Shaw, Thames lead way in Brewers’ first-inning mashing

You might want to make sure you’re in your seats — or have the TV on — before the start of the first inning when the Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets meet this weekend.

Both teams have excelled in scoring in the opening frame this season.

The Brewers have played 35 games this season and have scored 35 runs. On 11 occasions Milwaukee has scored multiple runs in the first inning (twice recording five).

Only the Phillies (32 runs in 32 games) have as good of an average of runs in the first inning as the Brewers. But Milwaukee is all alone atop the leaderboard in scoring in the bottom of the first, averaging 1.20 runs in its first at-bat at Miller Park.

The Mets get off to quick starts as well, averaging 0.97 runs in the first inning. While that average slips to 0.87 runs on the road, that is tops in the majors.

If you want to get more specific, make sure you are paying attention when Eric Thames and Travis Shaw are batting (like you already wouldn’t be). And perhaps bite your fingernails if and when New York’s Michael Conforto steps to the plate.

HIGHEST OPS IN FIRST INNING IN 2017

Player Team OPS
Michael Conforto Mets 1.743
Nolan Arenado Rockies 1.605
Travis Shaw Brewers 1.576
Corey Dickerson Rays 1.288
Eric Thames Brewers 1.276

Don’t be surprised if some of those runs come via extra-base hits. Miller Park has seen more than its share of doubles, triples and home runs so far in 2017.

MOST COMBINED EXTRA-BASE HITS/GAME IN 2017

Park Average
Miller Park (MIL) 7.85
Chase Field (ARI) 7.40
Citizens Bank Park (PHI) 7.31
Coors Field (COL) 6.90
Great American (CIN) 6.82

New York’s Matt Harvey, returning from his three-game suspension, could help contribute to the extra-base hit cause, too, in the series opener. Opponents are slugging .507 off Harvey’s fastball in 2017, compared to .451 in 2016, .365 in 2015 and .297 in 2013 (he missed the 2014 season).

Other notes:

— More run-scoring number facts: Milwaukee has scored 57 runs when there have been no outs in an inning, which is the most by any team this season. Those 57 runs constitute 32.8 (57/174) percent of the Brewers’ total runs scored this season; that percentage also leads the majors.

— In 17 games played since April 21, Keon Broxton is batting .375/.444/.679 with seven runs, 14 RBI and six steals.

— Opponents are batting .346 (9/26) against Matt Garza this year after they get ahead in the count 1-0. But just .152 (5/33) after Garza throws a first-pitch strike.

Statistics courtesy STATS, baseball-reference.com and teamrankings.com