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Today In Brewer History: Eldred Overextended

Ten days ago I wrote about a game where the Brewers overused and abused potential future ace Cal Eldred, allowing him to throw 149 pitches in a ten inning game against the Angels. Two starts later, on this day in 1993 Phil Garner and the Brewers were at it again.

The Brewers entered play on this day in last place and 20 games under .500 at 56-76, and just 10,981 fans showed up for a Monday night contest against the third place Royals. That crowd witnessed an epic pitchers duel through eight innings, as Eldred and Tom Gordon combined to allow just one run (on a Greg Vaughn sac fly in the sixth).

Carrying a 1-0 lead, Eldred was called upon once again to pitch the ninth despite the fact that he'd already thrown 128 pitches in the game. The second batter he faced in the inning was Wally Joyner, who hit a solo home run to tie the game. Garner left Eldred in to finish the inning anyway and by the time he was done he'd thrown 154 pitches, the most anyone has thrown as a Brewer since pitch counts became an official stat. Eldred broke his own record, set ten days earlier. In fact, he owns eight of the top ten pitch counts in franchise history:

Pitcher Date Opponent Pitches
Cal Eldred August 30, 1993 Royals 154
Cal Eldred August 20, 1993 Angels 149
Steve Sparks July 7, 1995 Angels 146
Cal Eldred September 13, 1992 Orioles 146
Cal Eldred August 15, 1993 Tigers 144
Cal Eldred May 18, 1993 Tigers 143
Cal Eldred September 27, 1993 Blue Jays 142
Cal Eldred July 16, 1993 White Sox 142
Chris Bosio June 23, 1989 White Sox 141
Cal Eldred June 2, 1993 Mariners 140

This outing finished a four start stretch where Eldred made four appearances on normal rest and averaged 142 pitches per outing.

The Brewers won on a walkoff double by John Jaha in the ninth, but lost significantly more when Eldred was able to pitch just one full season in five tries between 1995-99.

With help from and the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to: