Tag Archives: Milwaukee Brewers

Today’s Sportstat: February 22, 2020

Complete Games not a common theme during Counsell’s tenure

If you follow baseball, you know that relief pitching and managing the bullpen are key factors in today’s game, and that starting pitching, and specifically, complete games, is a quickly dying occurrence.

The Milwaukee Brewers are a prime example of this trend. Manager Craig Counsel begins his sixth season with the team and the way he handles the pitching staff is either the reason for the most recent success Counsell and the Brewers have had, or it is a cause for frustration for Brewers fans (and maybe the team’s starting pitching staff).

Debate about why this has happened within the Brewers pitching staff can shift from a strong bullpen to a weak starting staff. Most everyone has an opinion. But the numbers don’t lie… complete games are on the decline for every team and the game has changed, especially when it comes to how pitching staffs are handled.

The complete game stats are pretty significant when you look at the past five seasons with Counsell in charge. From 2015-19, the Brewers had only two complete games (Taylor Jungmann on July 11, 2015 and Jimmy Nelson on June 18, 2017). That is tied for the fewest complete games in the majors over the past five years with the Tampa Bay Rays pitching staff.

If we look at the past two seasons, the Brew Crew had zero complete games, one of four teams that did not have a complete game over the past two seasons. The others were the Rays, Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres.

Here is a look at the number of complete games each MLB pitching staff had in the past five seasons (2015-19).

34: Cleveland
22: San Francisco
20: Boston, Chicago White Sox
15: Chicago Cubs, Minnesota, Seattle
14: L.A. Dodgers
13: Houston, Texas
12: Detroit
11: Oakland, Pittsburgh, Washington
10: N.Y. Mets, Toronto
9: Kansas City, Philadelphia
8: Colorado, L.A. Angels, N.Y. Yankees, St. Louis
7: Arizona, Atlanta, Cincinnati
4: Baltimore, Florida, San Diego
2: Milwaukee, Tampa Bay

In addition:

  • The Brewers have had zero complete games in three (2016, 2018, 2019) of Counsell’s five seasons. The only other season where the Brew Crew had zero complete games was in 2012.
  • The last season where the Brewers had double-digits in complete games was in 2008 when they had 12.
  • Most complete games in a season for the Brewers pitching staff? In 1978 they had 62 complete games; the following year they had 61.
  • In the first 26 years of the Brewers franchise (1969-94) the team had a total of 836 complete games; in the last 25 years (1995-2019) the team had 89 complete games.

You get the point!

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: February 17, 2020

Counsell bringing stability to Brewers dugout

Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell in 2020 will be starting his sixth season (yes, he has been the manager for five seasons already!). That is noteworthy from the standpoint that only three other Brewers managers in team history had a stretch of more than five years as manager of the team.

Back in 2015 when Counsell was handed the job after a stint in the Brewers front office, many questioned the move, especially considering that Counsell did not have any managerial experience. But with two consecutive post-season appearances in 2018 and 2019 and a regular season record 24 games above .500, Counsell, with more success in the future, could make a move to challenge the most career games and career wins by a Brewers skipper.

For the record, Counsell is 405-381 record (.515 winning percentage) in his five seasons with the Brew Crew.

Consider this:

  • Counsell is only 53 wins from taking over second place on the team’s list for most wins by a manager. There’s a good chance that could happen this year.
  • He is 158 wins as a manager from the top spot. A pair of good seasons in 2020 and 2021 could launch Counsell into first place on that list.
  • His 786 regular season games managed for the team ranks fourth. He is 34 games out of third place. To take over the top spot from Phil Garner, Counsell will probably have to manage the team well into the 2022 season to surpass Garner.
  • He is one of four Brewers managers with 400 or more career wins. The only Brewers manager with 500 or more wins is Garner with 563.
  • Of the seven Brewers managers who managed the team for 500 or more career regular season games, Counsell’s .515 winning percentage is tied for second with Tom Trebelhorn, only .003 points behind George Bamberger, who tops the list at .518.
  • Counsell last season became the only Brewers skipper in team history to lead the team to two post-season appearances. He also became the 93rd manager in MLB history to have two or more appearances in the post-season on his managerial resume.
  • His six playoff wins as a manager of the Brewers ties him with Harvey Kuenn for most in team history.
  • His 10 playoff games managed with the team is third on the list behind Kuenn with 12 and Ron Roenicke with 11.

Here is a list of the seven men who have managed the Brewers for 500 or more regular season games (also noted is their win-loss record and winning percentage in those games).

Phil Garner, 1180, 563-617 .477

Ned Yost, 959, 457-502 .477

Tom Trebelhorn, 819, 422-397 .515

Craig Counsell, 786, 405-381 .515

George Bamberger, 728, 377-351 .518

Ron Roenicke, 673, 342-331 .508

Del Crandall, 609, 271-338 .445

Note: Of the remaining 12 men who have managed the Brewers in the team’s history, none skippered the team for more than 300 games.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: February 8, 2020

 

Brewers players with most HRs in a season versus National League foes

Christian Yelich last season had eight home runs (in 16 games) versus the St.Louis Cardinals. That broke a more-than-a-decade old record held by Ryan Braun who slugged seven homers against the Cards in the 2008 season.

What’s interesting about this stat is that Yelich, due to injury that sidelined him from September 10 to the end of the season, actually missed three games against the Cardinals in the final month and may have added to his record-setting number of eight.

Yelich’s eight HRs against the Cardinals in 2019 is tied for second-most in Brewers team history in a season against one team. Former first baseman Eric Thames, now a member of the World Champion Washington Nationals, holds the team record with 10 home runs in 2017 against the Cincinnati Reds. Yelich’s eight homers against the Cards in 2019 ties him with Prince Fielder who had eight home runs against the Pirates in 2010.

Here is a look at the Brewers players who have the most HRs in a season versus each of the other 14 teams in the National League.

Braves: Richie Sexson, 5, 2003

Cardinals: Christian Yelich, 8, 2019

Cubs: Richie Sexson (2002 and 2003), Jeromy Burnitz (2006) and Ryan Braun (2016)… 6 each

Diamondbacks: Jeromy Burnitz, 5, 2001

Dodgers: Geoff Jenkins, 5, 2000

Giants: Richie Sexson, 4, 2003

Marlins: Prince Fielder (2009, 2010, 2011), Mike Moustakas (2019)… 4 each

Mets: Carlos Lee (2005), Corey Hart (2010), Prince Fielder (2011)… 4 each

Nationals: Geoff Jenkins, 5, 2001

Padres: Geoff Jenkins (2003), Ryan Braun (2012)… 4 each

Phillies: Ryan Braun, 6, 2012

Pirates: Prince Fielder, 8, 2010

Reds: Eric Thames, 10, 2017

Rockies: Travis Shaw, 4, 2018

 

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: September 2, 2019

Brewers may need a 20-win September to reach playoffs this season

The Milwaukee Brewers got off to a good start in the last month of the 2019 season with a 4-0 shutout of the Chicago Cubs on September 1. The Brew Crew remains three games behind the Cubs for the second Wild Card spot and a return to the post-season.

The Brewers will need an outstanding September to make the playoffs this year. With 27 games in the month, the Crew may need to put together a 20-win month to take one of the two Wild Card spots in the National League (or even overtake the Cards and Cubs and win the N.L. Central).

Fortunately for the Brewers, September has been a good month for the team over the past three seasons. In fact, they have the third-best September record in the majors over the past three seasons (2016-18) and have the best winning percentage of all National League teams over that same period. The Brewers had a .619 winning percentage in September games from 2016-18.

Here’s a look at the September/October regular season winning percentages for each of the 30 MLB teams over the past three seasons.

Cleveland .667, Houston .647, Milwaukee .619, Boston .614, Chicago Cubs, .609

New York Yankees .581, Washington .565, Los Angeles Dodgers .563, New York Mets .558, Atlanta .547, Oakland .536, Seattle .524, Tampa Bay .518, Colorado .517, St. Louis .512

Kansas City .483, Los Angeles Angels .476, Minnesota .465, Pittsburgh .464, Toronto .459, Arizona .452, San Diego .440, Chicago White Sox .437, Texas .429, Philadelphia .407, Cincinnati .400

Miami .398, San Francisco .378, Baltimore .369, Detroit .353.

The Brewers pitching staff started September on a high note as four pitchers combined to shutout the Cubs on September 1. It’s interesting to note that the Brewers pitching staff had the best ERA of all 30 teams in September/October regular season games in the past three seasons. The Crew’s pitching staff ERA was 3.19. The Cleveland Indians staff was second at 3.25. The Brewers pitching staff also allowed the fewest HRs and opponents’ batting average was the fifth lowest in the majors in September/October regular season games from 2016-18..

Can this year’s much-maligned pitching staff rise to the occasion in this season’s final month?

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: August 29, 2019

Back-to-back post-season appearances have been rare for the Brewers

Before reading the rest of this article, see if you can answer this trivia question: Of the current 30 baseball franchises, can you name the two that have never played in the post-season in back-to-back seasons? (The answer is contained in the article.)

Brewers’ fans certainly enjoyed the team’s pennant run last season that ended one game short of an appearance in the World Series. Sitting here on the morning of August 29, the Brewers have a lot of work to do if they want to get back to the post season… they are 5½ games behind the first-place Cardinals in the National League Central, and are 3½ games out of the second Wild Card spot in the N.L.

Making the playoffs in back-to-back seasons has not happened very frequently for the Brew Crew. In fact, the team’s only back-to-back post-season appearance was back in 1981 and 1982; and that was when the franchise played in the American League, meaning the National League version of the Brewers has never played in the post season in back-to-back seasons.

Of teams that have played in the post season in back-to-back seasons, the Brewers have the longest drought for repeating that accomplishment. There are, however, two current MLB franchises that have never played in the post season in back-to-back years. It’s not surprising that Miami, which began as a MLB franchise in 1993, is one of those teams. What is surprising is the other team: the Chicago White Sox. Think of this, the White Sox began as a MLB franchise in 1901 and have never played in the post season in back-to-back years.

Here’s a breakdown of the last time each of the 30 MLB franchises played in the post season in back-to-back seasons.

Never: Chicago White Sox, Miami

1982: Milwaukee (as members of the American League)

1997: Baltimore

2001: Seattle

2002: Arizona

2003: San Francisco

2006: San Diego

2009: Los Angeles Angels

2010: Minnesota

2011: Philadelphia, Tampa Bay

2013: Atlanta, Cincinnati

2014: Detroit, Oakland

2015: Kansas City, Pittsburgh, St. Louis

2016: New York Mets, Texas, Toronto

2017: Washington

2018: Boston, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland, Colorado, Houston, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp