Indians Historic Win Streak

Ben Clanin, 23 Sports

The reigning American League champions Cleveland Indians are sitting comfortably in the AL Central, having clinched their second division title and playoff berth in as many years on September 17 in an 8-4 victory against the Kansas City Royals. Lately the Tribe has been red-hot, thanks to a historic 22 game win streak.

The streak began on August 14th when the Indians rallied back after losing two straight games to the Boston Red Sox, they then went on to sweep the Royals in three games, the New York Yankees in three games, the Tribe then moved on to Detroit and swept the hometown Tigers in four games. Following the series in Detroit the Indians traveled down to the Windy City to take on the White Sox, where they proceeded to take the next four games. After their trip to the South Side, the Tribe took their streak out to the American League East, where they took on the Baltimore Orioles, and swept them in three games. They returned home to Progressive field where they once again took on the Tigers and swept them in three games.

After their 5-3 win in the final game of the series against Detroit, the “Windians”, as they came to be know, were sitting at a total of 21 games won in a row, which set an American League record and tied the number two team on the list of longest MLB win streaks.

The Kansas City Royals were next on the schedule for Cleveland, and they arrived at Progressive on September 14th, almost a full month after the Indians started their historic streak on the Royals home turf. The game was back and forth through the first nine innings, with the Royals drawing fist blood on a Mike Moustakas groundout, that allowed Eric Hosmer to score in second inning. In the third the Tribe answered off a Lonnie Chisenhall single that drove in Abraham Almonte. The Royals fired back in the sixth inning on an Eric Hosmer double, that scored Melky Cabrera.

The score was still 2-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, down to their last out Francisco Lindor doubled off the left field just out of reach of the leaping, four-time Gold Glove winner, Alex Gordon. The game, tied at two runs a piece, headed into the tenth inning in an electric Progressive Field. Indians closer Cody Allen made it out of the tenth with no harm done, and sent the heart of the lineup to lead off in the bottom half of the frame. The inning started with Jose Ramirez, who roped a double into right field. Edwin Encarnacion followed Ramirez with a walk, which brought up the newly acquired Jay Bruce. Bruce, who hit a three-run home run in the win the night before, slashed a double down the right field line, scoring Jose Ramirez and winning the Indians their 22nd consecutive game.

The stadium erupted in cheers as Bruce’s teammates rushed out to the field to mob him in celebration. The Indians now stood alone on second place on the all-time consecutive wins list, only behind the 1916 New York Giants, who won 26 games in a row.

The following night the Indians fell in the second game of the series against the Royals, concluding their historic stretch. But in the span of their win streak the Indians put up historic numbers. In their first 21 games on the win streak the Tribe only saw 85 pitches when they were down in the ball game, they saw 101 while trailing in win number 22. During the streak Cleveland outscored their opponents by a whopping 105 runs. Twelve players on the 25-man roster had at least five RBI’s, six players had at least 10, and Francisco Lindor had 20 runs batted in during their streak. The Tribe had 17 different players hit an extra base hit during the streak, which is the most in that span in MLB history. The Indians hit 41 home runs during their 22-game win streak, which is more than any team has hit during a win streak in MLB history, and they also had more home runs than runs allowed in their streak. They used 18 different pitchers over the win streak between the starting rotation and the bullpen, 15 of the 18 had a sub 3.00 ERA and 13 had a sub 2.00 ERA. Seven of those pitchers did not allow a home run in those 22 games either. Seven of the 22 wins during the streak came in the way of shutout, which is more than the season total of 13 teams throughout the league. The Indians jumped all over the opposing pitcher early on in the game, outscoring opponents 69-14 in their 22-game span. And at the plate the Tribe as a whole hit .329 which led the majors, had an on base percentage of .401, and a collective slugging of .587.

Looking at the stats it is easy to see why the Indians found so much success in their 22 game win streak, and they hope to keep up their red hot pace heading into the playoffs.