Brewers' opening day starters over the years


by Andrew Coughlin


Opening day, 2013, was Yovani Gallardo's fourth time taking the hill as the Brewers season starting ace.  Critics have been pointing out that he has yet to register a win in those four starts.  I say, too much emphasis is put on success or failure on opening day.

It's not always the case, but managers usually put their number one guy out there in the opener and this year, Gallardo is certainly the Brewers best starter.  Even though he is winless in four consecutive opening day starts, he's proved to be Milwaukee's most reliable pitcher over the course of a season all four of those years.

That hasn't always been the case for past opening day starters.  There have been some familiar names that have gone out and battled for this team and also some forgettable names that probably shouldn't have been thrown out there on day one.  

A baseball season is a marathon and the first day of the season really is a blip on the radar.  If a starter does well on opening day, he could have a terrible season.  Conversely, if he has a poor first outing, he could go on to have a great year.  It's really not a reflection one way or the other on how the season will go for the team or the pitcher.

Here's a list of Milwaukee's opening day starters over the past 20 years.

Year Opening day starter Opponent Score Starter's game stats Starter's season stats Brewers overall record
Cal Eldred

 W 11-7

 5IP 4H 5ER 1K 11W-11L 4.68ERA  53-62
Ricky Bones
White Sox   W 12-3 4.1IP 5H 2ER 0K 10W-12L 4.63ERA  65-79
Ricky Bones

 W 15-9

 4.2IP 12H 4ER 1K  7W-14L 6.22ERA  80-82
1997  Ben McDonald  Rangers  L 2-6  7IP 7H 6ER 2K  8W-7L 4.06ERA  78-83
Cal Eldred
 Braves  L 1-2  6IP 5H 1ER 4K  4W-8L 4.80ERA  74-88
1999 Rafael Roque  Cardinals  W 10-8 2IP 1H 1ER 2K   1W-6L 5.34ERA  74-87
2000  Steve Woodard  Reds T 3-3   5IP 5H 3ER 4K  4W-10L 5.85ERA  73-89
2001  Jamey Wright  Dodgers L 0-1   7IP 5H 1ER 3K 11W-12L 4.90ERA  68-94
Ben Sheets
 Astros W 9-3  6IP 9H 2ER 8K 11W-16L 4.15ERA  56-106
Ben Sheets
 Cardinals  L    9-11  5IP 5H 2ER 2K 11W-13L 4.45ERA  68-94
Ben Sheets
 Cardinals W 8-6 3.1IP 3ER 5H 3K 12W-14L 2.70ERA  67-94
Ben Sheets
 Pirates W 9-2  7IP 8H 2ER 6K 10W-9L 3.33ERA  81-81
2006 Doug Davis  Pirates W 5-2  6IP 6H 2ER 6K 11W-11L 4.91ERA  75-87
Ben Sheets
 Dodgers W 7-1  9IP 2H 1ER 3K 12W-5L 3.82ERA 83-79 
Ben Sheets
 Cubs W    4-3  6.1IP 2H 0ER 7K  13W-9L 3.09ERA  90-72
2009 Jeff Suppan  Giants L     6-10  4IP 6H 6ER 1K 7W-12L 5.29ERA   80-82
Yovani Gallardo
 Rockies L 3-5  7IP 7H 4ER 5K 14W-7L 3.84ERA   77-85
Yovani Gallardo
 Reds L 6-7  6IP 7H 2ER 4K 17W-10L 3.52ERA   96-66
Yovani Gallardo
 Cardinals L 5-11 3.2IP 7H 6ER 3K 16W-9L 3.66ERA   83-79
Yovani Gallardo
Rockies W 5-4  5IP 10H 3ER 3K      ?     ?



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