If based only on the run that the Cleveland Indians have embarked on over the better part of the last month, it may be easy to forget that baseball is a sport that does not often lend itself to playing at a breakneck speed. With two on and two out in the bottom of the first, Jay Bruce belted a three-run homer to left field that just cleared the 19-foot wall. Cleveland's shortstop has gotten an extra-base hit in nine straight games, extending his string with a leadoff double in the first inning as the Indians ended their winning run at 22 games.
With each passing win, the team's championship hopes went largely unaffected, pundits and advanced calculations casting doubt onto whether or not the streak had actual negative effects.
So with 22 straight wins and the talent to match, is 2017 likely to be Cleveland's year?
The win gave Cleveland sole possession of the second-longest winning streak in Major League Baseball history, passing the Chicago Cubs.
On this night, the Indians doubled that count with four trailed innings.
The end result was even different.
This is the longest win streak in the Major League Baseball since that famous 2002 Athletics season in Oakland.
At this point I don't even know what to say when it comes to the streak. "A great atmosphere. It felt like a playoff game". My goodness sakes, it's fun.
See, manager Terry Francona has a friend whom he previously described as a "gray cloud". Guys like Nick Goody and Tyler Olson have held down middle-relief like it's their job.
Tweet Embed: https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/908087571644686337 LET IT RIDE: Betting #Indians to win 21 STRAIGHT - starting with $100 and letting it ALL ride after each game - would've won $1.18 MILLION!
"This doesn't really happen anywhere", Bruce said. When he came up you just had this feeling, the type of year he's having, the type of player that he is, he's going to put together a competitive at-bat and do everything he can to try to get that run in. Obviously the streak. People are going insane. Now, they've clinched a playoff berth and have the best record in the AL and are within spitting distance of claiming homefield advantage throughout the playoffs from the struggling Dodgers. "We had a lot of opportunities to score (earlier in the game), but we couldn't cash in". Third-year student Joel Alder thinks they have a chance to make a run, however. Greg Allen had to relieve the injured Lonnie Chisenhall. Francisco Mejia, pinch-hitting for Yan Gomes, grounded into a forceout at second and was replaced by pinch runner Erik Gonzalez.
It was fitting that Kluber threw the complete game shutout for their 20th win being in the American League Cy Young race. No pressure. No pressure, I get it.