CLEVELAND (92.3 the Fan) – With the Indians struggling to find any consistency in the early going of 2017, Manager Terry Francona said on numerous occasions that the team and its fans could not necessarily expect a 14-game win streak like the one they had in 2016.
It is not quite the next-best thing, but the Indians will probably be happy with the nine-game streak they had.
From July 21st to the 30th, the Indians led baseball with a .324 average. They were the only team in that stretch to turn in 100-or-more hits, at 101, and drove in a league-leading 66 runs.
In that span, the Indians also walked 51 times, another league-leading mark, and struck out the second fewest, 56 times.
As would be expected by those numbers, the AL Central leaders held the highest On-Base Percentage (.420) and OPS (.949) marks, as well. Their 25.6 wRAA, .420 wOBA and 154 wRC+ also led the bigs.
It was not just the offense that turned in high-level performances either, as the Indians pitching staff allowed the 24 earned runs, the fewest in baseball, in turn possessing the best ERA at 2.57. Indians pitchers also struck out a league-leading 94 hitters.
Cleveland pitchers stranded 84.5% of runners who reached base, also tops in the game.
Terry Francona’s staff was also among the top five in K% (3rd, 27.8), BB% (5th, 6.5), average against (5th, .229), WHIP (5th, 1.11) and FIP (3rd, 3.30) all despite a .299 BABIP, 15th in baseball.
Just 26.9% of batted balls against the Indians were made with hard contact, the second best mark behind the Yankees’ 23.8%. They allowed the 5th-highest amount of soft contact at 21.8%.
Indians starters pitched the most innings in the league, tied with Tampa Bay at 56 2/3.
Despite two extra-inning walk-off wins, the Indians outscored their opponents by 40 runs during the streak, an average of 4.44 runs per game. They won by one run in three games.
Though they won nine in a row, the Indians only gained 1 ½ games on 2nd-place Kansas City, extending their AL Central lead to 3, before surrendering a game on Sunday.
Not only was the streak the longest for the team this season, they also reached their high-water mark of 12-games over .500.
As of July 30, 2016, the Indians were 59-42. After their 103rd game of the season, last year’s edition was 60-42, three games ahead of the 2017 Indians’ pace.