Tribe’s winning streak amazing — and fun
When Yandy Diaz loafed on a ground ball and threw it over Carlos Santana’s head in the sixth inning, I was concerned.
When Bryan Shaw couldn’t field a bouncer to the mound and fell on his rear end in the process, I cringed.
These are the types of plays you pay for. Two errors, the first Indians miscues defensively since August.
Surely this is the day the streak ends, right?
This three-week stretch of, yes, perfect baseball continued.
It continued because Nick Goody threw a perfect inning of relief, picking up starter Mike Clevinger and Diaz.
It continued because third baseman Giovanny Urshela — practically Brooks Robinson without a bat — made two big plays in the eighth, bailing out Shaw.
It continued because the Indians paid $5 million for Jay Bruce, and because Roberto Perez — who was having a brutal day at the plate — clobbered an insurance-providing homer.
The Indians’ winning streak reached 21 Wednesday. They beat the Tigers 5-3. And a large, lively crowd was into every pitch.
So, even with a few defensive lapses — and even a bizarre few minutes in the middle of the game where the outfield sprinklers went on — the Indians kept rolling.
The American League, founded in 1901, has never had a team win 21 games in a row before. Ty Cobb’s Tigers’ teams never did it. The 1927 Yankees never did it. And that team from Oakland whose general manager was played by Brad Pitt in an overrated Hollywood movie never did it.
I keep thinking the Indians have to have a bad day. That’s the thing about baseball. A starting pitcher can be off, a bullpen can be ineffective, an offense — for whatever reason — can’t solve an opposing hurler.
A player can make a bad throw in the field, or fall fielding a grounder.
Those things have happened — except for the bullpen struggles — during this stretch.
And the Indians have shook it off and won anyway.
The Tribe will lose again … I think. But regardless, everyone needs to remember that a winning streak is not the goal.
Winning the World Series is.
And no matter how hot the Indians are right now, it won’t matter in October. Baseball isn’t like the NBA, where LeBron James’ team is expected to make the finals just because he’s there.
In the grand scheme, the Indians likely would have run away with their division even if they’d managed to play just .500 ball during the last three weeks.
This winning streak may give the Indians homefield advantage in the playoffs, which is nice. But they ended up with it last year, and they ended up a run short of the championship.
But I think most of us know that. And right now, it’s not bothersome.
The streak is nothing but fun.
And that’s what makes it special.
Zach Baker is the sports editor for The Advertiser-Tribune.
Contact him at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ZachtheWriter