Xander Bogaerts has both extended and taken away streaks for Beat the Streak players this week.Boston's rising shortstop went hitless on Friday night, snapping his 26-game hit streak and proving once again just how hard it is to beat Joe DiMaggio's record 56-game run in 1941. Three BTS participants learned the same lesson,
Xander Bogaerts has both extended and taken away streaks for Beat the Streak players this week.
Boston's rising shortstop went hitless on Friday night, snapping his 26-game hit streak and proving once again just how hard it is to beat Joe DiMaggio's record 56-game run in 1941. Three BTS participants learned the same lesson, as each of their 40-plus-game runs came to an end with Bogaerts' 0-for-3 night.
But on Saturday, Bogaerts rebounded with a 3-for-4 performance in Boston's 6-4 win over Toronto, thereby extending the streak of participant Charles Bresnahan, who plays under the handle "chuckbinsc," to 41 games. The Red Sox fan has the longest current streak of any BTS player, and he's accumulated it largely by picking from his favorite team. "Chuckbinsc" reached 40 games by picking Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia on Friday -- the seventh time he's picked Pedroia this year -- and extended his streak to 41 on Saturday by moving one spot across the diamond and picking the American League's hits leader in Bogaerts.
Bresnahan, 61, lives in Scituate, Mass., and started playing BTS this year. He was introduced to the game by his cousin, Wally, who plays under the name "SoxDodger0107." It's his first and only streak.
"I try to use players who are at the beginning of the batting order for more at-bats and avoid those who walk a lot, intentional or otherwise," Bresnahan said.
Meanwhile, fellow BTS participant "peterose4477" is sitting on a 40-game streak after sitting out the past two nights. The actual Pete Rose was the last man to seriously threaten DiMaggio's mark when he hit safely in 44 straight games during the 1978 season.
Both streakers are roughly 70 percent of the way to the target of 57 consecutive correct picks -- one more than DiMaggio -- and therefore the $5.6 million grand prize. In the 15 years since Beat the Streak launched in 2001, no one has won the grand prize.
Beat the Streak is completely free and takes only 15 seconds a day to play. Returning options for players include the "Double Down," in which fans can pick two hitters in one day and have a chance to extend their streak by two, and the "Mulligan," which gives fans a do-over when their streaks are between 10 and 15 games long. Fans can also use such filters as batting order position, handedness, cold opposing pitchers and more to help streamline their decision-making process. Best of all, BTS players can take as many days off as they want during a streak if the matchups aren't attractive, as long as they reach 57 by season's end.
Even with those tools at their disposal, however, "chuckbinsc" and "peterose4477" could find the next few weeks challenging -- assuming their streaks keep going.
If no one wins the grand prize this season, the player with the longest streak gets a $10,000 consolation prize. Two million other prizes also were given out last year, for streaks as small as five.
Having a BTS player topple the marvelous mark of 56 would be particularly fitting this season -- the 75th anniversary of DiMaggio's hitting streak, which began on May 15, 1941, and is being honored with daily recaps on MLB.com and @TheStreak on Twitter.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.