What a difference a few weeks can make in baseball. We say that often, but it has a specifically-true ring to it concerning the exploits of the 2021 Oakland Athletics. You see, the A's won. Again. They beat the Orioles, 3-1.
It wasn't an overly exciting game or anything. It was just the A's, in general, playing winning baseball. The pitching was on point. They got mostly good defense. They got a few timely hits. Ramon Laureano went deep. It was a victory and that's really all that matters.
Remember, the A's were miserable to start the season. They were 0-6 and then 1-7. They haven't lost since. The streaking A's have ripped off 12 consecutive wins. Anecdotally-speaking, it's not rare to see the A's get on a hot streak after a slow start. It feels like we see it almost every year. This is far more extreme than anything we've ever seen, though. To go from losing every single game to winning every night out without even a slow transition is bizarre.
In fact, here's some perspective: The A's had the worst record in baseball at 1-7. They now have the best record in the American League at 13-7.
Also, they are now in rarified air.
If we include only Oakland Athletics history, there are only two winning streaks longer than this one.
- We know about the AL record, at the time, when the A's won 20 straight in 2002, culminating with
Chris PrattScott Hatteberg's walk-off homer that now lives in history on the "Moneyball" movie.
- In 1988, the World Series champion A's won 14 in a row during the regular season.
That's it. Now, the franchise history ledger is a bit longer, as the Philadelphia A's won at least 12 in a row five times (full franchise winning streak list here on Stathead). Still, that's not a very long list. They are already pretty high up the list and they started 1-7!
Keep an eye on these A's. They have two more games against the Orioles before heading to Tampa Bay for a four-game series. If they somehow emerge victorious throughout the entire trip, they'd head home with an 18-game winning streak to play the Orioles for three games. That's the path to setting the new club record. The AL record is now held by Cleveland, which won 22 straight in 2017.