MLB’s longest active winning streak came to an end last night as the Rockies’ ninth of two runs was enough to outscore the Dodgers 3-1. LA had won 11 games in a row, its longest streak in 13 years, and avoided the team’s first 12-game winning streak since 1976.
I’m leaving a free play for Thursday, but I have an NFLX doubleheader for tonight’s play. Get BOTH of tonight’s 15 preseason games * in one report. In MLB, it’s my 15 * AL Blowout of the month.
The Athletics and Angels had the second and third longest winning streaks behind the Dodgers and both teams not only lost, they were shut out! The Athletics had a six-game winning streak starting Wednesday’s game and lost 14-0 to the Rangers in an afternoon game. It was the worst shutout loss the Athletics have suffered in Oakland. The Angels took a four-game winning streak in their game of the night in Cleveland and lost 4-0.
Cleveland’s Jake Westbrook scattered nine hits in the Indians’ shutout over the Angels, six days after allowing 15 hits in a win over the Red Sox. Only two other pitchers in the past 50 years have thrown a complete game shutout after allowing up to 15 hits in their previous appearance: Roger Clemens in 1988 and Jack Billingham in 1977.
The Rangers and Indians had entered Wednesday’s games with losing streaks of four in a row, the longest active losing streaks in MLB. Yesterday’s results leave the Mets’ modest four-game winning streak as the longest active streak in the majors and Boston and Pittsburgh’s four-game losing streaks as the longest active losing streaks.
More highlights on Wednesday include the Twins defeating the Tigers for the second night in a row, 4-3. Johan Santana clinched the win and is now almost unbelievable 34-3 during the second half of the season since the 2003 All-Star break. Justin Morneau’s home run in the eighth inning, the Twins’ winning hit by 4-3 over the Tigers, it was his 30th home run of the season.
Morneau is the Twins’ first player to reach that level since Kent Hrbek, Tom Brunansky and Gary Gaetti did it in 1987. Minnesota’s 18-season streak without a 30-homer player was the longest since the White Sox put end to a 69-year drought. – the longest in major league history – when Bill Melton hit 33 home runs in 1970
Speaking of the White Sox, the Yankees’ Randy Johnson barely hit them, but then they nearly pulled off a staggering comeback in a 7-6 loss. Johnson’s bid for his third no-hitter was spoiled by a single by Tadahito Iguchi on a 0-2 pitch early in the seventh inning. The White Sox scored two runs in the seventh and four in the eighth.
Johnson owns two career no-hitters, including the MLB’s last perfect game (against the Braves on May 18, 2004). 5,990 games have been played since May 19, 2004, by far the longest span of games without a no-hitter in Major League Baseball history. It was the 12th time Johnson was hitless in six innings, the highest total among active pitchers. The Rocket has done it seven times and Pedro six.
While many may not like the idea of the joker, it sure keeps things interesting. A great three-team career is brewing in the American League as the Twins 67-46 lead the White Sox 66-46 and the Red Sox 65-47. The Reds 59-55 lead the way in the National League, closely followed by the D’backs 58-56 and the Dodgers. Just 3 1/2 games behind at 55-58 is three more teams; the Astros, Phillies and Rockies. Stay tuned.
Thursday’s 11-game schedule includes three afternoon games, two of which start when I go to print (but are worth mentioning). The Padres are in New York to face the Mets (12:10 ET) and the Cardinals are in Cincinnati to face the Reds (12:35 ET). Chris Young starts for San Diego and the 6-10 junior is an incredible 5-0 (2.42) on the road in 10 starts this year with the Padres winning nine of the 10 games.
Bronson Arroyo starts for the Reds and will make his 10th attempt for his 10th win. That’s how it is. Arroyo went 9-3 in the 2006 season with a 4-2 win on June 19 against the Mets. However, he has made nine previous attempts to win his 10th game of the year, going 0-4 with a 5.31 ERA (the team is 3-6 in his nine starts)!
Week 1 of the NFL preseason begins tonight with the Browns on the Eagles (7:30 ET) and the Colts on the Rams (8:00 ET on FOX). Two interesting streaks are up for grabs tonight, as the Browns incorporate a seven-game preseason ATS winning streak into their game with the Eagles. Romeo Crennel in his rookie year as Cleveland’s head coach led the Browns to a 3-1 (4-0 ATS) mark last year, plus the Browns had also ‘covered’ their last three games of the season. preseason 2004.
When the Colts meet the Rams tonight, in Scott Linehan’s NFL coaching debut, they will attempt to break a six-game preseason losing streak (1-5 ATS). The Colts went 0-5 SU and ATS in last year’s preseason and also lost (but covered) in their last game of 2004 preseason. Just a word to the wise, the Colts were so devastated by the bad preseason record last year who opened the 2005 regular season by winning their first 13 games.
The Chiefs, who visit the Texans on Saturday night (8:00 ET on CBS), also have a six-game losing streak in the preseason and the Chiefs have outscored the Colts, 0-6 ATS in those six. defeats. The Broncos, who went 4-0 in last year’s preseason (3-1 ATS), have the longest active preseason winning streak.
Tomorrow’s notes will focus on some of the best and worst recent preseason records, as well as provide some details on various NFL coaches and how they have fared over the years in these “practice games.”
Ness Notes is available Monday through Friday at 1:00 ET.