Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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.
Gio Gonzalez triggered his $12 million vesting option for 2018 tonight when he officially hit the 180 innings pitched mark during tonight’s start against the Atlanta Braves.
While the rest of Gonzalez’s night was nothing worth remembering — he gave up five runs on seven hits in five innings and stands to be the game’s loser — it’s an option the Nationals are no doubt more than happy to have triggered, as Gonzalez has been fantastic this year, posting a 2.50 ERA and featuring a 163/69 K/BB ratio in 179.2 innings entering tonight’s start. Given that performance, $12 million is a stone cold bargain for Gonzalez next year and will be even if he suffers some falloff.
Indians manager Terry Francona said today that reliever Andrew Miller could be activated from the disabled list on Thursday.
Miller has been out since August 22 with patella tendinitis, but he made it through a 30-pitch simulated game yesterday without a hitch. Francona said Miller will either throw another simulated game Thursday or pitch in a real game, so he’s good to go.
Obviously the Indians have been OK without Miller — they’re 19-2 since he went down — but getting him back would be a nice thing given that, before he was hurt, he posted a 1.65 ERA and 79/17 K/BB ratio in 54.2 innings.