As we await Danny Duffy news, a note about teams that've lost 12 in a row that will surprise you
The Kansas City Star
The 1987 Brewers had a future manager at shortstop (Dale Sveum), an all-or-nothing slugger in left (Rob Deer struck out 186 times), an aging DH (Cecil Cooper’s last season), a Hall of Famer in center (Robin Yount) and plainly no identity.
I “discovered” these Brewers while trying to find out the best team to have lost 12 games in a row. You can figure why I did this, of course, because the Royals are 10-6 since their 12-game losing streak and 13-8 overall outside their two-week nightmare.
Their biggest issue at the moment is Danny Duffy’s left elbow, but since we don’t know much right now, I thought it’d be interesting to look into the history of teams bad enough to lose 12 games in a row.
Turns out there are 20 teams that’ve lost 12 games in a row since the Royals joined the American League in 1969. This year’s Royals are trying to become just the third to finish above .500.
The 1970 Cubs on Ron Santo and Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins did it, but the ‘87 Brewers might be the most interesting bunch.
Their game-by-game results are a wild swing from one lane to the other, like a five-year-old trying to navigate a racing video game. Check it out:
They started the season 13-0 and 17-1, and were 20-3 and five games up in AL East^ when the losing started. Their slide included a three-game sweep in Kansas City — the Royals won on an error in the bottom of the ninth, a 13-0 blowout where Frank White had three doubles and four RBIs, and on a Danny Tartabull home run in the bottom of the eighth — and left them 20-15 and three games back.
^ This was a long time ago, huh?
But wait, there’s more.
The Brewers broke the 12 straight losses with two wins, but then lost six more in a row — the same team won 17 of 18 and then lost 18 of 20, all within the first 43 games of the season.
Then they immediately won six more in a row.
The Brewers were pretty good the rest of the season. Only two four-game losing streaks but four five-game winning streaks.
So if the Royals are going to wear the crown as the best team to have lost 12 games in a row, they’ll have to win at least 92 games.
And I think Royals fans would take that.
Anyway, here’s the list of the 19 other teams to have lost 12 games in a row in the same season since 1969:
1987 Brewers: 91-71
1970 Cubs: 84-78
2004 Orioles: 78-84
2002 Mets: 75-86
2008 Royals: 75-87
1989 Mariners: 73-89
1993 Reds: 73-89
2004 Rays: 70-91
1997 Royals: 67-94
2004 Brewers: 67-94
2002 Orioles: 67-95
1982 Rangers: 64-98
2008 Mariners: 61-101
2008 Nationals: 59-102
1989 Tigers: 59-103
1980 Mariners: 59-103
2010 Pirates: 57-105
1976 Expos: 55-107
1996 Tigers: 53-109