The Indians beat the White Sox 5-1 on Wednesday to extend their winning streak to 14 games. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks defeated the Dodgers 3-1 to run their winning streak to 13. According to Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the first time in baseball history — spanning 142 years and over 2,800 team-seasons — that two teams have had concurrent winning streaks of at least 13 games. To paraphrase the great Jayson Stark, baseball is great because every day there’s always a chance you’ll see something that’s never happened before.
The Indians also had a 14-game winning streak last season, from June 17 to July 1. Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, they’re the first team with winning streaks of at least 13 games in back-to-back seasons since the 1960-61 Yankees.
When the Indians last lost, on August 23 to the Red Sox, they held a 4.5-game lead over the Twins for first place in the AL Central. That lead is now 11 games. When the D-Backs last lost, also on August 23 to the Mets, they held a half-game lead over the Rockies for the first NL Wild Card slot. That lead is now 7.5 games.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.