Los Angeles Angels starter Patrick Sandoval continued his winless start to his MLB career and he’s approaching some dubious records in the process.
After needing just four pitches to get through the first inning, Patrick Sandoval perhaps thought that Monday could be the night. Unfortunately, the wheels fell off quickly from there for the Angels pitcher.
Sandoval would be chased by the Astros after just 2.2 innings of work, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks. He would strikeout just one hitter in the process.
For the Angels, it was another in a line of disappointing losses, with the team recording its 21st loss of 2020. Only the Boston Red Sox have surrendered more runs than Halos pitchers this season.
However, for Patrick Sandoval, Monday was more than just a team loss. It was the 15th appearance of his career and 14th start since joining the rotation in 2019.
He has yet to record a single win.
While pitching wins have been a thing of mystery to most Angels’ starters (outside of Dylan Bundy) in 2020, Sandoval’s have been especially painful to watch. After going 0-4 over 10 games (9 starts) last season, the left-hander has an identical 0-4 record over his first five starts of 2020. Overall, he is 0-8 with a 5.66 ERA, a 5.22 FIP.
Winless streaks happen all the time in baseball, and Sandoval is hardly the first pitcher to struggle with securing a victory. Wins in general are somewhat of an irrelevant statistic, relying equally on the pitcher’s performance and longevity as they do on the offensive to score runs. As such, pundits have begun to look past the statistic when measuring a pitcher’s ability. Just ask Jacob DeGrom, who has won a total of 21 games over his back-to-back Cy Young seasons in 2018 and 2019.
However, that doesn’t lessen the possible weight of being winless as a starter. For Patrick Sandoval, he’s working his way toward some significant marks.
By losing his first eight decisions, Sandoval may feel like he’s setting some sort of record. However, he’s actually quite a bit away from that distinction. That record belongs former New York Mets pitcher Anthony Young, who lost 27-straight decisions between 1992 and 1993 before recording a win. 27-straight certainly puts eight consecutive losses in perspective.
In terms of consecutive starts without a win, Sandoval’s streak now stands at 14-straight games. That puts him halfway to the current MLB record, held by three different pitchers. Jo-Jo Reyes of the Toronto Blue Jays was the most recent to hit the mark, seeing his consecutive winless starts streak extend from June 13, 2018 through May 30, 2011. Matt Keough of the Oakland Athletics and Cliff Curtis of the Boston Doves. Curtis was also the previous record-holder for the consecutive decisions streak before Young.
While the consecutive decision mark seems like a long-shot, the consecutive starts streak without a win may be reachable. Notably, Sandoval’s struggles to keep himself in games long enough to qualify for a win (five innings) has hurt him and the Angels. Through his last 10 starts, Sandoval has pitched past the fifth inning just twice.
With the Angels low on available pitching, Sandoval remains an option to take a turn every fifth day. As such, he’ll have a chance to get on the horse with his first win. Both he and the Angels badly need him to do so.