Inside the Tribe’s historic 22-game win streak

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The Cleveland Indians went unbeaten from August 24- September 15; a 22-game win streak, setting an American League record in the process.   

During this streak, the Indians clinched their second consecutive playoff berth, which was also their third in five years.  One day after the historic streak was ended by the Kansas City Royals, the Indians clinched their second consecutive divisional crown with a win that afternoon, followed up by a Minnesota Twins loss later that night.    

The Cleveland Indians from Cleveland, Ohio are managed by Terry Francona, a New Brighton, PA native.  He also happens to be my cousin, which is why my family and I are so invested in the team and their success.   

When this streak began, the Indians trailed the Astros by 7 ½ games for the AL’s best record.  As this incredible run has come to a close, the Indians are now up 2 ½ games on Houston in an effort to clinch home-field advantage throughout the American League postseason.   

The starting pitchers during this stretch, which include Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Carlos “Cookie” Carrasco, Mike Clevinger, Ryan Merritt, and Josh Tomlin have combined for both a 1.77 ERA and 19 out of the 22 consecutive wins.  While the bullpen, including Dan Otero, Brian Shaw, Andrew Miller, Cody Allen, and countless others have combined for an even lower 1.17 ERA.  Allowing only eight earned runs, giving up only two home runs, 11 walks and striking out 61 batters in 61 1/3 innings. 

Good pitching needs to be backed up by good hitting and the Indians’ offense had plenty of that.  Throughout the 22 consecutive wins, the Indians’ scored first in 19 of them while also outscoring their opponents in the first three innings by a total of 69-14.  The Indians’ also smacked 41 home runs, which happens to be the most by any team during any kind of win streak.  Their SS Francisco Lindor put up a remarkable slash line of .360/.427/.767 and 9 home runs during the win streak.  The .360 stands for his average, .427 stands for his on-base percentage, and the final .767 stands for his slugging percentage.   

Lindor’s middle infield partner 2B Jose Ramirez has put up a very strong MVP campaign this season, but people have really started to notice that throughout this stretch.  During this streak Ramirez has had three games of at least four or more hits in them, including his 5-5 effort against Detroit where he notched three doubles and 2 home runs.  In the 19 games he played in during the streak, Ramirez put up an incredible .423/.462/.944 slash line with 9 home runs and twice as many doubles (21) as singles (10) to go along with that. 

As a team, the Indians have batted .306 and slugged .551 while winning an American League record 22 straight games.  The previous record was held by the 2002 Oakland Athletics, who rambled off a 20-game win streak.  This miraculous run later set up for the Oscar nominated and award-winning movie Moneyball, which was based on the book by Michael Lewis.  

Hopefully the Indians will still be playing Postseason baseball at this time a month from now, if they were they would be in the World Series.  After last year’s heartbreaking World Series Game 7 loss to the Chicago Cubs there is nothing Indians’ fans and I want more than redemption.  Not all of the playoff teams are set in stone yet but the projected teams to be playing in the ALCS are the Indians and the Astros, while the projected World Series matchup would be the Dodgers versus the Indians.  Then again it is Postseason baseball and anything can happen.