Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis had the spotlight on him for all the wrong reasons on Monday when he set a new major-league record for consecutive hitless at-bats by a non-pitcher.
While Davis’ 0-for-49 streak dating back to last season has been hard to watch, it isn’t the first time a big leaguer has struggled through a historically bad stretch.
In 2017, New York Yankees powerhouse Aaron Judge set baseball ablaze with his ability to hit the long ball, but he also set a major-league record after striking out in 37 consecutive games from July 8 to Aug. 22. Although he ended the year with 208 whiffs, he still managed to win AL Rookie of Year and was runner-up for MVP thanks to his 52 home runs, 128 runs scored, and 114 RBIs.
Retired pitcher Anthony Young owns an MLB-record 27 consecutive losing decisions from 1992-93. However, Tampa Bay Rays reliever/opener Ryne Stanek has a similar winless record to his credit. While no-decisions aren’t nearly as bad as losses, the right-hander has made 31 consecutive starts without being credited with a win. This stretch will likely continue as Stanek has yet to go deeper than two innings in his career.
It took Ben Revere 1,467 at-bats to hit his first career home run, and he wound up hitting seven long balls across eight big-league seasons. The same can’t be said for shortstop Tommy Thevenow, who went a record stretch of 932 games without hitting a long ball over a 12-year span from 1926-38. Thevenow was from a different era of baseball where home runs weren’t as frequent as they are today, but he did manage to hit two dingers – both came in 1926 – during his 15-year career.
Utility players Andy Fox and Brooks Conrad went 40 straight plate appearances without getting on base during different points in their careers. Fox’s stretch occurred over a 28-game span in 2004 and ended in the second-last contest before his retirement. Conrad’s streak spanned two seasons from Sept. 10, 2011, through June 1, 2012. He finally ended his drought with a home run off of Erik Bedard on June 2.
Most appearances without an out
Washington Nationals reliever Trevor Rosenthal tied the MLB record for most consecutive appearances without recording an out on Sunday. Rosenthal’s five straight ineffective outings date back to 2017 with the St. Louis Cardinals. The right-hander has allowed nine earned runs over this stretch, giving him the dreaded infinite ERA.