Forty-Five Years of Brewers Baseball: the 2000s


August 16, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun (8) on deck before hitting in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

2000 (73-89)
The Brewers finished third in the N.L. Central in their final year at County Stadium. Left fielder Geoff Jenkins had a great season, hitting 34 jacks while slashing 303/360/588 in his second full season in the bigs.

Right fielder Jeromy Burnitz hit 31 homers and knocked in 98 runs.

Jimmy Haynes and Jeff D’Amico led the pitching staff with twelve wins each.

2001 (68-94)
Milwaukee opened the Miller Park chapter on April 6 by edging Cincinnati 5-4. President George W. Bush threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Big 1B Richie Sexson found the new digs to his liking as he cranked out 45 home runs and drove in 125, tying Gorman Thomas for the Brewers season record. Burnitz hit 34 home runs and knocked in 100.

Ben Sheets and Jamey Wright each won eleven games to lead the club in victories.

2002 (56-106)
The Brewers hit the absolute rock bottom as they won only 56 games, the fewest in club history for a full season. Manager Davey Lopes was fired after Milwaukee’s 3-12 start.

Sexson had another great season, hitting 29 home runs and driving in 102. Alex Sanchez (37) and Eric Young (31) provided speed and daring on the base paths with their stolen base numbers.

Sheets won eleven games and Mike DeJean saved 27 games for Milwaukee.

2003 (68-94)
Milwaukee improved its win total from the previous year, but occupied the cellar for the second straight year in the Central.

Sexson once again banged out 45 homers (and 124 RBIs) to lead the team. Center fielder Scott Podsednik hit .314 and stole 43 bases to finish second in the N.L. Rookie of the Year balloting.

Danny Kolb (21) and DeJean (18) combined for 39 saves, while Sheets once again won eleven contests.

2004 (67-94)
The Crew finished last in the Central for the third consecutive year. Jenkins had a nice season, with 27 homers and 93 ribbies. First baseman Lyle Overbay knocked out 53 two-baggers to set a Milwaukee season high while hitting .301.

Podsednik stole 70 bases in 83 tries to lead the Senior Circuit.

Kolb saved 39 games as Sheets and Doug Davis each won an even dozen games.

2005 (81-81)
The Brewers finished at .500 for the first time in thirteen years, taking third in the Central.

Carlos Lee smashed 32 round-trippers while knocking in 114 runs. Fellow fly chaser Brady Clark banged out hits at a .306 clip, finishing in a tie for eighth in the N.L. batting race.

Chris Capuano won 18 games while shaggy-haired Derrick Turnbow saved 39 contests.

2006 (75-87)
Billy Hall (35), Prince Fielder (28) and Lee (28) led the team in longballs, but no qualifiers batted over .271 as it was all-or-nothing for the Brewers.

Three pitchers led the team in wins: Dave Bush (12), Capuano (11), and Davis (11).

Turnbow led in saves, but his 24 was a big drop-off from the previous season.

2007 (83-79)
Milwaukee finished second to the Cubs, just two games back in a sub-par season for the Central race.

Fielder led the league in 50 homers and finished third in Most Valuable Player voting. Ryan Braun won the Rookie of the Year award with his 34 HR, 97 RBI, 324/370/634 slash line.

Jeff Suppan, Bush, and Sheets each won twelve games while Francisco Cordero saved 44 games.

2008 (90-72)
The Brewers reached the playoffs for the first time in 26 years as they finished second to the Cubs, 7 ½ games out. They lost to the Phillies in the NLDS, three games to one.

Fielder (34 HR, 102 RBI), Braun (37 HR, 106 RBI), and J.J. Hardy (24 HR, 74 RBI) led the hitters.

Sheet won 13 games to lead the squad and Salomon Torres saved 28 games for Milwaukee, but mid-season acquisition C.C. Sabathia went 11-2 in 17 starts to lead the Brewers to the playoffs for the first time since 1982.

2009 (80-82)
Milwaukee dropped off a bit, falling just below .500 with 80 victories, but still drew over three million fans for the second straight year.

Fielder continued his great stretch with 46 homers and 141 runs batted in, followed closely by Braun’s 32 homers and 114 RBIs.

Future Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman saved 37 games for the Brewers. Braden Looper was an unlikely leader in victories with 14, with Yovani Gallardo trailing by one.

The 2000s brought back an excitement for Brewer baseball, and the fans showed it as they filled Miller Park to the tune of an average of 2.99 million for the last three years of the decade.

Next: the 2010s