(A weekly look at several sports stats you may not know)
- The Brewers on September 9 defeated the Detroit Tigers 19-0. It was the second largest shutout blowout in team history. On April 22, 2010, the Brew Crew defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 20-0. It was also the seventh time in team history they scored 19 or more runs in a game and the first time they won a game 19-0. The Brewers are 55-0 in games when they score 15 or more runs in a game and 135-1 in games when they tally 13 or more runs in a game. The only loss when they scored 13 or more runs in a game was on June 29, 1995 when they lost to the Chicago White Sox 17-13.
- The Milwaukee Bucks placed three players on the NBA all-defensive first or second team for the 2019-20 season. Giannis Antetokounmpo was a first team selection while teammates Brook Lopez and Eric Bledsoe were chosen to the second team. It was the fifth season where the Bucks had multiple players on either the first or second team of the NBA all-defensive team; it happened in 2018-19 (Giannis and Bledsoe) and in 1985-86 (Paul Pressey and Sidney Moncrief), 1984-85 (Pressey and Moncrief) and 1981-82 (Quinn Buckner and Moncrief).
- In the Brewers 19-0 shutout of Detroit on September 9, starting pitcher Corbin Burnes allowed just one hit over seven innings, striking out 11. He became only the fourth Brewers pitcher to pitch seven or more innings with no earned runs, have 11 or more strikeouts and allow one or no hits. The others were Chase Anderson (May 27, 2017), CC Sabathia (August 31, 2008) and Steve Woodard (July 28, 1997).
- There have now been 17 NBA playoff series that have gone to a seventh game since the 2016 playoffs (the past five playoff seasons). Of those 17 series, the team that won Game 6 also won game 7 in seven of those 17 series.
- Over the past five NFL seasons (2015-19), home teams have a winning percentage of .561 (715-560-5). Topping the list are the New England Patriots who were 33-7 (.825) in home contests the last five seasons. Completing the Top 5 in best home winning percentage from 2015-19 are Kansas City (.750), Minnesota (.725), Pittsburgh (.700) and Green Bay (.688). The NFL’s worst home team (based on winning percentage the past five seasons) was Cleveland with a 12-27-1 (.313) in home contests.
- Did you know that seven NFL QB’s have passed for 400 or more yards in a regular season game yet did not throw a TD in that game? Detroit’s Matthew Stafford has done it twice. The others: Joe Montana, Warren Moon, Mark Brunell, Boomer Esiason, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Bernie Kosar. It has happened once in an NFL playoff game: Randall Cunningham on December 31, 1988 passed for 407 yards but no TD passes in the Eagles 2012 loss in the post-season to the Chicago Bears.
- Packers head coach Matt LeFleur had a fantastic first year with the team last year going 13-3 and playing in the NFC Championship Game. It was probably the best first-year coaching job in team history. So what will Year Two look like? If we look at all the Packers head coaches going back to Vince Lombardi, Year Two at the helm of the Pack was pretty good. Of the nine coaches from Vince Lombardi to Mike McCarthy who had a second season coaching the Packers, five made the playoffs their second season; the nine coaches compiled a combined 83-53 record (.610) winning percentage that second season. Five of those coaches won 10 or more games their second season with the Packers: Mike McCarthy (13-3), Mike Sherman (12-4), Lindy Infante (10-6), Dan Devine (10-4) and Vince Lombardi (10-4).
- Since 1970, the Packers have started the season on the road 16 times, compiling an 11-5 record. Eleven of those 16 season-opening games on the road since 1970 were decided by eight points or less. The last three season-opening road games were: 2015-at Chicago, a 31-23 win; 2016-at Jacksonville, a 27-23 win; and 2019-at Chicago, a 10-3 win.
- A pair of baseball Hall of Famers passed away recently, Tom Seaver and Lou Brock. Here are a few stats you may not know about these two legends of the game.
- Seaver: He had 231 career complete games, tied for 100th place… in addition to the 311 career wins, Seaver had one career save… he had 10 200-strikeout seasons; that places him fourth on the all-time list behind Nolan Ryan (14), Randy Johnson (13) and Roger Clemens (12)… Seaver made 18 appearances as a pinch runner and three as a pinch hitter in his career. He also had four career stolen bases… baseball.reference.com listed Seaver’s career salary total as $6,662,914. Imagine what he would’ve made in today’s baseball economy… Seaver is one of only ten pitchers to have 13 seasons with 15 or more wins (he had 13). Topping the list are Greg Maddux and Cy Young each with 18 seasons with 15 or more wins… Seaver finished in the Top 10 of the league MVP voting five times.
- Brock: Ironically, the pitcher Brock had the most career plate appearances against was Tom Seaver. He faced Seaver 157 times and batted .250 against Seaver… Brock had 100 or more runs scored in seven seasons, one of 70 players to do so… Brock had 34 career World Series hits and 14 career World Series stolen bases, making him one of only three players to have 30 career W.S. hits and 10 career W.S. steals. The others: Eddie Collins and Phil Rizzuto… Brock and Rickey Henderson are the only two players to have 3,000 career hits and 900 career stolen bases in a career (Henderson 3,055-1,406), Brock (3,023-938)… Brock and Henderson are also the only two MLB players in history to have 900 career RBI and 900 career steals… Brock never won an MVP Award, although he did finish second to Steve Garvey in 1974. That year Brock hit .306 and had 118 stolen bases.
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- The Brewers are at the .500 mark (a 10-10 record through games of August 16) with the season one-third of the way complete. The Brew Crew is averaging only 4.0 runs per game in the first 20 games of this season; if the season ended today, that would be the 12th lowest offensive output in team history. The fewest runs per game for a Brewers team was 3.16 in 1972. The second lowest was 3.54 in 1976. That, however, is not the worst news… through games of August 16 this year, the Brewers team batting average is .221; the lowest team batting average for a season was 1971 when the team hit .229. In fact, the four lowest team batting averages were all under .243 and happened in the first four seasons of the franchise: 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972. One more dreadful stat through the first 20 games: The Brewers offense has averaged 10.1 strikeouts per game. The most strikeouts per game the team have averaged in a season is 9.7 in 2017.
- Bob Uecker is a Hall of Famer… broadcaster, that is. He has gotten a lot of comedic mileage out of the fact that he had a very mediocre MLB career, and his nickname of “Mr. Baseball,” which came from Johnny Carson, certainly takes advantage of that fact. But did you know that Uecker may have had one of the worst seasons of all time for a player? In 1967, Uecker had 221 plate appearances and a season batting average of .150. He is one of only 11 players since 1901 to have 200 or more plate appearances and a batting average of .150 or below in a season. If that isn’t enough, in that same season, Uecker led the league with the most errors and most passed balls by a catcher. I guess it was a good thing that he was so funny.
- Aaron Rodgers is one of 28 quarterbacks in NFL history to have 100 or more TD passes in a career and less than 100 career interceptions… Rodgers has 364 career TD passes and only 84 career interceptions. Of all the NFL QBs with fewer than 100 career interceptions, Rodgers has the most TD passes with 364. Russell Wilson is second on the list with only 68 interceptions and 227 career TD passes.
- Defense will be a big key as the Bucks try to win an NBA title this season. Consider this: The Bucks were 56-17 this season, best record in the NBA; however, they were 11-12 (.478 winning percentage) in games when they allowed the opposition to score 115 or more points in a game, and were 45-5 (.900) when they kept their opponents under 115 points in a game. The Bucks were a perfect 26-0 this season when the defense held foes to 102 or fewer points in a game.
- Over the last 21 college football seasons, the University of Wisconsin has had four different running backs lead the nation in rushing yards: Ron Dayne (1999), Monte Ball (2011), Melvin Gordon (2014) and Jonathan Taylor (2018). In the last 21 years, only one other school had multiple players lead the nation in rushing yards… San Diego State (Donnel Pumphrey, 2016, and Rashaad Penay, 2017).
- In the Brewers 6-4 win over the Twins on August 11, the Brew Crew offense hit four home runs. Since 2015, the Brewers are 29-3 in games where they hit four or more HRs. Since 2015, the Brewers are 5-23 in games when their pitching staff allows four or more home runs.
- Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams has 50 or more receptions in five straight seasons. He joined four others Pack receivers who had 50+ receptions in five or more seasons; Donald Driver tops the list with nine seasons with 50+ catches for the Pack. He is followed by Sterling Sharpe with seven consecutive 50-catch seasons, Antonio Freeman with six straight seasons, and Greg Jennings with five straight seasons with 50 or more receptions for the Packers.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo finished the 2019-20 NBA season with a points per game average of 29.5 and 13.6 rebounds per game. It was the third season in his career that he averaged 25 or more points and 10 or more rebounds per games in a season. He became the 17th player in NBA history to have three or more 25 points/10 rebounds seasons in an NBA career. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal each had 10 25/10 seasons, most in league history.
- The “Greek Freak” also finished this NBA season with an amazing stat: He upped his per game points average for the sixth straight season. He averaged 6.8 points per game in his rookie campaign and has upped that stat to 12.7, 16.9, 22.9, 26.9, 27.7 and 29.5 in each subsequent year. What’s even more noteworthy is that he has also upped his rebounds per game stat in each of his seven seasons in the league… he averaged 4.4 boards his rookie year and then upped that stat to 6.7, 7.7, 8.8, 10.0, 12.5 and 13.6.
- Can you imagine going a whole MLB career without a stolen base? There are quite a few players who never swiped a base in their MLB career, but four of them had 2,000 or more plate appearances and never had a steal. The four: Russ Nixon (2,715 plate appearances and no steals; he played from 1957-68), Chris Snyder (2,459 PA, 2004-13), Johnny Estrada (2,244 PA, 2001-08) and Aaron Robinson (2,191 PA, 1943-51). The Brewers have seven players who had 500 or more plate appearances in a Brewers uniform but no stolen bases. Topping the list is Jesus Aguilar, who had 1,139 plate appearances with the Brewers and no stolen bases. He is followed by Wes Helms (1,030 plate appearances), Hank Aaron (851), Chad Moeller (669), Marc Newfield (583), Adam Lind (572) and Charlie O’Brien (559). The MLB record for most plate appearances with only one career stolen base is held by Gus Triandos, who played from 1953-65. He had 4,424 career plate appearances and only one career stolen base. The Brewers record for most plate appearances with only one career stolen base is 1,664 by Casey McGehee.
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(A weekly look at several sports stats you may not know)
- Over the past couple of weeks, the Milwaukee media has been writing about how the Brewers will be looking to make club history in the 2020 season by making the playoffs for the third season in a row, something that has never been done in the history of the team. It is true that the Brewers have never made the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, but they are one of 11 MLB teams that have never accomplished this feat. The other 10 MLB franchises that have never made it to the post-season in three straight years: Arizona, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati, Colorado, Miami, New York Mets, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington. The Brew Crew is the only one of these 11 teams that could make it three in a row this season; Tampa Bay and Washington are the only other two teams on this list that made it to the post-season last season.
- In the past 20 seasons, which Chicago baseball team has won the most games in a season? In 2014, the Cubs and White Sox each won 73 games. In the other 19 seasons, the Cubs have won more games than the White Sox in 12 seasons. The White Sox won more games than the Cubs in seven seasons since 2000.
- Last year in the NFL (2019 season) about 45% of the TDs scored in the season were by players who were under the age of 25. In NFL history, there have been six players who scored 50 or more career TDs before they turned 25: Barry Sanders (57), Todd Gurley (56), Maurice Jones-Drew (56), Randy Moss (54), Jim Brown (53) and Emmitt Smith (53).
- Which NBA franchise has had the worst record this century? If you answered the New York Knicks, you are correct. The Knicks have a combined record of 693-997 (.410 winning percentage) from the 1999-2000 season until today. Three other teams have a cumulative winning percentage under .426 since 1999-2000: Washington (.423), Charlotte (.424) and Minnesota (.425).
- Terry Felton may not be a name that you are familiar with in baseball lore, but he holds a very dubious honor. Felton, a pitcher, was a second round pick of the Minnesota Twins in the 1976 draft. He played four seasons in the majors. In 1979 he was 0-0; in 1980, he was 0-3, in 1981 he was again 0-0; in 1982, however, he had a record of 0-13. After that 1982 season, he never again played in the majors. He ended his MLB career with a record of 0-16. He holds the record for most career losses without a win in the majors. Felton played two years in the minors in 1983 and 1984. In his minor league career he compiled a pitching record of 43 wins and 64 losses.
- It looks like we are less than two months away from the 2020 NFL regular season kicking off. Over the past 10 seasons, there are two teams that have compiled an 8-2 record in their opening week games… New England and Philadelphia. Five teams went 7-3 in their first game of the year from 2010-2019: Kansas City, Denver, Green Bay, Baltimore and San Francisco. The NFL’s worst opening game teams this past decade? Cleveland was 0-9-1, Indianapolis was 1-9, and the Giants were 2-8.
- The 2020 MLB season will consist of only 60 regular season games. In MLB history, the best record after the first 60 games of the year is 48-12 by the 1912 New York Giants. The 2001 Seattle Mariners, 1939 New York Yankees and 1907 Chicago Cubs tied for the next-best record after the first 60 games with a 47-13 record. Since 2010, there have been seven teams that won 40 or more games in the first 60 played in a season. Three of those teams won the World Series (the 2016 Cubs went 42-18; the 2017 Astros went 42-18 and the 2018 Red Sox went 41-19). For Brewers fans, the best the Brew Crew has done in the first 60 games of a season is 37-23 in 2018.
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How will the new Brewers players’ debuts match up with other Brew Crew debuts?
When (or if) the 2020 Major League Baseball season begins, the Brewers will have several new players who have never suited up in a Brewers uniform who will likely play important roles for the club. Players like outfielder Avisail Garcia, catcher Omar Narvaez, infielders Justin Smoak and Luis Urias, and pitchers Brett Anderson, Eric Lauer and Josh Lindblom will be making their debut with the Brewers in 2020 (hopefully).
The question: When they do make their debuts, will they start with a bang or a whimper? When compared to other Brewers, will any of these new players have a Brew Crew debut like Carlos Gomez? After coming to the Brewers in a trade with the Twins, Gomez made his Brewers debut on April 5, 2010 with four hits in five at-bats, a solo HR and a stolen base.
Or will any of the pitchers have a debut like Yovani Gallardo? Making his MLB and Brewers debut on June 18, 2007, Gallardo was the starting pitcher and winner in the Brewers 5-4 win over the San Francisco Giants. Gallardo went 6.1 innings and allowed only four hits and struck out four in the victory.
Let’s take a look at some of the Brewers debuts for some of the club’s top players over the years. Baseball-Reference.com on the Brewers’ team page lists the team’s Top 24 players in franchise history based on each players’ WAR rating (WAR stands for Wins Above Replacement). The stat gives a number to each players’ overall contribution to the team. Robin Yount tops the Brewers franchise with a 77.3 WAR, followed by Paul Molitor (60.0) and Ryan Braun is third (46.8).
Here is a snapshot of the top 24 Brewers player’s debut with the team.
Robin Yount, April 5, 1974: 0-for-1, walk
Paul Molitor, April 7, 1978: 1-for-5, one RBI
Ryan Braun, May 25, 2007: 1-for-4, two RBIs
Cecil Cooper, April 7, 1977: 1-for-4
Teddy Higuera, April 23, 1985: 5.1 IP, seven hits, 4 ER, five strikeouts (no decision-starting pitcher)
Don Money, April 6, 1973: 0-for-3
Jeff Cirillo, May 11, 1994: 0-for-0, came in as a defensive replacement in the seventh inning, no at-bat
Ben Sheets, April 5, 2001: 6.0 IP, six hits, 5 ER, five strikeouts (starting pitcher, losing pitcher)
George Scott, April 15, 1972: 0-for-4, one RBI
Jim Gantner, September 3, 1976: 2-for-4, one run scored, one walk
Geoff Jenkins, April 24, 1998: 2-for-4, solo HR, two runs scored
Ben Oglivie, April 8, 1978: 2-for-5, two runs scored, one walk
Carlos Gomez, April 5, 2010: 4-for-5, double, solo HR, two runs scored, stolen base
Sixto Lezcano, September 10, 1974: 3-for-5, one RBI
Chris Bosio, August 3, 1986: 3.0 IP, three hits, one earned run, one strikeout (came in as a reliever, no decision)
Gorman Thomas, April 6, 1973: 1-for-3, triple
Yovani Gallardo, June 18, 2007: 6.1 IP, four hits, 3 ER, 4 strikeouts (Starting pitcher, got the win)
Bill Wegman, September 14, 1985: 7.0 IP, five hits, two earned runs, four strikeouts (starting pitcher, no decision)
Mike Caldwell, June 19, 1977: 2 IP, no hits, one walk, one strikeout (came in as a reliever, no decision)
Jonathan Lucroy, May 21, 2010: 1-for-2
Prince Fielder, June 13, 2005: 0-for-4
Jeromy Burnitz, September 3, 1996: 0-for-4
Moose Haas, September 8, 1976: 3 IP, three hits, one earned run, two strikeouts (came in as a reliever, no decision)
Corey Hart, May 25, 2004: 0-for-1, strikeout
In addition to the above 24 players, the Brewers have five more players who played with the team who are members of baseball’s Hall of Fame (in addition to Yount and Molitor): Rollie Fingers, Hank Aaron, Ted Simmons, Trevor Hoffman and Don Sutton. Their Brewers debuts went as follows:
Rollie Fingers, April 11, 1981: 1.2 IP, two hits, no earned runs, one strikeout, one walk (came in as a reliever, got the save)
Hank Aaron, April 8, 1975: 0-for-3, walk
Ted Simmons, April 11, 1981: 0-for-4, one run scored, one strikeout
Trevor Hoffman, April 27, 2009: one inning pitched, no hits, no earned runs (came in as a reliever, no decision)
Don Sutton, 9 IP, complete game, eight hits allowed, four earned runs, two walks, three strikeouts (starting pitcher, got the loss)
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Ryan Braun was the Brewers #1 player in the 2010s… who do you have at #2?
If we go based on the numbers, there should not be much discussion about who was the Brewers top player last decade, 2010-19. The obvious answer is Ryan Braun.
Throughout the 2010s, Braun led the Brewers in almost every batting statistic. But after Braun, who would you pick as the second best player for the Brewers last decade. In my mind, and based on strictly the numbers, there are probably three candidates for the Number Two spot.
Some of you might pick Christian Yelich as the top player for the Brewers in the last 10 years. There’s no doubt that what he has accomplished with the Brew Crew over the last two seasons in Milwaukee is remarkable. But we’re taking about the total of 10 years, 2010-19. While Yelich has an MVP and a runner-up honor for that same award in two seasons, he does not have the numbers totals to make a dent in the Brewers players with the highest offensive stats over the past 10 years.
Let’s start with offensive totals. Here’s a look at the two players who topped the Brewers in several offensive categories from 2010-19.
Most at-bats: Braun, 4796… Jonathan Lucroy, 2838
Most runs: Braun, 770… Carlos Gomez, 364
Most hits: Braun, 1410… Lucroy, 806
Most doubles: Braun, 297… Lucroy, 157
Most triples: Braun, 29… Gomez, 25
Most home runs: Braun, 241… Rickie Weeks, 88 (how many of you thought Weeks had the second most homers for the Brewers from 2010-19?)
Most runs batted in: Braun, 811… Lucroy, 387
Most stolen bases: Braun, 166… Gomez, 152
Highest batting average (min. 300 games played): Braun, .294… Nori Aoki, .287
Highest on-base percentage (min. 300 games played): Prince Fielder, .408… Braun, .359
Highest slugging percentage (min. 300 games played): Braun, .519… Fielder, .518
I would put either Lucroy or Gomez as candidates for the second best player for the Brewers last decade behind Braun of the everyday players.
Now let’s look at the pitching stats for 2010-19.
Most games pitched: Jeremy Jeffress, 301… Francisco Rodriguez, 263
Most complete games: Kyle Lohse, 4… Yovani Gallardo, 3
Most wins: Gallardo, 67… Wily Peralta, 47
Most saves: John Axford, 105… Rodriguez, 95
Most innings pitched: Gallardo, 969.1… W. Peralta, 704.2
Most strikeouts: Gallardo, 901… Jimmy Nelson, 578
ERA (minimum 200 innings pitched: Josh Hader, 2.42… Jeffress, 2.66
My third candidate for the #2 spot would be Gallardo. Much like Yelich, you could make a case for a pitcher like Josh Hader, but his numbers are limited to only three seasons in Milwaukee last decade.
So who would you choose as the second-best player for the Brewers last decade?
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