Death. Taxes. The Cleveland Indians winning baseball games. They did it again tonight, beating the Detroit Tigers 2-0 for their 20th straight win. That ties the 2002 Oakland A’s for the American League record for consecutive wins.
This one was close on the scoreboard but easy in practice. That’s because the Tribe sent ace Corey Kluber out against the lowly Tigers this evening and he dominated, tossing a complete game shutout, allowing five hits and striking out eight without walking a batter. The win upped his record to 16-4 and reduced his ERA to 2.44 on the year. Francisco Lindor‘s first inning homer was all the scoring Cleveland would need, but they got a second run in the sixth inning on a Drew VerHagen wild pitch which scored Carlos Santana.
The Indians won their 89th game on the season and, given that the Twins are cruising right now, will allow them to maintain their 14-game lead in the AL Central. I think they got this one wrapped up, folks.
Cleveland will go for sole possession of the AL consecutive wins record in tomorrow afternoon’s game against the Tigers. The all-time record without any ties belongs to the 1935 Chicago Cubs, who won 21 straight, which the Indians can tie tomorrow as well.
There’s no doubt that the last three years have put David Wright through the ringer. The Mets third baseman missed the bulk of his 2015 season with spinal stenosis and made it through a month of games in 2016 before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck. In 2017, a bout of shoulder impingement, rotator cuff surgery and a laminotomy procedure on his lower back kept him off the field for all 162 games.
Despite the continual setbacks, Wright told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, he doesn’t believe retirement is in the cards for him this year. “When the end comes, the end comes,” he said Friday. “Hopefully, I’ve got a little more left. But I guess that’s to be determined.”
The 35-year-old last appeared for High-A St. Lucie in 2017, powering through three games with one hit and five strikeouts in 10 plate appearances. His career has advanced in fits and starts since 2015, but you don’t have to do too much digging to find his last great performance with the Mets. Wright earned his seventh career All-Star berth in 2013, slashing .307/.390/.514 with 18 home runs and a terrific 6.0 fWAR in 492 PA. While he isn’t expected to mash at those levels in the near future, if ever again, the Mets believe the veteran third baseman might still have something left in the tank as he tries to extend a 13-year run in the majors.
Per DiComo, the only thing standing in his way is a clean bill of health — not just for the upcoming season, but for the years to come. Wright said he wouldn’t risk returning to the field if it came with long-term implications for his quality of life.
The surgeries are obviously serious stuff, but it just kind of plays with your mind mentally, where you don’t know how your body’s going to hold up,” Wright said. “You don’t know how you’re going to feel a month from now. You don’t know how you’re going to feel a couple weeks from now. You’re hoping that it continues to get better, but you just don’t know.
Given the uncertainty that surrounds his return to the game, it’s a prudent outlook to have.