The Major League Baseball season is coming to an end, but the Cleveland Indians win streak does not seem to be ending anytime soon. At time of writing, they are on a 22-game winning streak.
The 22-game winning streak is the longest winning streak in American League history, breaking the 2002 ‘Moneyball’ Oakland Athletics’ record. It is currently the second longest all-time winning streak behind the 1916 New York Giants who won 26 straight games. The Giants streak may be denoted due to the fact that the streak contains an unofficial tie(s) not included in the win totals.
The Indians clinched a postseason berth with a record of 91-56 and are 13.5 games ahead of the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central. Cleveland now has the best record in the AL and are second behind the Los Angeles Dodgers who are currently 94-52.
The Indians have 15 games left in the regular season, with four teams still looking to make the postseason. The remaining teams are the Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners, Twins and Chicago White Sox. While there is no evidence to support it, some still believe in teams going into the playoffs hot. Should the Indians break the record, they will be considered the hottest team in baseball. That would create good feelings in a clubhouse looking to win the World Series after blowing a 3-1 lead last year.
Since coming to the Indians from the New York Mets on Aug. 9, Jay Bruce has been a huge part of Cleveland’s success. He is hitting .253 with an on-base percentage of .343 and slugging .495. He has connected for five home runs and 18 RBIs in 27 games.
The Arizona Diamondbacks also had a great winning streak this season, winning 13 straight games. This is a new franchise record. The Diamondback have shown potential the past few years, but could not get over the hump with the Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants in their division, and the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers looking to take wildcard spots in the National League.
Arizona started their winning streak Aug. 24 against the Mets, winning 3-2. Their final victory would come at the hands of the Dodgers winning 3-1 on Sept. 6 before losing to the Padres 6-10 Sept. 8.
During the streak, the D-backs went 98 innings without trailing. Six of their wins came against the divisional rival Dodgers.
On July 18, the D-backs acquired J.D. Martinez from the Detroit Tigers. In his time in Arizona, Martinez has hit 23 home runs in 49 games. This would amount to a 76-homer pace over a 162-game season.
Both of these streaks are impressive, especially if you look at how the game is played today. The players are much faster, stronger and all-around, great athletes.
The importance of winning streaks this close to the postseason is that a team like the Indians can pull away from the other teams in their division, or even the conference, and potentially win home-field advantage.
Looking at Arizona, they have been able to stay on top of the wild card and sit only 9.5 games behind the Dodgers, who at one point looked like they were going to dominate the second half of the season.