It’s easy to lose track of hitting streaks that span from one season to the next, but a September-April streak counts in the record books the same way it would if it spanned from May to July. Whit Merrifield of the Kansas City Royals has one of the former variety: with his 3-for-4 day against the Tigers yesterday he has now hit safely in 28 straight games.
That streak began last September 10 when he followed an 0-for-4 day with a 1-for-4 day against the Chicago White Sox. He’ll attempt to keep it going at home against the Mariners this evening. Merrifield’s 28 games is only halfway to Joe DiMaggio and, of course, many a man has gotten that far only to fall short. Fifty-six is just a hard to fathom number for a hitting streak, especially in an age of low contact and high strikeout rates. Merrifield does stand a decent shot of setting a Royals record, however: he’s only two shy of tying and three shy of breaking George Brett’s record 30-game streak, which he set in 1980.
They Royals were bad last year but Merrifield was a bright spot, leading the league in hits. The Royals are bad this year — they just lost their fifth straight — but Merrifield’s streak is at least something fun for now.