This playoff skid worst in US sports history

September 29th, 2020

The Twins extended their Major League-record postseason losing streak to 17 games with their 4-1 loss to the Astros on Tuesday afternoon at Target Field in Game 1 of the American League Wild Card Series.

The 17 consecutive losses are not only an MLB postseason record but also marks the longest playoff skid in any of the four major North American sports. The Twins entered this postseason tied for the longest such streak with the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks, who dropped 16 in a row from 1975-79. As for Major League Baseball, the second-longest postseason losing streak belongs to the Red Sox, who dropped 13 straight from 1986-95.

Minnesota last won a postseason game on Oct. 5, 2004, when the Twins shut out the Yankees, 2-0, in Game 1 of the AL Division Series. They've gone 0-17 since, all while being outscored by 57 runs (104-47) -- including 42-14 in the seventh inning or later. All but two big league teams have won a playoff game during that stretch, with the Mariners and Marlins (who play Game 1 of their National League Wild Card Series against the Cubs on Wednesday) being the lone exceptions.

Tuesday's loss also marked the 14th consecutive postseason game in which the Twins were held to four runs or fewer. The only team with a longer streak in postseason history is the Dodgers, who went 18 straight games without scoring five or more runs from 1916-47 when the franchise was based in Brooklyn.

"We have a lot of guys in the clubhouse, but I’d say the vast majority of them don’t know the Twins’ history at all," manager Rocco Baldelli said. "The people on this call certainly follow those types of things pretty closely. I’m sure the fan base does, too, one way or the other, but the players don’t. So no, I don’t think there’s really anything to talk about. I think if I brought that up, they’d probably look at me funny and wonder what the hell I was saying.”