The 17-game winning streak is not only the longest winning streak in baseball this season. It is the longest winning streak in Indians franchise history -- their previous record was 14, set last season -- and the second-longest in baseball over the last 50 years. Here's the list:
- 2002 Athletics: 20 wins
- 2017 Indians: 17 wins and counting
- 1977 Royals: 16 wins
- 2001 Mariners: 15 wins
- 2000 Braves: 15 wins
- 1991 Twins: 15 wins
During the 17-game winning streak the Indians have outscored their opponents 118-30 (118-30!), and trailed in only four of 153 total innings. Two of those four innings came Saturday. The Orioles strung together three singles for a quick first inning run Saturday.
The Indians did not score first, for the first time since Aug. 23.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) September 9, 2017
The Indians responded with one run in the third, one run in the fourth, one run in the fifth, and one run in the seventh. Franchise shortstop Francisco Lindor swatted his 28th home run of the season for an insurance run late in the game. Starter Josh Tomlin allowed two runs in five innings, which qualifies as a poor outing for Cleveland's rotation these days.
Josh Tomlin went five innings for the Indians, whose rotation now has a 1.89 ERA over the past 17 games.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) September 9, 2017
Thanks to this remarkable winning streak, the Indians are now only one game behind behind the Astros for the best record in the AL, pending the outcome of Houston's doubleheader with the A's on Saturday. The best record in the league would secure home field advantage through at least the ALCS. Then again, maybe home field advantage doesn't matter much to the Indians. They've actually played better on the road this year:
- Home: 38-29 (plus-97 run differential)
- Road: 48-27 (plus-109 run differential)
Of course, playing at home in the postseason is much better than playing on the road, even if your season record says you've had more success away from your ballpark. Players prefer to sleep in their own beds and have their home fans behind them as much as possible. The more you're in your comfort zone, the better.
If the Indians stay hot, they could very well pass the Astros for the top spot in the AL before the end of the season. Heck, they might pass them before the end of the weekend at this pace.