Sports

Cleveland’s streak is not only rare, but almost unbelievable

First came the total solar eclipse, which crossed the country on Monday, August 21. Then, just a few days later, the streak began to rip through the sport of baseball and it still hasn’t stopped.

No team has enjoyed a streak like this in a long time, but somehow the Cleveland Indians’ eighteen-game winning streak has been underrated. After all, winning eighteen games even in a single month is quite an achievement, and some teams go two full months without adding eighteen figures to the win column. Just this season, the Philadelphia Phillies didn’t get win number 18 until June 4, something Cleveland has done in 18 days.

There are many notable aspects of this streak, other than how infrequently it has happened in the long history of baseball. Consider, for example, that eleven of the eighteen consecutive wins came during a road trip in three different cities, from New York to Detroit to Chicago.

It’s one thing to beat rebuilding teams like the Tigers and White Sox, but the other four opponents during the streak have been in the middle of a pennant race. Boston, Baltimore and New York are fighting not only for the AL East championship, but also for a spot in the wild-card game, as is Kansas City.

The quality of the opponent didn’t seem to matter during the streak, and neither did the pitcher. As evidence of a strong rotation as well as an excellent bullpen, eight different pitchers have earned the decision during eighteen straight wins.

Not even game time seems to affect the Indians, who continue to roll under the stars or under the sun. Ten of the wins during the streak were night games, and the other eight were played during the day.

Even though the eighteenth victory was decided by just a 3-2 margin over the Baltimore Orioles, most of the games haven’t even been close. Over the dozen and a half contests, Cleveland has outscored opponents by an overwhelming 117-32 margin. Unbelievably, the Indians are averaging more than four runs per game than the team they play against.

The roll has now lasted nearly three weeks, which, even in the marathon of a baseball season, is still a long time. For proof, consider some of the strange occurrences that have occurred in the diamond since the streak began on August 24.

Houston played a home series against Texas at Tropicana Field, the Tampa Bay Rays’ ballpark. The Astros had been displaced due to Hurricane Harvey, which led to the club facing the Rangers in the Eastern time zone.

Tampa Bay ironically scheduled a home series to be played at CitiField, the New York Mets’ ballpark. Again, the cause was weather-related, as Hurricane Irma threatened Florida so badly that the Rays had to play a home series against the Yankees across town.

Mother Nature has certainly thrown us a lot of challenges in the past few weeks, from an eclipse to two hurricanes to an earthquake in our south. She, like her many opponents, has been powerless to stop the Cleveland Indians’ historic winning streak.

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