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The Last World Series Champ To Start 2-8...


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...in case you're wondering, was the 1992 Toronto Blue Jays who were actually quite mediocre until they caught fire in June, winning their first 15 games of the month and going 22-6 for the month.

 

It is also interesting to note that very few World Series champions end up starting the year red-hot. Here are every World Series champion team from that '92 Blue Jays team to the present, with their record through 10, 20, and 40 games:

 

2012 – Giants: 4-6 /10-10 / 21-19

2011 – Cardinals: 4-6 / 11-9 /22-18

2010 – Giants: 7-3 /12-8 /22-18

2009 – Yankees: 5-5 /10-10 / 23-17

2008 – Phillies: 4-6 /10-10 / 22-18

2007 – Red Sox: 6-4 / 13-7 / 28-12

2006 – Cardinals: 5-5 / 13-7 / 25-15

2005 – White Sox: 7-3 / 16-4 / 28-12

2004 – Red Sox: 6-4 / 14-6 / 24-16

2003 – Marlins: 4-6 / 9-11 / 18-22

2002 – Angels: 3-7 / 6-14 / 23-17

2001 – Diamondbacks: 4-6 / 10-10 / 22-18

2000 – Yankees: 7-3 / 13-7 / 24-16

1999 – Yankees:  7-3 / 14-6 / 23-17

1998 – Yankees: 6-4 / 15-5 / 31-9

1997 – Marlins: 8-2 / 11-9 / 24-16

1996 – Yankees: 6-4 / 11-9/ 24-16

1995 – Braves: 7-3 / 11-9 / 23-17  

1993 – Blue Jays: 6-4 / 12-8 / 21-19

1992 – Blue Jays: 2-8 / 9-11 / 19-21

 

Notice that of those 20 teams, 7 were below .500 after 10 games and only 4 of 20 were 10 games or more above .500 after 40 games. I haven't looked into it further, but it may be that World Series champions tend to do better later in the year than earlier (although the 2000 are at least one obvious exception: they went 3-15 over their last 18 games, but then managed to go 11-5 in the postseason to win their third WS in a row).

 

Obviously starting 2-8 isn't good, but it isn't quite "season over." Baseball is a game of cycles - every team struggles.

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It may be safe to assume all of those teams had a decent rotation too

 

Their pitching staff had the 9th-best ERA out of 14 AL teams, but their offense scored the 2nd-most runs.

 

I remember being 10 years old at the time and just pissed off beyond all reason that a Canadian team won the World Series.

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Their pitching staff had the 9th-best ERA out of 14 AL teams, but their offense scored the 2nd-most runs.

 

I remember being 10 years old at the time and just pissed off beyond all reason that a Canadian team won the World Series.

 

 

Their pitching staff had the 9th-best ERA out of 14 AL teams, but their offense scored the 2nd-most runs.

 

I remember being 10 years old at the time and just pissed off beyond all reason that a Canadian team won the World Series.

Steroid Era

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Their pitching staff had the 9th-best ERA out of 14 AL teams, but their offense scored the 2nd-most runs.

 

I remember being 10 years old at the time and just pissed off beyond all reason that a Canadian team won the World Series.

 

So you were xenophobic as such a young age? Or should we call it canuckophobic?

 

Getting to 6-14 is easy enough: that's 4-6 over the next ten games.

 

I'm not saying they're going to win the WS, just that there is a precedent for not only slow starts but a team even starting 2-8.

 

The 2003 Marlins were 42-42 and only got above .500 for good on July 1, after which they went 49-29.

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