SAN DIEGO -- Padres closer Huston Street has pitched very well over the past month. So well, in fact, that upon hearing the exact extent of that recent success, his manager Bud Black cringed, stared, and knocked his fist on the top of the wooden bench of the Padres dugout.
The stat that generated that appeal to the baseball gods is, indeed, worthy of knocking on wood: Street has not allowed a run in exactly a month, good for the longest scoreless streak (10 1/3 innings) of any San Diego reliever this year.
The last time a team tallied a run against the All-Star was June 17 when the A's pushed one home. Since that outing, Street has allowed just two hits in 32 at-bats and has walked three. He has struck out 15 men in those 10 1/3 innings, and run his save record to a perfect 14-for-14.
"I've kind of made it a point this year not to necessarily get too excited about what I've done," Street said. "It's OK for people to talk about what you're doing well and what you've done, but for me ... being good in a season is being good the whole season, so I feel there's a lot left for me to do."
If his concern for Street's streak is any indication, Black also hopes his closer can keep up the good work he's seen all year from the 28-year-old.
But for all the superstition around this streak, Black also knows that good work is the norm, rather than a fluke exception, for the career-long closer.
"The thing with Street is he's been there before. He's got the knowledge and the wherewithal to work his way through an inning to get a save," Black said. "Whether it's a three-run save, whether it's with guys on base, whether it's a one-run game to get three outs -- he did it in college, he did it in Oakland, he did it in Colorado, and he's doing it here."
And while his recent streak of scoreless innings may be the eye-catching statistic of the moment, neither that, nor his impressive strikeout totals are what matter to Street.
"In a save situation, what matters most to me is the save," he said. "You got guys on base and you got a three-run lead, get outs. You give up some runs, you have to have an unselfish approach as a closer. In other situations, you have to be stingy, but all that comes from making one pitch at a time."