Just one year removed from their heartbreaking World Series loss to the Chicago Cubs, the Cleveland Indians have galvanized their fan base with a winning streak for the record books. Resident expert Jay Jaffe has the definitive file on how this streak might be the most impressive in baseball history, but here are 22 fantastic facts on the stunning run from the defending American League champions.
1. The Indians have defeated their opponents by a combined score of 140–36 over the 22-game winning streak. Only six teams have a run differential greater than 100 for the entire season. Cleveland's overall run differential of 220 is 52 runs higher than that of the second-best team, the Dodgers.
2. The Indians are not simply winning games, they’re dominating from start to finish. Since this tweet was posted, Cleveland has trailed for only seven of 181 innings during their winning streak.
3. Of their 22 wins, the Indians have more than double as many wins of five runs or more (nine) as they do one-run wins (four).
4. They have hit 41 homers during the winning streak. They have allowed 36 runs total.
5. Corey Kluber is probably going to win the AL Cy Young Award, but the best pitcher during the streak has been third starter Mike Clevinger. The shaggy-haired righty had thrown 18 consecutive scoreless innings entering Wednesday's outing, allowed a .159 batting average against and collected a 0.89 WHIP during that span. He was the winner of Wednesday afternoon's game after allowing three earned runs over 5 2/3 innings.
6. Want more dominant pitching? Check out the recent work of Carlos Carrasco. During his four starts since Aug. 24, he has a 0.62 ERA and 34 strikeouts to just one walk. In his most recent start, against the Tigers, he struck out nine hitters to eclipse 200 whiffs for the season. Remember that Carrasco was injured during the Indians’ postseason run last year. It’s not hyperbole to suggest that he may be the missing piece for their first World Series title since 1948.
7. Speaking of trusty veterans, Carlos Santana is raking. The 31-year-old first baseman has a .365/.484/.689 line during the 21-game run, continuing his dominant second half. He is now hitting .313/.429/.596 with 13 home runs in the back half of the season after limping to a .238 batting average with just 10 homers over the first 84 games.
8.We wrote about him last week when the winning streak stood at 12, but the chronically undervalued Jose Ramirez has continued his absurd hitting. He stands at .423/.462/.944 with eight homers during the streak despite not playing in four of the wins. He’s also arguably the most versatile player in baseball.
Another fun fact about Ramirez? He is even more dangerous away from Progressive Field. While he’s compiled an excellent .313/.367/.515 with nine home runs at home, he’s at .315/.370/.627 on the road with 17 homers. Jose Altuve will probably win the American League MVP award, but Ramirez is making a fantastic late-season push.
9. Franchise shortstop Francisco Lindor is playing just as well as Ramirez is. Lindor has increased his season average by 11 points since the streak began and continued his 2017 power surge by hitting nine home runs over the last 22 games. Of his 31 hits during the streak, 14 have gone for extra bases. He now has 30 home runs this year after entering 2017 with 27 career home runs.
10. Even the backup catcher is in on the fun. During the winning streak, Roberto Perez is hitting .382/.447/.765 with four home runs. He had only two homers when the streak began.
11. Closer Cody Allen has not allowed a single run during the streak and has a perfect ERA since Aug. 12.
12. Lefthander Tyler Olson, who was called up to be a lefty specialist after star reliever Andrew Miller went on the DL with a knee injury last month, has not allowed a run in 15 innings. Before his call-up this season, he had a career ERA of 5.63 in 12 games between the Mariners and the Yankees.
13. Cleveland has won four games by double digits during the streak. Before the streak started, they had won two games by double digits all season.
14. Three of the team’s most recognizable players—Miller, second baseman Jason Kipnis and outfielder Michael Brantley (a 2017 All-Star)—were on the disabled list for the first 21 games of the streak. Miller came off the disabled list and pitched Thursday—in win No. 22—working a scoreless frame.
15. They’ve defeated the Kluber’s two primary challengers for the AL Cy Young Award (Red Sox starter Chris Sale and Yankees starter Luis Severino).
16. They have three of the majors' top four pitchers in strikeouts since Aug. 1.
17. If the Indians finish with the majors' best record they will have home field advantage for the World Series and will have made a run that might be even more incredible than their winning streak in order to do so:
18. They have logged six shutouts during the winning streak. Fourteen teams have logged six or fewer all season.
19. Even LeBron James is in on the fun:
20. The 20-game winning streak tied the Oakland A's for the American League record for longest winning streak.
21. The 21-game winning streak broke the American League record and tied the 1935 Cubs for the second longest winning streak in Major League history.
22. Jay Bruce's walk-off single cemented the Indians 22-game winning streak, which technically is the most consecutive wins for any team in baseball history. The record books show the 1914 Giants as winners of 26 straight, but it should be noted that the 13th game of that streak ended in a tie. The game was later replayed and the Giants won.