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64+ Wins In 1st 103 Games Since 1996

Posted by Steve Lombardi on July 29, 2011

Since 1996, how many teams have won 64+ games within their first 103 games of the season?

Here is the list -

Rk Tm Year 6 #Matching W L   W-L% ERA CG SHO SV IP H ER HR BB SO WHIP
1 PHI 2011 65 65 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.04 10 13 30 599.0 449 136 32 135 525 0.97
2 BOS 2011 64 64 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.79 1 10 26 590.0 477 183 43 168 500 1.09
3 NYY 2010 66 66 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.48 1 6 25 595.0 482 164 50 172 497 1.10
4 TBR 2010 64 64 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.61 3 7 34 586.0 481 170 57 172 488 1.11
5 LAD 2009 64 64 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.48 1 7 30 595.0 416 164 41 236 506 1.10
6 LAA 2008 64 64 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.47 3 8 45 582.0 463 160 48 175 425 1.10
7 DET 2006 70 70 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.59 2 12 38 637.0 520 183 58 179 451 1.10
8 CHW 2005 68 68 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.62 5 7 36 621.0 506 181 49 169 413 1.09
9 STL 2005 65 65 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.39 6 8 36 595.0 497 158 42 164 416 1.11
10 STL 2004 66 66 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.71 2 8 32 607.0 519 183 62 160 417 1.12
11 NYY 2004 65 65 0 Ind. Games 1.000 3.12 0 2 40 594.0 541 206 62 144 434 1.15
12 ATL 2003 68 68 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.72 2 2 38 623.0 522 188 45 229 423 1.21
13 SFG 2003 66 66 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.46 7 7 28 608.0 496 166 37 206 443 1.15
14 ATL 2002 66 66 0 Ind. Games 1.000 1.74 2 9 39 604.0 413 117 40 205 458 1.02
15 NYY 2002 65 65 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.84 4 7 31 593.0 497 187 43 154 481 1.10
16 SEA 2001 74 74 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.94 4 8 41 673.0 557 220 70 216 478 1.15
17 NYY 1998 76 76 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.62 11 10 38 693.0 568 202 65 198 522 1.11
18 ATL 1998 68 68 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.01 14 13 24 614.0 477 137 37 154 503 1.03
19 SDP 1998 67 67 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.61 8 5 38 620.0 539 180 45 179 498 1.16
20 BAL 1997 65 65 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.36 5 8 41 598.0 477 157 51 200 487 1.13
21 ATL 1997 65 65 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.31 12 10 26 591.0 471 152 29 152 452 1.05
22 ATL 1996 64 64 0 Ind. Games 1.000 2.13 6 7 30 587.0 470 139 34 135 530 1.03
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/29/2011.

I think the Red Sox and Phillies can start printing those LDS tickets now.

38 Responses to “64+ Wins In 1st 103 Games Since 1996”

  1. BSK Says:

    I know it has been mentioned, but I don't think enough so: the Red Sox have achieved this after starting 0-6 and 2-10. They did not get above .500 until game 41.

    Now, I realize that while the start was poor, its potential for impact was overstated because it came at the beginning of the season. All teams have bad stretches. They might not be as bad as 0-6 or 2-10, but they happen. We just notice them more when they happen to start the season. So, yea, I get that it is something we shouldn't obsess over. But how many people were writing them off, citing all the only-Y-teams-have-made-the-playoffs-after-starting-suchandsuch stats, etc, etc, etc. An amazingly low amount of crow is being feasted upon, surprisingly.

  2. Downpuppy Says:

    Nothing after the first 3 columns makes any sense.

  3. BSK Says:


    That is the stats from the wins only.

  4. Mart Says:

    And yet they may not win the division as the Yanks are only 3 back!

  5. RobMer Says:

    So what you're saying is that in just about every year, some team, or teams, have accomplished this non-rare event? : -)

  6. John M Says:

    Interesting. Of the 20 teams to win 64 games in their first 103 since 1996, only 2 won the World Series. The 2005 White Sox and the 1998 Yankees.

  7. John M Says:

    BSK - even with the remarkable accomplishment of wins (I am a Bosox fan, btw), my comment above should temper enthusiasm yet. Lots of work yet to be done.

  8. BSK Says:

    John M-

    Indeed, though even if they lose the Division they are primed for the Wild Card, though obviously, nothing is set in stone. I just think all the people who indulged in the idiocy of making sweeping declarations after 6 or 12 games should come out and say they were wrong. Fat chance.

  9. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @1/ BSK Says: "I know it has been mentioned, but I don't think enough so: the Red Sox have achieved this after starting 0-6 and 2-10..."

    Yes, and since that 2-10 start, they have played about .680% (62W-29L). Pretty impressive, considering that they have not had Lester and Buchholz in the rotation from significant chunks of time. That offense can cover up a number of sub-standard starting pitching performances.

    If they continue at that pace, they will finish at 104-58.

  10. Fireworks Says:

    No one was seriously writing off the Sox. People were just created a story where there was none. I mean, I'm sure I engaged in some hyperbole but that was because of the schadenfreude and stuff and yeah. Go Yankees!

    As a Yankees fan I'd like to take note of the opposite: '09 Yanks were 38-32 after 70 games, played .707 ball the rest of the way to finish 103-59.

    Time for the AL East to produce its fifth straight (and eighth of nine) Wild Card.

    I think I especially like the appearance of the 04 and 05 Cardinals, the absence of the 06 Cardinals, and the appearance of the 06 Tigers.

    Granted, the 06 Cardinals were still 58-45 after 103 but they limped to the finish (83-78) with a 25-36 finish to their last 61 games. Meanwhile, their WS opponents, the Tigers, started 76-36, and were up 10 games in the division only to finish 19-31 in their last 50 games--first team ever to lost at least 30 of its last 50 games and make the postseason, or so I remember hearing.

    The Twins beat out the Tigers for the division, finishing a game up, and were actually 10.5 back the day they lost the first of a three-game set to the Tigers to put the Tigers up 10 over the White Sox. The Tigers were still up one with five games to play, after the Twins failed to capitalize on several opportunities to take the division lead in the previous week or so. Then the Tigers lost five straight to end the season, including a sweep by the Royals in Comerica. The Twins couldn't quite play poorly enough to avoid going 2-3 to win the division by a single game.

    The 2006 World Series was the battle of two teams that took August and September off. Fitting that the Tigers picked it up in winning the AL crown but then threw it away (literally) in the World Series.

  11. Fireworks Says:

    P.S. No one better point out that the Red Sox fell apart like--can I still use the phrase "fell apart like a Chinese motorcycle"?--anyway, the Sox fell apart after getting swept in a four-game set in August by the Yanks. I knew the division race was over then and paid attention to things other than baseball. Anyway, no one better point out that the Tigers free-fall and the Twins 'apathy' toward capturing the division title still didn't leave either of them with anything but the remotest shot of not making the postseason the last couple weeks because the AL East was missing a juggernaut that season and failed to contend for the wild card in 2006 (or capture it) that single year from 2003-2010.

    Because that messes up the narrative I was spinning a bit.


  12. howard rosen Says:

    I agree w/RobMer @5. This is so unsurprising it is hardly worth a mention.

  13. Eric W. Says:

    @5, 12

    Personally stats like this are pretty interesting simply because they only happen to 1 or 2 teams per year. It doesn't make it a rare statistical anomaly but it makes it a truly difficult and impressive accomplishment at this point in the season.

    Also, you can see from this list why it sucks to be a Jays fan these days 🙁

  14. Neil L. Says:

    Eric W., where have you been in BBRef until now? I try to keep my Toronto colors well-hidden.

    What Steve's list is telling us, I think, is what teams have had a 0.621 or greater winning percentage over their first 103 games. Not an incrediblly rare event, but noteworthy in light of the Red Soz slow start.

    And I agree with BSK, @1, that it was a big deal in the media that Boston started 0-6.

    BSK, I think that the reason people were quick to write the Bosox off this year is, sorry about this, but they are one of the teams that, outside of the Fenway faithful, people love to hate.

  15. BSK Says:

    Neil L-

    Fully recognized. I wasn't bothered about it from a "How dare you speak ill of my team!" perspective. The fact is, they did suck those first few weeks and deserved criticism. But it was two weeks. What really bothered me was the general idiocy around people who insisted there was simply no way for them to make the playoffs and that every offseason move was obviously a failure. I don't mind people being critical or people who are smart and are proven wrong. What I mind is people who are dumb and go silent when their dumbness is exposed.

    I also am probably come off far more upset about this. I just think it is interesting that alot of people act like those first two weeks and all the reporting that surrounded it never happened.

  16. Steve Lombardi Says:

    Actually - the point of this one was in my closing: "I think the Red Sox and Phillies can start printing those LDS tickets now" as - per recent history - just about every team that had a W% of .620+ after 103 games seems to make the post-season.

  17. Neil L. Says:

    Steve, thanks for the clarification. Amazing how off-base I can get. I didn't catch the correlation with post-season appearances. I thought it had to do with team pitching prowess.

  18. Thomas Court Says:


    The 1998 Yankees staggered out of the starting gate as well. They began the season 1-4, having been outscored by a total of 36-15.

    From that point until game 103 they went 75-23 - winning their games at a .765 clip.

  19. Thomas Court Says:


    Just out of curiosity BSK, where did you stand when Boston was 2-10? Did you think they would make the playoffs? Did you think they would have a turnaround - but not a good enough one to make up for the slow start?

    Post #1 - You lament the amazingly low amount of "crow that is being feasted upon."
    Post #8 - You remarked about people's "idiocy" and again called people to come and confess it.
    Post #15 - You rue the idiocy of people "who are dumb and go silent when their dumbness is exposed."

    You cannot call out all the people who believed the Sox were done after the first two weeks in 3 different posts without once mentioning how you felt about their chances at the time. Also in your last post you mention that you are not as upset as you appear to be. I hope so, because you appear VERY upset.

    For the record, I knew that they were a lot better than their record at the time, but I was not sure they could overcome such a slow stretch to start the season.

  20. JoeThunder Says:

    I said it before the season started and I'm saying it now, the 2011 WS will be between the Red Sox and the Phillies. Now here me out, I am a die hard Yankee fan and despise both teams mentioned, but there is no way in hell that these 2 teams are not meeting in the WS after all the moves both teams have made in this recent stretch. In recent years everyone was sick of just seeing the Yanks in the WS. Now we get to see the Sox and Phils for the 3rd time each in under a decade. They have to play each other, it's inevitable.

  21. RobMer Says:

    @1 BSK wrote..."I know it has been mentioned, but I don't think enough so: the Red Sox have achieved this after starting 0-6 and 2-10."

    Interesting, I have the exact opposite reaction. I reguarly hear it mentioned that the Red Sox are playing xxx% baseball since their poor start. I think that's entirely overblown and isn't even worth a passing mention.

    Baseball is a game of winnings streaks, losing streaks, and for lack of a better term, mediocre streaks. The mixture of the three comprise a team's season. The better teams have more substantial winning streaks and shorter losing streaks, to balance out the mediocrity. The fact that one of the Sox's weak points happened at the start of the season doesn't make it any less important than if it happened a month in. It's simply part of the mixture of the season. They hit a rough patch toward the end of interleague play. Doesn't mean anything. It's just part of the season.

    The Red Sox are what they are. As the 2011 season is just about to enter August, they are a first-place team, playing .620-something ball. No need to inflate the team beyong their overall winning percentage y somehow positioning those first twelve games as less important or representative of the team. They are going to hit a rough patch or two or three during the season. Just so happened one of them occurred at the start of the season.

  22. BSK Says:


    I knew that 12 games was 12 games and that most teams go through rough stretches. Obviously, I wasn't happy with the start. But I didn't really think differently of their chances. If something went horribly wrong, like Gonzalez and Pedroia running head first into each other and getting knocked out for the season, that would have changed my view. If the bad start stretched longer, beyond the end of April, I would have thought differently. But 12 bad games is a bad two week stretch and nothing more. It was just more pronounced because it was the beginning of the season. I am a firm believer in Keith Law's "arbitrary end points" argument, which basically states that you can use arbitrary end points to make any player or team look awesome or terrible.


    As I noted later, the frustration I expressed in my initial post was A) overstated and B) misstated. Yes, you are right that people have mentioned the pace they've maintained since the bad start. But how many people who pronounced them dead in the water have come out and said, "Not only was I proven wrong, but the logic I used to draw my conclusion was flawed." Maybe that is expecting too much from the tone of analysis we see nowadays (both in sports and elsewhere), but a man can dream, can't he? And, again, I don't apply this only to the Red Sox. I am critical of any conclusion drawn upon poor or insufficient evidence.

  23. Mike L Says:

    So, and I'm just throwing this out there, with the Phillies having just made a trade for Hunter Pence, how many special favors and "stop the clocks" will Bud need to grant the Red Sox at this year's trading deadline?
    Inquiring minds are intrigued.

  24. BSK Says:

    Is there much out there to get? Besides the SD relievers, there really is very little left worth trading for, unless you believe that Ubaldo is available and my feeling is that the Rockies demands are deliberately prohibitively expensive. I don't know that I see the Sox making a move for a reliever, so unless they have a more minor move in mind, I'm guessing they stand pat.

    But, should they decide that they want or need to make a move, they probably have at least another week on Selig's "special" calendar.

  25. Tommy Says:

    when was the last time a player was traded in the middle of an inning like that?

  26. Freud Says:

    Because 103 games is the usual benchmark for milestones.

  27. Peter Crapo Says:

    @6, 16... Okay, since the Phillies and the Red Sox are looking like good bets to post their league's best regular season record, I wondered how many times since MLB's 1994 three division/ wildcard restructure had the two teams from each league made the Series to face each other... and all I could find was the '95 Series with Cleveland v. Atlanta, and the '99 Series with New York v. Atlanta. The N.L. hasn't seen their best regular season team go to the Series since the '04 Cardinals. So, like the Giants in '63 and the Phils in '64, resist the temptation to ink up the presses for a bit...

  28. DavidRF Says:

    Best Records after 103 games by teams that missed the postseason
    73-30 BRO-1942
    68-34 NYY-1954
    68-35 PHA-1925
    68-35 SFG-1993
    68-35 LAD-1962
    67-35 CHC-1909
    67-35 BRO-1951
    67-35 NYG-1906
    66-36 DET-1950
    66-36 STL-1941
    66-36 CHC-1912
    66-37 CHC-1937
    66-37 BOS-1939
    66-37 PHA-1928

  29. Neil L. Says:

    DavidRF, thanks for the digging. Lack of post-season play has only happened once in the divisional era. It is exceedingly rare!

    Steve is looking more and more like a genius with his LDS tickets part of the blog.

    @23 "Is there much out there to get? "
    BSK, the Rangers, Brewers, and Yankees have been suspiciously quiet so far. There are minor pieces out there to be had.

    Based on past history, it is interesting that the Yankees are appearing to stand pat. Perhaps they are conceding first to Boston and are not feeling pressured at all to hold on to the wild card. But, if I were a Yankees fan, I would have grave concerns about going into the post-season with that rotation.

    Sabithia and pray for three days of rain? 🙂

  30. Victor Q Says:

    At this point we can safely say the following about teams that win +64 of the games at the 103-game mark, their goal defined:

    10% have won the World Series.
    20% have been League Champions. (World Series Runner Up)
    35% have been LCS Runner Up.
    30% have been Division Champions.
    5% have been Wild Card.

    So it's a safe bet that these two teams at least will make it to the LDS. Although, the safer bet is LCS.

  31. Mike L Says:

    Yankees have problems that aren't easily fixed by what's out there right now. It's probably best for them to use their farm system rather than trade it. Red Sox don't need much at all-Theo is very opportunistic, so he will buy cheap at the end. I guess we will see

  32. Neil L. Says:

    Mike L, Jamie Shields to replace Phil Hughes or Freddy Garcia in the rotation?

  33. Mike L Says:

    Neil L. Hmmm. Couldn't hurt, but they would have to sign over their entire farm system and agree to pay for it for the next ten years. And Bud would insist on counting that towards luxury tax.

  34. Mike L Says:

    Theo strikes. Harden for not too much. The disposable Lars Anderson and a player to me named. The man has talent.

  35. Dave Says:

    How about a chart that shows teams that have won 64 of their first 103 games after a 0-6 or 2-10 start (or worse) like Boston has done, how long would that list be?

  36. Neil L. Says:

    Mike L., AA, in Toronto, is the new Theo. And he's younger.

  37. Mike L Says:

    @34 Neil-AA is very good-he's offloaded extremely well. Theo is still the champ. He paid very little for Bedard, and Fields and Aviles were very good pickups. Kudos to Cashman this time for not paying a higher price than anyone else would have had to for a piece that really wouldn't have changed much.

  38. Larry R. Says:

    The '73 Reds went 60-43 on their way to a 99-63 finish. LCS...lost to the 82-79 Mets. You can print those LDS tix but I'd wait on printing the LCS & WS ones.