While the Cleveland Indians won their 19th consecutive game to move within one victory of tying the 2003 Oakland Athletics for baseball’s longest winning streak since 1935, the Los Angeles Dodgers made a different sort of history in San Francisco on Monday. Er, early Tuesday.
The Dodgers lost, 8-6, to the rival Giants in a game that featured a pair of rain and lightning delays and finally ended at 2:10 a.m. local time. It was the Dodgers’ 16th loss in 17 games and their 11th straight, which is the franchise’s longest losing streak since it moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958.
“It’s disappointing every time you lose,” shortstop Corey Seager told reporters after the game. “I thought tonight was better. We came back, got back in the game a couple times. Unfortunately we didn’t win. Just got to get back to winning, that’s about it. Nothing else about that.”
The Dodgers had lost 10 consecutive games two other times since relocating to Los Angeles, in 1961 and 1992. Neither of those teams was on pace to challenge the major league record for wins in a season, or being talked about as potentially one of the greatest teams of all time, as this year’s squad was before its recent tailspin. The Dodgers’ 1961 swoon began in mid-August and turned a 2.5-game lead in the NL standings into a 3.5-game deficit. Los Angeles would finish 89-65, four games behind the Reds in the race for the NL pennant. The Dodgers lost 10 consecutive games in June 1992 en route to 99 defeats under Manager Tommy Lasorda, who dropped by the Los Angeles clubhouse before Sunday’s game to offer a few words of support.
“With what we’re going through, he just wanted to put his hand on my shoulder and say, ‘I’ve been there. It’s going to be okay,’ ” Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts told the Los Angeles Times.
It may eventually be okay for the Dodgers, but their once seemingly insurmountable 21-game lead in the NL West is down to nine with 18 games remaining in the regular season. Los Angeles’s lead over the Nationals for the best record in the NL — and home-field advantage in the National League Championship Series — is in much greater jeopardy. The Dodgers still hold a 3.5-game advantage over Washington, but the teams will play a three-game set at Nationals Park beginning Friday night. By the end of that series, the Dodgers’ losing streak could be 16 games, which would match the franchise record set in Brooklyn in 1944. That Leo Durocher-led squad finished 63-91.
With ace Clayton Kershaw looking to put an end to Los Angeles’s surprising skid Tuesday night in San Francisco, the Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the division is 10. They’re a virtual lock to qualify for the postseason, where they can make some more history if they manage to right the ship and win their first title since 1988. The longest regular losing streak by a team that went on to win the World Series was nine games by the 1953 New York Yankees.
More from The Post: