2017 Brewers offer rare combination of power and speed
Entering Tuesday night’s game against Pittsburgh, the Milwaukee Brewers have played 120 games this season.
Over that time, the Brewers have hit 171 home runs, which ranks fourth in the National League, and stolen 100 bases, which tops the NL and is second in the majors only to the Los Angeles Angels’ 104.
That combination of power and speed is rare indeed.
Only two other MLB teams in history have had 170 or more home runs and 100 or more steals over the first 120 games of a season: the 2009 Texas Rangers (181 HR, 114 SB) and 1995 Colorado Rockies (170 HR, 105 SB).
(Note: stats go back to 1913, but no team prior to that year had that many homers in a season.)
This is the seventh time the Brewers have had eight players with 10 or more homers in a season (also 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2013 and 2016). Jonathan Villar (9) and/or Manny Pina (8) can propel this Milwaukee team to a new record.
The Brewers have five players this season thus far with 10 or more steals. While Milwaukee teams have had more players with 10 or more steals previously (with a high of 11 in 1992), only once has a National League Brewers squad had more than the current five, in 2012 (with six). Travis Shaw (9) and Ryan Braun (8) could mean the Brewers have seven players with 10+ steals, joining only the 1992, 1990 (8), 1989 (8) and 1987 (7) teams with that many.
When you put together players who have 10 or more homers and 10 or more steals in the same season, the 2017 squad is tied with five other Brewers teams — 1973, 1987, 2005, 2008 and 2012 — with four such players having accomplished that feat. As mentioned above, Villar, Shaw and/or Braun could easily make this the best power-speed combo team in franchise history.
— Milwaukee is 14-8 (.636) in its last 22 home games, which is the third-best record in MLB since June 21.
— Travis Shaw has four homers against Pittsburgh this season, which is tied for most vs. the Pirates for any player this season.
— Pittsburgh’s Ivan Nova owns a 34-game streak with allowing two or fewer walks while teammate Jameson Taillon is on a 13-game streak. Nova has had 23 such starts in 2017, the most in MLB. The Pirates’ Gerrit Cole is second with 22. Milwaukee’s Zach Davies and Jimmy Nelson are tied for fourth-most with 20.
— The Pirates own a 2.36 ERA against the Brewers this season, best of any NL team vs. a divisional opponent in 2017.
Statistics courtesy STATS and baseball-reference