Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Astros Trivia Rabbit Hole

Every once in a while, the Astros Trivia Tuesday question on twitter will send me down a fun path of statistical oddities. I thought I'd start sharing them.

Today's question was "The won 10-straight starts by Fister, tying a single-season franchise record. Who did it last and what year?"

The correct answer (I'm scheduling this to post after the time limit on the question is over) is Donne Wall in 1996. After a 24 inning cup of coffee in 1995, Wall began his official rookie season in 1996 with a bang. The Astros won his first 10 starts that year, with Wall going 6-0 with a 3.51 ERA over that stretch, though the Astros were only 27-30 at that point in the season. He would go just 3-8 for the rest of the season with a 5.40 ERA, finishing the year 9-8, 4.56 even as Houston scrapped to finish 82-80 that year. He would make just 8 starts for the Astros the next season but, after a series of transactions after the 1997 season, he would find himself in San Diego where he had a few decent seasons out of the bullpen.

Another interesting find while I searched for that answer, though, was much more recent. I'm surprised I either never heard this or had forgotten it, but Keuchel and McHugh also has 10 game streaks of team victories that straddled the 2014-2015 offseason. Keuchel began his streak August 26, 2014 and McHugh decided to join in the fun, beginning his run August 28, 2014. Keuchel's streak ended April 29, 2015 after 10 games, while McHugh ran his to 11 games, ending May 7, 2015. For a 54 game stretch (albeit over two seasons) the Astros were guaranteed a win with one of those two on the mound.

And in case you were wondering, the longest such streak in all of baseball is shared by two pitchers, both still active players. Most recently, Jake Arrieta led the Cubs to 23 straight wins in games he started from July 30, 2015 to May 25, 2016, pitching to an absurd 1.05 ERA during his run. The other is Kris Medlen. Medlen's story is a bit different, as time spend on the disabled list or in the bullpen breaks his streak up quite a bit. Nevertheless, from May 29, 2010 until his final start for Atlanta on September 30, 2012 if Medlen started, Atlanta won.