CHICAGO >> Robin Ventura holds the longest hitting streak in major college baseball at 58 games. But the Chicago White Sox manager thinks Boston's Jackie Bradley Jr. faces many more obstacles as he tries to build on a 27-game streak.
"The first thing is he's probably feeling the best he's ever felt in his career as far as going to the plate and feeling he can get a hit," Ventura said Monday. "The pressure is going to be the every day answering if he's going to get a hit, what he's thinking, guys that he passes. I think that along the way is going to be difficult."
Bradley and the Red Sox enjoyed an off day Monday before they begin a three-game series against Colorado at Fenway Park on Tuesday. It's the longest streak in the majors since the Rockies' Nolan Arenado hit in 28 straight in 2014.
Ventura was a sophomore third baseman at Oklahoma State during his streak that lasted into the 1987 College World Series. It began in relative anonymity, but he started receiving attention when the Cowboys reached the postseason and his streak surpassed Joe DiMaggio's major league record of 56 set in 1941.
Ventura said he was helped by playing important games later in his streak.
"What makes this hard is he's just playing games," Ventura said of Bradley. "They're important, but they're not a playoff game, they're not a game toward the end of the year when you're one up or one down at the end of the season. That part of it becomes tougher."
And Ventura said you don't see many long hitting streaks anymore because of the way bullpens are now constructed.
"You'll see a tough lefty come in to face him that guys that passed him didn't necessarily see," Ventura said. "Today I think you're seeing more velocity out of the bullpen than you have before. So it's a tough go."