Saturday, June 26, 2010

A couple of streakiness notes from Major League Baseball:

The Texas Rangers had their 11-game winning streak stopped last night, with a 7-4 loss to Houston.

Meanwhile, the Chicago White Sox will be going for their 11th straight win tonight, as the Sox and Cubs continue their intra-city series. Yesterday, the Southsiders beat the Northsiders, 6-0.

UPDATE: The White Sox beat the Cubs Saturday, 3-2, to extend their winning streak to 11, but lost Sunday, 8-6, ending the streak.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

In the marathon Wimbledon tennis match discussed in yesterday's posting, John Isner finally defeated Nicolas Mahut, 70-68 in the fifth set.

UPDATE: Some statistically oriented bloggers have attempted to estimate the probability of the Isner-Mahut match having as many consecutive held-service games as it did, here and here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

In Wimbledon tennis action, the men's singles match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut has been suspended due to darkness for the second day in a row. Wimbledon doesn't use tie-breakers for decisive sets, so at 6 games apiece in the fifth set, Isner and Mahut were left to keep playing until one could secure a two-game lead.

A set getting to 10-10 would probably be pretty rare. Last year's final, in which Roger Federer edged Andy Roddick 16-14 in the fifth, has been called a classic. Back in 1969, before tie-breakers were used at all, Wimbledon saw a 24-22 first set, Charlie Pasarell prevailing over Pancho Gonzalez. Ties at 30-30 or 40-40 would be nearly impossible to comprehend. Well, the umpire has called it a night for Wednesday's action between Isner and Mahut, as the two men are tied 59-59 in the fifth set.

There's a hot-hand angle to this -- I wouldn't be writing about the match if there were not. In the fifth set, the server has won the game (or "held") for 118 straight games!

Stay tuned...

Monday, June 07, 2010

Boston guard Ray Allen made his first seven three-point attempts last night, as the Celtics evened their NBA final series against the L.A. Lakers at one game apiece. Based on the play-by-play sheet, I made one of my sequential shot charts (which I hadn't done in a while) for Allen, as shown below (you can click on the graphic to enlarge it).

If we focus exclusively on attempts from behind the arc, then Allen's hot shooting spans the first and second quarters. He missed some two-point shots in the first quarter, however, so I would say his streak shooting was confined to the second period.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Yes, Garrett Wittels's hitting streak is still in progress -- having been extended to 56 consecutive games in today's NCAA regional action -- but it will be on-hold until next season. His team, Florida International University, was eliminated earlier today by Dartmouth, 15-9. Wittels was only a sophomore this past season, so he can attempt to continue the streak in the 2011 season. He'll need to get at least one hit in each of his first two games next season to tie Robin Ventura's NCAA Division I record of 58. If that happens, we'll then see if Wittels can take his streak to 59 and beyond.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Garrett Wittels doubled today in the sixth inning to extend his hitting streak to 55 consecutive games, as the NCAA college baseball regionals got underway today around the U.S. Wittels's team, Florida International University, wasn't so fortunate, getting crushed 17-3 by Texas A&M at the Miami site. FIU now goes to the losers' bracket, where one more defeat means elimination.

As those who have been following the thread of postings on Wittels know, the NCAA Division I record is 58 games, set in 1987 by Oklahoma State's Robin Ventura. Should Wittels keep getting hits, but his team not rebound to give him three (or four) more games this season for him to tie (or surpass) Ventura's streak, Wittels will be able to resume the streak next season, as he is only a sophomore.