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Tonight the Rays will start an under-30 pitcher for MLB-record 704th straight game

Jul 26, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

baby baseball

It’s no secret that Tampa Bay believes in young (and cheap) starting pitching, but Bill Chastain of MLB.com notes just how strong that belief is: Tonight the Rays will set an MLB record by starting a pitcher under 30 years old for the 704th consecutive game.

That streak dates back to May 24 of 2007, when crazily enough Jae Seo started on his 30th birthday. Before that the last over-29 pitcher to start for the Rays was a then-32-year-old Mark Hendrickson way back on June 25 of 2006.

Also of note: During the 703-game streak the Rays have used a total of only 14 different starting pitchers, which is the lowest number in MLB, and none of the 14 (led by tonight’s pitcher, James Shields, with a team-high 142 starts) were signed as free agents.

During the streak of exclusively using twenty-something starters the Rays are 377-326 for a .536 winning percentage that equates to an 87-75 record per 162 games. Shields, incidentally, turns 30 in December.

  1. hittfamily - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Thanks for the info. As a Rays fan, I was unaware of this cool fact.

  2. dan1111 - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Great fact! It is a lot better than their old streak of 1263 consecutive games without a good pitcher starting.

    • Ari Collins - Jul 26, 2011 at 12:49 PM

      Hey, Kazmir used to be pretty good!

  3. largebill - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    Most impressive thing about that is only using 14 different starters over that span. Most teams change out 4th & 5th starters frequently. I just did a couple quick checks and Cleveland has used 9 different starters this year and Cincinnati has used 10. I assume some teams have used more.

  4. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle - Jul 26, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    They should be renamed the Tampa Bay Logans Runs

  5. nolanwiffle - Jul 26, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    MLB actually charts these kinds of “records”? Cool fact though.

  6. kingbuccaneer - Jul 27, 2011 at 3:12 AM

    This is the best part:

    Also of note: During the 703-game streak the Rays have used a total of only 14 different starting pitchers, which is the lowest number in MLB, and none of the 14 (led by tonight’s pitcher, James Shields, with a team-high 142 starts) were signed as free agents

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