They’ll probably lose another game at SOME point, right? I mean, they HAVE to, don’t they? But if the Cleveland Indians keep playing the way they have been lately, a fan can be forgiven for thinking that perhaps they actually CAN go the rest of the season without incurring another loss. On Monday night in Atlanta, the Indians continued their winning ways, employing a barrage of extra-base hits and some dominant pitching, beating the Braves, 8-3, and winning their tenth consecutive game.
Pitching on only three days rest instead of the customary four, Indians hurler Trevor Bauer wasn’t quite as sharp as he was in his last four outings. But can you complain when a starter gives you six innings and allows only two runs? I don’t think so, and that’s what Bauer did. He gave up five hits and walked two, and only once retired the side in order. But he got the win. And Indians manager Terry Francona was probably GLAD that Bauer didn’t pitch deeper into the game, because many of his relief pitchers hadn’t had the chance to see action in recent days. Talk about a good problem to have! Francona employed four different relievers—Jeff Manship, Tom Gorzelanny, Tommy Hunter, and Joba Chamberlain. All of them were effective, save for Chamberlain, who gave up two hits in the ninth and allowed the Braves’ final run.
As for the offensive stars, they’re too numerous to mention. Six Indians batters had at least one RBI. Six Indians scored at least one run. I will note that Tyler Naquin had two doubles, and Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall each homered. The Indians have scored at least six runs in each of their last seven games.
The Tribe now stands at 45-30, which is .600 ball, and they’re on pace to wind up with 97 wins on the season. Can they keep this up? Perhaps not. But the beauty of getting a big winning streak like the one they’re on is that it takes some of the pressure off later on. If the Indians cool down and find themselves playing just over .500 ball from here on out, they can still finish the regular season with 90 wins, which ought to be good enough for a wild card slot.
But obviously the Indians have got their sights set on more than a mere wild card berth. And if they keep playing even remotely as well as they have been lately, it could result in widespread cases of pennant fever throughout The Land. Wouldn’t that be nice?