The Maddux streak

In the most recent version of his consistently excellent newsletter, Craig Wright proclaimed a new record for Greg Maddux: most consecutive games as a starting pitcher. This one is tough to prove, of course, but Craig looked into his files to see if any other pitcher had made as many consecutive starts for his team. Here’s his conclusion:

It is safe to say that during Maddux’s streak he conformed more closely to his team’s rotation than any other pitcher with a lengthy streak of consecutive starts. Once Maddux started a season during his streak, the longest gap between any of his starts was 10 days, and that happened only once.

From 1987 to 2008, Maddux never significantly missed his turn in the rotation. That’s a streak of 712 consecutive starts, during which he went 347-212 with a 3.08.

Although this is a “soft” record, it’s a tremendous feat. Greg Maddux was a fantastic pitcher in so many respects, but this feat belongs near the top of any list of his major accomplishments. Congrats to Craig for uncovering further proof of Maddux’s greatness.

I highly recommend a subscription to Craig’s A Page from Baseball’s Past.

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  1. Cyril Morong said...

    I raised this issue on the SABR-List in 2005 (March 18).

    I wrote:

    “In the 17 seasons from 1988-2004, Maddux was in the top 10 in the NL in games started 15 times. He lead or tied 6 times. The only two years he started fewer than 32 games were the strike years, 1994-95. In 1994, he started 25 games, more than 1/5 of his team’s total and he was only 1 start behind the leader. In 1995 he did not make the top 10 but started 28 games, just a little less than 1/5 of his team’s total. Looking at the daily log from Retrosheet it looks like he may have missed a couple

    Through 2002, the only time he was on the disabled list was in 2002, Mar 23 through April 12. He started on April 12, so he probably only missed two starts. From 1988-2004, he averaged 33.6 starts per year (and that includes the strike years).

    Does anyone know if he had some kind of consecutive start streak, where he never missed his turn? I know this may be less impressive in the era of a five man rotation than it might have been in some other eras, but it is still quite an accomplishment.”

    Fred worth responded with:

    “Defining a “consecutive start” streak could be difficult.  If a game is rained out, the manager sometimes will skip a pitcher so the other
    pitchers don’t get out of their routines.  Would the pitcher who didn’t start (due to the rain out) have “missed a start”?”

    Dick Adams responded with:

    “I just looked this up the other day.  Greg Maddux has made 576 consecutive major league starts not counting post-season where he had one relief appearance against the Padres.  Tom Glavine
    has 570.  Glavine has never appeared in relief.  I had to check Retrosheet for his last relief before the streak started.

    And God bless Retrosheet”

  2. Cyril Morong said...

    Maddux started on Aug. 9, 1995 and did not start again until Aug. 20. Matt Murray started the game on Aug. 14. The Braves played every day in between the 9th and the 20th except the 17th.

  3. Cyril Morong said...

    On news article says Maddux had flu like symptons and that is why he did not pitch on the 14th.

    I think he reovered. On the 20th he 2 hit the Cards, winning 1-0 in a complete game with 9 K’s and no walks or HBP. 88 pitches and one hour 50 minutes.

  4. Dave Studeman said...

    Great research, Cyril.  Thanks!  Sounds like Craig may need to modify his research somewhat.

  5. Cyril Morong said...

    You’re welcome. No problem. But I think it was probably alot harder to check all his starts to see how long the streak was.

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