Between July 11 and September 18, 1924, 33-year-old Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Dazzy Vance set a franchise record when he won 15 consecutive games in a single season en route to his remarkable 28-6 season, for which he received the first-ever National League MVP Award. Vance would go on to have an outstanding career that would earn him immortality in the sacred Halls of Cooperstown.
Vance’s consecutive wins streak stood unchallenged for more than 50 years until Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Burt Hooton made a run at it between May 13 and September 28, 1975. Unfortunately, “Happy” Hooton (as he was affectionately known) saw his streak end just three games short of Vance’s record, but Hooton’s 12 consecutive wins remains a Los Angeles Dodgers record… for now.
On July 10, 2014, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw won his eighth consecutive game against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium. During that game Kershaw saw his consecutive scoreless innings streak come to an end at 41.2 when longtime Dodgers nemesis Chase Headley slugged a solo home run over the left field wall.
“I was disappointed I gave up a homer,” said Kershaw after the game. “I don’t really care about a streak. We’re not supposed to give up runs, that’s our job. More than anything it tied the game.”
Although the 50,332 fans at Dodger Stadium that night were pleased that their beloved Dodgers had won the game, they were undoubtedly disappointed that Kershaw’s consecutive scoreless innings streak had come to an end. But as they often say, “When one door closes another opens” and holding that door open for Kershaw is Happy Hooton and his 12 consecutive wins.
As it stands right now, Kershaw is slated to start Sunday’s game in St. Louis against the Cardinals. After that Mattingly has him penciled in to start in San Francisco against The Hated Ones on Saturday, July 26. If all goes well, Kershaw would then most likely start again on either Thursday, July 31 or Friday, August 1 at Dodger Stadium against the Atlanta Braves or the Chicago Cubs. The ‘either’ comes as a result of an off day on Monday, July 28 where Mattingly has the option to skip a spot in the rotation (presumably recovering right-hander Josh Beckett’s spot) without altering Kershaw’s normal five days between starts.
The Dodgers then begin a four-game series against the Angels with the first two games at Dodger Stadium on Monday and Tuesday, August 4 and 5 and the second two in Anaheim on Wednesday and Thursday, August 6 and 7. Depending on that days off thing again, Kershaw is projected to start either the Tuesday game at The Ravine or the Wednesday game at the Big-A, during which he would have a shot at tying Burt Hooton’s 39-year-old Los Angeles Dodgers consecutive wins record of 12.
Stretching this out even further, if Kershaw does tie Hooton’s record, his next start after that would be on the road around August 11 or 12 in Atlanta where he would have a shot at setting a new L.A. Dodgers record of 13 consecutive wins. But don’t feel slighted, that would line him up to tie Vance’s record of 15 consecutive wins at Dodger Stadium sometime around Friday, August 22 against the New York Mets. He would then be in line to set a new all-time franchise record of 16 consecutive wins sometime around Friday, August 29 against the Padres at Petco Park – aka: Dodger Stadium South.
If things continue to go well, Kershaw would the have a shot at tying the all-time MLB single-season consecutive wins record of 19 co-held by Tim Keefe (1888) and Rube Marquard (1912), both of the New York Giants, around September 15 in Colorado and a shot at setting a new record of 20 consecutive wins at, of all places, 100-year-old Wrigley Field in Chicago against the Cubs around September 20. He could then extend his new record to 21 consecutive wins (and a historic 24-2 record) in his projected final start of the regular season around Friday, September 26 at Dodger Stadium against the Rockies.
Now granted, all of this is insanely improbable (if not impossible) and the odds of it actually happening are astronomical, but if anyone can do it, it would be Clayton Kershaw.