As Indians Stack Wins In Record Streak, A New Label Emerges: America's Team

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Sports Pulse: Breaking down just how amazing Cleveland's record-breaking win streak is. USA TODAY Sports

Joyful gatherings have been abundant for the Indians since they launched a 21-game winning streak.(Photo: David Richard, USA TODAY Sports)

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They have become America’s team, those lovable Cleveland Indians.

They win 21 games in a row, the most by any team in American League history, and we want the streak to keep going.

We see those empty seats at Progressive Field, and we want them all filled.

We listen to manager Terry Francona’s self-deprecating humor, the front office’s wit, the unbridled passion of Francisco Lindor, and don’t want them to stop talking.

It’s Cleveland baby, the epicenter of baseball.

Even controversy.

Who else but the Indians could win 21 games in a row, knocking off the Detroit Tigers, 5-3, only to be embroiled in controversy whether they have tied a major-league record.

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The 1935 Chicago Cubs are the only other team in baseball history who have ever won 21 consecutive games, but the Elias Sports Bureau is now telling us that the 1916 New York Giants really have the record. They did win 26 games in a row, but there was a tie after their 12th consecutive win.

No offense to Elias, but that’s not the longest winning streak.

It’s the longest unbeaten streak.

Don’t dare try to take any piece of joy away from the Indians.

“I think they’re enjoying themselves,’’ Francona said. “They should. It’s pretty special.’’

Take a bow, Cleveland.

This is your time.

If people want to chastise you for not selling out any games during the streak, remind everyone that this is a blue-collar city. School is in session. Besides, you had a stunning walk-up crowd of nearly 10,000 fans Wednesday for an afternoon game on a school day, drawing 29,346.

Enough of the jokes, even about the Cleveland Browns.

Savor the moment, knowing this likely will never happen again in your lifetime.

What the Indians are doing these days is preposterous. They have gone three entire weeks without losing a game. They’ve won as many games during this streak as the Browns have won since Nov. 20, 2011.

These guys have established themselves as best team in baseball, and need only October to prove it, finally ending their 69-year drought.

Sure, no one has them splashed on their magazine cover declaring them the best team in baseball history.

There are no movies in the works.

There may not even be book deals in the making.

It makes no difference.

The Indians are as likeable as any team in baseball, with a joyous close-knit clubhouse, a lovable manager, and a shrewd front office that isn’t afraid to speak from their heart.

It was earlier this year when Cleveland president Chris Antonetti was asked how long it took for him to get over losing Game 7 - and a 3-1 World Series lead - to the Chicago Cubs.

Antonetti looked me into the eyes, and without a smile, or even a smirk, paused, and blurted out the response from the heart.

 “I’ll let you know,’’ Antonetti said, “when I do.’’

We can sympathize, and root for them rather than the big-market behemoths who will dot the playoff landscape.

These Indians remind us about the beauty of sports, where you can extract the possible from impossible and turn the improbable into probable.

America’s Team, right?

“It feels that way, from my vantage point,’’ Indians outfielder Jay Bruce, who hit a 3-run homer Wednesday, told USA TODAY Sports. “I don’t have the pulse of it all, but this fan base here is making it feel like October. It’s easy to come to the park. People are thanking us.

“We are just doing what we can to play good ball, and perform for an awesome group of people who follow us.’’

You know you’re living large when Ohio’s most famous resident, LeBron James, takes time out of his day to shoot a congratulatory video about the Indians’ streak.

There may be some breaks that have come along the way, but there have been no flukes in this winning streak. Just absolute domination. The Indians aren’t just winning, but they’re bludgeoning teams, outscoring them 139-35 during the streak.

They have played 189 innings during this streak, and trailed after only four of them. They’ve won 14 of their games by five or more runs. They’ve actually hit more home runs, 41, than runs given up by the pitching staff.

This is a rotation that has gone 19-0 with a 1.70 ERA during the streak, with the staff throwing seven shutouts. Their 19 shutouts this year are five more than any team in baseball.

The Indians have run away with the AL Central, opening a 14-game lead over the Minnesota Twins, leaving them with a magic number of just 4 to clinch their second division title.

Logic tells us the streak can’t go on forever, but our heart wants more.

You know, a World Series parade.

This time, in downtown Cleveland.

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The Cleveland Indians' winning streak ended at 22 with
The Cleveland Indians' winning streak ended at 22 with a 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Sept. 15. Afterward, fans applauded the players, while the players saluted the crowd.  David Dermer, AP>FullscreenCleveland Indians right fielder Jay Bruce (front center)
22. Indians 3, Royals 2: RF Jay Bruce is mobbed by teammates after his game-winning, RBI single in the tenth inning to extend the streak, the longest in 101 years.  David Richard, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen21. Indians 5, Tigers 3: 1B Carlos Santana, 3B Giovanny
21. Indians 5, Tigers 3: 1B Carlos Santana, 3B Giovanny Urshela, SS Francisco Lindor and 2B Jose Ramirez celebrate after the Indians set the American League record with their 21st straight win.  David Richard, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen20. Indians 2, Tigers 0: Cleveland shortstop Francisco
20. Indians 2, Tigers 0: Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor, left, and center fielder Greg Allen go up for a high-five after beating Detroit at Progressive Field in Cleveland and tying the American League record for longest winning streak.  David Richard, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen19. Indians 11, Tigers 0: Cleveland's Francisco Lindor
19. Indians 11, Tigers 0: Cleveland's Francisco Lindor slides into third base with a three-run triple during the second inning against Detroit at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Sept. 11.  Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen18. Indians 3, Orioles 2: Cleveland's Roberto Perez,
18. Indians 3, Orioles 2: Cleveland's Roberto Perez, left, is greeted by teammate Francisco Lindor after Perez's solo home run during the sixth inning against Baltimore at Progressive Field in Cleveland.  Scott Galvin, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen17. Indians 4, Orioles 2: Cleveland's Francisco Lindor
17. Indians 4, Orioles 2: Cleveland's Francisco Lindor celebrates his solo home run in the seventh inning against Baltimore at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Sept. 9.  David Richard, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen16. Indians 5, Orioles 0: Cleveland slugger Edwin Encarnacion
16. Indians 5, Orioles 0: Cleveland slugger Edwin Encarnacion watches the flight of his three-run home run in the first inning against Baltimore at Progressive Field in Cleveland.  Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen15. Indians 11, White Sox 2: Cleveland infielders,
15. Indians 11, White Sox 2: Cleveland infielders, from left to right, Giovanny Urshela, Lonnie Chisenhall, Francisco Lindor and Erik Gonzalez celebrate their victory against Chicago at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago on Sept. 7.  Kamil Krzaczynski, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen14. Indians 5, White Sox 1: Cleveland starting pitcher
14. Indians 5, White Sox 1: Cleveland starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco, right, celebrates his complete game against Chicago with catcher Roberto Perez at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago on Sept. 6.  Jim Young, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen13. Indians 9, White Sox 4: Cleveland's Jose Ramirez
13. Indians 9, White Sox 4: Cleveland's Jose Ramirez celebrates his home run in the dugout with teammates during their game against Chicago at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago on Sept. 5.  Matt Marton, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen12. Indians 5, White Sox 3: Cleveland's Carlos Santana
12. Indians 5, White Sox 3: Cleveland's Carlos Santana blasts a home run during the second inning against Chicago at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago on Sept. 4.  Patrick Gorski, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen11. Indians 11, Tigers 1: Cleveland's Jose Ramirez
11. Indians 11, Tigers 1: Cleveland's Jose Ramirez hits a double in the third inning against Detroit at Comerica Park in Detroit on Sept. 3.  Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen10. Indians 5, Tigers 2: Cleveland starting pitcher
10. Indians 5, Tigers 2: Cleveland starting pitcher Corey Kluber pitches in the first inning against Detroit at Comerica Park in Detroit on Sept. 2.  Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen9. Indians 10, Tigers 0: Cleveland catcher Roberto
9. Indians 10, Tigers 0: Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez chats with starting pitcher Mike Clevinger during the fourth inning of a doubleheader against Detroit at Comerica Park in Detroit on Sept. 1.  Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen8. Indians 3, Tigers 2: Cleveland starting pitcher
8. Indians 3, Tigers 2: Cleveland starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco delivers a pitch during the first game of a doubleheader against Detroit at Comerica Park in Detroit on Sept. 1.  Raj Mehta, Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen7. Indians 9, Yankees 4: Cleveland's Carlos Santana
7. Indians 9, Yankees 4: Cleveland's Carlos Santana scores a run during the second game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium in New York on Aug. 30.  Gregory Fisher, Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen6. Indians 2, Yankees 1: Cleveland's Francisco Lindor
6. Indians 2, Yankees 1: Cleveland's Francisco Lindor scores a run on a passed ball in the first inning against New York during the first game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium in New York on Aug. 30.  Noah K. Murray, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen5. Indians 6, Yankees 2: Cleveland's Austin Jackson
5. Indians 6, Yankees 2: Cleveland's Austin Jackson celebrates a solo home run in front of New York catcher Gary Sanchez during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium in New York on Aug. 28.  Adam Hunger, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen4. Indians 12, Royals 0: Cleveland's Carlos Santana
4. Indians 12, Royals 0: Cleveland's Carlos Santana hits a home run during the second inning against Kansas City at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Aug. 27.  Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen3. Indians 4, Royals 0: Cleveland's Roberto Perez is
3. Indians 4, Royals 0: Cleveland's Roberto Perez is greeted by teammate Bradley Zimmer after Perez's home run during the sixth inning against Kansas City at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Aug. 26.  Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen2. Indians 4, Royals 0: Cleveland's Francisco Lindor,
2. Indians 4, Royals 0: Cleveland's Francisco Lindor, left, and Yan Gomes, right, celebrate after Gomes scored a run in the third inning against Kansas City at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Aug. 25.  Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen1. Indians 13, Red Sox 6: Cleveland's Yandy Diaz celebrates
1. Indians 13, Red Sox 6: Cleveland's Yandy Diaz celebrates his RBI double as Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts looks on during the third inning at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Aug. 24.  Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen

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    Source : https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/columnist/bob-nightengale/2017/09/13/indians-record-winning-streak-americas-team/664292001/

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