Most starts by a Brewers pitcher without a complete game
It’s pretty obvious that complete games are a dying breed in baseball. It is rare that a starting pitcher goes nine innings and gets credited with a complete game,
The Brewers are certainly one of those teams that use their bullpen quite a bit during the season. Through games of May 20, the Brewers are one of 17 teams this year that does not have a complete game by one of its pitchers. (In fact, the Brewers last complete game by a pitcher happened in 2017.) There have been only 15 complete games so far in the majors; in 2018, the Cleveland Indians led the majors with five complete games. There were nine of the 30 teams that did not have a complete game in 2018.
Zach Davies, who has been the Brewers most effective pitcher this season with a 5-0 record and a 1.54 ERA, has started 89 games for the Brewers in his career and has yet to have a complete game. This year on May 5 he pitched into the eighth inning in a game against the Mets and finished with 7.2 innings pitched. His career long start is eight innings back on June 1, 2016 in a contest versus the Cardinals, a game that he was the winner.
Davies’ 89 starts for the Brewers without a complete game are the most in team history. Fellow starter this season, Chase Anderson, is close behind with 88 starts for Milwaukee without a complete game.
Here are the nine pitchers in Brewers history who (through games of May 20) have 50 or more career starts with the team without a complete game.
62- Chris Narveson
If we expand this list to all MLB pitchers, there is a distinct Brewers flavor on the list. You noticed that Marco Estrada had 70 starts without a complete game during his career with the Brewers. Well, he actually (currently) holds the record for most starts without a complete game in MLB history with 194 in his career. Following are the MLB pitchers with 150 or more career starts without a complete game.
Chase Anderson is actually 10th of this list with a total of 136 starts without a complete game (88 coming in a Brewers uniform).
Of course, a complete game in the future by any of these pitchers listed above will eliminate them from the list. But for now… it’s interesting to see who is still looking for that elusive complete game. The problem is, however, that complete games are pretty rare these days.
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Zach Davies was the Brewers winningest pitcher in the two seasons prior to 2018, compiling 28 victories over that two-year time span. He won 11 games in 2016 and 17 last season.
After a slow start this year, Davies found himself on the DL in late May with a 2-5 record. With ingoing back issues hampering his return to the mound, there is question whether or not Davies will pitch for the Brew Crew again this season.
Davies last season became the 32nd pitcher in Brewers history to win 10 or more games in back-to-back seasons. He will probably, however, not get a chance to have three consecutive 10-win seasons for the club. Only 14 pitchers have done that in team history.
Here is a look at the Brewers pitchers who won 10 or more games in three or more consecutive seasons.
Ben Sheets, 5 consecutive 10-win seasons (2001-05)
Bill Travers, 3 consecutive 10-win seasons (1978-80)
Cal Eldred, 3 consecutive 10-win seasons (1992-94)
Doug Davis, 3 consecutive 10-win seasons (2004-06)
Jaime Navarro, 3 consecutive 10-win seasons (1991-93)
Jim Colburn, 3 consecutive 10-win seasons (1973-75)
Jim Slaton, 5 consecutive 10-win seasons (1973-77)
Lary Sorenson, 3 consecutive 10-win seasons (1978-80)
Mike Caldwell, 6 consecutive 10-win seasons (1978-83)
Moose Haas, 5 consecutive 10-win seasons (1979-83)
Ricky Bones, 3 consecutive 10-win seasons (1993-95)
Scott Karl, 4 consecutive 10-win seasons (1996-99)
Teddy Higuera, 4 consecutive 10-win seasons (1985-88)
Yovani Gallardo, 5 consecutive 10-win seasons (2009-13)
Jhoulys Chacin is currently the only Brewers pitcher with 10 or more wins; he has a 10-3 record in his first season with the team. Chase Anderson and Jimmy Nelson were the other Brewers pitchers in addition to Davies to win 10+ games last season… they both won 12 contests. Nelson has been out the whole season after having shoulder surgery in 2017; Anderson is 7-7 on the season.
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When Zach Davies takes the mound on Saturday at Miller Park versus the Pirates, he could find himself at the top of a couple of team lists if he doesn’t pitch a complete game. Let me explain…
Davies is currently tied with Chuck Crim for most wins by a Brewers pitcher without a complete game with 33. His next win without a complete game will put him number one on this obscure stat. (Note: Of course if he ever pitches a complete game with the Brewers he will immediately come off the list, but that may… or may not… happen).
Here’s a look at the Brewers pitchers who have the most wins without a complete game on their stat sheet.
33: Zach Davies, Chuck Crim
29: Dan Plesac
26: Manny Parra, Chris Narveson
25: Zack Greinke, Bill Castro
23: Marco Estrada, Chase Anderson
21: Bob Wickman, Mike Fiers, John Axford
20: Carlos Villanueva, Shaun Marcus, Jimmy Haynes
Davies will be making his 74th career start for the Brew Crew on Saturday. His 73 starts for the Brewers without a complete game is second on the team list, one behind Manny Parra, who made 74 starts for the Brewers without a complete game.
Following are the Brewers pitchers who have 60 or more career starts with the team without a complete game.
74: Manny Parra
73: Zach Davies
70: Marco Estrada
62: Chris Narveson, Jimmy Haynes
61: Chase Anderson
For the record, the MLB record for most career wins without a complete game is 99 by Sparky Lyle. It’s not surprising that relief pitchers top this list. Lyle is followed by Kent Tekulve with 94, and John Franco and Don McMahon each with 90.
The MLB mark for most career starts without a complete game is 188 by Bud Norris. Second on the list is former Brewer Marco Estrada with 167 (he is tied with Tony Armas). Davies’ 73 career starts without a complete game currently ranks tied for 32nd for this stat.
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Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Zach Davies got his MLB-leading 17th win yesterday over the Chicago Cubs.
Davies became the 10th Brewers pitcher in franchise history to win 17 or more games in a season. He also became the second-youngest to reach 17 wins, surpassed only by Lary Sorensen who won 18 games in the 1978 season.
The 10 Brewers pitchers to win 17 or more games in a season: Mike Caldwell and Teddy Higuera (both did it twice), Chris Capuano, Jim Colborn, Zach Davies, Yovani Gallardo, Jaime Navarro, Wily Peralta, Lary Sorensen, Pete Vukovich, each with one season with 17 or more wins for the Brewers.
With a 31-17 career record with the Brewers, Davies also currently holds the top spot for the team with the best winning percentage. With pitchers who have a minimum of 30 wins for the Brewers, Davies’ winning percentage of .646 tops the club. Vukovich is the only other Brewers pitcher with a career win percentage over .600; he was 40-26 (.606). Only four other Milwaukee pitchers have a career win percentage of .550 or better (again, minimum of 30 wins to qualify for the list). They are: Higuera, 94-64 (.595), Gallardo, 89-64 (.582), Juan Nieves, 32-25 (.561) and Caldwell, 102-80 (.560).
Is it possible that the Brewers will have their first 20-game winner in more than 30 years?
With his victory last night in the Brewers’ 3-0 win over the Dodgers, starting pitcher Zach Davies won his 15th game of the season. He is tied with Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw for most wins this season in the majors. With 32 games left on the schedule, Davies will probably get six more starts in 2017. He would need to win five of those six starts to reach the 20-win milestone.
The Brewers are one of eight MLB teams that have not had a 20-game winner this century. Colorado is the only team that has never had a 20-game winner, and the San Diego Padres have not had a 20-game winner since Gaylord Perry did it in 1978, the longest drought of the teams that have had a 20-game winner in their franchise history.
Here is a look at the last season each team had a 20-game winner.
1978: San Diego
1989: Kansas City
1993: San Francisco
2003: Atlanta, Chicago White Sox
2010: N.Y. Yankees, Philadelphia
2012: L.A. Angels, N.Y. Mets, Tampa Bay
2014: Cincinnati, L.A. Dodgers, St. Louis
2015: Chicago Cubs, Houston
2016: Boston, Toronto, Washington