Twins Set Record For Longest Playoff Losing Streak in North American Pro Sports

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  • The Minnesota Twins suffered a 4-1 defeat to the Houston Astros in Game 1 of their Wild Card series.
  • The loss was the 17th consecutive postseason loss for Twins, the longest losing streak in North American pro sports.
  • Minnesota is a -147 betting favorite to win Game 2.

The Minnesota Twins’ 4-1 loss to the Houston Astros on Tuesday was their 17th straight playoff defeat. That loss put them alone on top of the list of teams with the longest playoff losing streak in North American Pro Sports:

And if that futile record was not enough for one day, the manner by which the Twins lost the game made it even tougher to take.

The Twins and the Astros were tied 1-1 heading to the 9th inning. But Minnesota set another dubious record by allowing the first-ever go-ahead walk in the 9th inning of a Major League baseball playoff game. To add to that, the Twins allowed two more runs on a single by Michael Brantley and the game ended with a 4-1 tally in favor of the Astros.

Long Time Ago

The last time that the Twins won a playoff game was a long time ago. If you ask how long ago, well Apple has come up with 17 different iPhone models since Minnesota’s last postseason win. And the Houston Astros? They have won a total of 42 postseason games since the Twins’ last playoff victory.

Minnesota’s last victory came on October 5, 2004 in Game 1 of the 2004 American League Division Series against New York. The starting pitcher for the Twins that day was Johan Santana. Santana was elected to the Twins’ Hall of Fame two years ago.

The Yankees have dealt 13 of the 17 losses in the Twins’ current losing streak. New York and Minnesota faced off in the 2004, 2009, 2010, and 2019 ALDS plus the 2017 Wild Card game. The three other losses came at the hands of the Oakland A’s at the 2006 ALDS and then the record-setting loss came on Tuesday.

Longest Playoff Losing Streak

Prior to Tuesday, the longest playoff losing streak belonged to the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL who lost 16 consecutive games from 1975-79. The second longest playoff losing streak in Major League Baseball is 13 games by the Boston Red Sox from 1986-1995 which began with Bill Buckner’s infamous fielding error in the 1986 World Series.

But the Twins can take some solace in a couple of facts. First, the Detroit Pistons of the NBA have lost 14 straight playoff games and like the Twins, their postseason losing streak is current, meaning there is still a possibility that the Pistons will overtake the Twins in the shameful table.

And then there are the Seattle Mariners who have not made the playoffs during the period where the Twins have not won a playoff game. Isn’t that worse? Seattle has not made the postseason since 2001 and they own the longest playoff drought in all of baseball. But then again, this isn’t about who is worse. It’s about winning and the Twins get another chance at finally ending this spell on Wednesday afternoon.

Game 2

Game 2 of this Best-of-Three wild card series in on Wednesday afternoon. The Twins are currently +160 underdogs in the series but are -147 moneyline favorites at BetOnline to win the next game.

As of this writing, the Astros are still undecided on their starter but it is expected that Jose Urquidy will open on top of the mound after Valdez pitched in relief in Game 1. In the 2019 playoffs, the then-rookie Urquidy was 1-0 with an ERA of 0.90 in four appearances. He started Game 5 of the World Series and gave up only two hits in five scoreless innings. Houston won that Game 8-1.

The Twins will look to Jose Berrios to end their streak and extend their season. Berrios is a combined 45-31 over the last four seasons. He was 4-1 with an ERA of 2.79 in his final seven starts of the regular season. In two career playoff appearances for Minnesota, Berrios is 0-1 with an ERA of 5.14 and a WHIP of 1.71.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.