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The End Of An Era: Chris Capuano's Epic Streak

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Where were you on May 7, 2007?

You may not be able to remember what you did that day, but I'm betting Chris Capuano can. He pitched eight shutout innings against Washington, allowing seven hits, walking none and striking out nine. The Brewers won 3-0 that day, and Chris Capuano improved to 5-0 on the season with a 2.31 ERA.

Entering play Saturday the Brewers had won 267 games since then, but Capuano hadn't appeared in any of them. They lost the final 22 games in which he appeared down the stretch in 2007, including four relief appearances and four games where he pitched at least seven innings and allowed two or fewer earned runs. All told, he posted a 6.08 ERA over those 22 appearances: For comparison purposes, Manny Parra posted a 6.36 ERA in 27 appearances last season and came home with 11 wins.

Of course, you know the rest of the story. Injuries cost Capuano the 2008 and 2009 seasons, as he underwent his second Tommy John surgery and worked to earn his way back to the big leagues. He pitched six games in Arizona and Helena in 2009, followed by seven for Brevard County and Nashville before finally getting the call to pitch in the big leagues again.

Unfortunately, the streak continued. Capuano left early and was the losing pitcher in his 2010 debut against the Marlins, then pitched in relief in three more Brewer losses, extending the streak to 26 games. 

All of that came to an end on Saturday, however, when Cappy pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the Brewers' 12-5 win over the Cardinals, pitching in a Brewer win for the first time in over three years.*

Follow the jump for some numbers that put the unluckiness and length of the streak into perspective.

* - Capuano also pitched the ninth inning of yesterday's loss against the Giants. Hopefully that's not the start of a new streak.

Pitchers who have won a game for the Brewers since Opening Day 2007:

Pitcher Wins
Yovani Gallardo 30
David Bush 29
Jeff Suppan 29
Ben Sheets 25
Manny Parra 24
Carlos Villanueva 16
Braden Looper 14
Claudio Vargas 13
CC Sabathia 11
Chris Narveson 9
Seth McClung 9
Mitch Stetter 8
Todd Coffey 7
Salomon Torres 7
Randy Wolf 6
Brian Shouse 6
Trevor Hoffman 5
Mark DiFelice 5
Guillermo Mota 5
Eric Gagne 4
Derrick Turnbow 4
John Axford 3
Mike Burns 3
Matt Wise 3
Scott Linebrink 2
Chris Spurling 2
Zach Braddock 1
Doug Davis 1
David Riske 1
Jorge Julio 1
David Weathers 1
Elmer Dessens 1

 

By Game Score, Chris Capuano's best starts during the streak:

Date Opp IP H ER BB K Game Score
7/23/07 CIN 8 7 1 0 7 71
7/2/07 FLA 7 3 2 3 10 70
7/18/07 ARI 7 4 2 2 5 64
5/28/07 ATL 7 7 2 2 6 59
9/23/07 ATL 5 7 1 1 5 53

 

By Game Score, the five worst starts by a Brewer winning pitcher during the same timeframe:

Pitcher Date Opp IP H ER BB K Game Score
Manny Parra 8/13/09 SDP 5.2 13 6 2 7 24
Manny Parra 8/28/09 PIT 6 10 6 4 2 26
Jeff Suppan 7/1/08 ARI 5 9 5 2 0 27
Braden Looper 10/2/09 STL 6 10 6 2 3 29
Braden Looper 9/16/09 CHC 5 9 5 3 3 29