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Opening Day pitching streaks

Posted by Andy on March 31, 2010

I did some Game Finder searches using the team's first game of the season to find active streaks. As games start next week, let's see which of these streaks continue.

Most consecutive wins is 3, by Johan Santana:

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc IR IS BF AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS PO BK WP ERA WPA RE24 aLI
1 2007-04-02 MIN BAL W 7-4 GS-6 ,W 6.0 7 4 4 2 6 1 83 58 46 26 24 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 6.00 -0.093 -0.866 1.095
2 2008-03-31 NYM FLA W 7-2 GS-7 ,W 7.0 3 2 2 2 8 1 100 67 69 26 24 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2.57 0.225 1.610 .739
3 2009-04-06 NYM CIN W 2-1 GS-6 ,W 5.2 3 1 1 4 7 0 99 62 62 23 18 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.59 0.180 1.690 1.161
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 3/31/2010.

Santana is scheduled to start the Mets' first game so he has a shot at continuing the streak. Incidentally, Jake Peavy had a string of 3 straight opening day wins snapped last year.  No other pitcher has a streak going back any further than last year.

Roy Oswalt is on the other side of this equation, having lost on Opening Day each of the last 2 seasons:

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc IR IS BF AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS PO BK WP ERA WPA RE24 aLI
2 2008-03-31 HOU SDP L 0-4 GS-6 ,L 5.1 11 3 3 1 6 0 114 75 39 27 25 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 5.06 -0.115 -0.788 .894
3 2009-04-06 HOU CHC L 2-4 GS-7 ,L 7.0 7 3 3 1 2 2 93 64 52 28 26 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3.86 -0.063 0.453 .651
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 3/31/2010.

Aaron Harang has done the same:

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc IR IS BF AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS PO BK WP ERA WPA RE24 aLI
2 2008-03-31 CIN ARI L 2-4 GS-6 ,L 6.0 3 3 2 2 6 2 99 65 60 24 22 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3.00 -0.015 0.121 .684
3 2009-04-06 CIN NYM L 1-2 GS-5 ,L 5.0 7 1 1 3 2 1 114 62 48 24 21 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1.80 0.127 1.511 1.373
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 3/31/2010.

Kevin Millwood snapped a 3-year streak last season but more impressively Barry Zito snapped a 4-year streak. You've got to be pretty good to lose 4 straight Opening Day games, at least.

I'm not going to post line scores, but the only player with more than 1 consecutive Opening Day save is Jonathan Papelbon, who has saved the Red Sox openers in each of the last 2 years. Nobody has blown more than one straight save opportunity.

Taking a step back, the longest active streaks of starting on Opening Day are Roy Oswalt with 7, Roy Halladay with 7, and Carlos Zambrano with 5. The most consecutive Opening Day appearances by a reliever is 4 by Damaso Marte.

In my next post we'll look at Opening Day hitting streaks.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 at 9:13 am and is filed under Game Finders, Streak Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Opening Day pitching streaks”

  1. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    [Last year] Barry Zito snapped a 4-year [losing] streak [on Opening Day]

    During that streak Zito was awful (8.83 ERA, 1.846 WHIP), and his teams scored a grand total of two runs for him. Zito's four losses were by scores of 4-0, 15-2, 7-0, and 5-0. Lincecum won the 2009 opener; heck, let him do the honors again this year.

    Kevin Millwood snapped a personal four-game Opening Day losing streak last year when he beat the Indians. Phil Niekro's teams were 1-8 in his Opening day starts; Steve Carlton's, 4-10. Bert Blyleven's teams lost the last six of his 12 Opening Day starts.

  2. mccombe35 Says:

    Buehrle just misses out here.

    He will have his 8th opening day start (wsox record) in the last 9 years. I think '06 was the 1 year he didn't get the opening day start when Contreras was given the nod

  3. Although Marte has 4 straight opening day games.... he's worked a total of 1 inning. I guess they're saving him for later in the year... yukyukyuk