Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Best Dodger team since….Posted by Chris Jaffe
Let me flip around what I've done in my previous THT Live entries. Instead of providing perspective on the worst team in baseball, let's look at the squad with the best record.
The Dodgers have won four straight giving them a record of 60-34. It's not nearly as historically impressive as Washington's futility, so instead of comparing LA to all teams in history, let's just look at all teams in Dodger franchise history.
This is the 13th time a Dodger team won 60 or more games by the 94th decision. The best ever start was by a squad who didn't win the pennant: the 1942 Dodgers were 66-28. They went 104-50 on the year, only to see a Cards team take the flag anyway thanks to a furious late-season pennant push.
The 2009 squad is the first Dodger team to win 60 games so quickly since the 1974, who did win the pennant (only to lose the Series to Oakland). That '74 club was 62-32. In fact, the only other LA teams to win so much so quickly were the 1962 (62-32), and 1973 (60-34) teams. (Interestingly, neither of those teams made the postseason. Thta's not intended as any sort of ominous warning for the '09 squad who seem to be unstoppable, just an interesting little tidbit).
In order to fulfill the quota of useless information, here in chronological order are all the teams in franchise history to win so much so quickly (and their season-ending winning percentages in parathesis):
1889 61-33 (.679)
1890 62-32 (.667)
1892 62-32 (.617)
1899 61-33 (.682)
1942 66-28 (.675)
1951 62-32 (.618)
1952 64-30 (.627)
1953 61-33 (.682)
1955 65-29 (.641)
1962 62-32 (.618)
1973 60-34 (.590)
1974 62-32 (.630)
The 1973 squad was 83-51 with a month to play. Then they dropped 11 of 12 to turn a four game lead in the division into a five game deficit. Ouch.
History instructor by day, statnerd by night, Chris Jaffe leads one of the most exciting double lives imaginable; with the exception of every other double life possible to imagine. Despite his lack of comic-book-hero-worthiness, Chris enjoys farting around with this stuff. His new book, Evaluating Baseball's Managers is available for order. Chris welcomes responses to his articles via e-mail. Oh, and now he's on twitter.