STACY ROST

In a 60-game baseball season, could any of MLB’s records fall?

Jun 27, 2020, 10:44 AM

Mariners baseball...

The 2019 Mariners set a baseball record for number of games with a HR to start a season. (Getty)

(Getty)

Recognizing MLB stats as legitimate this year was going to be tricky after months of negotiations between the Players Union and owners erased 102 baseball games from the schedule. Batting average? Go ahead and rule that out now (even though it’s fair to assume that most of those inflated averages will still belong to the league’s best hitters). ERA? Forget about it.

Drayer: How Mariners plan to develop top prospects with no MiLB season

The 2020 MLB season will always have an asterisk, but with 60 games there are least a few records that could technically be eclipsed. And with the help of 710 ESPN Seattle producer and sports trivia expert Curtis Rogers, here are those few major records that have a chance at being snapped.

In play: Consecutive hits record (56)

Joe DiMaggio’s famous 56-game hitting streak was set in 1941 and, as any fan will be happy to remind you, stands to this day. Former Oriole Willie Keeler is the next-closest at 45 consecutive games, though that was set in 1896. Pete Rose (who hit for 44 games in 1978) and Paul Molitor (who hit for 39 games in) have come closest since 1941.

Even though it’s technically possible, as with every season you should expect that record will continue to stand. The specialization of relievers and infinitely better defenses have made it nearly impossible for anyone to get close to DiMaggio’s famous streak.

The longest streaks of the last decade are owned by Whit Merrifield (31; a streak that coincidentally ended against the Seattle Mariners in April of last year), Freddie Freeman (30 in 2016), Dan Uggla (33 in 2011), and Andre Ethier (30 in 2011).

Our ruling: That hitting streak is still, technically, possible in a 60-game baseball season. But getting anywhere near 30 will still be really, really impressive.

Not in play: Saves record (62)

Francisco Rodriguez set the current single-season saves record in 2008 when he recorded 62 for the Angels. Ex-Mariners closer Edwin Diaz tied Bobby Thigpin for second place (57) in 2018. Outside of Diaz, no player has surpassed 56 saves since 1990. And it’s not going to happen this year.

In play (we guess…): Most doubles (67)

Nobody has come close to touching Earl Webb’s triples record (36) since the early 1900s, which makes sense since some ballparks didn’t have fencing to keep balls from continuing to roll and bounce further into the outfield. His single-season record for doubles (67) still stands but Nicholas Castellanos hit 58 last season and José Ramírez reached 56 in 2017.

Good luck hitting at least one double in every game, though.

In play: Consecutive games with a home run to start the season (20)

Well, this is awkward. Time for a trip down memory lane for Mariners fans, who saw Seattle get off to the hottest start in baseball last year before falling to the bottom of the AL West. But they did accomplish something really rare: the team set a new record for consecutive games with a home run to start the season.

In play: Consecutive wins to start the season (13)

The 1982 Braves and 1987 Brewers got off to the hottest starts in baseball history. Both clubs racked up 13 consecutive wins to start the season, a total that hasn’t been matched since.

In play: Home run record (73)

We’ll start by saying that yes, we suppose that technically Barry Bonds’ 2001 home run record (73) can be broken. But it’s not going to happen.

In play: Most home runs in 60 games (24)

Matt Olson hit 24 home runs in 59 games for Oakland in 2017.

In play: Most team wins through 60 games (48)

The 1912 Giants had a 48-11 record (one tie) through the first 60 games of the season and went on to lose the World Series.

Opening Day is magical not just because it’s the beginning of the baseball season, but because of the endless possibilities it brings. Every team starts the year with World Series dreams, and many of those title runs have their origins in the earliest days of the regular season.

Mariners fans can probably already tell you the next-closest team: the 2001 Mariners were the most recent team to get close to that record (47 wins through 60 games).

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Stacy Rost and Curtis Rogers on Twitter.

Mariners Podcast: Boy Howdy, Zach DeLoach and Kaden Polcovich

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Mostly Sunny
High 83° | Low 58°
Roof is open
Astros at Mariners today at 7:10pm

Stacy Rost

Chicago White Sox Luis Robert Seattle Mariners 2024...

Stacy Rost

Rost: Six bats that are potential trade fits for Mariners’ lineup

Stacy Rost takes a look at six potential hitters who would be ideal fits for the Seattle Mariners to target at the trade deadline.

9 days ago

Seattle Mariners Scott Servais Julio Rodríguez...

Stacy Rost

Rost: The two things about first-place Mariners’ season that are baffling

Seattle Sports' Stacy Rost digs into the two most prevalent answers Seattle Mariners fans had to a question about what's most confusing about this season.

21 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Leonard Williams...

Stacy Rost

Rost: Seahawks’ change to defensive spending reflects new philosophy

Why insight from a Seattle Seahawks assistant highlights how a change in investment on the defensive side of the ball could pay off.

23 days ago

Seattle Mariners trade target Vladimir Guerrero Jr....

Stacy Rost

What will make an uncomfortable Seattle Mariners trade worth it?

The Seattle Mariners are expected to be a major player at the MLB trade deadline. Stacy Rost dives into the possibilities and two trade truths.

1 month ago

Seattle Mariners J.P. Crawford...

Stacy Rost

How could first-place Mariners address their need for offense?

Stacy Rost of Seattle Sports' Bump and Stacy details the silver linings for the first-place Mariners, but also their need to get more offense.

2 months ago

Seattle Mariners Luke Raley...

Stacy Rost

Rost on Mariners: What we’ve learned a quarter through the season

Just over a quarter of the way into 2024, the Seattle Mariners are 24-20. What have we learned? Stacy Rost breaks down a few things.

2 months ago

In a 60-game baseball season, could any of MLB’s records fall?