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Winning 5 Straight Games on a Road Trip


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#1 Eric Van


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Posted 12 June 2011 - 06:53 AM

It's happened twice already this year -- which matches the total of the previous seven seasons.

It's happened 31 times in the 45 seasons starting since 1967.

They've won the first 5 games of a road trip just 15 times in 45 years (red).

They've won 5 straight on a road trip as part of an overall streak of 8 or more just 9 times (bold).

They've won 5 straight on a road trip against competition that averaged .500 or better just 6 times (underlined) -- twice in the 36 pre-Theo years, 4 times in the 9 Theo seasons (assuming the Yankees don't seriously collapse the rest of the way).

This is only the second time the last two things have both been true, let alone all three, but the opponents that time (1982) averaged just .503.

So, if you were asking the question, when was the last time they won 8 straight including 5 on the road against competition this good, the answer would appear to be, not in my memory (or yours, either, probably).

In this expanded table, DoD is Degree of Difficulty, the chance an average club would have of winning all of the games of the streak, on the road, against opponents of that quality. Pyth is adjusted for opponent quality. And Score compares the streaks to one another and is based on 40% DoD, 40% Pyth, and 20% total Streak length.


Five Straight Road Trip Wins
Year Games Strk Start End Victims Their Win% Ave DoD RS/G RA/G Marg Pyth Before and after Score
2011 6 9 7-Jun 12-Jun NYA (3), Tor (3) .569, .483 .526 .0057 10.0 3.2 6.8 .903 3 H W, A L 2.8
2011 5 5 20-Apr 24-Apr Oak (1), LAA (4) .412, .478 .465 .0269 5.0 1.6 3.4 .877 A L, A L 0.4
2010 5 5 22-May 26-May Phi (2), TB (3) .599, .593 .595 .0059 6.4 1.4 5.0 .961 A L, H L 2.5
2005 6 7 20-Jun 26-Jun Cle (3), Phi (3) .574, .543 .559 .0037 8.5 4.0 4.5 .836 H W, H L 1.7
2003 5 5 8-Jul 12-Jul Tor (3), Det (2) .531, .265 .425 .0358 5.2 2.8 2.4 .699 A L, A L -2.1
2003 5 5 1-Sep 6-Sep Phi (1), ChA(2), NYA (2) .531, .531, .623 .568 .0082 8.0 3.4 4.6 .865 H L, A L 1.3
2002 5 6 16-Apr 21-Apr Tor (2), KC (3) .481, .383 .422 .0406 9.6 3.0 6.6 .863 H W, A L -0.3
2002 7 9 3-May 9-May TB (4), Oak (3) .342, .636 .468 .0046 6.1 3.4 2.7 .721 2 H W, A L 0.9
2002 5 5 20-Sep 24-Sep Bal (4), ChA (1) .414, .500 .431 .0375 5.8 2.0 3.8 .845 H L, A L -0.5
2001 5 5 3-Oct 6-Oct TB (1), Bal (4) .383, .391 .389 .0563 6.4 2.6 3.8 .771 A L, EOS -2.4
2000 5 6 11-May 15-May Bal (4), Tor (1) .457, .512 .466 .0128 8.6 1.4 7.2 .962 H W, A L 2.3
1999 5 5 5-Apr 10-Apr KC (3), TB (2) .398, .481 .426 .0207 4.8 1.6 3.2 .850 SOS, A L 0.4
1996 5 6 7-Jul 14-Jul Bal (1), ASB, Det (4) .543, .327 .370 .0635 9.0 4.2 4.8 .707 A L, H W -3.2
1995 5 12 3-Aug 7-Aug Det (1), Tor (4) .417, .389 .395 .0537 7.4 2.8 4.6 .797 A L, 7 H W -0.2
1995 6 6 19-Aug 24-Aug Sea (2), Cal (3), Oak (1) .545, .538, .465 .528 .0057 7.0 4.7 2.3 .703 A L, A L -0.1
1994 5 7 27-Apr 1-May Oak (2), Cal (3) .447, .409 .424 .0405 5.0 1.4 3.6 .886 A L, 2 H W 0.2
1994 5 5 20-Jun 25-Jun Tor (3), Mil (2) .478, .461 .471 .0253 6.8 3.0 3.8 .802 A L, A L -0.3
1990 7 10 24-Aug 30-Aug Tor (3), Cle(4) .531, .475 .499 .0038 5.4 1.7 3.7 .894 A L, 3 H W 3.1
1986 5 5 7-May 11-May Sea (2), Oak (3) .414, .469 .447 .0322 6.8 4.0 2.8 .683 H L, A L -2.0
1982 5 8 23-Apr 26-Apr Tor (3), ChA (2) .481, .537 .503 .0178 5.2 3.4 1.8 .690 2 H W, 1 H W -0.4
1981 5 5 6-May 11-May KC (1), Tor (4) .485, .349 .376 .0623 6.6 3.4 3.2 .673 A L, A L -3.8
1980 6 6 10-Jun 15-Jun Sea (2), Cal (4) .364, .406 .392 .0307 6.8 3.2 3.7 .728 A L, H L -1.2
1977 9 11 29-Jul 7-Aug Cal (3), Sea (2), Oak (4) .457, .395, .391 .414 .0037 4.0 1.7 2.3 .781 H W, H W 2.1
1977 5 5 3-Sep 6-Sep Tex (2), Tor (3) .580, .335 .433 .0330 7.0 1.4 5.6 .937 A L, A L 0.7
1976 6 7 15-Sep 20-Sep Mil (2), Det (4) .410, .460 .443 .0170 6.2 3.2 3.0 .732 A L, H W -0.2
1975 6 6 14-Jun 20-Jun KC (2), Det (3), Bal (1) .562, .358, .566 .461 .0124 7.3 3.7 3.7 .755 A L, A L 0.1
1973 5 5 4-Jul 7-Jul NYA (3), ChA (2) .494, .475 .486 .0215 4.8 2.0 2.8 .827 A L, A L 0.1
1973 5 8 20-Aug 25-Aug Tex (3), Cal (2) .352, .488 .406 .0466 7.2 4.6 2.6 .611 3 H W, A L -2.9
1969 5 8 6-May 11-May Sea (2), Cal (3) .395, .438 .421 .0418 7.4 2.8 4.6 .814 3 H W, A L -0.4
1968 5 5 5-Aug 9-Aug ChA (4), Det (1) .414, .636 .458 .0266 3.8 1.6 2.2 .807 H L, A L -0.4
1967 6 10 18-Jul 23-Jul Bal (2), Cle (4) .472, .463 .466 .0129 5.8 2.3 3.5 .826 4 H W, H L 1.8

Edited by Eric Van, 15 June 2011 - 08:14 AM.


#2 dcmissle


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Posted 12 June 2011 - 09:20 AM

It's been 34 years, but I'll never forget the 9-game west-coast sweep in 1977. Don Aase joined the rotation in July, and they took off like a rocket.

#3 bosockboy


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Posted 12 June 2011 - 09:50 AM

Moreover, out of their 64 games, they have 50 of those wins and losses from winning and losing streaks of 3 or more games. They are 34-16 in those games. Lose 3, win 5. Lose 3, win 8. Even in the midst of this great stretch, their losses were the 3 game sweep at the hands of the White Sox.

Pretty strange year, but I have a feeling the losing streaks are in the rear view mirror.

#4 syoo8

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 09:52 AM

What a cool post. Thank you Eric-- very entertaining to read this.

#5 John DiFool

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 11:47 AM

Either of two things have happened-either Theo was successful in making this team more effective on the road (i.e. Crawford), and/or this team is just really good, and they'll dominate anywhere (as has been shown for most all of the top seasonal winning teams all time).

Or it's luck of course.

Edited by John DiFool, 12 June 2011 - 11:48 AM.


#6 mikeot

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 11:57 AM

Either of two things have happened-either Theo was successful in making this team more effective on the road (i.e. Crawford), and/or this team is just really good, and they'll dominate anywhere (as has been shown for most all of the top seasonal winning teams all time).

Or it's luck of course.


I believe the evidence points to the former. Many thanks Eric, most illuminating

#7 tonyarmasjr

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 12:27 PM

Either of two things have happened-either Theo was successful in making this team more effective on the road (i.e. Crawford), and/or this team is just really good, and they'll dominate anywhere (as has been shown for most all of the top seasonal winning teams all time).

Or it's luck of course.


I happened to check out his splits earlier, wondering about this. Kind of interesting:
Home: .246/.281/.344/.625
Away: .246/.278/.444/.722

#8 Eric Van


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Posted 12 June 2011 - 05:33 PM

So,on Monday Tuesday, the Sox will be trying to go to 7-0 on a road trip -- for only the third time since 1967.

In 1977 they had outscored their opponents 28-12 in the first 6 games, and won 1-0, Luis Tiant outdueling Joe Coleman. That pushed their lead over the Yankees to 1.5 games.

In 2002, they had a 38-23 margin, and won 5-1 behind Lowe to run their record to 24-7 and maintain a 5 game lead over the Yankees, which proved to be the season high.

This time, they've outscored their (considerably better) opponents 60-19.

Edited by Eric Van, 12 June 2011 - 10:08 PM.


#9 BroodsSexton

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 07:56 PM

So,on Monday, the Sox will be trying to go to 7-0 on a road trip -- for only the third time since 1967.

In 1977 they had outscored their opponents 28-12 in the first 6 games, and won 1-0, Luis Tiant outdueling Joe Coleman. That pushed their lead over the Yankees to 1.5 games.

In 2002, they had a 38-23 margin, and won 5-1 behind Lowe to run their record to 24-7 and maintain a 5 game lead over the Yankees, which proved to be the season high.

This time, they've outscored their (considerably better) opponents 60-19.

How about (run differential) / (# of games) as a metric of domination. I wonder what the highest ratio is out there over a similar period of games.

#10 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 12 June 2011 - 09:51 PM

So,on Monday, the Sox will be trying to go to 7-0 on a road trip -- for only the third time since 1967.

You think they're so hot they can win on an off day? I don't think I'd go quite that far. Posted Image

#11 Eric Van


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Posted 12 June 2011 - 10:07 PM

You think they're so hot they can win on an off day? I don't think I'd go quite that far. Posted Image

Tell that to Pedroia. :)

I've clearly got household chores I'm avoiding too much time on my hands -- the main list has been updated with RS/G, RA/G, and average victory margin.

Amazingly, the 6.8 margin of victory is not the all-time best; in 2000 when they swept four from the Orioles and won the first game in Toronto, they outscored them 43-7. But those teams weren't nearly as good, and the streaks (road and overall) were of course shorter.

The other amazing thing is that the second lowest RS/G figure is the 1977 perfect West Coast trip (and only 1968 is lower).

#12 joyofsox


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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:47 PM

Moreover, out of their 64 games, they have 50 of those wins and losses from winning and losing streaks of 3 or more games. They are 34-16 in those games. Lose 3, win 5. Lose 3, win 8. Even in the midst of this great stretch, their losses were the 3 game sweep at the hands of the White Sox.

Pretty strange year, but I have a feeling the losing streaks are in the rear view mirror.


It does seem a bit odd to look at:

LLLLLL
W
L
W
LLL
WWW
L
WWWWW
LL
W
LL
WWW
LLL
WWW
LL
WWWWWWW
L
W
L
WWWWW
LLLL
WWWWWWWWW


#13 joyofsox


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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:55 PM

In 1939, the Red Sox won the first 12 games of a 22-game (!) road trip (July 4-23).

They finished with a 17-5 record.

#14 Al Zarilla


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 04:15 PM

In 1939, the Red Sox won the first 12 games of a 22-game (!) road trip (July 4-23).

They finished with a 17-5 record.

I had to look it up. They took the choo choo train to play the Philadelphia Athletics, then on to New York for a 5 game set the Sox swept, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, then finally the St. Louis Browns before heading home. That's a lot of hotel, restaurant and train food. Ted's rookie year also.

#15 Eric Van


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 08:29 AM

It does seem a bit odd to look at:

LLLLLL
W
L
W
LLL
WWW
L
WWWWW
LL
W
LL
WWW
LLL
WWW
LL
WWWWWWW
L
W
L
WWWWW
LLLL
WWWWWWWWW
L

That's not random. You'd expect a 39-27 team to have had 32.9 +/- 3.9 streaks rather than 23. That's 2.5 standard deviations less than expected, p = .005 (happens once in 182 trials in a random rearrangement of 39 wins and 27 losses).

Edited by Eric Van, 15 June 2011 - 08:30 AM.


#16 SumnerH


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 03:33 PM

That's not random. You'd expect a 39-27 team to have had 32.9 +/- 3.9 streaks rather than 23.


Isn't that assuming that all games have equal win/loss percentages, though? There are natural reasons that real life baseball games should show longer streaks than you'd expect from the naive assumption. Home stands and road trips are clustered, with presumably disparate odds of winning. Likewise, series are played against opponents of varying strengths. Injuries will affect contiguous blocks of games rather than random distributions. Even the cyclical nature of the rotation might lend itself toward a different distribution of streaks.

#17 Eric Van


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 06:12 PM

Isn't that assuming that all games have equal win/loss percentages, though? There are natural reasons that real life baseball games should show longer streaks than you'd expect from the naive assumption. Home stands and road trips are clustered, with presumably disparate odds of winning. Likewise, series are played against opponents of varying strengths. Injuries will affect contiguous blocks of games rather than random distributions.

Good points -- those would all cause more streakiness in baseball game logs than you'd expect from randomness.

Even the cyclical nature of the rotation might lend itself toward a different distribution of streaks.

Interesting you phrased it that way, because it seems likely that having different SPs each night of often widely varying quality would work to decrease the streakiness.

So the question is, which is the bigger factor?

It may well be the latter. The 2004 Sox had 79 streaks versus the expected 78.4 +/- 6.4. The 2007 Sox were even less streaky, with 87 versus an expected 79.2 + /6.1.

#18 jacklamabe65


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 07:02 PM

It's been 34 years, but I'll never forget the 9-game west-coast sweep in 1977. Don Aase joined the rotation in July, and they took off like a rocket.


I remember that like it was yesterday. What a bunch of mashers they were.

#19 Al Zarilla


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Posted 16 June 2011 - 10:45 PM

It's been 34 years, but I'll never forget the 9-game west-coast sweep in 1977. Don Aase joined the rotation in July, and they took off like a rocket.

It's been 34 years since Aase came up? You know how to hurt a guy. I went to the game Aase started, and won, in Oakland on August 6, 1977. He was traded in December for...

Spoiler

Edited by Al Zarilla, 16 June 2011 - 10:50 PM.