Some historical perspective on Odubel Herrera's on-base streak

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Odubel Herrera hits a solo homer against the Mets on May 11, which was Game No. 40 of his on-base streak.

It may not have been DiMaggio, but Odubel Herrera’s on-base streak was pretty cool. And that it ended with him actually being on base is a nod to how quirky baseball can be.

Herrera’s streak started innocuously enough, a second-inning single off Washington’s Tanner Roark last September in an otherwise meaningless game.

The Nationals were in first place by 21 games. The Phillies were out of a playoff spot by 22 games. Virtually, the only people who cared were the bean counters, the stat keepers and the bookmakers.

As it turns out, though, that Sept. 27 game did have some consequence. And after 45 games – sandwiched around an offseason that saw an Eagles Super Bowl parade and Villanova starting another title run – that streak is finally over.

 

Herrera went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts on Sunday, his fourth at-bat ended with a wild pitch on a swinging strike that actually allowed Herrera to reach first base. But that nuance was not enough to continue the streak. He would have had to reach safely without making the out. It’s a squirrely little rule that could only exist in baseball.

[The man who persuaded the Phillies to steal Odubel away from the Rangers]

Now that the streak is history, here’s a quick update of a piece we first posted on Friday.

Longest on-base streaks in Phillies history

Player Year(s) Games BA during
1. Mike Schmidt 1981-82 56 .330
2. Chuck Klein 1930 49 .409
3. Bobby Abreau 2000-01 48 .330
4. Odubel Herrera 2017-18 45 .355
5. Chuck Klein 1931 44 .412
6. Pete Rose 1982 41 .317
Don Hurst 1929 41 .342
8. Willie Montanez 1974 40 .377
9. Jimmy Rollins 2005-06 38 .379
Scott Rolen 1998-99 38 .286

The most encouraging stat about Herrera’s streak – more than his .355 batting average during it – is that the Phillies were 29-16 in these games. Playing .644 ball, folks, will get you into the postseason every time.

Some other fun facts and figures about Herrera’s 45-game streak:

• Mike Schmidt (56 games) holds the Phillies record. He’s followed by Chuck Klein (49, 44), Bobby Abreu (48) and Herrera (45).

• Herrera’s longest hitting streak during the span was seven games, which he did twice, including games No. 39-45.

• Six times he kept it going with walks and twice by being hit by a pitch.

• He reached base in his final four games in 2017 and his first 41 this season.

• On-base streaks also count only when a player has had a plate appearance, which Herrera did not have on opening day. He came into that game as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning but did not bat.

• He’s now hitting .344 in 2018, best in the National League. He lost nine points off his batting average with Sunday’s 0 for 4.

[Archives: Rhys Hoskins gives Odubel a pep-talk]

Longest on-base streaks in baseball history

Player Year(s) Games BA during
1. Ted Williams 1949 84 .371
2. Joe DiMaggio 1941 74 .404
3. Ted Williams 1941-42 73 .428
4. Orlando Cabrera 2006 63 .303
5. Mark McGwire 1995-96 61 .325
6. Jim Thome 2002-03 60 .363
7. Will Clark 1995-96 58 .310
Duke Snider 1954 58 .368
9. Barry Bonds 2003 57 .391
Derek Jeter 1998-99 57 .370
Frank Thomas 1995-96 57 .325
Wade Boggs 1985 57 .398
George Kell 1950 57 .395
   Also
 t94. Odubel Herrera 2017-18 45 .355

Research assistance: Baseball-Reference.com

• Only two guys have ever reached base in at least 70 consecutive games – and Ted Williams (84, 73) did it twice. Joe DiMaggio reached safely in 74 straight in 1941. He walked in the game when his 56-game hitting streak ended. He also started a 16-game hitting streak immediately after. One of the best notes in baseball history.

• Herrera’s most precarious game of his streak was probably April 24 when he was sent in to pinch-hit for Tommy Hunter in the sixth inning. He was plunked on the first pitch by Arizona’s Andrew Chafin, one of the better lefthanded relief specialists in baseball this season. Herrera is 1 for 8 in his career against Chafin (.125).

• The lefthanded-hitting Herrera hit .370 against righthanders (47 for 127) and .311 against lefties (14 for 45) during the streak. The four outs he made on Sunday were against righthanded pitchers.

Odubel’s stats/splits

• His stats during the streak: 61-172 (.355), 11 doubles, 1 triple, 7 home runs, 32 RBI, 17 walks, 29 strikeouts. His on-base percentage was .418 and his slugging percentage was .552, giving him an OPS of .970.

Longest on-base streaks of baseball legends

Player Year(s) Games BA during
Hank Aaron 1962 43 .364
Barry Bonds 2003 57 .391
Ty Cobb 1915 55 .400
Joe DiMaggio 1941 74 .404
Lou Gehrig 1934 52 .400
Tony Gwynn 1986 42 .371
Derek Jeter 1998-99 57 .370
Mickey Mantle 1951-52 35 .287
Willie Mays 1959 29 .361
Stan Musial 1943 55 .381
Albert Pujols 2001 48 .377
Cal Ripken Jr. 1998 46 .312
Pete Rose 1978 48 .379
Babe Ruth 1923 50 .411
Mike Schmidt 1981-82 56 .330
Ichiro Suzuki 2009 43 .374
Mike Trout 2013 40 .385
Ted Williams 1949 84 .391

 

Camera icon AP Photo
Teddy Ballgame: Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams, shown here at Yankee Stadium in 1941, holds the all-time record for most consecutive games reaching base at a staggering 84.