I know I've posted this many many times, but most people dramatically underestimate how often streaks happen in real life. Pick any major league team in any season, and chances are you can find an extended period where they played .600 or better and an extended streak where they played .400 or worse. Often one right after the other. The most memorable examples of this happen during pennant races (in recent years the Rockies, Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Angels, Mets, and Red Sox have all had such periods). But these things happen all the time. Even very dramatic swings are not uncommon in baseball history. Check out the game logs of the 1977 Red Sox at www.retrosheet.org
. Starting June 8th they won 13 of 14, then lost 9 in a row, then won 9 of 11.
The 1987 Jays finished the regular season - last 14 games - by winning 7 in a row and then losing 7 in a row.
There are elements of WIS that make streaks a little more common than in real baseball (principally fatigue, and the strategy used by many owners of tanking a few games in order to get by with fewer PA and IP), but streaks happen all the time in real baseball. We just don't notice them because we don't pay as much attention to every MLB team's day by day performance as we do to our WIS teams.
Same thing with pitchers - pick any season and you can almost certainly find a pitcher who went on a phenomenal hot streak followed by a long cold streak or vice versa. Heck, let's do the 1980s:
1981 - Fernando famously starts the year 8-0 in his first 8 starts, 7 CG, 5 SHO, and 4 runs allowed in 72 innings. His next 8 games? 1-4, with 35 runs allowed (34 earned) in 47.1 innings
1982 - Eckersley, after 2 very mediocre years for the Red Sox, posts a 2.11 ERA in his first 9 starts (and getting the start in the All Star game largely as a result of that). His next 6 starts: 26 runs (24 earned) in 36.2 innings
1984 - Sutcliffe is the poster child for this. Starts the year with Cleveland, goes 4-5 with a 5.15 ERA. Traded to Cubs, goes 16-1 with a 2.69 ERA - in Wrigley Field. Maybe most amazingly, he struck out 58 batters in 94 IP for Cleveland, then fanned 155 guys in 150 IP for the Cubs. Basically doubled his strikeout rate.
1985 - Andy Hawkins becomes the first (and I think only) pitcher to win his first 10 starts...actually gets to 11-0, then goes 7-8 the rest of the way.
1986 - Clemens starts 14-0, 2.18 ERA. His next 9 starts: 29 runs in 65.2 IP.
Streaks happen. A lot. In real life and in WIS.
1/11/2012 6:24 PM (edited)