A 4-game home and away sweep against a good Braves team and the Nation’s relief is almost palpable. No longer preoccupied with the prospect of going 20-142, it’s now time to consider how historic the 10-game losing streak really was.
Setting aside for a moment how great the 2013 team performed, with their much-discussed ability to never drop more than 3 in-a-row, the just concluded 10-game losing streak was the longest for the club in nearly 20 years when they lost 11 straight from June 8–19, 1994.
But as defending World Series Champions the lackluster performance of the team so far has been all the more tough to watch. The Sox came one loss from tying an ignominious record: the most losses in a row by a defending champ (11). It’s happened three times in MLB history: first by the Royals in 1986 and then next by the Marlins, who managed it TWICE in the 1998 season.
Since 2000 this was the 4th time Boston has lost more than 6 games straight:
- In the forgettable 2012 season they lost 7-in-a-row August 28–September 3 followed by…
- An 8-game stretch from September 25, 2012 through the end of the season.
- The Red Sox lost 9-in-a-row September 25–October 3, 2001
The 10-game Red Sox losing streak from May 15–25 this year is the 5th-longest in franchise history since 1914. The longest was a stretch from August 20–September 7, 1926, an agonizing 17 games.
As bad as that is, a 17-game losing streak is only the 6th longest in MLB history since 1914. The longest ever in that time was 23 games by the Phillies starting July 29, 1961. The Philadelphia Athletics also claim the National League’s 2nd longest losing streak, 20 games in 1916 and 1943 (as did the 1969 Montreal Astros).
The longest in the American League was a 21 game stretch by the Orioles that began April 4, 1988.