This summer I have been listening to the Indians' games on radio, a vast improvement from last summer when, while living in the Pacific Northwest, I suffered through a disappointing Mariners' season. About three weeks ago the Indians started an amazing winning streak, a streak which didn't end until they had racked up a new franchise record of 14 straight victories!
The formula for the first 13 wins was that they would jump out to an early lead, and the starting pitching would take it from there. Then in game 14, played last Friday, the score was tied at 1-1 after nine innings. On and on it went, until the Tribe finally broke through in the 19th inning on a homer by Carlos Santana, winning 2-1 over the Blue Jays. This game started in the afternoon, due to it being Canada Day, and ended over six hours later in the evening. The Jays used a position player on the mound during the last two innings, while the Indians used the next day's scheduled pitcher, Trevor Bauer, for the last five innings.
The next day the fill-in starter got off to a shaky start, allowing three runs in the first inning. The Indians fought back to tie the score, but an overturned call at home plate in the 8th inning put the Jays ahead, and they won 9-6. A nice highlight for the Indians was Rajai Davis hitting for the cycle. He had the homer, triple and double, and came up in the 9th needing only a single, which he achieved.
The Jays then blew out the Tribe 17-1 on Sunday, but the Indians got back on track yesterday with a nice win, keeping their focus despite a two and a half hour rain delay before the start of the game.
7/7/16 update. The Tribe lost yesterday to the Tigers, breaking two streaks. They had been 11-0 vs. the Tigers this year, and they had won their last 13 home games!
10/3/16 update. The Indians won their division by 8 games over the Tigers. Even though the division win was not in doubt, there was still plenty of drama on the final day of play yesterday. The Indians had gotten rained out Friday in Detroit, and the makeup game would have been today if there was any need for it.
There were two ways there would have been a need for the makeup game. The Indians entered the day tied with the Red Sox for season wins, so home field advantage for their upcoming division series was at stake. Fortunately the Indians won and the Red Sox lost, so the Indians did not need today's makeup game since they hold the tiebreak with the Sox.
Secondly, the Tigers still had a shot at a wild card berth going into yesterday. Had the Tigers won, and either the Blue Jays or Orioles lost, then the makeup game would have been necessary. Had the Tigers then won the makeup game, a play-in game would have been necessary to determine the second wild card berth!
There was similar drama in the NL, as had the Giants lost, they would have had to play a play-in game with the Cards to determine the second wild card slot. But they won, shutting out the Dodgers, so it will be the Giants vs. the Mets in the wild card game. Bring on the postseason!