Best pitcher hitting moments in Milwaukee Brewers history

MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 27: Yovani Gallardo #49 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a walk off double in the bottom of the eleventh inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Miller Park on May 27, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 27: Yovani Gallardo #49 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a walk off double in the bottom of the eleventh inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Miller Park on May 27, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Brewers
Jhoulys Chacin, Milwaukee Brewers, (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Pitcher Home Runs

There have been 44 home runs to come off the bat of Milwaukee Brewers’ pitchers in their history. Some have been big moments, some have been completely inconsequential. Some have been off of Hall-of-Famers and some have been off of complete no-name pitchers. The one thing they all have in common is that none of them were really supposed to happen.

Yovani Gallardo off of Randy Johnson April 8, 2009

Ok, so maybe a few Yovani Gallardo home runs weren’t so amazingly improbable. He did hit twelve of them in his Brewer career, easily the franchise record. However, this one was hit off of one of the greatest pitchers of all time in Randy Johnson. Sure, Johnson was 45 years old and in the last year of his career, but it’s still Randy Johnson. The other reason this is one of the greatest pitcher homers is because it was the most important to the game.

Baseball reference has a stat called Win Percentage Added (WPA) which essentially calculates how much one play effected a team’s chance of winning. When Gallardo came up to the plate with runners on 1st and 2nd and the game tied 1-1 the Brewers estimated chance to win the game was 49%. After the home run it was 82%. That’s a WPA of 33%. The Brewers went on to win 4-2 and Gallardo got the win, thanks mostly to his own hitting giving himself run support.

Mike Marshall First Pitcher Homer in Franchise History May 18, 1969

The next two actually aren’t Brewer pitchers. They’re from the 1969 Seattle Pilots who were brought to Milwaukee a year later. The Pilots pitchers hit 5 home runs in their inaugural season, which is still a franchise record. There is nothing really spectacular about Marshall’s blast other than it was the first one in franchise history and it’s important to look back on where we started at the end of this pitchers hitting era.

Freddy Talbot Grand Slam July 9, 1969

There’s something about a grand slam that is extra special. That’s why it has it’s own name other than just being called a 4-run home run or a bases loaded home run. It takes the perfect storm of events – three guys getting on base without driving the lead runner in from second and then a home run. In 1969, there were only a total of 72 grand slams in the entire year. One of them belongs to Freddy Talbot, a pitcher. What’s even more impressive is that he did it in the middle of pitching a 3-hit shutout.

Shaun Marcum Grand Slam July 4, 2011

The only two pitcher grand slams happened almost exactly 42 years apart. Having it happen on July 4th is almost as cool. With 41,622 fans in attendance, Marcum blasted a home run to left-centerfield that scored Prince Fielder, Casey McGehee, and Jonathan Lucroy. To make it even a little bit more impressive, there was a slight wind blowing in from left field.

Jhoulys Chacin Opening Day Home Run March 28, 2019

Opening Day is one of the best days of the season, filled with hope about what the year could hold. After the first game of the season, Jhoulys Chacin was hitting 1.000 with an OPS of 3.500 after going 2-2 with a home run and he was the winning pitcher. His hitting and pitching both fell off and he was gone by the middle of the season, but there’s something special about starting the season with a moment as ridiculous as a pitcher home run.

Brandon Woodruff NLCS Home Run off of Kershaw

This one is my personal favorite out of all of these moments almost solely because I was in the packed crowd when it happened. Remember when packed crowds were a thing? Yeah me neither.

Anyway, with the Brewers down 1-0 in the bottom of the third and two strikes on Woodruff, no one was expecting what came next. A swing, contact, and a home run over the right-centerfield wall followed by 43,615 people absolutely losing their minds in the stadium and plenty more watching on television. This moment is one of the main reasons I am against the universal DH. One of my best baseball memories simply wouldn’t have existed and the Brewers may not have won that game that ended 6-5 in their favor.

Aaron Wilkerson Final Brewer Pitcher Homer April 17th, 2019

After an ugly start from Corbin Burnes, Wilkerson came in for cleanup duty in the fourth inning and pitched four really good innings to keep the Brewers in the game. However, the only two runs that Milwaukee Scored were on his 5th inning home run.

The great thing about this home run is that Wilkerson has barely had a cup of tea in the major leagues. He’s pitched in 14 games and has 9 career at-bats, but one of those at-bats is a home run and a somewhat historic one as possibly the final one of its kind in franchise history. Wilkerson perfectly encapsulated what the fun of pitchers hitting is. It’s that the improbable is not the impossible and anyone with a bat has a chance.