StaTuesday: Shaw tied Brewers Opening Day record

Milwaukee Brewers infielder Travis Shaw reacts after hitting an RBI double against the Colorado Rockies.
AP

Opening Day is always a special time in Major League Baseball. And at the Milwaukee Brewers’ opener at Miller Park, something happened which hadn’t occurred since the 20th Century.

In his Milwaukee debut, Travis Shaw went 2 for 4 with two doubles.

That marked just the fourth time a Brewers player had a pair of doubles on Opening Day and the first time since 1999 and it is the first and only time it has been accomplished in Milwaukee.

The three others to have two doubles for Milwaukee in the season’s opening game are Cecil Cooper (April 9, 1982 at Toronto), Rob Deer (April 4, 1988 at Baltimore) and Geoff Jenkins (April 5, 1999 at St. Louis).

Shaw is one of 28 Brewers to own a career .500 batting average or better on Opening Day — with the caveat of a minimum of 4 plate appearances. Of those 28, only four played in more than one Opening Day for Milwaukee.

TOP BAVG ON OPENING DAY FOR BREWERS, MIN. 2 GAMES

Player G PA BA OBP SLG
Bill Spiers 2 9 .571 .667 .571
Chuck Carr 2 10 .556 .600 1.000
Dave Nilsson 3 15 .500 .467 .833
Franklin Stubbs 2 8 .500 .571 .667
Jeff Cirillo 5 25 .471 .640 .941
Ernie Riles 2 9 .444 .444 .778

(By the way, in case you were wondering, Robin Yount hit just .227 in 19 openers but Paul Molitor batted .340 in his 12 Brewers Opening Days.)

Also in Monday’s game against Colorado, both Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana stole a base. They are just the 14th and 15th Brewers to steal a base in the team’s opener (it has been done 19 times overall). By the way, all but four of these have occurred since 2000. Only two players have stolen two bases in a game in an opener: Brady Clark (April 4, 2005) and Mike Cameron (April 7, 2009).

Others who have a steal for the Brewers on Opening Day: Ryan Braun (2009 and 2014), Greg Brock (1988), Carlos Gomez (2010 and 2011), Marquis Grissom (2000), Tony Gwynn Jr. (2008), Corey Hart (2007), Jonathan Lucroy (2014) Paul Molitor (1991), Don Money (1974), Turner Ward (1995) and Rickie Weeks (2006, 2009 and 2013).

Finally, due to Junior Guerra’s injury, Milwaukee used seven pitchers against the Rockies, which tied a team record on Opening Day.

The other occurrence came on April 3, 1984 in Oakland when the Brewers used four pitchers in the ninth inning of a 6-5 loss to the A’s (Oakland scored four runs in the ninth to win, the last two on a throwing error). Don Sutton started and went five innings. He was followed by Tom Tellmann (2/3 IP), Jerry Augustine (1 batter, walk), Chuck Porter (2 1/3 innings), Rollie Fingers (3 batters, all singles), Bob McClure (1/3 IP) and Pete Ladd (1/3 IP).

Dave Heller is the author of the new book Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow as well as Facing Ted Williams Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns