September 12, 2017
What You Need to Know
The Monday Takeaway
Let’s get this out of the way first: This 19-game winning streak by Cleveland has been fun to watch. Unless of course you’re a fan of one of the teams they’ve victimized over the past 19 games. I watched them in action, way back on August 28 at Yankee Stadium, when the streak was a mere five games old, and while it wasn’t really that enjoyable at the time, I now like knowing that I may have been a part of a history. Back then, Cleveland was 74-56. Now Cleveland is 87-56 and has surpassed the Astros for the best record in the American League, which is something that seemed nearly impossible a month ago.
Right now, Cleveland is on a roll the likes of which we have not seen since the Moneyball A’s of 2002, and even their streak wasn’t quite like this one. During this streak, Cleveland has trailed in only four of 171 innings, they have scored first in 18 of the 19 games, and they have hit 38 home runs. And get this: Cleveland has outscored its opponents 132-32 during this streak, shutting them out six times. Yes. They have hit more home runs than they’ve allowed runs. That’s how dominant they’ve been.
And what’s even more incredible about what Cleveland has done is that it seems as if there’s a different hero every night. In the first game of the streak, way back on August 24 against Boston, Yandy Diaz went 4-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, four runs scored, and two RBIs in a game started by Chris Sale.
He picked up his 50th RBI of the season. Then Francisco Lindor cleared the bases in the second inning with a triple.
He finished the night with four RBIs. Jose Ramirez kicked the extra point and it was good for his 26th home run of the year.
Starter Carlos Carrasco struck out nine Tigers and he reached the 200-strikeout mark on the season for the second time in his career. He finished with 216 strikeouts in 2015.
With their 19th win in a row, Cleveland joined the 1906 Chicago White Sox (19), 1947 New York Yankees (19), 2002 Oakland A’s (20), 1935 Chicago Cubs (21) and 1916 New York Giants (26) as the only teams to reach 19 consecutive wins.
The Rays will be calling Citi Field home this week because of Hurricane Irma, but it was the Yankees who played like they were at home.
It took a few innings for the boys in road greys to get going against starter Jake Odorizzi, but when it happened it was a big one. It all started with a walk to Aaron Judge—isn’t that always the way?—and ended with a Brett Gardner walk. In between, the Yankees scored five runs in the fourth inning and knocked Odorizzi out.
CC Sabathia, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, and Aroldis Chapman held the Rays to one run and the Yankees gained a half-game on the idle Red Sox, who start a series at home against Oakland on Tuesday.
Darwin Barney had a little trouble sliding into third base at Rogers Centre on Monday night.
He’s also lucky the Orioles were playing like they had no idea what they were doing on defense. The Blue Jays won the first game of their series, 4-3.
The Rockies and Diamondbacks are playing a big series this week. Big for the Rockies, who have some teams on their tail for the second Wild Card spot in the National League, and big because they’re still trying to catch up to the Diamondbacks for the first Wild Card spot.
The game was tied 2-2 heading into the top of the eighth when Nolan Arenado, who had been hearing it from a heckler all night, did this:
It was Arenado’s 33rd home run of the season and his 17th on the road. So much for that Coors Field advantage. It put the Rockies up by three runs, which would come in handy because the Diamondbacks scored two in the bottom of the inning to pull within 5-4. They would threaten again in the bottom of the ninth and get the winning run to second base, but A.J. Pollock grounded out to end the game.
Mother Nature took some pity on the Dodgers and delayed the start of their game against the Giants in San Francisco.
There were two rain delays: One was 42 minutes and the second one was 2 hours and 52 minutes. Some people were probably hoping for a rainout, but the Giants weren’t having it and the game finally began at 10:50 pm local time. It ended at 2:11 am local time.
In between, you had a couple of lead changes and a couple of ties, but it ended with a familiar result: a Dodgers loss. Their 11th in a row. What more can you say about a team that used to be unstoppable and now can’t even beat the worst team in their division? It’s just one of those things you can’t explain. Or at least, I can’t explain it. Not after staying up until 5:11 am ET to watch this debacle.
This current 11-game losing streak is the Dodgers’ longest in 73 years.
Defensive Play of the Day
Nolan Arenado didn’t just hit a go-ahead home run on Monday night; he also made this incredible play.
It’s just another day at the office for no. 28.
What to watch on Tuesday
Can the Indians win their 20th game in a row? With Corey Kluber (15-4) making the start against Matthew Boyd (5-9) and the Tigers, all signs certainly point to yes. (7:10 pm ET)
Clayton Kershaw (16-3) looks to get back on track after a not-so-Kershawesque outing his last time on the mound on September 7. This time around he will try to turn things around against Johnny Cueto (7-7). (10:15 pm ET)