Thursday, August 18, 2011
An excuse to mention the 1994 Expos
By David Schoenfield
The Milwaukee Brewers had won 19 of their past 21 games entering Thursday's matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but Clayton Kershaw shut down the Brewers with eight scoreless innings in a 5-1 victory. The Brewers failed to become the first National League team since the 1994 Montreal Expos to win 20 of 22, although five American League teams have done so since 2000:
- 2006 Twins. The Twins were 26-33 on June 8, when they embarked on a 20-2 stretch. Here's the amazing thing though: They only picked up 2.5 games in the standings, as the Tigers went 19-5 over the same dates. Minnesota was 9 games out after the 20-2 stretch but would finish 96-66 and win the division title on the final day of the season.
- 2004 Red Sox. Boston went 20-2 from Aug. 16 through Sept. 8, improving its record from 64-52 to to 84-54. Manny Ramirez hit eight home runs and drove in 24 runs, Johnny Damon hit .382 and Curt Schilling went 4-0, 2.15 with 29 strikeouts and no walks.
- 2002 A's. The A's actually won 20 in a row and 23 of 24 from Aug. 13 through Sept. 9. Earlier in the season they had a 16-1 stretch. Miguel Tejada basically won the MVP Award when he delivered a game-winning home run in Game 18 of the winning streak and the game-winning single in Game 19. The A's had a 2.51 ERA over the 23-1 stretch.
- 2001 A's. Oakland went 22-2 from Aug. 25 through Sept. 27, hitting 42 home runs and posting a 2.77 ERA. But they didn't win the AL West that year ...
- 2001 Mariners. Seattle went 20-2 from May 23 through June 16. They also had a 16-2 stretch on the way to 116 victories.
As for the Expos, they went 20-2 from July 18 through Aug. 10, posting a 2.52 ERA with Pedro Martinez going 5-0. On Aug. 12, the players went on strike.