It wasn’t quite Joe DiMaggio in 1941, but Junior Guerra nearly tied the Milwaukee Brewers record for consecutive games with a hit — by a pitcher.
More Brewers coverage
Guerra, who has arguably been Milwaukee’s best starter this season, hasn’t exactly been Ty Cobb-like at the plate (he’s batting .214), but from June 16-July 19 he had a hit in five straight games, one shy of the Brewers’ record held by Yovani Gallardo. Alas, Guerra went 0 for 3 against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday to snap his streak.
Guerra had one hit in each of those five games — he has only one other hit this season, back on May 13 — good for a .417 average during his streak.
The five-game streak is only the seventh time in Brewers history (note: we are leaving out the Seattle Pilots) that a pitcher had that long of a hitting, er, tear. Gallardo is the only Milwaukee pitcher to have a six-game streak, when he did it from June 25-July 30, 2011. In his next game, Aug. 5 at Houston, Gallardo had four plate appearances but was 0 for 2 with two sacrifice bunts, one of which came in the eighth inning with the Brewers up 7-1. Gallardo had one more chance to extend his streak in the ninth, but Mark Kotsay was sent in to hit for him.
Gallardo is the king of Brewers pitcher hit streaks. Forty-five times in Milwaukee history there has been a pitcher with a hitting streak of three or more games. Gallardo has 10 of those. He is also the only pitcher to own two hitting streaks of five (or more) games. He also had a five-game streak from July 26-Aug. 17, 2012.
Randy Wolf and Brooks Kieschnick own the next-highest amount of hitting streaks of three or more games, with four. However, in Kieschnick’s case, the majority of his games came while he was a designated hitter or pinch hitter (although his primary position was as a reliever and some of his hits during those streaks were as a pitcher).
Most hits during a pitcher hitting streak? Six, by Randy Wolf (four games), Yovani Gallardo (six games) and Taylor Jungmann (five games). Most runs? Wolf with four. RBI? Gallardo with five, during his five-game hitting streak (four singles and a double). Gallardo only had three RBI during his three-game hit streak when he had a double and two homers.
The best non-Kieschnick batting average (his streaks consisted of 3 for 3, 4 for 4, 3 for 4 and 3 for 4) is .750 by Chris Narveson from May 24-June 5, 2011 when he went 3 for 4 — and yes, he did start each of those games.
Here’s all 45 games in Brewers history of hitting streaks by a pitcher of three or more games: