CLEVELAND (92.3 the Fan) – Cleveland Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert is probably salivating at “The Diff,” but this is not the one on the Humongotron at Quicken Loans Arena.
With their 19th straight win, an 11-0 decision over the Detroit Tigers on Monday, the Cleveland Indians have now outscored their opponents over that stretch by a 132-32 mark.
- Triple digits.
What the current-best team in the American League has done since August 24th is technically only historic by their own standards – at least for one more day. But how the Indians have done what they have is certainly nothing short of history.
As a matter of fact, if the Indians’ 19-game win streak were the only games they played this season, they would still have the 6th-best run differential in baseball. Only six teams in baseball hold run differentials in triple digits for the season, with the Tribe being the only team with a +200 mark or better.
To make matters crazier, if you only counted Cleveland’s runs that came from home runs, their differential would still be positive. The Indians have hit more home runs in the last 19 games, 38, than they have allowed runs, 32.
“The hitters are locked in,” shortstop Francisco Lindor said. “Whenever we get someone on base, we execute. If we don’t execute, we don’t win. The pitching staff has been doing their job day in and day out throughout the whole year. We haven’t really helped them that much. Now that we’re helping them, they’re looking like they’re the greatest. Which they are.”
Over the 19 wins, the Indians have trailed for just four innings out of 171.
Danny Salazar declined to throw a simulated game after struggling through his last start, allowing four earned through 2/3 of an inning on September 5th against the White Sox. Instead, Salazar and Manager Terry Francona decided to try and find a spot for the starter to pitch out of the bullpen.
That day was Monday, as the Indians held a 9-0 lead.
Salazar entered in the top of the 7th and responded with two shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out one. His four-seam fastball again sat at 96.7 mph, with his two-seamer sitting at 97.3. Of 28 pitches thrown, 19 were strikes.
“We got him two innings and the ball came out really well and he commanded enough where he could get to his changeup,” Francona said. “You could tell by the way he was throwing it, his arm feels good.”
Yeah, it was good. We got him two innings and the ball came out really well and he commanded enough where he could get to his changeup. You could tell by the way he was throwing it, his arm feels good. And then we wanted to give Zach an inning because he hasn’t pitched in about five days.”
With injuries mounting on the Tribe roster, another scary moment took place in the top of the 6th when it appeared Jose Ramirez was hit on the wrist and left the game.
It turned out that Warwick Saupold’s pitch deflected off of Ramirez’s bat and ricocheted onto the switch-hitter’s left forearm.
Francona said lifting Ramirez was precautionary, and immediately dismissed any injury other than a bruise.