I don’t want to call myself prescient.
I’m not prescient. I don’t know things before they happen… I just predict them before they happen. Sometimes, my predictions turn out to be as worthless as the paper the Cleveland.com comments section is [hopefully never] printed on. I did, however, make a prediction almost two months ago that maybe spooked some people into believing I can see the future.
It was July 22nd, and the Indians, despite winning two straight against the hapless Blue Jays, had just come off of a 1-5 West Coast swing against the ho-hum A’s and the even-then-moribund San Francisco Giants. The Indians returned home 48-45, and they looked completely mortal. The offense wasn’t hitting (especially in the clutch), the pitching was okay, but it wasn’t doing as well as we expected, and the team was kind of adrift, even though the numbers suggested they were quite good.
I never lost faith. I wrote a terrible article that posited that the Indians were about to go off. I hypothesized that the Indians didn’t really care until the All-Star break, and this was a Tito hallmark, and we were about the see some serious fireworks. I didn’t back it up with stats or even write it particularly well, but it was still an argument that I made, and I believed it.
Now, here we are, some 6-or-7 weeks later depending on whether or not you want to open up your desktop calendar and count down the Thursdays. (Don’t, I got paranoid and did. It’s almost 8 weeks now, surprisingly), and the Indians have done… well, they’ve done okay.
They were, as I said, 48-45 on that day. They’re now 90-56, which means they’ve gone 42-11 in that span, which, I believe, just maybe, possibly, if you squint your eyes and throw caution to the wind, is pretty good. Actually, I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s outrageous.
The Indians, as you know, have just won 21 games in a row. They haven’t lost since August 23rd, which is about a week away from my Korean-time-zone viewpoint. It’s unreal.
What does this mean?
It doesn’t mean anything. Well, it means a lot, but it doesn’t promise anything. The Indians very well could get swept out of the ALDS by the Twins. That is the darkest timeline, but that is a timeline that exists. What the win streak and the general dominance over the summer mean is this: the Indians are the best team in the American League, and they might be the best team in baseball. What they’ve done in the past few weeks, with key players hurt and role players logging significant time, is nothing short of amazing. They’re winning games in the first inning, they’re hitting more home runs than total runs allowed (by a fairly wide margin).
This is the best stretch of baseball I’ve ever seen a team play. Ever. In history. This is a peak that Sir Edmund Hillary could only look up say “damn” to.
This is a team that we’ve officially run out of superlatives to describe. I teach English. I study these grammar points every day. I cannot come up with a proper superlative adjective to describe how incredible the Indians have been over the past 3 weeks. They’ve been stupendous. They’ve been terrific. They’ve been clutch. They’ve been overpowering. They’ve been inevitable. They’ve been dominant. None of those are superlative adjectives, but I don’t know a word that encapsulates all of those things.
Here’s what I do know:
This team has been the most fun team I’ve ever watched… and probably the best, too.