Say cheese! Brewers pose after back-to-back-to-back HRs off Scherzer

April 5th, 2023

MILWAUKEE --  homered off Max Scherzer and donned a cheesehead as a crown. 

Then it passed to Brian Anderson. Then to

The Brewers have a new prop for their home run celebrations, and they put it to good use against a pitcher who has long been stingy with the longball. The trio’s back-to-back-to-back home runs off Scherzer in the sixth inning were just the start of the power display in the Brewers’ 9-0 win over the Mets at American Family Field on Wednesday. 

Anderson and Mitchell smashed back-to-back home runs again in the seventh and Anderson finished with three extra-base hits and six RBIs as Milwaukee scored at least nine runs for the third consecutive game and won its fourth in a row. With each home run, out came the foam cheesehead – the brainchild, it seems, of Brewers shortstop Willy Adames and catcher Victor Caratini. 

It was Mitchell’s first (and second) chance to wear one. 

“Yes. It was. And I loved it,” Mitchell deadpanned. “I want to wear it more often if I can.”

“That was cool,” Anderson said. “I’ve never worn a cheesehead.”

Time to break out the record books:

The last time the Brewers had multiple instances of back-to-back home runs in a game was April 29, 2013, against the Pirates, when Yovani Gallardo and Nori Aoki went deep in the fourth inning and Carlos Gómez and Yuniesky Betancourt did the same in the fifth.

The only other time Brewers teammates hit back-to-back home runs in back-to-back plate appearances like Anderson and Mitchell did Tuesday was Sept. 25, 2001, when sluggers Richie Sexson and Jeromy Burnitz did it in a game at the D-backs.

According to Elias, the last teammates to hit back-to-back homers in back-to-back innings before Anderson and Mitchell were the Braves' Javy Lopez and Andruw Jones against the Expos on June 13, 1998. Mitchell’s mother was six months pregnant at the time.

Talk about a turnaround. The Brewers opened their season in chilly Chicago with a franchise-record 16 consecutive scoreless innings, and were one of only two teams (with the Blue Jays) who didn’t hit a home run in their opening series. But they scored three runs in the eighth inning for a 3-1 win on Saturday, got hits from every starting position player in a 9-5 win over the Cubs on Sunday, then got an Anderson homer and a Brice Turang grand slam in a 10-0 win over the Mets in Monday’s home opener before teeing off against Scherzer on Tuesday. 

Anderson, added on a one-year deal after he struggled with injury in recent seasons with the Marlins, is leading the way. He leads the Majors in slugging percentage, OPS and wRC+ while hitting .533 through 19 plate appearances.

“Obviously it’s going to be hard to keep up that pace all year, but it’s just a good feeling in the clubhouse right now,” Anderson said. “We’ve got these young guys who were called up and are doing really well, and our pitching staff has been great. It all starts on the mound, even for the offense. It’s been great so far.”

Brewers starter Wade Miley pitched six scoreless innings and logged career win No. 100 opposite Scherzer, who’d given up three consecutive home runs only once before in his career -- leading off a July 21, 2017, game against Arizona when he pitched for the Nationals and was on his way to winning a second consecutive National League Cy Young Award.

For the Brewers, it was their first set of back-to-back-to-back home runs since Jesús Aguilar, Travis Shaw and Eric Thames went deep on Aug. 8, 2018, against the Padres. After watching Tellez and Anderson, Mitchell stepped to the plate with a purpose.

“It was kind of in the back of my mind,” he said. “I was like, ‘OK, the two guys just did it in front of me.’ But that’s the part of it where it’s just put together a good at-bat and see what happens.”

This was not Scherzer the Brewers are used to. Last year in Milwaukee, he twirled six perfect innings coming off the injured list. Once, in 2015 while pitching for the Nationals, Scherzer pitched a one-hit shutout that was so special, Gómez apologized postgame for breaking up Scherzer’s perfect game with a broken-bat single. (Five days later, Scherzer lost a perfect game in Pittsburgh when he hit a batter with two outs in the ninth inning but settled for a no-hitter.)

All told, Scherzer had held the Brewers to four home runs in his first 44 innings here as the Brewers came to bat in the fifth. He was about to serve up three in a row.

“It's part of being in the big leagues,” Scherzer said. “Anytime, these guys can leave [the park]. You've got to locate. When you're not locating, that can happen."