Posted by Andy on January 27, 2010
Here are some streaks for the 2009 season using the team streak finders on the Play Index.
Longest consecutive game streaks without being shut out by the opposition:
Minnesota's 101 game streak sounds pretty impressive until you see that they went just 51-50 over that span. Obviously, getting shut out means necessarily a loss (or I guess a tie is possible, eh Commissioner Selig?) so I would have thought that such a long streak with no shutouts would put a decent team at at least a few games above .500. The Phillies and Angels streaks really jump out as those teams went .603 and .652 respectively.
Now here are the most times in a row in 2009 that a team got shut out:
So on twenty occasions a team suffered consecutive shutouts. Cleveland appears twice on the list, as do the New York Mets, the Astros, and the Braves. The Pirates pulled off the hat trick. Seriously, can you imagine your team getting shutout twice in a row three different times in the same season? I guess Pirates fans don't have to imagine it. Entry #7 on the list is memorable for both Red Sox and Yankees fans as the back-t0-back shutouts of Boston were a big help for the Yankees winning the division. As you can see from coolstandings.com, the Yankees odds of winning the division went from 60.3% before those two games to 72.2% in the immediate aftermath. Those are pretty meaningful games for early August.
In 2009, it happened only 18 times that a given team pitched a shutout in two consecutive games. Some of those occurrences are shown on the table above but here is the full list:
The White Sox did it twice, as did the Tigers. The Giants also managed the trick, pitching back-to-back shutouts twice in a week. Very impressive.
Finally, here are the longest streaks in 2009 where a team failed to pitch a shutout:
This list is kind of interesting. At first it's not surprising to see teams like Baltimore, KC, and Pittsburgh on there. They weren't very good teams and they had bad records over the length of these games (although keep in mind they must have won the games right before and right after the streak, so you can add two more wins.) But then we see a good team like Boston here as well, going a good 33-24 over their own 57-game streak. Add in their two more bookend wins and that's +11 record-wise over a little more than a third of the season, good for a record of about 96-66 if over en entire year.
I guess this goes to show that shutouts aren't all that important. Certainly they are an indicator of the strength of a team's offense or pitching but not a particularly good indicator.