and will be 26 when the next season begins.
Here’s another interesting stat about Matthews and Korver: Of all NBA players who have attempted 1,000 or more threes in a career, Korver ranks sixth all-time with his three-point career shooting percentage of .429. The five players ahead of Korver are Steve Kerr, Hubert Davis, Stephen Curry, Jason Kapono and Steve Novak. Matthews is in the Top 100 in this list tied for 88th. The only current Bucks player on the list is Khris Middleton who’s .388 career three-point shooting percentage is tied for 62nd on the list.
Bottom line… the Bucks have filled their roster with more three-point shooters for next season. Now imagine what will happen if Brook Lopez can teach his brother, Robin, a new Bucks signee, to step back and launch some threes.
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Last baseball season, Miami Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton and New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge each hit 50 home runs … Stanton had 59; Judge had 52. (These two are now teammates with Stanton’s trade to the Yankees in the off-season.) It was the first time since the 2007 season that two players hit 50 in a season; that year Alex Rodriguez had 54 and Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder had 50.
Stanton and Judge became the 44th and 45th players to hit 50 in a season. Of the 45 times it has happened in MLB history, there have been 29 different players who have reached the 50-HR milestone. Here are the nine players who have hit 50 or more home runs in multiple seasons:
4: Mark McGwire, Babe Ruth, Sammy Sosa
3: Alex Rodriguez
2: Jimmie Foxx, Ken Griffey, Jr., Ralph Kiner, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays.
Stanton and Judge will look to become only the sixth and seventh players to hit 50 HRs in consecutive seasons. The five players who have consecutive seasons with 50 homers: Rodriguez (2001 and 2002), Ruth (1920 and 1921, also 1927 and 1928), Griffey (1997 and 1998), McGwire (1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999) and Sosa (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001).
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