By JERRY TAPP
With Craig Counsell’s recent second-place finish in the 2018 National League Manager of the Year race, the Brewers still have not had one of their managers win this award. Counsell became the fourth Brewers manager to finish second in a Manager of the Year honor since the birth of the franchise in 1969.
Counsell finished 17 points behind Atlanta skipper Brian Snitker in this year’s race. That’s the second closest second-place finish for a Milwaukee manager since Tom Trebelhorn finished second 12 points behind Sparky Anderson in the 1987 American League Manager of the Year award.
There have been 12 seasons where a Brewers manager received votes for the Manager of the Year award. Here’s a look at those 12 times:
1987: Tom Trebelhorn (finished 2nd)
1988: Tom Trebelhorn (finished 4th)
1992: Phil Garner (finished 2nd)
1995: Phil Garner (finished 6th)
1997: Phil Garner (finished 3rd)
2005: Ned Yost (finished 5th)
2007: Ned Yost (finished 7th)
2008: Dale Sveum (finished 8th)
2011: Ron Roenicke (finished 2nd)
2014: Ron Roenicke (finished 7th)
2017: Craig Counsell (finished 4th)
2018: Craig Counsell (finished 2nd
Win increase in three straight seasons
One of the reasons why Counsell received significant support for the N.L. Manager of the Year award this season is the fact that the team won the N.L. Central Division and increased their win total by 10 wins over 2017. The Brewers won 86 games in 2017 and won 96 this past campaig
The Brewers are one of four teams that have increased their win totals in each of the past three seasons. The Brewers won 68 in 2015, 73 in 2016, 86 in 2017 and 96 in 2018. The other teams that have increased their win totals in each of the past three seasons:
Colorado: 68-75-87-91 (the Rockies have actually increased their win totals in each of the past four seasons… they won 66 games in 2014)
The Brewers also became one of only a handful of MLB teams in history that saw their win totals in four consecutive years go from 60-70-80-90. Can they keep the streak alive and win 100 or more games in 2019, thus joining one other team that went 60-70-80-90-100 wins in five straight seasons?
Following are the MLB teams that had 60-70-80-90 win seasons in four consecutive years (seasons that were shortened due to any strike or work stoppage are not included).
Milwaukee (2015-18): 68-73-86-96
Colorado (2015-18): 68-75-87-91
New York Mets (2003-06): 66-71-83-97
Oakland (1997-2001): 65-74-87-91-102 (5 seasons)
St. Louis Cardinals: (1924-27): 65-77-89-92
St. Louis Browns (1919-22): 67-76-81-93
Brooklyn (1912-16): 58-65-75-80-94 (5 seasons)
Brewers pitching staff with only one 10-game winner
Jhoulys Chacin led the Brewers pitching staff with 15 wins in 2018. What makes that stat all the more interesting is that Chacin was the only Brewers hurler to win 10 or more games. It was the seventh time in team history that happened.
Sixty-five different pitchers have won 10 or more games in a season with the Brewers. Jim Slaton leads that group with nine double-digit win seasons for the Brew Crew. He is followed by Ben Sheets with seven, Mike Caldwell and Moose Haas with six, and Yovani Gallardo and Teddy Higuera with five each.
Here are the seven seasons when only one Brewers pitcher won 10 or more games for the club that year:
1984: Don Sutton, 14
1985: Teddy Higuera, 15
1995: Ricky Bones, 10
2012: Yovani Gallardo, 16
2015: Jimmy Nelson, 11
2016: Zach Davies, 11
2018: Jhoulys Chacin, 15
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp