Perfect 20: Indians’ record-tying win streak is even more amazing than it seems – Washington Post

Consider what it means for a baseball team to outscore its opponents over the course of a season by 100 runs. That’s better than a half-run per game, spread out over 162 games. That’s a darn fine season. World Series have been won by teams, such as the 2015 Kansas City Royals, who didn’t manage a plus-100 run differential in the regular season. Last year’s American League champion Cleveland Indians, the best, most entertaining squad to grace the shores of Lake Erie in a generation, managed a plus-101.

The 2017 Indians, then, have had themselves a darn fine season, as measured by runs scored minus runs allowed, over the nearly three weeks that have passed between Aug. 24, when they won a seemingly unmemorable late-summer game at Progressive Field, and Tuesday night, when they beat the Detroit Tigers, 2-0, behind a shutout performance from ace Corey Kluber, for their 20th win in a row.

Twenty wins in a row. Spell it out: WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. It’s a towering achievement, pulled off by just two other teams since the turn of the previous century. The last to do it, the 2002 “Moneyball” Oakland Athletics, had a movie made about them. Their 20-game run stood alone as the AL record until the Indians equaled it Tuesday night. The all-time record of 21, set by the 1935 Chicago Cubs (although some would count the 1916 New York Giants’ 26-game winning streak that was interrupted by a tie) could be matched on Wednesday, with a 12:10 p.m. start, as Cleveland’s Mike Clevinger faces Detroit’s Buck Farmer.

“It’s pretty crazy to think,” Kluber said. “You play so many games in so many days, to go almost three weeks without losing a game is not something I think you really expect.”

But it is when you examine the winning streak more closely that the Indians’ almost incomprehensible dominance comes into view. They aren’t just winning games. They are smothering and bludgeoning opponents at the same time. Their two-run win Tuesday, the seventh shutout victory during the streak, pushed their aggregate margin of victory in these 20 wins to 102. Of the 180 innings they have played since Aug. 24, they have trailed at the end of just four.

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