Skip to content

Putting the Braves’ start in historical context

Apr 14, 2013, 10:05 PM EDT

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals Getty Images

Baseball has been around for a long, long time. But only 31 teams have ever started a season 11-1 or 12-0 in their first 12 games. The Braves became the 31st this afternoon with a 9-0 win over the defending NL East champion Washington Nationals, wrapping up a series sweep. They have now won nine consecutive games.

Only four other teams have accomplished the feat since 2000: the 2002 Cleveland Indians, the 2003 Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants, and the 2009 Florida Marlins. Coincidentally, of those four teams, only the Giants reached the post-season. In fact, the other three won 87 games or fewer. A hot start is no guarantee of long-term success.

Ten of the 31 teams accomplished the feat in the 19th century and an additional three occurred prior to the end of the Dead Ball Era. Since 1988, only six teams joined the club. So, we’re talking about a feat that happens in the contemporary era about once every four years.

The list:

Team Year W-L Tot W-L Rnk Postseason
BOS 1872 11-1 39-8 1 NA Pennant
BOS 1874 12-0 52-18 1 NA Pennant
HAR 1875 12-0 54-28 3
BOS 1875 12-0 71-8 1 NA Pennant
CHC 1879 11-1 46-33 4
CHC 1880 11-1 67-17 1 NL Pennant
PHA 1883 11-1 66-32 1 AA Pennant
SLM 1884 12-0 94-19 1 UA Pennant
NYG 1884 12-0 62-50 4
DTN 1887 11-1 79-45 1 WS Champ
DET 1911 11-1 89-65 2
PHI 1915 11-1 90-62 1 NL Pennant
NYG 1918 11-1 71-53 2
NYG 1938 11-1 83-67 3
BRO 1940 11-1 88-65 2
BRO 1955 11-1 98-55 1 WS Champ
PIT 1962 11-1 93-68 4
CLE 1966 11-1 81-81 5
BAL 1966 11-1 97-63 1 WS Champ
CHC 1969 11-1 92-70 2
CIN 1980 11-1 89-73 3
OAK 1981 11-1 64-45 1 Division Champ
ATL 1982 12-0 89-73 1 Division Champ
DET 1984 11-1 104-58 1 WS Champ
MIL 1987 12-0 91-71 3
ATL 1994 11-1 68-46 2
CLE 2002 11-1 74-88 3
SFG 2003 11-1 100-61 1 Division Champ
KCR 2003 11-1 83-79 3
FLA 2009 11-1 87-75 2
ATL 2013 11-1 ? ? ?
Latest Posts
  1. And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

    May 4, 2015, 7:24 AM EDT

    Evan Gattis AP

    Some late-inning heroics. Extra-innings heroics, actually. Like baseball is some kind of gosh darned after hours club or something.

  2. Report: Brewers hire Craig Counsell to replace Ron Roenicke

    May 4, 2015, 12:23 AM EDT

    Craig Counsell Getty Images

    The Brewers acted quickly to find a new manager after firing Ron Roenicke on Sunday night.

  3. Dodgers acquire Andy Wilkins, designate Scott Baker for assignment

    May 3, 2015, 11:55 PM EDT

    Scott Baker Scott Baker

    The Dodgers acquired first baseman Andy Wilkins from the Blue Jays and designated Scott Baker for assignment on Sunday.

  4. Padres plan to promote catching prospect Austin Hedges

    May 3, 2015, 11:35 PM EDT

    Austin Hedges Getty Images

    The Padres are expected to promote catching prospect Austin Hedges on Monday.

  5. Athletics release Cody Ross

    May 3, 2015, 11:10 PM EDT

    Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics Getty Images

    The Athletics released Cody Ross on Sunday.

  6. Brewers fire manager Ron Roenicke

    May 3, 2015, 10:29 PM EDT

    Ron Roenicke Ron Roenicke

    Ron Roenicke is the first casualty of the Brewers’ poor start to the season.

  7. Twins thinking about using Joe Mauer in the leadoff spot

    May 3, 2015, 10:25 PM EDT

    Joe Mauer Joe Mauer

    Would Joe Mauer better serve the Twins in the leadoff spot?

  8. Jose Abreu sticks up for manager Robin Ventura

    May 3, 2015, 9:20 PM EDT

    Robin Ventura Robin Ventura

    White Sox manager Robin Ventura has taken some heat for the team’s slow start, but first baseman Jose Abreu stuck up for him.

  9. Jean Segura was hit in the head by a Pedro Strop fastball

    May 3, 2015, 8:15 PM EDT

    Jean Segura Jean Segura

    Jean Segura was hit in the head by a pitch attempting to bunt. Thankfully, he appears to be okay.

  10. The Cardinals walk off winners against the Pirates for the third game in a row

    May 3, 2015, 7:10 PM EDT

    Kolten Wong Kolten Wong

    The Cardinals won again in walk-off fashion and now own baseball’s best record.

  11. Tyler Lyons gets the next shot at replacing Adam Wainwright in Cardinals’ starting rotation

    May 3, 2015, 5:14 PM EDT

    tyler lyons getty Getty Images

    Lyons has served as a spot starter and long reliever for the Cardinals at various points over the last two seasons. He owns an ugly 4.62 ERA in 89 2/3 career major league innings, but his 1.216 career WHIP and 7.9 career K/9 aren’t too bad-looking.

  12. White Sox sign Tyler Colvin to minor league deal

    May 3, 2015, 4:28 PM EDT

    Screenshot 2015-05-03 at 1.09.00 PM Getty Images

    Colvin opted out of his minor league deal with the Marlins at the end of spring training after failing to make the Opening Day roster and spent a month looking for a new gig.

  13. Video: Trevor Plouffe slugs first career grand slam

    May 3, 2015, 3:40 PM EDT

    plouffe getty Getty Images

    That was the first career grand slam for Plouffe. The 28-year-old third baseman also homered in Saturday’s 5-3 win over the visiting White Sox and now has five home runs on the young season.

  14. Cubs claim Anthony Varvaro off waivers from Red Sox

    May 3, 2015, 2:53 PM EDT

    Screenshot 2015-05-03 at 1.22.45 PM Getty Images

    Varvaro was designated for assignment by Boston on April 29 after struggling badly in three straight relief appearances. He was very good in 2014 with the Braves …

  15. Adam Eaton out third straight day with illness

    May 3, 2015, 2:16 PM EDT

    adam eaton getty Getty Images

    He was actually sent back to Chicago on Saturday while the team finishes up a four-game series at Minnesota’s Target Field.

  16. Jordan Walden lands on disabled list with biceps injury

    May 3, 2015, 1:22 PM EDT

    walden getty Getty Images

    Walden felt discomfort in his right arm while warming up on Saturday afternoon. He told reporters after Saturday’s game that he’s not concerned, but it’s a scary situation for the Cardinals given how well the 27-year-old setup man pitched in April.

  17. Matt Moore set to face live hitters for the first time since his Tommy John elbow surgery

    May 3, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Screenshot 2015-05-03 at 9.55.47 AM Getty Images

    Moore is scheduled throw around 20 pitches to his Tampa Bay teammates before their series finale on Sunday afternoon against the Orioles.

  18. Michael Bourn back in Indians’ lineup on Sunday

    May 3, 2015, 11:43 AM EDT

    bourn getty Getty Images

    Veteran outfielder Michael Bourn was held out of the Indians’ starting lineup on Saturday with what was called a cervical strain. That sounded like a pretty serious injury, but all appears to be fine …

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Hamilton (3211)
  2. J. Lowrie (3009)
  3. A. Rendon (2985)
  4. D. Span (2722)
  5. A. Colome (2718)
  1. C. Gomez (2624)
  2. D. Jennings (2607)
  3. D. Wright (2484)
  4. A. Pujols (2430)
  5. J. Reyes (2341)