The Cleveland Indians broke the American League record for consecutive victories on Wednesday when they beat the Detroit Tigers 5-3.
For the Indians, that’s 21 in a row. They haven’t lost in 20 days. The AL mark they broke was set in 2002 by the Oakland A’s. The really, really extended record in the majors belongs to the 1906 New York Giants, who went 26 straight without a defeat (though there was a tie in there, times being what they were).
The Indians enjoyed a thorough clubhouse celebration after knocking off the Tigers, and got full commendations from manager Terry Francona for celebrating the streak rather than fearing the pressure that come with it.
“They should enjoy what they’re doing. It’s pretty special,” he said.
At 90-56, Cleveland has the AL’s record and leads the Central Division by 13 ½ games over the Minnesota Twins. A couple of weeks ago that looked like a pennant race. Now the Twins are chasing a wild-card berth (and trailing in that as well).
The Indians last won the World Series in 1948 and were the unfortunate victims of the Chicago Cubs a year ago in the October and maybe November Classic. The Cubs, you recall, snapped a 108-year championship drought. Can the Indians, whose streak of non-title years is now the lengthiest, be next?
In Cleveland, where an impending sense of doom always seems to surround the sports teams (even with the NBA’s Cavaliers having won a title two years ago), they’re already asking if the team has peaked too soon.
Enjoy the streak for what it is. Think of what it may portend. Keep it loose, play the game, set a few records and build on it. As Francona said: “You always think you’re going to win until you don’t.”
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman
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