The Tigers lost 10 games in a row from June 22 through last Thursday—and it cost them first place in the American League East. Detroit had led Toronto by two games when the slump began. The Tigers' tailspin was the longest this late in the season by an American League team that started the streak in first place since 1905, when the Cleveland Naps lost 10 in row from July 27 to Aug. 7.
The last National League team to ride out such a string of losses was the 1982 Braves, who dropped 11 consecutive games from Aug. 3 through Aug. 13 but rebounded to win the West title. None of the other first-place teams that suffered a double-digit losing streak so far into the season went on to win a division title or a pennant.
Here arc the longest losing streaks by first-place teams, starting June 22 or later, in this century.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]