Beat the Streak leader six picks from $5.6 million prize
Mosley goes with pair of Blue Jays on Monday
By Manny Randhawa
Six picks away from being the first person to ever win the $5.6 million Beat the Streak prize, 32-year-old Robert Mosley selected a pair of Blue Jays -- Kevin Pillar and Ezequiel Carrera -- on Monday in their game against Bartolo Colon and the Braves. If both players record hits, he will extend his record streak to 53 games. Pillar notched a leadoff single in the fifth, so it all comes down to Carrera.
When Bryce Harper launched a walk-off, two-run homer in the Nationals' 6-4 win over the Phillies at Nationals Park on Saturday night, Washington celebrated another thrilling victory, but there was also cause for Mosley, who set a new Beat the Streak record with 51 consecutive successful picks. After that dramatic Saturday night, Mosley took Mother's Day off and did not make a pick on Sunday.
With Harper's homer -- his only hit in the game -- Mosley became the first person in the 17-year history of the contest, which debuted in 2001, to reach 50 consecutive successful selections. Mosley doubled down by choosing Harper and teammate Ryan Zimmerman to record hits -- Zimmerman singled in the second and hit a two-run double in the fifth.
The BTS "Double Down" feature allows Streakers to select two players on the same day. If both batters record at least one hit the Streaker's run advances by two games.
"It feels amazing to be the first ever to reach 50 in a game over 17 years old," Mosley said.
Harper's ninth-inning heroics were just the latest in a line of dramatic events that have led to Mosley's streak surviving over the past week. On Thursday, Mosley selected Billy Hamilton and Zack Cozart of the Reds; both recorded hits but combined to go 0-for-13 in the following night's 17-inning loss to the Giants.
"I was extremely nervous, obviously, but I was also thinking it would be crazy if he hit a home run," Mosley said. "Honestly, when he hit the home run I cried ... it's like I've come so close I don't want it to end.
"I've been following on MLB At Bat on my phone. Last night was crazy. When the text came up that said, 'In play, [runs]' followed by 'Bryce Harper homers on a fly ball to center field,' it was just amazing."
The rules of MLB.com's flagship fantasy game Beat the Streak, presented by National Car Rental, are simple, even if the challenge is not: Correctly pick a batter or two each day to tally a hit in a game. Then do it again and again, and don't stop until 57 consecutive successful selections are made. To do so would be to "top" Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak, one of baseball's most hallowed marks. The prize for prevailing is a cool $5.6 million.
On Friday, Mosley doubled down with Angels teammates Mike Trout and Yunel Escobar. Escobar reached on an infield single in the fifth inning, but Trout was 0-for-4 when he strode to the plate in the eighth with a runner aboard. The reigning American League Most Valuable Player hit a two-run homer to keep Mosley's bid to become the first winner of BTS alive.
Then came Saturday's thrilling finish from Harper.
Zimmerman singled in his first at-bat in the second inning against Phillies pitcher Nick Pivetta. In the ninth, Harper, after going 0-for-3 with a walk to open the game, crushed an 0-1 pitch from Edubray Ramos out to center. It capped an eventful day for Harper, who also agreed to a $21.65 million contract for 2018.
"I thought it was over, honestly, because [Trout] was obviously not having his best night," Mosley said on Friday night after Trout's late homer off Tigers reliever Anibal Sanchez saved the streak. "And he hits a home run. ... Wow."
Trout's shot also extended the streak of the BTS player in second place, user "joeysouza9," who reached 42 consecutive selections when Trout's homer sailed over the wall. User "joeysouza9" didn't make a selection on Saturday, meaning his streak remains at 42.
Mosley -- who plays under the BTS handle 'kamea,' his daughter's name -- is now closer to 57, a mark no Beat the Streak player has ever reached. With his selections on Saturday each recording a hit, he surpassed the all-time BTS high of 49, first set by Mike Karatzia in 2007 and matched last summer by Terry Sims.
"Wow! Mosley is really hitting on all cylinders. I am really rooting for the him to take the big prize; what guts for picking two at a time," Sims said.
"I was watching -- good for him!" Karatzia said. "That had to be some feeling seeing that ball jump off his bat. I guess I'll leave you with this: 'There's heroes and there's legends; heroes get remembered but legends never die.'"
What do we know about Mosley, the current BTS star du jour? For starters, he is proof that even beginners can rise up into BTS lore, having never before played the game until this year.
"When I started playing it was kind of just to see what happened, how far I could go. But to be the new all-time leader is truly a blessing," he said.
The New Orleans native is no stranger to some of baseball history's biggest feats. Partial to the Red Sox, Mosley has vivid memories of the greatest comeback in sports history.
"My favorite player is Big Papi [David Ortiz]," Mosley said. "[I have good memories] when the Red Sox came back from three games to zero against the Yankees [in the 2004 ALCS]."
Could Mosley pull off an improbable feat of his own, pulling home a lifetime's worth of fame and fortune by climbing to the apex of the BTS mountain? Perhaps. And if he were to win, he'd be eager to share the wealth.
"I would help a lot of people, starting with my family," Mosley said. "This isn't about me; it's about them."
Those close to Mosley, who have certainly noticed his recent success, are cheering him on.
"They are all trying not to get too excited, but definitely rooting me on," Mosley said.
Whether Mosley wins it all remains to be seen, but he's surely advanced thanks to a great deal of skill. Case in point: His picks enter Monday having "hit" a robust .365 (76-for-208) during the streak. By comparison, Joltin' Joe batted .408 (91-for-223) during his historic 56-game streak into immortality during the summer of 1941.
As for popular picks, Mosley hasn't shown a particular affinity for one team or player. The user has most frequently called on Trout, Harper, Xander Bogaerts, Francisco Lindor and Freddie Freeman, doing so successfully four times each. He has also successfully used Lorenzo Cain three times.
Even if Mosley happens to fall short of the grand prize, he could wind up in prime position to claim the $10,000 consolation prize given to the player with the highest streak this season, should no one break DiMaggio's mark. Additionally, the BTS game-makers hand out millions of other prizes for streaks as small as five.
Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.