StaTuesday: With scoreless streaks, Jeffress on the cusp of Brewers records

It’s no secret that Jeremy Jeffress has excelled when he’s worn a Milwaukee Brewers uniform and done not-so-hot when pitching for another team.

This year, however, he’s taking it to the extreme.

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Including 2018, Jeffress has pitched parts of six seasons with the Brewers and owns a 2.25 ERA and 1.21 WHIP over 207 games and 204 innings. With other clubs — Kansas City, Texas and Toronto — Jeffress compiled a combined 4.76 ERA and 1.702 WHIP in 96 1/3 innings over 91 games.

As noted, though, he’s really bringing his Brewers numbers down this season. In 28 innings over 27 appearances, Jeffress has allowed just 19 baserunners (11 hits, eight walks; a WHIP of 0.679) and has a sparkling ERA of 0.32.

In fact, he’s given up just one run all season. One.

If you’ve forgotten (or wanted to forget), the lone tally occurred back on April 6 at Miller Park in Milwaukee’s 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs. With two outs and a runner on second base in the sixth inning, Jeffress replaced Josh Hader and allowed a triple to Javier Baez, who scored on a throwing error by Jonathan Villar. Although he allowed another triple the next day to Chicago’s Kris Bryant, the Cubs third baseman was left stranded on third and thus started an amazing streak for Jeffress, even though Bryant was the only batter he faced that game.

Following this past Sunday’s clean one inning of work in Milwaukee’s 8-7 win over the New York Mets, Jeffress has gone 23 consecutive games without allowing a run — which ties the Brewers’ all-time record for such a streak. It had been done three times previously, including by Francisco Rodriguez, whose streak covered two seasons with him being traded and then re-signed the next year.

LONGEST BREWERS SCORELESS GAMES STREAKS

PITCHER G DATES IP H BB K
Doug Jones 23 Aug. 11-Sept. 26, 1997 27 12 5 27
John Axford 23 May 5-July 2, 2013 20.1 12 8 20
Francisco Rodriguez 23 July 8, 2013-May 10, 2014 23 10 6 28
Jeremy Jeffress 23 April 7, 2018-current 22.2 6 6 21
Brian Shouse 20 July 14-Aug. 25, 2006 11.1 9 6 7
Brian Shouse 20 June 23-Aug. 5, 2007 16.1 3 4 11
Bill Castro 19 Aug. 16, 1977-June 4, 1978 27.1 15 7 11
Corey Knebel 19 July 22-Sept. 1, 2017 19.1 9 8 30
Mark Clear 18 July 22-Aug. 30, 1986 25.1 13 7 24
Jim Austin 18 July 21-Sept. 20, 1992 21.1 10 8 14
Danny Kolb 18 April 11-May 29, 2004 16.2 10 2 5
Trevor Hoffman 18 April 27-June 13, 2009 18 8 1 16
Ray Searage 17 Aug. 26, 1984-April 16, 1985 29.2 14 11 27
Doug Henry 17 Sept. 2, 1991-April 14, 1992 16 7 3 10
Mike Myers 17 April 4-May 20, 1998 12 7 3 12
Mitch Stetter 17 May 27-July 8, 2009 14.2 5 3 24
Brandon Kintzler 17 July 7-Aug. 17, 2013 20.1 11 1 12
Will Smith 17 May 23-June 30, 2015 16.2 10 5 21
Bob Wickman 16 Sept. 20, 1999-May 7, 2000 16.1 9 4 17
Derrick Turnbow 16 June 24-July 31, 2005 15 6 3 11
Francisco Cordero 16 April 3-May 7, 2007 14.2 2 7 21
Todd Coffey 16 Sept. 13, 2008-April 19, 2009 17 12 5 12
Zach Duke 16 June 22-July 30, 2014 14.2 6 6 20

With his one inning of work against the Mets on May 27, Jeffress passed Ken Sanders (22 1/3 innings) for the sixth-longest scoreless innings streak in Milwaukee history. He needs just two outs to pass Rodriguez (23 innings over those two seasons) for fifth place.

Jeffress is seven innings away from the best scoreless streak in Brewers franchise history, but he has a way to go to reach the top mark by any MLB relief pitcher (Gregg Olson, 41, from 1989-90).

LONGEST BREWERS SCORELESS INNINGS STREAKS

PITCHER IP H BB K
Ray Searage 29.2 14 11 27
Bill Castro 27.1 15 7 11
Doug Jones 27 12 5 27
Mark Clear 25.1 13 7 24
Francisco Rodriguez 23 10 6 28
Jeremy Jeffress 22.2 10 6 28
Ken Sanders 22.1 6 2 18
Chase Anderson 21.2 10 5 22
Jim Austin 21.1 10 8 14
John Axford 20.1 12 8 20
Brandon Kintzler 20.1 11 1 12
Tom Murphy 20 7 7 12

All this being said, Jeffress isn’t unscathed over this time period. He did allow one of the two runners he inherited to score in a 3-2 loss to the Cubs on April 27.

However, that’s just one of two inherited runners Jeffress has let cross home plate all season, the other being on that Baez triple.

In fact, Jeffress has been the best in MLB at stranding runners he inherited.

Entering Tuesday’s games, only seven pitchers have inherited 20 or more baserunners (Jeffress has 20) and Jeffress has stranded runners better than any of them.

PITCHER TEAM IR IS IS%
Jeremy Jeffress MIL 20 2 10.00%
Jose Alvarez LAA 21 4 19.05%
Sam Freeman ATL 20 4 20.00%
Jerry Blevins NYM 22 5 22.73%
Steve Cishek CHC 21 5 23.81%
Cory Gearrin SF 21 10 47.62%
Aaron Bummer CWS 24 13 54.17%

(note: IR – inherited runners; IS – inherited runners scored; IS% – inherited score percentage)

There’s still a lot of season left, but Jeffress’ inherited score percentage is currently the second-best in Brewers’ history. Only two Milwaukee relievers (minimum 20 inherited runners) have had an IS% of less than 14 percent — Curt Leskanic (31 IR, 9.79 IS% in 2000) and David Weathers (31 IR, 10.71 IS% in 2001).

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