StaTuesday: Walk-off winners at Miller Park
The Milwaukee Brewers‘ first game at Miller Park was April 6, 2001.
Just over a month later, on May 12, the Brewers’ got their first walk-off hit in their new park when Jeromy Burnitz’s single in the 12th inning scored Tyler Houston from second place to give Milwaukee a 5-4 win over Pittsburgh.
There have been 107 more walk-off winners at Miller Park since, including two last week — both in 5-4 victories.
That last fact is rare, but it isn’t that common either. Of the 108 walk-offs in Miller Park history, nearly half — 47 — have occurred in extra innings, including four last season. Milwaukee had a Miller Park record six game-winners in extras in 2008, including two via a home run.
Braun’s winner on April 3 was the 33rd walk-off home run for the Brewers at Miller Park and Braun’s fourth (but first since 2011), tying him with Prince Fielder for the most in the Miller Park era.
Richie Sexson had the first walk-off home run at the park. Bill Hall’s Mother Day homer with a pink bat might be the most memorable. Although Caleb Gindl certainly remembers his — his 13th-inning winner was the first home run of his career.
Here’s the complete list of walk-off HRs at Miller Park (note: no pitcher has allowed more than one):
|Richie Sexson||9/1/2001||Astros||Michael Jackson||4-3|
|Eddie Perez||5/17/2003||Reds||Scott Williamson||8-6|
|John Vander Wal||5/20/2003||Padres||Matt Herges||8-7|
|Bill Hall||4/27/2004||Reds||Danny Graves||9-8|
|Wes Helms||5/11/2004||Expos||T.J. Tucker||8-5|
|Prince Fielder||8/31/2005||Pirates||Jose Mesa||6-5|
|Bill Hall||5/14/2006||Mets||Chad Bradford||5-4|
|Bill Hall||6/8/2006||Padres||Scott Cassidy||4-3|
|Carlos Lee||6/18/2006||Indians||Rafael Betancourt||6-3|
|Geoff Jenkins||9/20/2006||Cardinals||Tyler Johnson||1-0|
|Damian Miller||6/27/2007||Astros||Dave Borkowski||6-3|
|Geoff Jenkins||7/31/2007||Mets||Aaron Sele||4-2|
|Gabe Kapler||8/10/2008||Nationals||Luis Ayala||5-4|
|Prince Fielder||9/23/2008||Pirates||T.J. Beam||7-5|
|Corey Hart||9/25/2008||Pirates||Octavio Dotel||6-5|
|Ryan Braun||9/25/2008||Pirates||Jesse Chavez||5-1|
|Prince Fielder||9/6/2009||Giants||Merkin Valdez||2-1|
|Ryan Braun||9/26/2009||Phillies||Tyler Walker||7-5|
|Casey McGehee||4/11/2010||Cardinals||Kyle McClellan||8-7|
|Corey Hart||5/28/2010||Mets||Ryota Igarashi||2-0|
|Prince Fielder||5/20/2011||Rockies||Felipe Paulino||7-6|
|Ryan Braun||9/13/2011||Rockies||Matt Lindstrom||2-1|
|Nori Aoki||6/7/2012||Cubs||Casey Coleman||4-3|
|Aramis Ramirez||7/3/2012||Marlins||Heath Bell||13-12|
|Corey Hart||9/1/2012||Pirates||Joel Hanrahan||3-2|
|Caleb Gindl||7/21/2013||Marlins||Ryan Webb||1-0|
|Jonathan Lucroy||8/16/2013||Reds||Aroldis Chapman||7-6|
|Sean Halton||9/15/2013||Reds||Zach Duke||6-5|
|Jonathan Lucroy||7/22/2014||Reds||Sam LeCure||4-3|
|Martin Maldonado||5/31/2015||Dbacks||Vidal Nuno||7-6|
|Eric Thames||6/16/2017||Padres||Ryan Butcher||6-5|
|Travis Shaw||9/23/2017||Cubs||Wade Davis||4-3|
|Ryan Braun||4/3/2018||Cardinals||Dominic Leone||5-4|
The Brewers’ two walk-offs in April are already more than the team had in all of 2016. However, this year’s group has a ways to go to catch the Miller Park record for walk-offs — 12 in 2006.
In case you’re wondering, the Brewers never reached double-digits in walk-off winners at County Stadium. The most was nine in the final year of the park, in 2000 (the 1982 team had all of one — a Sept. 20 4-3 win over Boston via a Gorman Thomas sacrifice fly).
There were 20 walk-off homers at County Stadium, from Ted Savage’s on July 7, 1970 to Jose Hernandez on May 22, 2000. The other thing these two bookend homers had in common? They both occurred in the first game of a doubleheader.
Perhaps to no surprise, Robin Yount had the most game-winning homers — three — while Hank Aaron hit his penultimate home run, No. 754, in the 10th inning to beat Texas on July 11, 1976.
Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow (a Larry Ritter Book Award nominee), 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