All good things must come to an end...
The Cleveland Indians have had their historic win streak busted, losing at their attempt to win their 23rd game in a row last night (September 15th).
After falling 4-3 to the Kansas City Royals, the Indians' extraordinary hot streak has finally gone cold. Their 22 consecutive wins is the longest string of wins in baseball's modern era and, in Major League Baseball record books, now second only to the 26-game unbeaten streak logged by the 1916 New York Giants. It was the first time the Indians had lost a baseball game since August 23rd. As per USA Today, when the sellout crowd of 34,025 at Progressive Field gave the players a standing ovation, everyone in the clubhouse returned the favor.
"I think our players wanted to show their appreciation," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "It’s just been pretty incredible how they’ve reacted and we just wanted to show our appreciation, because we don’t take it for granted." The Tribe's starting pitcher Trevor Bauer voiced similar feelings. “They came out, they supported us. The atmosphere last night and tonight was spectacular. Shoot, even tonight after the loss, everyone was standing and stuff like that. It was a pretty cool moment.”
Bauer exited the game in the sixth inning, giving way for reliever Joe Smith, who ultimately gave up the go-ahead run that put the Royals in front. “I think it was appropriate," Indians outfielder Jay Bruce commented. "We haven’t lost a game in three weeks. We played a good game. It wasn’t like we got just blown out or anything." He added that, although the streak is over, no hard feelings are necessarily had by any of the players.
“I think (it was important) to have a bit of a light-hearted attitude about it all, and not take it too hard, obviously, because we’re in a great position. We just did something that, depending on who you ask, one or no teams have ever done. So, it’s one of those deals where we understand what the situation is, and this is not something that would happen very often.”
Before the streak started, the Indians were 69-56 and held a 4½ game lead in the AL Central. Now, their record is 91-57, their Central lead is 13 games and they have the best record in the American League. "I don’t think anything’s over," says Francona. "We showed up today to win. We didn't. We came close. We got the winning run to the plate. We’ll win some of those games."