List of Milwaukee Brewers Opening Day starting pitchers

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Ben Sheets, the Opening Day starting pitcher in 2008, the sixth time he started on Opening Day

The Milwaukee Brewers are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They play in the National League Central division. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season,[1] though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day.[2] The Brewers played their inaugural season in 1969 as the Seattle Pilots, playing home games at Sick's Stadium. The team moved to Milwaukee in 1970, and played their home games at Milwaukee County Stadium until 2000. The team's current home, Miller Park, has been the Brewers' home field since the start of the 2001 season.[3] The Pilots/Brewers played their first 29 seasons in the American League, and switched leagues at the start of the 1998 season.[4]

The Brewers have used 27 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 46 seasons. The 27 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 15 wins, 16 losses and 15 no decisions. No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game or if the starting pitcher pitches fewer than five innings. Of the 15 no decisions, the Brewers went on to win eight and lose six of those games (one ended in a tie), for a team record on Opening Day of 23–22–1.[5][6]

The Pilots' first Opening Day starting pitcher was Marty Pattin, who received the win in a 4–3 victory against the California Angels.[7] After the team's move to Milwaukee in 1970, Lew Krausse Jr. was charged with the loss in a game at Milwaukee County Stadium vs. the Angels.[8] Ben Sheets holds the club record for most Opening Day starts with six, from 2002 through 2005 and again in both 2007 and 2008.[5] Sheets has a 3–0 record as a starter on Opening Day, the franchise's best record.[9] Marty Pattin and Mike Caldwell also have perfect records; both won each of their two starts. The Brewers' 16 Opening Day losses by starters are distributed among 15 different pitchers, each having lost one game, excluding Yovani Gallardo, who has lost two.[5][6][10]

Steve Woodard received an unusual no-decision in 2000, when the team's Opening Day game against the Cincinnati Reds was called in the sixth inning due to rain, with the score tied at 3.[11] This was the first Opening Day tie game since 1965.[12]

The Brewers advanced to the playoffs in 1981, 1982, 2008, and 2011.[13] The franchise's first playoff experience was in the strike-shortened 1981 season.[14] In a special format created for that season, the Brewers were the second-half champion and lost the AL Division Series to the first-half champion, the New York Yankees, in five games.[15] Mike Caldwell had started and won on Opening Day that season, but the team's playoff opener had Moose Haas start and lose a 5–3 game to the Yankees.[16] The Brewers' lost the 1982 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games; Pete Vuckovich was the Opening Day starter and winner that season and Mike Caldwell was the starting pitcher in the team's first World Series appearance, a 10–0 win.[17] In the 2008 season, Ben Sheets was the Opening Starter in a no-decision; Yovani Gallardo started and lost the first game of the 2008 National League Division Series, which was won by the Philadelphia Phillies in four games.[18]

Overall, the Brewers' Opening Day starting pitchers have a record of 3 wins and 2 losses at Milwaukee County Stadium and 2 wins and 2 losses at Miller Park. The Brewers' Opening Day starting pitchers' combined home record is 5 wins and 4 losses, and their away record is 10 wins and 11 losses.[5][6][10]

Key[edit]

Miller Park, the team's home stadium since 2001
Season Each year is linked to an article about that particular Pilots/Brewers season.
W Win
L Loss
ND (W) No decision by starting pitcher; Pilots/Brewers won game
ND (L) No decision by starting pitcher; Pilots/Brewers lost game
Final Score (#) Game score with Pilots/Brewers runs listed first;
in brackets are the number of innings over than 9
Location Stadium in italics for home game
Pitcher (#) Number of appearances as Opening Day starter with the Pilots/Brewers
* Advanced to the post-season
** Won the American League Championship Series

Opening Day results[edit]

Season Pitcher Decision Final
score
Opponent Location Attendance Ref(s)
1969 Pattin, MartyMarty Pattin W 4–3 California Angels Anaheim Stadium 11,930 [7]
1970 Krausse Jr., LewLew Krausse Jr. L 0–12 California Angels Milwaukee County Stadium 36,107 [8]
1971 Pattin, MartyMarty Pattin (2) W 7–2 Minnesota Twins Metropolitan Stadium 18,823 [19]
1972 Parsons, BillBill Parsons W 5–1 Cleveland Indians Cleveland Stadium 22,831 [20]
1973 Colborn, JimJim Colborn L 0–10 Baltimore Orioles Memorial Stadium 26,543 [21]
1974 Colborn, JimJim Colborn (2) ND (L) 8–9 Boston Red Sox Milwaukee County Stadium 32,761 [22]
1975 Slaton, JimJim Slaton L 2–5 Boston Red Sox Fenway Park 34,055 [23]
1976 Slaton, JimJim Slaton (2) W 5–0 New York Yankees Milwaukee County Stadium 44,868 [24]
1977 Travers, BillBill Travers L 0–3 New York Yankees Yankee Stadium 43,786 [25]
1978 Augustine, JerryJerry Augustine W 11–3 Baltimore Orioles Milwaukee County Stadium 47,824 [26]
1979 Caldwell, MikeMike Caldwell W 5–1 New York Yankees Yankee Stadium 52,719 [27]
1980 Slaton, JimJim Slaton (3) ND (W) 9–5 Boston Red Sox Milwaukee County Stadium 53,313 [28]
1981* Caldwell, MikeMike Caldwell (2) W 5–3 Cleveland Indians Cleveland Stadium 71,067 [29]
1982** Vuckovich, PetePete Vuckovich W 15–4 Toronto Blue Jays Exhibition Stadium 30,216 [30]
1983 Sutton, DonDon Sutton L 2–3 California Angels Anaheim Stadium 34,177 [31]
1984 Sutton, DonDon Sutton (2) ND (L) 5–6 Oakland Athletics Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 45,398 [32]
1985 Haas, MooseMoose Haas L 2–4 Chicago White Sox Milwaukee County Stadium 43,027 [33]
1986 Higuera, TeddyTeddy Higuera L 3–5 Chicago White Sox Comiskey Park 42,265 [34]
1987 Higuera, TeddyTeddy Higuera (2) W 5–1 Boston Red Sox Milwaukee County Stadium 52,585 [35]
1988 Higuera, TeddyTeddy Higuera (3) W 12–0 Baltimore Orioles Memorial Stadium 52,395 [36]
1989 August, DonDon August L 1–2 Cleveland Indians Cleveland Stadium 40,618 [37]
1990 Bosio, ChrisChris Bosio L 1–2 Chicago White Sox Comiskey Park 40,008 [38]
1991 Knudson, MarkMark Knudson W 5–4 Texas Rangers Arlington Stadium 40,560 [39]
1992 Wegman, BillBill Wegman ND (L) 2–4 Minnesota Twins Milwaukee County Stadium 52,470 [40]
1993 Wegman, BillBill Wegman (2) L 1–3 California Angels Anaheim Stadium 33,635 [41]
1994 Eldred, CalCal Eldred ND (L) 7–11 Oakland Athletics Milwaukee County Stadium 52,012 [42]
1995 Bones, RickyRicky Bones ND (W) 12–3 Chicago White Sox Milwaukee County Stadium 31,426 [43]
1996 Bones, RickyRicky Bones (2) ND (W) 15–9 California Angels Anaheim Stadium 27,836 [44]
1997 McDonald, BenBen McDonald L 5–6 Texas Rangers The Ballpark in Arlington 45,098 [45]
1998 Eldred, CalCal Eldred ND (L) 1–2 Atlanta Braves Turner Field 42,891 [46]
1999 Roque, RafaelRafael Roque ND (W) 10–8 St. Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium 47,806 [47]
2000 Woodard, SteveSteve Woodard ND (Tie) 3–3 Cincinnati Reds Cinergy Field 55,596 [11]
2001 Wright, JameyJamey Wright L 0–1 Los Angeles Dodgers Dodger Stadium 53,154 [48]
2002 Sheets, BenBen Sheets W 9–3 Houston Astros Astros Field 42,262 [49]
2003 Sheets, BenBen Sheets (2) ND (L) 9–11 St. Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium 49,561 [50]
2004 Sheets, BenBen Sheets (3) ND (W) 6–5 St. Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium 49,149 [51]
2005 Sheets, BenBen Sheets (4) W 9–2 Pittsburgh Pirates PNC Park 38,016 [52]
2006 Davis, DougDoug Davis ND (W) 5–2 Pittsburgh Pirates Miller Park 45,023 [53]
2007 Sheets, BenBen Sheets (5) W 7–1 Los Angeles Dodgers Miller Park 45,341 [53]
2008* Sheets, BenBen Sheets (6) ND (W) 4–3 (10) Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field 41,089 [9][54]
2009 Suppan, JeffJeff Suppan L 6–10 San Francisco Giants AT&T Park 42,767 [6]
2010 Gallardo, YovaniYovani Gallardo L 3–5 Colorado Rockies Miller Park [10]
2011* Gallardo, YovaniYovani Gallardo (2) ND (L) 6–7 Cincinnati Reds Great American Ballpark 42,398 [10]
2012 Gallardo, YovaniYovani Gallardo (3) L 5–11 St. Louis Cardinals Miller Park 46,086 [55]
2013 Gallardo, YovaniYovani Gallardo (4) ND (W) 5–4 Colorado Rockies Miller Park 45,781 [56]
2014 Gallardo, YovaniYovani Gallardo (5) W 2–0 Atlanta Braves Miller Park 45,691 [57]

Pitchers[edit]

Opening Day starting pitchers are listed in descending order by the number of Opening Day starts for the Pilots/Brewers.

Pitcher Stats Wins Losses No decisions Winning % Seasons
Sheets, BenBen Sheets 6 3 0 3 1.000 2002,[49] 2003,[50] 2004,[51] 2005,[52] 2007,[53] 2008[54]
Slaton, JimJim Slaton 3 1 1 1 0.500 1975,[23] 1976,[24] 1980[28]
Higuera, TeddyTeddy Higuera 3 2 1 0 0.667 1986,[34] 1987,[35] 1988[36]
Pattin, MartyMarty Pattin 2 2 0 0 1.000 1969,[7] 1971[19]
Colborn, JimJim Colborn 2 0 1 1 0.000 1973,[21] 1974[22]
Caldwell, MikeMike Caldwell 2 2 0 0 1.000 1979,[27] 1981[29]
Sutton, DonDon Sutton 2 0 1 1 0.000 1983,[31] 1984[32]
Wegman, BillBill Wegman 2 0 1 1 0.000 1992,[40] 1993[41]
Eldred, CalCal Eldred 2 0 0 2 0.000 1994,[42] 1998[46]
Bones, RickyRicky Bones 2 0 0 2 0.000 1995,[43] 1996[44]
Krausse Jr., LewLew Krausse Jr. 1 0 1 0 0.000 1970[8]
Parsons, BillBill Parsons 1 1 0 0 1.000 1972[20]
Travers, BillBill Travers 1 0 1 0 0.000 1977[25]
Augustine, JerryJerry Augustine 1 1 0 0 1.000 1978[26]
Vuckovich, PetePete Vuckovich 1 1 0 0 1.000 1982[30]
Haas, MooseMoose Haas 1 0 1 0 0.000 1985[33]
August, DonDon August 1 0 1 0 0.000 1989[37]
Bosio, ChrisChris Bosio 1 0 1 0 0.000 1990[38]
Knudson, MarkMark Knudson 1 1 0 0 1.000 1991[39]
McDonald, BenBen McDonald 1 0 1 0 0.000 1997[45]
Roque, RafaelRafael Roque 1 0 0 1 0.000 1999[47]
Woodard, SteveSteve Woodard 1 0 0 1 0.000 2000[11]
Wright, JamieJamie Wright 1 0 1 0 0.000 2001[48]
Doug Davis 1 0 0 1 0.000 2006[53]
Suppan, JeffJeff Suppan 1 0 1 0 0.000 2009[6]
Gallardo, YovaniYovani Gallardo 5 1 2 2 0.200 2010,[10] 2011,[10] 2012,[55] 2013,[56] 2014[57]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bastian, Jordan (March 22, 2010). "Marcum tapped for Jays' Opening Day". MLB.com. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  2. ^ Dilbeck, Steve (February 24, 2014). "Dodgers may not start Clayton Kershaw in Sydney". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ Brewers Ballparks, Major League Baseball. Accessed October 8, 2008.
  4. ^ McCann, Dennis. "Major-league baseball came to Milwaukee 120 years ago", Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, March 31, 1998. Accessed October 18, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c d Milwaukee Brewers Opening Day Starters and Results, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 18, 2008.
  6. ^ a b c d e "San Francisco 10, Milwaukee 6". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  7. ^ a b c Apr 8, 1969, Pilots at Angels Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 18, 2008.
  8. ^ a b c Apr 7, 1970, Angels at Brewers Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 18, 2008.
  9. ^ a b McCalvy, Adam. "Sheets weathers rain in sparkling start", MLB.com, March 31, 2008. Accessed October 18, 2008. "Sheets remained 3-0 in Opening Day starts and lowered his ERA to 2.45 in those six games. He's been Milwaukee's Opening Day choice in six of the last seven seasons, making way for Doug Davis in 2006, when Sheets was working back slowly from a major back injury."
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Colorado 5, Milwaukee 3". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2010-04-06. 
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  13. ^ Milwaukee Brewers History & Encyclopedia, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 20, 2008.
  14. ^ via Associated Press. Brewers grab first-ever playoff berth", The Daily Courier, October 4, 1981. Accessed October 20, 2008.
  15. ^ Chass, Murray. "Yanks Rally to Beat Brewers, 7-3, for Division Title", The New York Times, October 12, 1981. Accessed October 20, 2008.
  16. ^ 1981 AL Division Series (3-2): New York Yankees (59-48) over Milwaukee Brewers (62-47), Baseball-Reference. October 20, 2008.
  17. ^ 1982 World Series (4-3): St. Louis Cardinals (92-70) over Milwaukee Brewers (95-67), Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 20, 2008.
  18. ^ 2008 NL Division Series, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 20, 2008.
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