Ben Sheets and the near-perfect Opening Day

Ben Sheets, seen here as a 2012 Brave, had the best Opening Day pitching performance in franchise history as a 2007 Brewer. - Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

As the Brewers get ready to open the 2013 season, let's take a look back at the best Opening Day pitching performance in franchise history.

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The Brewers have never had a perfect game, of course, but six years ago on Opening Day Ben Sheets came close.

On April 2, 2007 Sheets took the mound against the Dodgers at Miller Park and retired the side in order in the top of the first, setting the tone for a good day. Jeff Kent led off the top of the second with a solo home run, but after that Sheets retired 22 batters in a row, facing the minimum each inning from the second through the eighth.

Sheets didn't allow another baserunner until the top of the ninth, when former teammate Brady Clark doubled to left with one out. The next two Dodger batters flied out, though, and Sheets had a complete game 7-1 win. He struck out three and did not allow a walk in the contest, going the distance on 104 pitches.

Of course, dominant performances are only half the story of Sheets' Brewer career. He was a 2007 All Star but went on the shelf shortly thereafter and missed most of July and August before limping home with a 6.14 ERA over his final five starts.

This was the fifth of six Opening Day starts in a seven year span for Sheets. Later today, Yovani Gallardo will become just the second Brewer pitcher ever to make four Opening Day starts.

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