- Dumb Luck Wins
- Tough Luck Losses
- Out Prevention Percentage
- Infield Outs Prevented
From July 30th and August 15th, the Tigers played 15 games and didn’t win any of them by more than 1 run. Somehow, however, they had a winning record in that stretch: 8-7. Those 8 straight 1-run wins make for the second-longest streak of in history if you don’t count losses as breaking the streak.
Basically what we’re looking at here is this: how long does a team go between wins of 2+ runs? You can measure this by the total number of games between multi-run victories, or you can judge it by the number of 1-run wins in the streak. The tables below will list both values.
Here are the 17 teams to have at least 8 consecutive 1-run wins, not counting losses, in a single season:
|Rk||Team||Strk Start||End||1-Run Ws||Losses||Total Gms||Win%|
Those 1942 Phillies were an amazing team. How many times has a team gone 36 straight games without winning by multiple runs? The Baseball-Reference search engine only goes back to 1919, but I’m guessing there aren’t too many before then*. They’re certainly the only team since 1919 to do it (we’ll get to that in a bit).
* One that I’ve found: the worst team in history, the 1899 Cleveland Spiders, who went 20-134 overall. They won only 1 of their final 41 games, and that was by 1 run. So the Spiders ended–literally, because the franchise folded after the season–on a 41-game streak without a multi-run win. But for the purposes of this post, that’s not all that impressive, since there was only the single 1-run win.
The 1989 Astros were special for a different reason. They lost only 1 game in their streak, meaning that they had 1-run wins in 8 of 9 total games, which is the fewest number of total games to win that many 1-run games in MLB history. This was in the midst of a 16-1 stretch overall.
Next, let’s look at the longest stretches (again, since 1919) in which a team has not had a multi-run victory. The same team is at the top, but the rest of the list is very different (hint: most of the teams won fewer than 8 games). This list includes all 12 teams to have a 25-game streak or longer in a single season.
|Rk||Team||Strk Start||End||Total Gms||1-Run Ws||Losses||Win%|
From this perspective, the ’42 Phillies’ 10-26 record actually seems pretty good. In fact, their winning percentage ranks 3rd-highest on this list.
The award for “best winning percentage while in a streak of at least 25 games without a multi-run victory” goes to the 1977 Braves, who went 8-20 during their streak. The worst winning percentage belongs to the ’03 Padres, who managed just 3 wins in 25 games, all by 1 run.
Interestingly, only 6 franchises appear on this 12-team list. The Phillies make it 4 times (including 3 of the top 5), while the Braves, Expos, and Padres appear twice each.
Either way you cut it, though, the ’42 Phillies seem to have most taken to heart the motto “If you can’t win by 1 run, don’t win at all.”
Tagged with: 1-run wins Braves futility luck Phillies rare feats streaks
This blog is devoted to the invention and use of unusual baseball statistics. These Junk Stats are designed to reveal the not-so-meaningful quirks that make baseball so fascinating.
JunkStats is written by Jacob Peterson, who also writes for the Braves blog Talking ChopBeyond the Boxscore
For more about the site or the author, read the About page
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