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(Milwaukee Brewers)

(Milwaukee Brewers)

2023 Season

Season Preview:  The Brewers had the pitching needed to make a run at the NL pennant last season, but they fell short of the playoffs after putting together a strong first half. The problem then, and possibly now, is scoring runs. Milwaukee hopes that slugging catcher William Contreras will be a difference-maker, and that Christian Yelich can rediscover his power stroke. Newcomers Brian Anderson and Jesse Winker should also be helpful, along with standout shortstop Willy Adames and fleet-footed rookie Garrett Mitchell. If the hitters hit, you know the pitchers will pitch. Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, and Eric Lauer are as good a starting four as any in the NL.

2022 Season

Season Recap: After getting off to the fastest start in team history, the Brewers missed the playoffs for the first time in five years. They were a so-so team in their final 100 games and the trade of relief ace Josh Hader to the Padres in July told many fans in Milwaukee that the club did not have much chance to improve. The health of Milwaukee’s starting pitchers was a problem all year; only Corbin Burnes stayed off the injured list, and he had a great year. The star of the offense was Willy Adames, who broke Hall of Famer Robin Yount’s team record for home runs by a shortstop, with 31.

Season Preview: The Brewers have been ready to reach the next level for a couple of years now. Will they get there in 2022? Many experts predict they will, but the rest of the division will be gunning for them. Pitching is not a problem for the club—they have one of scariest staffs in baseball with Corbin Burnes leading the starters and Josh Hader throwing lasers out of the bullpen. It’s all about the hitting in Milwaukee. The Brew Crew needs an MVP year from Christian Yelich, 30-plus homers from newcomer Hunter Renfroe, another great season from Willy Adames, and a career reboot from Keston Hiura in order to win the NL Central and keep winning in the playoffs.

2021 Season

Season Recap: The Brewers won 95 games and finished first in the NL Central, making four years in a row they made the playoffs. Corbin Burnes had a career year with 243 strikeouts and a 2.34 ERA to lead the starting staff, while reliever Josh Hader saved 34 games. Avisail Garcia led the club with 29 homers and 86 RBIs, but it was pitching that was Milwaukee’s main strength. A late-season injury to pitcher Devin Williams put the Brew Crew at a disadvantage in the playoffs and their season ended with a loss in the Division Series to the Braves, whose great pitching silenced Milwaukee’s bats. 

September 14, 2021: Ryan Braun, a lifelong Brewer, announced his official retirement. He was a six-time All-Star, league MVP in 2011 and the NL home run champion in 2012.

Season Preview: The Brewers have been known for their hitting in recent years, but in 2021 the story will be written by Milwaukee’s pitchers. Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Adrian Houser, Devin Williams, Josh Lindblom, and Josh Hader all have electric arms. Christian Yelich and Keston Hiura add pop to the NL’s speediest lineup.

2020 Season

November 09, 2020: Relief pitcher Devin Williams was named 2020 NL Rookie of the Year. He was the first reliever to be named top rookie since Craig Kimbrel, in 2011.

Season Recap: The Brewers had a losing record but grabbed the last playoff spot in the National League. The team’s strength all season was its pitching. Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Devin Williams, and Josh Hader were brilliant at times, but Milwaukee’s hitters often had trouble scoring. Only one everyday player batted over .250 and last year’s batting champion, Christian Yelich, hit only .205. The Brewers faced the Dodgers in the Wild Card series and were eliminated in two games.

September 08, 2020: The Brewers beat the Tigers 19–0 and set a new team record with 13 extra-base hits. Tyrone Taylor broke the old record of 12 with a home run—his first in the big leagues.

September 2, 2020: Josh Hader retired the Tigers without a hit in the ninth inning of an 8–5 win. It was the relief pitcher’s 12th hitless outing in a row from the beginning of the season, which set a new big-league record.

Season Preview: Milwaukee came within a hair of beating the champion Nationals in the playoffs last fall, and they believe that if Christian Yelich can stay healthy, they have a shot at the World Series in 2020. Yelich powers a lineup that can do a lot of good things if everyone stays healthy. The team’s pitching staff is led by Brandon Woodruff and Josh Hader, two of the best in the business.

2019 Season

Season Recap: Milwaukee fans almost lost hope in 2019 after the team’s best player, Christian Yelich, was knocked out by a knee injury late in the season. Instead of giving up, the Brewers played great baseball in the final month to earn a playoff spot. Several hitters had superb seasons, including Yelich with 44 home runs, and Mike Moustakas, and rookie Keston Hiura. The team depended heavily on its bullpen throughout the year, especially John Hader. When Hader could not hold a lead against the Nationals in the Wild Card game, their season ended early.

April 27, 2019: Christian Yelich homered for the 14th time before May 1 to tie a record shared by Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez.

Season Preview: If the Brewers get another MVP-quality season out of Christian Yelich and their bullpen is as good as it was in 2018, the team could repeat as NL Central champs this year. The everyday lineup is excellent with Jesus Aguilar, Ryan Braun, and Travis Shaw in the middle, but the starting pitching is very shaky. Of course, it was shaky last year, too.

2018 Season

Season Recap: The Brewers surprised baseball experts by making it all the way to the NLCS, where they fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team’s starting pitching was up and down all year, but the Brewer bullpen was sensational. The team’s hitting star was Christian Yelich, who led the league in batting, slugging and total bases after coming to the team in a preseason trade. Lorenzo Cain, Travis Shaw and Jesus Aguilar also had fine years at the plate.

April 13, 2018: Josh Hader struck out 8 Reds in 2 2/3 innings. It was the first time a pitcher notched 8 strikeouts pitching fewer than three innings.

April 19, 2018: Ryan Braun pinch-hit a home rune against the Marlins and collected his 1,000th career RBI.

Season Preview: If there is one team that scares the Cubs in the NL Central, it would be the Brewers. Their batting order is good from top to bottom, with newcomers Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain at the top. Chase Anderson, Jimmy Nelson and Zach Davies lead a starting staff that keeps Milwaukee in games. Corey Knebel, Josh Hader, and Jeremy Jeffress make up a good bullpen.

2017 Season

Season Recap: The Brewers were the most surprising team in the NL, winning 86 games and leading the NL Central for much of the year. A second-half slump left them one win short of a playoff berth. Newcomers Travis Shaw and Eric Thames combined for 62 homers, while young stars Zach Davies, Corey Knebel, Orlando Arcia, and Domingo Santana played very well.

June 3, 2017: Travis Shaw hit a grand slam in a game against the Dodgers. It was one of seven grand slams hit in baseball on June 3rd—the most ever in one day.

2016 Season

November 1, 2016: The Brewers began the year as a club built for power and ended the season as a team known for its speed. Chris Carter tied for the NL lead with 41 homers and Ryan Braun added 30, but many of Milwaukee’s 73 wins came from the base running and quick defense of Jonathan Villar, Hernan Perez and Keon Broxton. Young Zach Davies was the team’s best pitcher.

October 5, 2016: The Brewers focused on rebuilding their team, and found some bright young stars in 2016. Jonathan Villar led the NL with 62 stolen bases, Hernan Perez was a super utility player, Keon Broxton had a great second half, and Zach Davies was lights-out on the mound. He was just one of many talented pitchers the Brewers will take into 2017.

August 19, 2016: The Brewers scored at least one run in every inning during a victory over the Braves.

2015 Season

October 14, 2015: Pitching problems kept the Brewers from competing much of the season and they finished in 4th place. Ryan Braun, Khris Davis, and Adam Lind supplied power for the Milwaukee lineup, and Gerardo Parra was the team’s leading hitter before being traded to the Orioles late in the year.

April 23, 2015: Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez became only the 10th player to save 350 games when he closed out a 4–2 victory over the Reds.

April 5, 2015: The Brewers faded down the stretch in 2014. The team returns with the same basic group of players in 2015, vowing that it won’t happen again. In order to finish strong, the Brewers will need good years from sluggers Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez, and Jonathan Lucroy, young shortstop Jean Segura, and relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez.

2014 Season

November 1, 2014: The Brewers began the year with lots of holes in its lineup, but managed to plug them very well. Indeed, Milwaukee was in first place for nearly five months before losing 13 of 14 games and falling to third. Ryan Braun, Yonavi Gallardo, and Jean Segura had so-so seasons, and young stars Khris Davis, Wily Peralta and Scooter Gennett could not make up the difference.

September 18, 2014: Jonathan Lucroy set a new record for doubles by a catcher. He broke the old record of 44, set by Ivan Rodriguez in 1996, and finished with a league-high 53 doubles.

March 31, 2014: An excellent starting pitching staff will have to carry the load for the Brewers, because the offense is only so-so. A core of Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez, Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez is good—but is it good enough to power the team to more than 75 or 80 wins?

2013 Season

October 1, 2013: Milwaukee struggled through most of the year without an everyday first baseman or left fielder. Great performances by rising infield stars Jean Segura and Scooter Gennett—along with young veterans Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy—gave Milwaukee fans something to talk about heading into 2014.

March 30, 2013: Ryan Braun and Yovanni Gallardo lead the Brewers into battle in 2013. Beyond these two, there are question marks at almost every position. The team in counting on big years from Rickie Weeks, Carlos Gomez, Aramis Ramirez, and Kyle Lohse in order to contend for the NL Central crown.

2012 Season

October 3, 2012: Most experts picked the Brewers to win the NL Central easily, but nothing was easy for the team in 2012, especially in the pitching department. The team’s hitters did a good job keeping games close. Japanese rookie Norichika Aoki had a good year, as did another newcomer, Aramis Ramirez. Ryan Braun was he team’s top batter. He led the NL with 41 home runs, 108 runs, and 356 total bases. Braun and Ramirez tied for the league lead with 80 extra-base hits apiece.

September 16, 2012: In a game against the Mets, Ryan Braun clouted the 200th homer of his career. The 2012 season was Braun’s sixth as a big-leaguer. No one in history reached 200 homers and 100 stolen bases faster.

April, 2012: The big news in Milwaukee for 2012 will be the hole created by the departure of Prince Fielder. Will Ryan Braun be as good a hitter without his buddy in the lineup? Mat Gamel will get first shot at Prince’s old position, but the missing power is more likely to be supplied by newcomer Aramis Ramirez at third base. The key to Milwaukee’s success will be its pitching, of course. If the Brewers get good years out of their top hurlers, they should win 90 to 100 games, no sweat.

More Go-To Guys

After his playing days, Jim Slaton became a pretty good pitching coach. He helped teach young Felix Hernandez the finer points of pitching during his first three season with the Seattle Mariners. (Author’s Collection)

When Teddy Higuera was healthy, he really knew how to take over a game. It was fun to watch him pitch. (Fleer Corp.)

Greg Vaughn was one of those “all-or-nothing” guys—lots of homers, lots of strikeouts. His son, Cory, is a minor leaguer in the New York Mets’ system, and he’s doing pretty well. (Fleer Corp.)

Can this guy please stay healthy! Rickie Weeks turns 30 in 2012 and still has barely scratched his potential. (Black Book Partners)

  • Jim Slaton — Pitcher
    Born: 6/19/1950
    Played for Team: 1971 to 1977 & 1979 to 1983
    Jim Slaton pitched for the Brewers when they were a struggling team and again when they were a winning team. He is the club’s all-time leader with 117 victories and more than 2,000 innings pitched. Slaton was an All-Star in 1977 and the winner of Game 4 in the 1982 World Series.

  • Don Money — Third Baseman
    Born: 6/7/1947
    Played for Team: 1973 to 1983
    Don Money had a good bat and great glove. In 1974, he set a record for third basemen when he played 86 errorless games in a row. Money was an All-Star four times for the Brewers from 1974 to 1978.

  • Jim Gantner — Second Baseman
    Born: 1/5/1953
    Played for Team: 1976 to 1992
    Jim Gantner could twist his body in a dozen different ways when turning a double play at second base. Because of this talent, his teammates nicknamed him “Gumby.” Gantner scored the winning run in Game 5 of the 1982 American League Championship Series to send the Brewers to their first World Series.

  • Mike Caldwell — Pitcher
    Born: 1/22/1949
    Played for Team: 1977 to 1984
    When Mike Caldwell pitched, there was a good chance the bullpen could take the day off. Caldwell had 10 or more complete games five times as a Brewer. In 1978, he won 22 games and was runner-up to Ron Guidry in the AL Cy Young Award voting. Caldwell won two games in the 1982 World Series.

  • Teddy Higuera — Pitcher
    Born: 11/9/1958
    Played for Team: 1985 to 1994
    In 1986, Teddy Higuera became the first Mexican-born pitcher to win 20 games in the American League. In the All-Star Game that year, he was struck out by Fernando Valenzuela—the first Mexican-born pitcher to win 20 games in the National League!

  • Dan Plesac — Pitcher
    Born: 2/4/1962
    Played for Team: 1986 to 1992
    Hard-throwing left-handed relievers are hard to find, so when Dan Plesac made the Brewers in the spring of 1986, they sent him to the bullpen. He saved 124 games over the next five seasons. Plesac had a good fastball and sharp-breaking slider. He was an All-Star three times in the 1980s.

  • Greg Vaughn — Outfielder
    Born: 7/3/1965
    Played for Team: 1989 to 1996
    Greg Vaughn broke into the big leagues with Milwaukee and quickly became one of baseball’s top sluggers. He his 169 homers in eight seasons with the Brewers and led the team in home runs four years in a row.

  • Jeff Cirillo — Third Baseman
    Born: 9/23/1969
    Played for Team: 1994 to 1999 & 2005 to 2006
    The Brewers used Jeff Cirillo at all four infield positions before deciding he should play third base. Once he settled in, he became the team’s best hitter. Cirillo had a .307 average as a Brewer—the highest mark in team history before Ryan Braun joined Milwaukee.

  • Geoff Jenkins — Outfielder
    Born: 7/21/1974
    Played for Team: 1998 to 2007
    Geoff Jenkins’s sweet swing made him a star in college and later in the majors for the Brewers. He hit 20 or more homers seven times and batted .300 twice for Milwaukee. In 2010, the team re-signed Jenkins for a day so he could officially retire as a Brewer.

  • Rickie Weeks — Second Baseman
    Born: 9/13/1982
    Played for Team: 2003 to 2014
    Rickie Weeks was one of the most exciting players the Brewers ever had. He combined power and speed like few others. In 2003, Weeks was named the top college player in the nation. A few months later he was playing second base for the Brewers.

  • Corbin Burnes — Pitcher
    Born: 10/22/1994
    First Season with Team: 2018
    When Corbin Burnes has all of his pitches working, few players in baseball are harder to hit. He was 7–0 as a rookie in 2018 and finished sixth in the 2020 Cy Young Award voting.

More Fun Facts

Ryan Braun works out for Team USA prior to the World Baseball Classic. (Black Book Partners)

    Few players were more competitive than Jim Gantner. Once, the Brewers asked him to pitch an inning when they were hopelessly behind and running out of pitchers. Gantner began arguing balls and strikes with the home plate umpire and was almost thrown out of the game!

    In 1969, Tommy Harper led the American League with 73 stolen bases. He is the only Seattle Pilot to lead the league in a major category. That same season, Gene Brabender won 13 games for Seattle. That is still a record for pitchers on an expansion team.

    In 2007, Ryan Braun was named Rookie of the Month and Player of the Month for July. No one had even won both awards at the same time.

    The 1971 Brewers threw an amazing 23 shutouts. Marty Pattin led the team with five. That year no fewer than 60 of Milwaukee’s games were decided by a single run.

    Prince Fielder was used to the spotlight by the time he started playing for Milwaukee. As a boy, he appeared in a McDonald’s TV ad for triple cheeseburgers with his father, Cecil.

League Leaders

Ben Oglivie is a picture of power before a game at Yankee Stadium. (Black Book Partners)

  • Home Runs
    1975 — George Scott — 36
    1979 — Gorman Thomas — 45
    1980 — Ben Oglivie — 41
    1982 — Gorman Thomas — 39
    2007 — Prince Fielder — 50
    2012 — Ryan Braun — 41
    2016 — Chris Carter — 41

  • Batting Average
    2018 — Christian Yelich — .323
    2019 — Christian Yelich — .329

  • Runs Batted In
    1975 — George Scott — 109
    1980 — Cecil Cooper — 122
    1983 — Cecil Cooper — 126
    2009 — Prince Fielder — 141

  • Stolen Bases
    1969 — Tommy Harper — 54*
    2016 — Jonathan Villar — 62

    * Member of Seattle Pilots

  • Wins
    1981 — Pete Vuckovich — 14*

    * The 1981 season was shortened by a labor dispute.

  • Strikeouts
    2022 — Corbin Burnes — 243

  • Earned Run Average
    No Milwaukee pitcher has led the league in ERA.

Brewers in the World Series

1982 St. Louis Cardinals Lost 4–3

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