The Syracuse Chiefs enter today's homestand on a historic run of winning. Here's an in-depth look at just how good times are for the Triple-A Washington Nationals…
· Syracuse enters play today at 47-30. The Chiefs haven't been 17 games over .500 since the final day of the 1998 season - September 7, 1998 - which Syracuse ended at 80-62.
· Syracuse currently holds a 5.5-game lead on second-place Rochester in the I.L. North Division. That's the Chiefs' largest division lead since a six-game advantage on August 12, 1998.
· Syracuse finished an eight-game season sweep of Durham yesterday, the first-place team in the South Division. Dating back to 1938, that's the sixth time one International League team has swept the season series with another I.L. team, and first such occurrence in Syracuse history. It's the first season sweep for an I.L. team since Rochester swept Toledo in 2012.
· The Chiefs scored 40 runs in their four-game sweep of Durham which concluded yesterday. The Chiefs haven't had that prolific of an output in a series since scoring 42 runs in the first four games of a five-game series with Pawtucket from August 29-September 2, 1996. (Syracuse scored 46 runs in total in the series.)
A few extra notes on Syracuse's recent success…
· Since May 1st, Syracuse's 36-16 record is the best in professional baseball, one half-game ahead of 35-16 Hickory of the South Atlantic League.
· Syracuse's current seven-game winning streak is the Chiefs' highest since a nine-gamer from June 18-26, 2012. Over the course of the streak, Syracuse has outscored its opponents 57 to 15 - an average score of 8.14 to 2.14.
· Zach Walters returned to Syracuse from Washington on May 27th. Since that date, Walters' 10 home runs ranktied for second in professional baseball, behind only Kris Bryant of the Triple-A Iowa Cubs.
· Outfielder Steven Souza, Jr. currently leads the International League in all three slash-line categories: batting average (.363), on-base percentage (.456) and slugging percentage (.567). Souza's batting average and on-base percentage with the Chiefs each rank second in professional baseball. No Syracuse player has led the International League in any of those categories since Kevin Barker posted a league-best .569 slugging percentage in 2005.
· Syracuse hasn't lost back-to-back games since May 17th and 18th, a streak of 34 consecutive games without back-to-back losses. While there's no league record held for this streak, as a historical comparison, the 1998 New York Yankees (114-48) had a season-long streak of 31 games without back-to-back losses.