The Brewers' Back-to-Back-to-Back Club

Earlier this week Dave Bush earned himself a footnote in baseball history.  On Wednesday evening the veteran right-hander became only the third pitcher in baseball history to allow four consecutive home runs.  In the top of the fourth inning, Adam LaRoche, Miguel Montero, Mark Reynolds, and Steven Drew took Bush deep back-to-back-to-back-to-back.  Bush joined Chase Wright (4/22/2007) and Paul Foytack (7/31/1963) on the exclusive list.

Obviously, Dave Bush is the only pitcher in Brewers history to allow four consecutive home runs.  However, six other Brewers pitchers have allowed three consecutive home runs.  Here are the other members of the Brewers' back-to-back-to-back club:

  • Mike Caldwell, 5/31/1980, 4th inning, at Boston

    Going into the bottom of the fourth inning, the Brewers led the Red Sox by a score of 8-1.    Dave Stapleton changed that with a leadoff home run before Jim Rice grounded out to short.  Tony Perez, Carlton Fisk, and Butch Hobson then homered in order before Caldwell was taken out of the game.  After being removed, Caldwell destroyed a bat rack in the dugout.  All's well that ends well, however, and the Brewers took the game 19-8. 
  • Mike Potts, 5/26/1996, 8th inning, at Chicago

    The Brewers were trailing 5-1 going into the bottom of the eighth inning.  Potts had pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to that point.  After retiring Ozzie Guillen to begin the inning, Potts ran into trouble.  After Darren Lewis singled in the first run of the inning, Frank Thomas, Harold Baines, and Robin Ventura hit round-trippers and the rout was on in full.  Chad Krueter would homer later in the inning off Ramon Garcia and the White Sox went on to win 12-1.
  • Cal Eldred, 8/22/1999, 1st inning, vs. San Francisco

    Eldred was one of the best Brewers pitchers of the 1990s but by 1999 he was on his way out of Milwaukee.  Embodying "oft-injured pitcher" before Ben Sheets, Eldred managed to start 30 games only twice in his nine seasons in Milwaukee and he would be traded before the 2000 season for the shell of another former Brewers hurler.  On August 22, 1999, he struck out Marvin Benard to begin the game.  Bill Mueller then singled before Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent, and Ellis Burks combined to put the Giants up 4-0.  Eldred allowed the three home runs on just five pitches.  Eldred would settle down and pitch six complete innings but the Brewers lost 7-3.
  • Jimmy Haynes, 7/12/2001, 3rd inning, vs. Minnesota

    One of a number of interchangeable mediocre Brewers starters at the turn of the millennium, Haynes lasted just two seasons in Milwaukee.  The 2001 campaign was his second with the Brewers and he left town after the year having put up an 8-17 record with a 4.85 ERA.  On July 12, he faced the Twins and gave a taste of the talents that he used to earn his record.  Cristian Guzman led off the top of the third inning with a groundout to second.  Doug Mientkiewicz, Corey Koskie, and Torii Hunter then went deep in order to put the Twins up 7-0.  That was it for Haynes and while the Brewers would rally late, they fell 13-5.
  • Jose Cabrera, 5/23/2002, 9th inning, vs. Los Angeles

    Another forgettable Brewers hurler, Cabrera was in town for just one season.  He does hold the minor distinction of being the only Brewers pitcher to appear in 50 or more games while starting at least ten of those games.  More to the point, he was terrible in those fifty games, struggling to a 6-10 record with a whopping 6.79 ERA.  The Dodgers were up 10-2 when Cabrera entered the game in the eighth inning.  A two-run home run by Hiram Bocachica made it 12-2, but Cabrera escaped the eighth without further damage.  He was not so lucky in the ninth.  Adrian Beltre, Shawn Green, and Dave Hansen hit home runs off him to make it 16-2.  Green's home run was his fourth of the game, tying a major league record.  Alex Ochoa's home run in the bottom of the ninth made the score an infinitesimally more respectable 16-3.
  • Carlos Villanueva, 5/2/2008, 6th inning, at Houston

    We are all familiar with the career of Carlos Villanueva.  He broke into the majors as a starting pitcher, struggled in that role to open 2007 and was moved to the bullpen, struggled again as a starter in early 2008, and has been a reliever since.  On May 2, 2008, he made his sixth start of the season, in Houston against the Astros.  He threw four scoreless innings before Hunter Pence hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning.  The Brewers still held a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the sixth.  Unfortunately, Miguel Tejada, Lance Berkman, and Carlos Lee turned that into a 6-4 deficit and knocked Villanueva out of the game with their consecutive home runs.  The Brewers were unable to mount a comeback and the Astros ultimately prevailed 7-4.

It is easy to assume Dave Bush will remain the only Brewers hurler to allow four consective home runs for quite some time.  After all, only two other pitchers in all of major league history have pulled off the dubious feat.  However, two of those feats have occurred in the last three years and today's game is still homer-happy, though this season has seen a drop-off leaguewide.  Regardless of the prospect of a future four-consecutive-home-run pitcher, it is safe to say Bush will not be the last member of the back-to-back-to-back club in Brewers history.

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