The Phillies released their 60-game 2020 schedule on Monday, a condensed slate of games in which the Phils face just nine unique opponents.
The Phillies' lack of schedule diversity will make for a weird year, and it also almost certainly brings a screeching halt to one extremely fun, extremely old streak.
As Pittsburgh Pirates broadcaster Joe Block pointed out Monday, the Phillies and the Pirates - or, more accurately, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia - have a 133-season-long streak going, dating all the way back to 1887:
Pittsburgh has played Philadelphia 2,297 times, and for 133 consecutive seasons, since splitting a doubleheader on Decoration Day, May 30, 1887.— Joe Block (@joe_block) July 6, 2020
Because of the pandemic, that will end in 2020, unless they meet in the Postseason. pic.twitter.com/QyJMJTNYPp
That streak, which began with a game between the Pittsburgh Alleghenys and the Philadelphia Quakers, will (almost certainly) end this season, as the two sides aren't scheduled to meet during the regular season.
The first-ever meeting between the Pennsylvania squads came on May 30, 1887. The teams split a double-header in Pittsburgh, but the Quakers technically won the first matchup, 2-1, in one hour and 55 minutes. The Quakers finished that season on a 17-game winning streak. Good stuff, Quakers.
After a few years of matchups between the Alleghenys and Quakers, the teams adopted their current nicknames - the Phillies in 1890, and the Pirates a year later - and kept rolling.
Since then, the teams have faced off at least once per year, a streak that will end this year unless the Pirates and Phillies reel off a pair of improbable postseason runs.
How improbable? As of Wednesday, FoxBet lists the Pirates at +8600 to win the NL Central, the worst odds in the division by a country mile, while listing the Phillies at +450 to win the NL East, second-worst in the division.
Never say never, I suppose, but it's probably safe to bid adieu to this centuries-spanning streak and start preparing for a new one in 2021.
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