On Wednesday, when Matt Holliday singled in the first inning of the Cardinals’ 9-0 win over the Mets, he extended his on-base streak to 40 games. In doing so, he passed Rogers Hornsby to move into a tie for the 13th-longest streak for a Cardinal player all-time.
Holliday’s streak actually began last season, starting on the penultimate game of the 2014 campaign. Whereas hitting streaks are more well-known, they’re also based more on luck because they rely mostly on BABIP. A batter has a lot of control over BABIP (and therefore batting average) but not as much as OBP, since OBP includes the ability to reach base via walk, a skill that batters can possess. And on-base streaks give credit to batters whom pitchers try to pitch around.
The holders of the longest Cardinal on-base streaks attest to the honor of the statistic. Most of the team’s best hitters are in the top 50 streaks: Rogers Hornsby, Johnny Mize, Stan Musial, Joe Medwick, Ted Simmons, Keith Hernandez, Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds. Holliday has taken his place among them. The top 20 Cardinal on-base streaks:
Holliday now sets his sights on Pujols’s second-best career mark of 42 games, which he set twice.
In case you’re wondering, the all-time record is Ted Williams, who reached in 84 straight games in 1949. Almost halfway there, Matt!