Astros reliever Ryan Pressly is on a roll. On Wednesday, he tied Craig Kimbrel for the longest consecutive scoreless streak in MLB history, with 38 such appearances dating back through August 15, 2018. On Friday, he made it through another outing without giving up a run, pushing his streak to 39 appearances to reach an all-time best mark.
Pressly’s record-breaking opportunity came in the bottom of the eighth inning when he stepped in for Will Harris. He needed just 11 pitches to get through the inning, fanning Mitch Moreland on a 96.7-m.p.h. fastball and inducing the remaining two outs from Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. The inning ended in dramatic fashion as Pressly scooped a pop-up from Devers and tossed it toward first base for the final out, tumbling backwards as he made the throw.
Following a scoreless ninth — this time with Roberto Osuna at the helm — the Astros wrapped the series opener with a win, their 30th of the year.
As Andrew Simon of MLB.com rightly points out, the right-hander’s impressive streak comes with a few caveats, the most pertinent of which are a) streaks of this kind are often made possible through the limited and specialized use of relievers, and b) pitchers may keep their streaks intact without taking into account any runs they allowed inherited runners to score. To the first point, Pressly has rarely been called on to pitch more than a single inning in any given game, reducing his chances of snapping the streak as he moves from outing to outing.
Taking Friday’s win into account, the 30-year-old has complemented his 0.00 ERA with a 1.01 FIP, 0.00 BB/9, and 9.45 SO/9 through his first 20 innings of 2019. He’ll likely get the chance to extend his historic streak as the Astros continue their series with the Red Sox through Sunday.