StaTuesday: Brewers’ Braun vs. former Cy Young Award winners

On Sunday, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun hit a home run off Chicago Cubs starter Jake Arrieta.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Braun took Arrieta deep — it was his third homer in just 21 at-bats vs. the former Cy Young winner, now hitting one off of the Cubs ace in three straight seasons. This includes the 2015 season when Arrieta won the Cy Young and allowed just 10 home runs in 229 innings.

The three homers actually isn’t the most Braun has hit against a former Cy Young winner. He has faced a litany of such pitchers over his career, struggling against some and flourishing versus others.

Thanks to the extended careers of Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, Braun has faced winners of Cy Young Awards dating back to 1991. He hasn’t gone against every Cy Young winner — due to them being in the American League and/or being out of baseball before Braun’s rookie year in 2007 — but he’s went against the majority.

Here’s how Braun has fared against the best of the best in his career (Cy Young year(s) listed in parentheses):

Jake Arrieta (2015): 7 for 21 (.333), 3 home runs, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts

Chris Carpenter (2005): 6 for 24 (.250), home run, 6 strikeouts, hit by pitch

Bartolo Colon (2005): 3 for 9 (.333), home run, strikeout

R.A. Dickey (2012): 2 for 3 (.154), strikeout, hit by pitch

Tom Glavine (1991, 1998): 1 for 2 (.500), double, walk

Zack Greinke (2009): 1 for 10 (.100), 3 walks, strikeout

Roy Halladay (2003, 2010): 6 for 13 (.462), home run, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Felix Hernandez (2010): 1 for 4 (.250)

Randy Johnson (1995, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002): 2 for 8 (.250), double, home run, strikeout

Clayton Kershaw (2011, 2013, 2014): 10 for 33 (.303), double, home run, walk, 9 strikeouts

Dallas Keuchel (2015): 3 for 7 (.429), 4 walks, strikeout

Cliff Lee (2008): 12 for 26 (.462), double, 3 home runs, 5 strikeouts

Tim Lincecum (2008, 2009): 9 for 27 (.333), double, 4 home runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts, hit by pitch

Greg Maddux (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995): 0 for 4 (.000), 2 strikeouts

Jake Peavy (2007): 2 for 17 (.118), double, walk, 7 strikeouts

David Price (2012): 1 for 7 (.143)

CC Sabathia (2007): 3 for 3 (1.000), walk

Johan Santana (2004, 2006): 7 for 16 (.438), 2 doubles, three strikeouts

Max Scherzer (2013, 2016): 0 for 13 (.000), 5 strikeouts

John Smoltz (1996): 4 for 11 (.364), double, three strikeouts

Justin Verlander (2011): 0 for 4 (.000)

Brandon Webb (2006): 0 for 3 (.000), 2 strikeouts

Barry Zito (2002): 5 for 16 (.313), double, triple, 3 home runs, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts

In case you wondering, all totaled Braun is 84 for 281 off former Cy Young Award winners, a .299 batting average, just shy of his career .304 batting average. He has hit 18 home runs against them, too, which is one every 15.6 at bats — better than his career average of one homer per 18.4 at bats. So, yeah, not too shabby for Braun vs. baseball’s best.

Dave Heller is the author of the upcoming 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