7/24/2013 8:50 P.M. ET
Beat the Streak leader's run ends at 43 games
By Zachary Finkelstein / MLB.com
Without a doubt, Joe Catarelli is a bright Beat the Streak star. The 21-year-old from Commack, N.Y., made 43 straight successful selections, an impressive feat to say the least.
Catarelli's remarkable BTS run came to a close Wednesday afternoon, with the Long Island resident falling 14 picks short of securing BTS fame and the game's $5.6 million grand prize. He deserves plaudits, however, as only one Streaker has fared better than Catarelli in 2013.
"I enjoyed the whole BTS experience from beginning to end," Catarelli said. "To be tied for [the] second-[longest streak of the season] is a great feeling, because I know how hard it is to get that far."
In retrospect, Catarelli may have gone to the well one too many times with Angels outfielder Mike Trout, who was asked to extend Catarelli's remarkable run to 44 correct picks in a row during the Halos' 1-0 win vs. the Twins on Wednesday. Trout, it should be noted, accounted for 15 of Catarelli's 43 correct picks.
The outfielder known as the Millville Meteor was a sound selection, entering the day with a .324 average and a matchup against Mike Pelfrey, who came in with a 5.40 ERA. But the owner of baseball's eighth-best batting average did what he rarely does, taking an 0-fer in a contest for just the second time this month and the first since before the Fourth of July. Even more surprisingly, Trout went hitless with two or more K's for the first time since May. The man who entered Wednesday's play with a big league-best 15-game hitting streak knows how to handle a bat, and Catarelli's decision to call upon him once more was backed by a sound process, the result notwithstanding.
"When the game was over Wednesday, it was a horrible feeling," Catarelli said. "But at the same time, I was proud of myself to make it this far.
"[This] streak [has] been a great experience overall. My family and friends have been so supportive the whole way."
To place Catarelli's accomplishment into a greater historical perspective, the longest single-season hitting streaks in National League history were posted by the Reds' Pete Rose (1978) and the Orioles' Willie Keeler (1897), who each tallied a hit in 44 straight contests during their respective record-setting campaigns. Falling one pick shy of the Senior Circuit bar is nothing to hang one's head over. Catarelli, an aspiring police officer, knows this well. And he's ready to get back on his proverbial horse.
"When I lost the streak, I told my friends, 'You know what I'll just start again tomorrow, because I definitely had a great time playing,'" he said.
We won't be surprised to see him atop the leaderboard again.
In Beat the Streak, participants try to establish a virtual hitting streak by picking one or two big leaguers per day, with their streaks continuing as long as their selections collect at least one hit that day. In 13-plus seasons of BTS play, no one has matched Joe DiMaggio's magic hitting streak of 56, set in 1941. To win the $5.6 million grand prize, one must surpass Joe D.'s record streak.
Fans this year have been chasing the 57 mark in a more aggressive fashion than ever. You can, too -- for free, no less. And best of all, participating takes just seconds a day. Not a bad deal considering the millions of reasons to play.
Zachary Finkelstein is a fantasy editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.