Every current franchise has had at least one hitter put together a 20-game hitting streak, except the Tampa Bay Rays.
Joe Dimaggio‘s hallowed 56-game hitting streak is one record that may stand the test of time. Only once since Dimaggio set the record back in 1941 has a player hit in 40 straight games and that was 42 years ago. For the Tampa Bay Rays as a whole, no player has come close to hitting in half as many consecutive games as Joltin Joe.
The longest hitting streak in Rays franchise history is a 19-gamer Jason Bartlett put together in 2009. Yes, Jason Bartlett.
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Bartlett was an All-Star in ’09 and concluded the year with a .320 batting average which would be the best he’d hit in his ten-year career.
I am not sure what I am more surprised by here. The fact no other Rays player has hit in 20 straight games, or the guy who has the longest hitting streak in team history is Bartlett.
Granted, the Rays came into the league as an expansion team in 1998 and have only been around 22 years. The smallest sample size (along with the Arizona Diamondbacks) of any of the ball clubs, all of which have a hitter to piece together at least a 25 game hit streak.
The game is different from the days when hitters could face the same pitcher four, maybe five times in one game. Nowadays players are lucky to see the starter three times, and then they are likely to face a specialty reliever.
Defenses are no longer playing hitters straight up, as shifts have become a common sight against most hitters.
With the names who have gone through Tropicana Field, I’m surprised there hasn’t been a player to put together a longer hitting streak. Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria, even James Loney, were all exceptional hitters.
In nine years with Tampa Bay Crawford was a .296 hitter and punched out almost fifteen hundred hits. Thirteen games is the longest streak he as able to put together in a Rays uniform.
Longoria played ten years and accumulated just under fifteen hundred hits as well. In 2013 he hit in 16 straight games though saw the streak come to an end at the hands of the New York Yankees.
We need to get players back up and playing. If anything, so a current Tampa Bay Ray can go out and best this futile franchise hitting streak.