The Phillies are limping home after another rough west coast trip. It started out well enough, winning the first two in Colorado, but after losing the finale there, they proceeded to get swept in San Francisco.
The series was the 700th between the Phillies and Giants franchises, dating back 1883. That’s the third most the Phillies have played against any single opponent, but nevertheless they have lost more series against the Giants than against any other franchise:
This was fitting in one way, at least. The Giants and Dodgers’ move to the west coast in 1958 was a huge development in the history of baseball. From the Phillies’ inception in 1883 through 1957, when the Giants and Dodgers played their last season in New York, the Phillies played 3,336 series, against all opponents combined.
Since 1958, when the two teams moved west, coming into this series at Oracle Park the Phillies had played exactly the same number of series, 3,336.
And now with this series against the Giants, for the first time ever the Phils have played more series since that move west, than they did before the move.
The sweep was the Phillies’ 158th at the hands of the Giants, and that is also the most by any opponent. The Giants and Dodgers share the lead for the biggest advantage in sweeps, both having the brooms to the Phillies 81 more times than the Phils have swept them:
As bad as they’ve done on the west coast, they did even worse against the Giants and Dodgers when they were in New York, though that likely says more about how bad the Phillies were in the 1920s through the ‘40s, than it does about the west coast.
Other sweeps trivia
In the Phillies’ 140 full seasons in their history, they have only had one season in which they did not get swept once: the magical 1993. According to MLBSweeps, which begins tracking sweeps in 1961, since that year there have only been four other teams to accomplish the feat: the 1992 Blue Jays, 1998 Padres, and the Braves of both 2002 and 2004.
The Phils also joined a select group for an odd occurrence — in 2004 they became one of only seven teams in history to either sweep or be swept in 7 straight series. Starting on August 13th, they were swept by the Giants and Astros, swept the Brewers, were swept (again) by the Astros, swept the Brewers (again), were swept by the Braves, and swept the Mets. Not included in the midst of all that was also a single makeup game at the White Sox.
A (now) familiar pattern
In yesterday’s Rise and Phight, MoButterMakerBlues pointed out “This could be the second road trip in a row in which the Phillies won the first 2 games and lost the final 4.”
Looking back, this particular pattern had never happened in two straight Phillies road trips.
In fact, a 6-game road trip with 2 wins followed by 4 losses had only happened 5 times in all of Phillies history:
And then yesterday’s loss not only completed the sweep at the hands of the Giants, but also the “win 2-lose 4” pattern.
Over their entire history the Phillies have had 212 six-game road trips, and only 6 of those 212 have had that pattern:
3 of them in the first 208 (over 139+ years), and then...
3 of them in the last 4 (over 8 months)
Similarly, Missing Jamie Moyer said in today’s R&P “I can’t remember a season this streaky in my lifetime. This is their 5th streak of 4 or more wins or losses already and it’s not even June yet.”
One way to look at that is that 23 of the first 43 games have been a part of a win or loss streak of 4 games or more. That seems like a lot, but how rare is that? And the answer is that it is in fact pretty rare.
There have only been 16 seasons in Phillies history with 23 or more of the first 43 games in streaks of 4+.
And 8 of those 16 were exactly 23. There have only been eight seasons in Phillies history with more than 23 games in streaks that long, and the last time that happened was 53 years ago (1970).
But to MJM’s main point, how rare are 5 streaks of 4+ wins or losses? Now that’s extremely rare — the Phillies had only done it 3 times before, and the last one was 110 years ago (1913). The only other two times were in 1884 and 1896. They’ve never had more than 5 such streaks in the first 43.
And if you thought all of that was random, well we left the randomest for last.
Bryce Harper has had a single hit in each of the last three games, and now sits at 1,395 games played, and 1,395 hits.
That happens to be (as of now) the third highest hit total of anyone with exactly the same number of hits as games played:
The names very quickly get very obscure as we get past Jorge Cantu.
That’s all for now, let’s hope the off-days start getting less frequent, and the same with Phillies losses.