Worst teams to win 10 straight

Last week here at THT, I had some random notes about 10 game winning and losing streaks. Inspired by some reader, I have a new question: what is the worst team to ever lose 10 straight?

Turns out it was the 1890 Cleveland Spiders, who went 44-88. They had a two notable edges in that streak. First, a rookie pitcher who debuted in mid-season won three games in that streak for him. Some kid named Cy Young. Second, they played six games against Pittsburgh, who finished the year with a 23-113 record. Really. Nineteenth century baseball: it was a very different game.

The oddities of 19th century baseball also explain the second worst team to win 10 straight: the 1891 Louisville Colonels, who went 54-83. Please realize they did it in the American Associaiton, which was a league on the verge of collapse. The league actually contained nine teams, as one floundered mid-season and had to be replaced by another one.

In third place comes the first team since 1900, the 1976 White Sox. They were 64-97, the only post-1900 team with a sub-.400 winning percentage to win ten straight. They also lost ten straight that season. Added bonus: in the 33 years since, no Chi Sox team has won or lost ten straight. Weird.

Actually, the Sox have the lowest winning percentage for a post-1900 ten-straighter from a complete season. The 2009 Padres already won ten straight and at this moment have an even lower winning percentage than the Sox had in ’76. I made a joke last week about the Padres saying that I wasn’t sure which was more unlikely: the Tigers going 41 years without winning 10 straight or the ’09 Padres doing just that. Well, I thought it was a joke. Turns out the Padres winning 10 straight truly is less likely than the Tigers going from 1968-onward without doing it.

The next worst teams with 10-game winning streaks, and their winning percentages on the year in question:

1987 BAL .414
2003 MIL .420
1953 CHC .422
1894 CIN .423
2004 TBD .435

Honorable mention: the 1999 Padres (.457 winning percentage) somehow. won 14 straight.

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Comments

  1. MatthewA said...

    what is the worst team to ever lose 10 straight?

    Methinks you misstated your main idea. I imagine you meant “worst team to ever win 10 straight” when referring to the Spiders.

  2. Chris Jaffe said...

    D’OH! 

    Yeah, good catch.  Actually, I said that somewhere else in the article when I wrote it, but caught it that other time. 

    Drat.  Ah well – live & learn.

  3. Tor said...

    In the 10th and last game of that White Sox streak, Ken Brett lost a no-hitter with 2 outs in the ninth.  He went on to win 1-0 in 11 innings. 

    Just prior to the streak, Wilbur Wood had gone down with his (essentially) career-ending knee injury.

  4. Rick said...

    The Twins were a horrible team in 1981 but some how won their last 12 games while still playing in Bloomington.  They brought up some kids, including Gary Gaetti and just couldn’t loose.

  5. Chris J. said...

    Rick,

    I’m afraid Minnesota’s 12-game winning streak came in 1980. There was no Gaetti call up that year (and looking at their roster, I don’t see any I’ve ever heard of who would’ve been a September callup).

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