Last Sunday, June 18, on Father’s Day, Jimmy Nelson gave the Brewers their first complete game of the season, a 2-1 win over the Padres. It was Nelson’s first career complete game after 88 career starts with the Brewers without one.
With his previous 88 starts without a complete game, Nelson sat atop the list of Brewers pitchers with the most starts for the team without a complete game. That honor now belongs to Manny Parra, who had 74 starts with the Brewers without a complete game.
Here’s a look at the Brewers starting pitchers who have started the most games in team history without a complete game in the stat column.
Brewers pitchers with most starts without a complete game
Manny Parra… 74
Marco Estrada… 70
Chris Narveson… 62
Jimmy Haynes… 62
Mike Fiers… 56
Shawn Marcum… 54
A pair of current Brewers hurlers, Zach Davies and Chase Anderson, could soon be joining the above list. Davies now has 49 starts in a Brewers uniform without a complete game, while Anderson is close behind with 45.
Nelson, who will start for the Brewers tonight (June 23) in Atlanta, now has 89 career starts and one complete game. Of all Milwaukee pitchers with just one complete game in their careers, Nelson is third on that list with the most starts with one complete game. Jeff Suppan had 97 starts for the Brew Crew and only complete game, most in that stat category. He is followed by Randy Wolf who had 91 starts and one complete game. Another current Brewers pitcher, Matt Garza is fourth on this list; he has started 81 games for the Brewers in his career and has only one complete game.
If we widen the scope to look at all MLB teams, here are the leaders in most career starts with no complete games in their careers, and those with the most starts with only one complete game in their career:
Most MLB career starts with no complete games: Bud Norris, 185… Tony Armas, 167… Wei-Yen Chen, 144… Marco Estrada, 142… Shawn Chacon, 134… Travis Wood, 133. Norris, Chen, Estrada and Wood are all active players.
Most MLB career starts with one career complete game: Erik Bedard, 230… Chris Young, 221. Young is still active, pitching for the Kansas City Royals.
One final stat: Nelson’s complete game last weekend was the fourth for the Brewers since the start of the 2014 season. It moved them out of a four-team tie for fewest complete games since ’14. The Orioles, Marlins and Nets each have four complete games in that time frame, the Brewers and Rays each have only five complete games. The Giants have the most complete games since 2014 with 27. They are followed by the Indians with 25.
Last Saturday night Atlanta Braves outfielder Matt Kemp slugged three home runs versus the Brewers at Miller Park. It was Kemp’s first multi-HR game against the Brew Crew in his career.
Kemp’s three-homer game was the 10th time in Brewers franchise history that an opposing player had three or more home runs in a game. The last time was almost 15 years ago when Shawn Green slugged four home runs in a game against Milwaukee, the most HRs by an opposing player in a contest.
Here’s a look at the 10 times an opposing players had three or more home runs against the Brewers. (All players listed hit three home runs in a game except for Green who hit four.)
Matt Kemp, April 29, 2017
Shawn Green, May 23, 2002
Sammy Sosa, August 22, 2001
Steve Finley, September 8, 1999
Vinny Castilla, June 5, 1999
Sammy Sosa, June 15, 1998
Matt Williams, April 25, 1997
Willie Horton, June 7, 1970
Reggie Jackson, July 2, 1969
Bill Melton, June 24, 1969
When it comes to multi-HRs, three players have hit two or more HRs against the Brewers in six games. The players with the most multi-HR games (two or more HRs in a game) against the Brewers are:
6: Albert Pujols, Reggie Jackson, Joe Carter
5: Sammy Sosa
4: Graig Nettles, Pedro Alvarez
3: (Accomplished by 20 different players)
All total, there have been 71 opponents who have hit two or more home runs in two or more games against the Brewers.
When the Brewers allowed Chris Carter, last year’s HR king, to leave the team after one season for free agency, many questioned that move. Then when they signed Eric Thames, a virtual unknown who did light up the Korean League, to replace Carter, again, a lot of people were shaking their heads.
Now 20 games into the 2017 season, Thames is making a name for himself by leading the league in home runs and topping the Brewers in several hitting categories including HRs, runs scored and hits.
With eight homers, 21 runs scored and 23 hits, Thames may threaten a few Brewers records for April. With six games remaining, Thames is…
… two HRs short of the team record for HRs in April. Ryan Braun and Carlos Lee each slugged 10; Braun in 2011, Lee in 2006…
… three runs short of the club record of 24 runs scored in April held by Braun (24 in 2011) and Rickie Weeks (24 in 2008)…
… a healthy 13 hits short of the team record for hits in April. Braun had 36 in 2011 and Fernando Vina had 36 in 1998.
The Brewers as a team top the majors with 34 home runs in 20 games, an average of 1.7 per game. That pace would give them 275 for the season. That would top the MLB record of 264 hit by the Seattle Mariners in 1997. The Brewers team record for HRs in a season is 231 in 2007.
With six games remaining in April, the Brewers team could threaten the team mark for April HRs which is 39 (done in 2001). They would need to hit six in the next six games to top that mark.
New third baseman Travis Shaw is also making a fast impression on his new team and fans. Shaw tops the club with eight doubles and 18 RBI. With six games remaining in April, he could realistically set new marks in both those categories for the month. His eight doubles is just one short of the team record for April, nine, held by Cecil Cooper (in 1979) and Alex Sanchez (2003). His 18 RBI is just two short of the team record held by six different players. Braun was the last Brewers player to collect 20 RBI in April (he did it in 2010).
If you are a Brewers fan, you already know that Jonathan Villar led the majors last season with 62 stolen bases and that Chris Carter tied for the National League home run title with 41 homers. But what you may not know is that these (now-former) Brewers teammates in 2016 became the fifth set of MLB teammates to have a 60-40 season… one player with 60 or more steals and a teammate with 40 or more HRs.
Here’s a look at the five sets of teammates who had a 60-40 season in the same year:
Milwaukee Brewers, 2016: Chris Carter, 41 HRs, Jonathan Villar, 62 stolen bases.
New York Mets, 2006: Carlos Beltran, 41 HRs, Jose Reyes, 64 stolen bases.
New York Mets, 1999: Mike Piazza, 40 HRs, Roger Cedeno, 66 stolen bases.
Cleveland Indians, 1996: Albert Belle, 48 HRs, Kenny Lofton, 75 stolen bases.
New York Yankees, 1931: Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, 46 HRs each, Ben Chapman, 61 stolen bases.
The combined stats of HRs and stolen bases has always been a way to evaluate those players who have that rare, much-desired combination of speed and power. The most common stat has been the “30-30” players, those who get 30 or more HRs and 30 or more steals in the same season. The Brewers franchise has had two 30-30 players in its history: Ryan Braun has done it twice (in 2011 and 2012), and Tommy Harper did it in 1970. In fact, Braun and Mike Trout are the last two players to have a 30-30 season, both accomplishing this feat in 2012. Braun is one of 13 MLB players in history to have two or more 30-30 seasons… father and son Barry and Bobby Bonds top this list, each with five 30-30 seasons in their careers.
In addition to Braun’s two 30-30 seasons and Harper’s lone 30-30 campaign, the Brewers team has had nine other seasons where teammates accomplished a 30-30 season… one player with 30 or more HRs and a teammate with 30 or more stolen bases. Here’s a look at those seasons:
2016: HRs-Chris Carter (41) and Ryan Braun (30)/Stolen Bases-Jonathan Villar (62) and Hernan Perez (34)
2012: HRs-Corey Hart (30) and Ryan Braun (41)/Stolen Bases-Nori Aoki (30), Carlos Gomez (37) and Ryan Braun (30)
2011: HRs-Prince Fielder (38) and Ryan Braun (33)/Stolen Bases-Ryan Braun (33)
2003: HRs-Richie Sexson (45)/Stolen Bases-Scott Podsednik (43)
1983: HRs-Cecil Cooper (30)/Stolen Bases-Paul Molitor (41)
1982: HRs-Ben Oglivie (34) and Gorman Thomas (39)/Stolen Bases-Paul Molitor (41)
1980: HRs-Ben Oglivie (41) and Gorman Thomas (38)/Stolen Bases-Paul Molitor (34)
1979: HRs-Gorman Thomas (45)/Stolen Bases-Paul Molitor (33)
1978:HRs-Gorman Thomas (32) and Larry Hisle (34)/Stolen Bases-Paul Molitor (30)
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
Let’s start this blog with a quiz:
There have been 15 players who played one or more games in 10 or more different seasons with the Brewers. Can you name these 15 Brewers who have played 10 or more seasons with the Brew Crew? (Answer below.)
One thing free agency did for baseball was it made staying with one team for an entire career almost a thing of the past. While many players may play 10 or more years in the majors, and some may play more, it’s pretty rare to find more than a handful who stayed with one team for an entire career.
Last season there were 24 players on rosters who had played (or were playing) their 10th season (or more) with that club. Two teams, Boston and Cincinnati, toped this list each with three players with 10 or more seasons with the Reds or Red Sox. For the Reds, Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and Homer Bailey each had 10 or more campaigns with the team, while David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Clay Buchholz were 10-year players with the Red Sox.
Here’s a look at the 30 MLB franchises and how many 10-year players were with the team in 2016.
3: Boston (Buchholz, Ortiz, Pedroia), Cincinnati (Bailey, Phillips, Votto)
2: Minnesota (Mauer, Perkins), New York Mets (Reyes, Wright), Philadelphia (Howard, Ruiz), St. Louis (Molina, Wainwright)
1: Chicago White Sox (Danks), Detroit (Verlander), Kansas City (Gordon), L.A. Angels (Weaver), L.A. Dodgers (Ethier), Milwaukee (Braun), New York Yankees (Rodriguez), San Francisco (Cain), Seattle (Hernandez), Washington (Zimmerman)
0: Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland, Colorado, Houston, Miami, Oakland, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Tampa Bay, Texas, Toronto
If we look at the list of 24, we see that one-third of these players are no longer with the teams they played for last season. Retirement ended the careers of Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz, Ryan Howard is still a free agent, and five players have new teams: Brandon Phillips (Atlanta), Carlos Ruiz (Seattle), Clay Buchholz (Philadelphia), Jered Weaver (San Diego) and John Danks (Atlanta).
Now to answer the trivia question at the start of the blog…
Last season Ryan Braun became the 15th Brewers player to play in 10 or more seasons with the team. He joined the following players (numbers of seasons with the Brewers also noted):
20: Robin Yount
17: Jim Gantner
15: Paul Molitor
14: Charlie Moore
12: Jim Slaton
11: Rickie Weeks, Bill Wegman, Cecil Cooper, Gorman Thomas, Don Money
10: Ryan Braun, Geoff Jenkins, Bob McClure, Moose Haas, Jerry Augustine
It’s anyone’s guess whether or not another player will join this above list of Brewers. When you consider that after Braun the player on the current roster with the most seasons with the team is Wily Peralta with five, chances of anyone joining this in the near future is not likely.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp