Tag Archives: Milwaukee Brewers

Today’s Sportstat: March 2, 2019

Who’s on first… for the Brewers on Opening Day?

If you are a diehard Brewers fan, you may find it hard to believe the following stat.

Did you know…

… from 2011-18, eight straight seasons, the Brewers have had a different starting first baseman on Opening Day. Yes, the Brew Crew’s Opening Day lineup has featured a different starter at first base for the last eight consecutive seasons.

Go back to 2011; Prince Fielder was the starting first baseman that season, the sixth straight year he was the Opening Day starting first baseman for the Brewers. After that, however, the Opening Day starting first basemen has looked like this…

2012: Mat Gamel

2013: Alex Gonzalez

2014: Lyle Overbay

2015: Adam Lind

2016: Chris Carter

2017: Eric Thames

2018: Ryan Braun

Conventional wisdom is that Jesus Aguilar, last year’s regular at first base for the Crew, will hold that spot on Opening Day in 2019… that is baring any injury that would prevent him from that honor.

So… if Aguilar mans the first base spot on Opening Day in late March this season, we could see yet another different first baseman on Opening Day for the Brewers, the ninth straight year that has happened.

Prior to this season, that longest stretch where the Brewers had a different Opening Day starting first baseman was 1998-2001. John Jaha was the Opening Day starter at first in 1998; the following year it was Sean Berry, followed by Kevin Barker in 2000 and Richie Sexson in 2001.

 

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Today’s Sportstat: February 21, 2019

Can the Brewers finally post back-to-back playoff seasons?

The beginning of 2019 Major League Baseball’s spring training is a time for most of the 30 MLB teams to start the chatter of a potential championship this season. Yes, title hopes run rampant in February.

Just making the playoffs is a key first step to any professional team’s championship run. It’s interesting to note that baseball probably has the most difficult path for teams to take towards a title, especially if you go by the numbers: Of the four professional sports (MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL), baseball has the fewest teams that make the playoffs after their regular season with 10 (and that’s after adding two additional teams to the post-season format just a few short years ago). The NFL is next with 12 of their 32 teams qualifying for the playoffs, and the NBA and NHL each have 16 of their teams advance to the playoffs.

The Brewers took that all-important first step last year when they made the playoffs and finished one game short of reaching the World Series. The question this year is: Can they repeat the 2018 season and make a return appearance in the ’19 post-season? Considering that the Brewers have not made the playoffs in consecutive seasons since 1981-82, Brew Crew faithful have their fingers crossed that their team can do something this season that hasn’t happened in almost 40 years… back-to-back playoff seasons.

Last season seven of the 10 MLB teams that played in the post-season also played in the 2017 playoffs: Boston, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland, Colorado, Houston, L.A. Dodgers and the N.Y. Yankees. The Brewers, Oakland and Atlanta were the three teams that made the playoffs in 2018 after not making the post-season the previous campaign.

Of the 30 current MLB franchises, 26 have made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons at least once this century. Two franchises, the Miami Marlins and Chicago White Sox, have never made the MLB post-season in back-to-back seasons in their histories. Two other teams, the Brewers and the Baltimore Orioles, have previously appeared in the post-season in back-to-back seasons, but not this century (the White Sox failure to make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons is quite amazing considering they have been around as a franchise since 1901!). The Brewers, as mentioned above, last made the post-season in back-to-back years in 1981 and 1982, while the Orioles last made the post-season in consecutive years in 1996 and 1997.

Here’s a look at the last time each of the 30 MLB teams made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.

Never: Chicago White Sox
Never: Miami Marlins
1981-82: Milwaukee
1996-97: Baltimore
2000-01: Seattle
2001-02: Arizona
2002-03: San Francisco
2005-06: San Diego
2008-09: L.A. Angels
2009-10: Minnesota
2010-11: Philadelphia, Tampa Bay
2012-13: Atlanta, Cincinnati
2013-14: Detroit, Oakland
2014-15: Kansas City, Pittsburgh, St. Louis
2015-16: N.Y. Mets, Texas, Toronto
2016-17: Washington
2017-18: Boston, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland, Colorado, Houston, L.A. Dodgers, N.Y. Yankees

 

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Today’s Sportstat: February 11, 2019

Players with the most games in a Brewers uniform

Let’s start with a quick quiz:

There have been 12 players who have played in 1,000 or more games with the Brewers. Can you name them? (The answer will appear towards the bottom of this article… don’t cheat; try to name the 12 before you continue reading the rest of this article.)

Before we get to the 12, did you know that Prince Fielder fell just two games short of having played in 1,000 games with the Milwaukee Brewers? Fielder ended his career with the Brewers with 998 games played. He is one of four players who played in 900 games with the team but fell short of the 1,000-game milestone. The four:

Prince Fielder, 998 games with the Brewers
Jeff Cirillo, 978 games with the Brewers
Corey Hart, 945 games with the Brewers
Greg Vaughn, 903 games with the Brewers.

As you might expect, there are no pitchers on the list of the players with 1,000 or more games in a Brewers uniform. There are, however, four pitchers who appeared in 300 or more games with the Brewers: Dan Plesac (365), Jim Slaton (364), Bob McClure (352) and Chuck Crim (332).

Current Brewers reliever Jerremy Jeffress is the active pitcher with the most games with the team, 253. That puts him in a tie for 11th place with Bill Wegman on the all-time list for most appearances by a Brewers pitcher.

Ryan Braun is the active player on the Brewers roster who has played in the most games for the team. He ranks fourth on the all-time list with 1,583 games played for the Brew Crew. Do you know which player on the current roster is second in this category with 481 games played with the Brewers? (Answer at the bottom of the article.)

As you might expect, Robin Yount tops the list with 2,856 games played for the Brewers. Following are the 12 played who have played in 1,000 or more games in a Brewers uniform.

Robin Yount, 2,856
Paul Molitor, 1,856
Jim Gantner, 1,801
Ryan Braun, 1,583
Cecil Cooper, 1,490
Charlie Moore, 1,283
Geoff Jenkins, 1,234
Don Money, 1,196
Ben Oglivie, 1,149
Rickie Weeks, 1,142
Gorman Thomas, 1,103
B.J. Surhoff, 1,102

Hernan Perez ranks second behind Braun in most games played by an active Brewers player; he has appeared in 481 games with the team.

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Today’s Sportstat: January 12, 2019

The Milwaukee Brewers in 2018 had three relief pitchers with 12 or more saves: Corey Knebel (16), Jeremy Jeffress (15) and Josh Hader (12). The 2018 Houston Astros also had three relievers with 12 or more saves, the second time they have achieved this milestone in the last three seasons.

The Brewers and Astros became the sixth and seventh teams in MLB history to have three relief pitchers with 12 or more saves in the same season. Here is a look at those seven teams.

1992 White Sox (Hernandez, Radinsky, Thigpen)

2000 Braves (Ligtenberg, Remlinger, Rocker)

2005 Diamondbacks (Bruney, Lyon, Valverde)

2015 Mariners (Rodney, Smith, Wilhelmsen)

2016 Astros (Giles, Gregerson, Harris)

2018 Astros (Giles, Osuna, Rondon)

2018 Brewers (Knebel, Jeffress, Hader)

For the Brewers, it was the eighth time in their history that they had two or more relievers finish the season with 12 or more saves in the same season. Following are those eight seasons.

1972: Frank Linzy (12), Ken Sanders (17)

1986: Mark Clear (16), Dan Plesac (14)

1987: Dan Plesac (23), Chuck Crim (12)

1998: Bob Wickman (25), Doug Jones (12)

2000: Bob Wickman (16), Curtis Leskanic (12)

2003: Mike DeJean (18), Dan Kolb (21)

2006: Derrick Turnbow (24), Francisco Cordero (16)

2016: Jeremy Jeffress (27), Tyler Thornburg (13)

2018: Corey Knebel (16), Jeremy Jeffress (15), Josh Hader (12)

 

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Today’s Sportstat: November 24, 2018

It’s one thing to come in last place in Major League Baseball. It’s another thing to come in last place and to be so far out of first place that you set a record.

That’s what happened to the Baltimore Orioles this past season. The O’s finished in last place in the American League East, 61 games behind first place Boston. That’s right… 61 games out of first place.

The 61 games out of first place stat are the most games behind by a team in the majors since baseball went to a three-division format in 1994. Prior to that, the record was held by the 1998 Florida Marlins who finished 52 games out of first place in the National League East.

Following are the teams that finished more than 40 games (or more) out of first place in their division since 1994.

National League
2017: San Francisco, N.L. West, 40 games behind
2012: Houston, N.L. Central, 42 games behind
2011: Houston, N.L. Central, 40 games behind
2004: Arizona, N.L. West, 42 games behind
2002: Milwaukee, N.L. Central, 41 games behind
1998: Florida, N.L. East, 52 games behind

American League
2018: Baltimore, A.L. East, 61 games behind
2013: Houston, A.L. West, 45 games behind
2005: Kansas City, A.L. Central, 43 games behind
2003: Detroit, A.L. Central, 47 games behind
2002: Tampa Bay, A.L. East, 48 games behind
2001: Texas, A.L. West, 43 games behind
2001: Anaheim, A.L. West, 41 games behind
1998: Tampa Bay, A.L. East, 51 games behind
1995: Minnesota, A.L. Central, 44 games behind

Adrian Beltre retires
Adrian Beltre recently announced his retirement. He began his career in 1998 at the age of 19 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. A sure-fire Hall of Famer, Beltre had a career .286 average with 477 home runs, 1,707 RBI and 3,166 hits.

Beltre is also one of only 21 players in baseball history to end their careers with 12,000 or more plate appearances. He had 12,130, good enough for 17th on the all-time list.

Here are the 21 players with 12,000 or more plate appearances in a career: Pete Rose (15,890), Carl Yastrzemski (13,992), Hank Aaron (13,941), Rickey Henderson (13,346), Ty Cobb (13,099), Cal Ripken (12,883), Eddie Murray (12,817), Stan Musial (12,718), Barry Bonds (12,606), Derek Jeter (12,602), Craig Biggio (12,504), Willie Mays (12,496), Dave Winfield (12,358), Robin Yount (12,249), Alex Rodriguez (12,207), Paul Molitor 12,167), Adrian Beltre (12,130), Eddie Collins (12,078), Rafael Palmeiro (12,046), Omar Vizquel (12,013) and Tris Speaker (12,011).

Christian Yelich – Part One
The numbers were enough to give him a straight path to the 2018 National League MVP: 110 RBI, 118 runs scored, 36 home runs, 22 stolen bases, a .326 batting average. With those stats, Christian Yelich also became the 19th player in baseball history to have 100 or more RBI, 100 or more runs, 30 or more HRs, 20 or more stolen bases, and a batting average of .320 or better in a season. (It’s interesting to note that fellow Brewer Ryan Braun is the only player in history to reach these numbers in two seasons.)

Here are the 19 players who have accomplished these numbers in a season:

2018: Christian Yelich (Milwaukee)

2015: Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona)

2011: Matt Kemp (L.A. Dodgers), Jacoby Ellsbury (Boston), Ryan Braun (Milwaukee)

2010: Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado)

2009: Ryan Braun (Milwaukee)

2007: David Wright (N.Y. Mets)
2005: Alex Rodriguez (N.Y. Yankees)

2002: Vladimir Guerrero (Montreal)

1999: Ivan Rodriguez (Texas)

1997: Larry Walker (Colorado)

1996: Ellis Burks (Colorado)

1993: Barry Bonds (San Francisco)

1978: Dave Parker (Pittsburgh)

1970: Carl Yastrzemski (Boston)

1961: Hank Aaron (Milwaukee), Frank Robinson (Cincinnati)

1932: Chuck Klein (Philadelphia)

1922: Ken Williams (St. Louis Browns)

Christian Yelich – Part Two

Yelich became the eighth Brewers player to hit 30 or more home runs for the team before he turned 27. (Yelich turns 27 on December 5th.)

Following are the seasons when a Brewers player had 30 or more HRs before turning 27 (age for the season as of June 30 of that year).

Player, year                    Home Runs                   Age

Rob Deer, 1986                     33                           25

Geoff Jenkins, 2000             34                           25
Richie Sexson, 2001             45                           26
Bill Hall, 2006                        35                           26
Ryan Braun, 2007                 34                           23
Prince Fielder, 2007             50                           23
Ryan Braun, 2008                 37                           24
Prince Fielder, 2008             34                           24
Ryan Braun, 2009                 32                           25
Prince Fielder, 2009             46                           25
Prince Fielder, 2010             32                           26
Domingo Santana, 2017      30                           24
Christian Yelich, 2018          36                           26

 

 

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