The Connecticut women's basketball team is going for an historic 100th straight win on Monday night. In honor of the Huskies' NCAA-record streak, MLB.com is looking back at some of the greatest team streaks in Major League Baseball history.This past season, the longest winning streak in the Majors belonged to
The Connecticut women's basketball team is going for an historic 100th straight win on Monday night. In honor of the Huskies' NCAA-record streak, MLB.com is looking back at some of the greatest team streaks in Major League Baseball history.
This past season, the longest winning streak in the Majors belonged to the Indians, who won 14 straight games from June 17 to July 1. It was the longest single-season winning streak in baseball in almost 15 years -- the A's, with MVP Miguel Tejada and the dominant trio of Cy Young winner Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder, won 20 consecutive games late in 2002. Oakland's streak set the American League record, and propelled the team to a 103-win season.
But what about the all-time marks? Spoiler: No MLB team has ever won 100 straight games.
Longest regular-season winning streak: 26 games -- Giants, Sept. 7-30, 1916
The Major Leagues' all-time record win streak just celebrated its 100th birthday a few months ago. In 1916, the New York Giants, managed by the legendary John McGraw, racked up 26 wins without a loss, going from 60-62 and 14 games out of first place to 23 games over .500 and five games out. But that was as close as they got to a playoff spot, and they finished fourth in the NL.
Longest postseason winning streak: 12 games -- Yankees (twice), Oct. 10, 1998 to Oct. 14, 1999 and Oct. 5, 1927 to Oct. 2, 1932
The longest win streaks in MLB playoff history belong to -- who else? -- the Yankees, who rattled off 12 straight wins in two different eras. The Babe Ruth-era Yankees had a streak during championship seasons in 1927, '28 and '32. The Yanks were loaded with Hall of Famers -- the Bambino, Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, Waite Hoyt, Lefty Gomez and Red Ruffing all chipped in.
More recently, the late-1990s Yankee dynasty won a dozen straight starting with Game 4 of the 1998 AL Championship Series, running through their World Series sweep of the Padres and continuing until Game 3 of the following year's ALCS. After finally losing a game, they then won their next six and swept a second straight World Series over the Braves.
The NL record for most consecutive postseason victories was set by the Giants, who won 10 playoff games in a row during the 2012 and '14 postseasons, part of their even-year World Series runs.
Most wins to open a season: 13 (tie) -- Brewers, 1987; Braves, 1982
The UConn women have opened this season with 24 straight wins. The MLB record for consecutive wins to open a season, by contrast, is 13, done twice in the 1980s. First was the 1982 Braves, with Joe Torre managing and eventual league MVP Dale Murphy leading the way. Atlanta went on to win the NL West, but fell to the Cardinals in the playoffs. Five years later, the 1987 Brewers started just as hot. Milwaukee had Hall of Famers Paul Molitor and Robin Yount, but missed the playoffs despite a 91-71 finish.
Most consecutive World Series championships: 5 -- Yankees, 1949-53
It only makes sense that the team with 27 World Series championships has won the most in a row. Starting in 1949, the Yankees ran off an unprecedented five straight titles, victimizing the rival Brooklyn Dodgers three times in the process, as well as the (still-New York) Giants and Phillies. Managed by Casey Stengel and with rosters including Hall of Famers Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto, Johnny Mize, Whitey Ford and eventually a young Mickey Mantle, it's no wonder New York dominated the Major Leagues.
On the NL side, only three teams have won even back-to-back World Series -- the 1907-08 Cubs (they could do it again a century later), the 1921-22 Giants and the 1975-76 "Big Red Machine" Reds.
Most consecutive postseason appearances: 14 -- Braves, 1991-2005
The 1990s saw some of the most sustained dominance in the history of the sport. From 1991 to 2005, the Braves made the playoffs every year it was played setting a Major League record -- and they won their division 14 times. (There was no postseason in 1994 due to the players' strike. The Montreal Expos finished the abbreviated season leading the NL East). The Braves' run included a World Series title in 1995.
A big reason Atlanta was held to one championship was the team on the other side -- the Yankees, who beat the Braves twice in the Fall Classic during a 13-year postseason streak of their own from 1995-2007 that set the AL record.
Most consecutive regular-season games with a home run: 27 -- Rangers, Aug. 11 to Sept. 9, 2002
The 2002 Rangers finished 72-90, but they could mash. With Alex Rodriguez -- who set the shortstop single-season record with 57 homers -- Rafael Palmeiro and Ivan Rodriguez, the Rangers homered in all 27 games they played between Aug. 11 and Sept. 9, the longest streak in Major League history.
Just last season, two teams came close to reaching Texas' mark, but fell just short. The Padres homered in 25 straight games from June 28 to July 27, and the Cardinals did the same from Aug. 9 to Sept. 6.
Most consecutive postseason games with a home run: 13 -- Astros, Oct. 12, 2001 to Oct. 21, 2004
In the playoffs, the record for most consecutive games with a home run was set by the Astros from 2001-04. That was in large part due to the individual effort of Carlos Beltran in 2004, when he homered in a then-record five straight playoff games.
Most games without being shut out: 308 -- Yankees, Aug. 3, 1931-Aug. 2, 1933
Home runs are just one way to score, though, and scoring is something the 1930s Yankees did for a more sustained period than any other team. New York scored at least one run in every game it played for two full calendar years, from August 1931 to August 1933. That 308-game regular-season stretch is by far the longest on record -- the 1978-79 Brewers are second at 212 games, and the NL record is 208, set by the 2000-01 Reds.
Most consecutive shutouts thrown: 5 (tie) -- Orioles (twice), Sept. 26 to Oct. 1, 1995 and Sept. 2-6, 1974; Cardinals, Sept. 29, 1962 to April 13, 1963
On the other side of the ball, the 1974 and '95 Orioles and the '62-63 Cardinals kept opponents scoreless for record stretches. All three teams threw five straight shutouts, although the Cardinals' streak was across two seasons. In '74, the O's streak came from its vaunted rotation led by Jim Palmer, Dave McNally and Mike Cuellar. In '95, it was thanks to Mike Mussina and Kevin Brown, who combined for three of the five shutouts. Ironically, the Cardinals' shutouts were thrown by three different pitchers -- and none were Bob Gibson.
Most games without allowing a home run (live-ball era): 35 -- Reds, Aug. 30, 1921 to April 20, 1922
In the dead-ball era (pre-1920), teams routinely went long stretches without allowing any home runs. But in the live-ball era, those extended runs aren't as common. The Reds had the longest, 35 games from 1921-22, just as power was starting to boom across baseball.
To go one step further: Since the mound was lowered to 10 inches in 1968, the best homerless streak by a pitching staff is 23 games, set by the 1969 Mets, who won their first World Series on the strength of a rotation led by Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman.
Most consecutive 10-plus-strikeout games, regular season: 8 (tie) -- Indians, Sept. 16-23, 2014; Brewers, Aug. 20-28, 2012
Limiting homers and piling up strikeouts are good signs for pitchers, and on the second count, the 2012 Brewers and '14 Indians went on some impressive runs. Both teams struck out double-digit batters in eight straight games, the longest regular-season streaks on the books. The Indians' impressive trio of Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar led the way, starting six of the eight games. The Brewers' workhorse in 2012 was Yovani Gallardo, with Zack Greinke traded to the Angels before the streak.
Most consecutive 10-plus strikeout games, postseason: 11 -- Dodgers, Oct. 7, 2014 to Oct. 13, 2016
Here, the postseason streak outdoes its regular-season counterpart, and looking at the team and its pitchers, it's easy to see why. Before the streak ended against the Cubs in the 2016 NLCS, Dodgers pitchers notched 10-plus K's in 11 straight postseason games going back to 2014.
Clayton Kershaw started five of those games, and famously closed out a sixth, the winner-take-all Game 5 of last year's NLDS. Greinke started two of the others, as did Rich Hill. And Kenley Jansen came out of the bullpen seven times. Of course, opponents had trouble putting the bat on the ball.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.