MODESTO — The Modesto Nuts limped back into town Friday, having dropped a three-game series in Visalia that extended their losing streak to eight games. Its the longest Modesto slide since the Nuts came to town in 2005 (there were seven-game losing streaks in 2005 and 2006,) and the longest overall since the 2001 Modesto As lost eight straight in 2001. The all-time Modesto record is 13, set by the 1990 Modesto As. And while you might want to think that the 1990 Lil As were horrid (and they did go 59-82 for manager Ted Kubiak,) first consider that 14 players who wore the Modesto uniform that summer went on to play in the majors. Which takes us back to this years team. The Nuts struggled out of the gate for one obvious reason - theyre not hitting. But when you look at this group of players and what they have accomplished at lower levels, its plausible to believe that the current Modesto team has more talent than did the squad last year that went to the California League championship series. Its a fair assessment, said Tim Smalling, one of the few returning players. Last years team was talented, but it says a lot about the guys in the clubhouse right now that they are more talented. We have a great group of players in here right now. Were just one big hit, every game, away from busting it open. Sometimes all it takes is that game where you get the one big knock to get the ball rolling. We havent been able to get that, especially in the last week or so, but the guys in here are relentless and well be fine.