Not often a team wins six in a row without gaining any ground in a divisional race. In fact, it’s only happened twice before in the entire history of the Mariners franchise.
And it’s never happened to the Mariners when they are trailing in a division race. Up until this week, they had always been able to pick up ground on a first-place team when reeling off six wins in a row.
To add insult to injury, the Mariners, who finally lost today by a 3-2 score in 13 innings, also lost another game of ground. That’s what happens when a first-place team wins 11 in a row like the Rangers have.
So, the M’s, for all their great pitching this week, are now 14 back.
Like I said, it’s never happened when they trail in a division. But it has happened twice when they were leading a division — both times, in the same month.
Back in 2001, with the Mariners running away with the AL West en route to a 116-win season, they led the Oakland Athletics by 17 games on Sept. 5. Six wins later, the M’s still had a 17-game lead.
That’s because the A’s were in the process of winning seven in a row during a span that saw them win 22 of 24. Yikes! That’ll spoil some streaks.
And it did, once again, that month when the Mariners had a 15-game lead of Sept. 30. Six wins later, the season lengthened because of 9/11, the M’s were still up by that same 15-game margin.
Talk about frustrating. Though, when you’re double-digits ahead, rather than behind, it’s less painful.
The information I compiled was gathered by using the Streak Analyzer tool on the Baseball Reference website. It’s quite fun, though you have to put in plenty of your own legwork.
By the way, the three runs allowed by the Mariners during the winning stretch is the fewest ever by a team during a streak lasting only six wins. That team in 2001, during the early September winning stretch, actually won seven in a row. And in one stretch of six straight wins during that longer streak, they outscored opponents 36-3. So, they tied this year’s team with three runs allowed.
But during a streak lasting only six games, this year’s team has the franchise record.
The flip-side? No Seattle team has done as poorly on offense and managed to win six in a row. This year’s M’s scored only 19 runs. No Seattle team has ever managed to win six in a row while scoring that few. The closest came on May 12-18, 1991, when the M’s won six straight while scoring 21 runs and allowing only 11.
So, this year’s team made history.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t make any gains.