The longest winning streak in American League history came to an end Friday night.
The Cleveland Indians, winners of their previous 22 games, lost 4-3 (box score) to the Kansas City Royals at home. Winning 22 games in a row just isn't supposed to happen in this game, but the Indians did it. Remarkable.
Here are 22 random stats and facts about Cleveland's now completed 22-game winning streak.
1. It's the second longest winning streak in history.
. But, according to MLB, this is the second-longest winning streak ever. Here are the top five:
- 1916 Giants: 26 games
- 2017 Indians: 22 games
- 1935 Cubs: 21 games
- 2002 Athletics: 20 games
- 1906 White Sox: 19 games
That 26-game winning streak by the Giants is somewhat controversial because there was a tie in the middle of it. The Giants won 12 straight games, tied one game, then won 14 straight games. MLB says that is the record though, so that's the record.
2. Not many of the 22 wins were close.
The Indians outscored their opponents 142-37 during the 22 games, which is a plus-105 run differential. The average margin of victory was 4.77 runs. Here are the individual margins of victory:
- One run: 4
- Two runs: 4
- Three runs: 1
- Four runs: 4
- Five or more runs: 9
More than half the 22 wins were decided by at least four runs. Pretty incredible.
3. Their Pythagorean record was 21-1.
Pythagorean record is a fancy term for expected record based on run differential. That plus-105 run differential equals an expected 21-1 record in those 22 games thanks to all those big blowout wins. There is always going to be some element of luck to a 22-game winning streak, but make no mistake, the Indians straight up dominated for 22 games.
4. The Indians had just one walk-off win.
The only walk-off win during the streak came in the 22nd and final game. That was Jay Bruce's walk-off double against the Royals on Thursday night. It was set up by Francisco Lindor's game-tying double in the ninth.
5. The Indians trailed for only eight innings.
The Indians played 198 innings during the 22-game winning streak -- they didn't play any extra innings games -- and trailed for exactly eight of those 198 innings. Eight! Four of those eight innings came in one game too -- on Thursday, prior to Lindor's ninth-inning heroics and Bruce's walk-off double.
6. They swept two doubleheaders.
As part of the 22-game winning streak, the Indians swept a pair of doubleheaders in the span of three days. They took two games from the Yankees at Yankee Stadium on August 30, then took two games from the Tigers at Comerica Park on September 1. The doubleheader with the Yankees included a makeup game of their August 29 rainout. The Tigers and Indians were rained out back on June 30, which led to the doubleheader.
7. Cleveland won 15 games in 14 days.
Thanks to that doubleheader against the Tigers, the Indians played 15 games in the final 14 days of their winning streak, and they won all 15. The Tribe still have not had an off-day since August 31, the day between the Yankees and Tigers doubleheaders.
8. The Indians had long home and road winning streaks simultaneously.
I mean, duh. When you win 22 straight games, you're going to win a lot of games at home and on the road. Never before have the Indians had home and road winning streaks this long in the same season though.
Since 1913, Cleveland never had winning streaks of 10+ games on road and at home in same season. They have have two such streaks active now.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) September 15, 2017
9. The Indians hit .306/.385/.552 during the streak.
For reference, Adrian Beltre is hitting .311/.387/.543 this season. The Indians essentially had a lineup of nine Adrian Beltres during the winning streak.
10. Ramirez led the way offensively.
Weirdly enough, Jose Ramirez went into the winning streak riding a slump. He went 1 for 24 in the seven games prior to the streak. Can you imagine Ramirez going 1 for 24 at any point during the season? Insane. He then hit .423/.462/.944 with 11 doubles, eight home runs, five walks, and only three strikeouts in 78 plate appearances during the winning streak.
11. Their starters had a 1.77 ERA during the streak.
The rotation had a 0.97 WHIP and a 5.35 K/BB during the streak, and they averaged 6 1/3 innings per start. Corey Kluber gets all the attention and deservedly so, but Mike Clevinger stepped in and allowed one earned run in four starts and 23 2/3 innings during the streak. When you get pitching like that, it's easy to understand why they won 22 straight games.
12. Bauer ended another 22-game winning streak.
At some point the winning streak was going to end, and it happened to end Friday night, during a Trevor Bauer start. It was the second time Bauer started and lost the 23rd game to end a 22-game winning streak. He did it in college too.
13. The Indians used 36 different players during the streak ...
The streak started in August and continued into September, after rosters expanded. Because of that, the Indians used 36 different players during the 22-game winning streak. Twenty-five of those 36 players appeared in at least five games during the streak.
14. ... but no one played in all 22 games.
15. Kipnis missed the streak with injury.
Second baseman Jason Kipnis, , missed the entire 22-game winning streak with a hamstring injury. He got hurt on August 22, two days before the first of the 22 wins. Kipnis still hasn't returned. He is expected back soon though.
16. Miller appeared in only one game.
A knee injury sidelined ace setup man Andrew Miller for just about the entire winning streak. He was activated Thursday and pitched that night, in the 22nd of the 22 wins. The Indians managed to win 22 straight games without their starting second baseman and best reliever.
17. Zimmer got hurt during the streak.
Being without Kipnis and Miller wasn't enough, apparently. The Indians lost another starter in rookie center fielder Bradley Zimmer to a . His hand was stepped on -- unintentionally, of course -- when he slid into first base. His season is over. The Indians were far from healthy during this 22-game winning streak.
18. The AL Central race became a laugher.
The Indians held a fairly comfortable -- but certainly not insurmountable -- 4 1/2-game lead over the Twins in the AL Central at the start of the streak. When the streak ended, they were up by 13 1/2 games. Minnesota went 12-8 during Cleveland's streak and lost nine games in the standings. That's rough.
19. The Indians took over the best record in the AL.
At the start of the streak, the Indians were 7 1/2 games behind the Astros for the best record in the AL and 3 1/2 games behind the Red Sox the second-best record in the AL. Cleveland jumped over the Red Sox and the Astros during the winning streak, and they came into Saturday with a one-game lead over Houston for the league's best record. That's not nothing. Clinching the league's best record means having home-field advantage through at least the ALCS.
20. The Indians clinch a postseason spot.
Thursday's win over the Royals combined with the Astros' win over the Angels officially clinched a postseason spot for the Indians. They will be, at worse, the second wild card team. Of course, it's only a matter of time until they clinch the AL Central championship and possibly the best record in the AL.
21. The streak broke ratings records.
Needless to say, fan interest was through the roof once the winning streak got over 10, 15, 20 games. SportsTime Ohio, which broadcasts Indians game, set a new ratings record Thursday night.
Last night's Indians game drew the highest rating in SportsTime Ohio history (20.44 household rating, equivalent of 306,000 homes)— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) September 15, 2017
Turns out winning 22 straight games is good for business. Who knew?
22. The fans gave the team a big hand after the streak ended.
Perhaps the coolest moment of the 22-game winning streak came after it ended. The fans at Progressive Field stuck around and give the Indians a big standing ovation after the streak ended Friday night. Check it out:
That is pretty darn cool.