As the Pacific Coast League season winds down to the final weeks, there are an unusual number of teams on long streaks.
Leading the way are the Fresno Grizzlies, who have lost one game in the past three weeks.
The Houston Astros affiliate entered Saturday’s game on a franchise-record tying 11-game win streak and are 19-1 in August. The Grizzlies’ one loss this month was to Sacramento on Aug. 9.
“We’re having fun and playing good baseball right now,” manager Tony DeFrancesco told the Fresno Bee. “I’ve always said winning is contagious. It’s become that way.”
Fresno has an MVP candidate in third baseman Matt Duffy, who has been with the club all season. Duffy was batting .311 with 17 home runs and a league-leading 99 RBIs.
As Fresno keeps winning, second-place Sacramento can only wonder what it has to do to catch up.
The River Cats have won a franchise record 12 games in a row, a streak that was still alive going into Saturday night. During its winning streak, Sacramento has gained exactly one game in the standings.
Other teams are streaking, too.
In the Pacific-South, El Paso went on an eight-game winning streak which ended Friday night. The Chihuahuas briefly knocked Las Vegas out of first place, but the 51s regained the top spot by a half-game with an 8-3 win over Omaha on Friday. The division title will likely come down to a head-to-head, four-game series which starts in Las Vegas on August 31.
Then there is New Orleans.
The Miami Marlins affiliate had lost 13 consecutive games — a franchise record — going into Saturday night. And it gets worse: the Zephyrs have lost 21 of their past 23 games, falling to 51-76 on the season. New Orleans was only six games under .500 when the slide began.
M’s Affiliate On Pace For Historic Low
The Clinton LumberKings have been a member of the Midwest League since 1954, but originated in 1937, when they joined the Three I League as a Brooklyn Dodgers affiliate.
Now a Seattle Mariners’ Single-A club, Clinton is on pace to break a dubious franchise record: most losses in a single season.
Clinton entered Saturday’s game against Cedar Rapids with a 39-83 record, and 17 games remaining on the schedule.
The LumberKings’ worst season ever came in 2006, when the then-Texas Rangers affiliate went 45-94.
To beat that mark, Clinton would have to go 7-10 over its final 17 games — a difficult task for a club that is 13-40 in the second half of the season, and hasn’t won more than two consecutive games since May 25.
The LumberKings have the worst record among all professional full-season teams in the major and minor leagues.
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.