Make it 20 wins in a row for the Cleveland Indians

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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.

MLB calls umpire union statement about Manny Machado discipline “inappropriate”

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Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.

This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:

“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline.  Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires.  We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”

That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.