Two dominating pitching performances wrapped up both 2015 Wild Card games in tight little bows, setting the tone for a postseason which will be primarily about the men on the mound.
American League Cy Young candidate Dallas Keuchel tossed six innings of three-hit ball in the Houston Astros‘ 3-0 shutout over the New York Yankees, while National League Cy Young candidate Jake Arrieta suffocated the Pittsburgh Pirates with 11K’s over nine, putting the ‘Stros and Cubbies into Round 2 (the Division Series).
Houston now has 19-game winner Collin McHugh set for Game 1 against the Kansas City Royals (who have the weakest staff of the remaining playoff teams). Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs have another two pitchers with under-4.00 ERAs (Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks) prepped as they get ready for the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards have five starters with double-digit wins – all of whom have ERAs of 3.38 or less!
But, the pitching match up of the early postseason is unquestionably that of the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ staff against the New York Mets‘. The Dodgers will have the two best hurlers in all of baseball today – Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke – pittted against the Mets’ young-gun trifecta of Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey.
Buckle up for some nail-biters.
Let’s take a look at today’s list, then.
The one-game Wild Card Round has been around for four years now – and checking out the results, one thing stands out immediately. Home-field advantage doesn’t exist. Six of the eight games so far have been won by the away team.
No team has yet to win more than one Wild Card game and only one team has even appeared in more than one. The Pirates have made the NL’s WCG as the home team the past three seasons. Hey Bucs, it’s time to win the division.
One more very notable note: You think the Wild Card teams have no shot at winning the World Series? Not true. Just remember 2014, when both WC winners made it to the Fall Classic, and the San Francisco Giants won it all in seven.Follow @VinGetz
|2015||Houston Astros||3||NEW YORK YANKEES||0||TBD|
|2014||KANSAS CITY ROYALS||9||Oakland A’s||8||12 inn.||Lost World Series 4-3 (San Francisco Giants)|
|2013||Tampa Bay Rays||4||CLEVELAND INDIANS||0||Lost ALDS 3-1 (Boston Red Sox)|
|2012||Baltimore Orioles||5||TEXAS RANGERS||1||Lost ALDS 3-2 (New York Yankees)|
|2015||Chicago Cubs||4||PITTSBURGH PIRATES||0||TBD|
|2014||San Francisco Giants||8||PITTSBURGH PIRATES||0||Won World Series 4-3 (Kansas City Royals)|
|2013||PITTSBURGH PIRATES||6||Cincinnati Reds||2||Lost NLDS 3-2 (St. Louis Cardinals)|
|2012||St. Louis Cardinals||6||ATLANTA BRAVES||3||Lost NLCS 4-3 (San Francisco Giants)|
The Pittsburgh Pirates might finally be on their way (for real this time) to finishing with a winning record. They’ve finished under .500 every season since 1993 – that’s 20 seasons in a row through 2012.
That’s the most consecutive losing seasons in history, but not by very much. The Philadelphia Phillies had 16 losing seasons in a row in the 1930s and 1940s. The Boston Red Sox and the Athletics franchises had 15 in a row.
The Pirates have the best record in the majors so far this season (51-30, .630) – by much. No one else is in the .600’s.
They pulled a similar stunt in 2012, heading into the All-Star break with a 48-37 record. But it all fell apart in the second half. The Bucs finished 79-83. Close, but no cigar.
This time, though, they’re 21 games over .500. They’ll have to go 29-52 to wind up with a 21st consecutive losing season. That’s probably not going to happen.
Every other franchise has hit the skids for longer than that.
These are every franchises’ most losing seasons in a row, including streaks for current teams where applicable.Follow @VinGetz
|Arizona Diamondbacks||3||2004-2006||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Atlanta Braves||11||1903-1913||Boston Beaneaters (1903-1906)|
|Boston Doves (1907-1910)|
|Boston Rustlers (1911)|
|Boston Braves (1912-1913)|
|Baltimore Orioles||14||1998-2011||Baltimore Orioles|
|Boston Red Sox||15||1919-1933||Boston Red Sox|
|Chicago Cubs||10||1953-1962||Chicago Cubs|
|Chicago White Sox||7||1944-1950||Chicago White Sox|
|Cincinnati Reds||11||1945-1955||Cincinnati Reds (1941-1953)|
|Cincinnati Redlegs (1954-1955)|
|Cleveland Indians||7||1969-1975||Cleveland Indians|
|Colorado Rockies||6||2001-2006||Colorado Rockies|
|Detroit Tigers||12||1994-2005||Detroit Tigers|
|Houston Astros||7||1962-1968||Houston Colt .45’s (1962-1964)|
|Houston Astros (1965-1968)|
|Kansas City Royals||9||2004-2012||Kansas City Royals|
|Los Angeles Angels||7||1971-1977||California Angels|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||11||1904-1914||Brooklyn Superbas (1904-1910)|
|Brooklyn Dodgers (1911-1912)|
|Brooklyn Superbas (1913)|
|Brooklyn Robins (1914)|
|Miami Marlins||5||1998-2002||Florida Marlins|
|Milwaukee Brewers||12||1993-2004||Milwaukee Brewers|
|Minnesota Twins||11||1901-1911||Washington Senators|
|New York Mets||7||1962-1968||New York Mets|
|7||1977-1983||New York Mets|
|New York Yankees||4||1912-1915||New York Highlanders (1912)|
|New York Yankees (1913-1915)|
|4||1989-1992||New York Yankees|
|Oakland A’s||15||1953-1967||Philadelphia Athletics (1953-1954)|
|Kansas City Athletics (1955-1967)|
|Philadelphia Phillies||16||1933-1948||Philadelphia Phillies|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||20||1993-2012||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|San Diego Padres||9||1969-1977||San Diego Padres|
|San Francisco Giants||4||1899-1902||New York Giants|
|4||1974-1977||San Francisco Giants|
|4||2005-2008||San Francisco Giants|
|Seattle Mariners||14||1977-1990||Seattle Mariners|
|St. Louis Cardinals||9||1902-1910||St. Louis Cardinals|
|Tampa Bay Rays||10||1998-2007||Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
|Texas Rangers||8||1961-1968||Washington Senators (II)|
|Toronto Blue Jays||6||1977-1982||Toronto Blue Jays|
|Washington Nationals||10||1969-1978||Montreal Expos|