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Game 162

September 30, 2018 – Four Starters have 200+ Strikeouts for the First Time in MLB History

The 2017 Indians set an MLB record with 1,614 strikeouts over the season by the entire pitching staff. They were also the first team to maintain a strikeout rate of greater than 10 per 9 innings. The 2018 Indians picked up the strikeout mantle and ended up with another unique achievement. 

Carlos Carrasco took the mound on the last day of the season against Eric Skoglund of the Royals. Francisco Lindor reached on a fielding error by Skoglund when he dribbled the 3-1 pitch down the first base line. Lindor then stole second with Michael Brantley at the plate. Brantley struck out looking, but Lindor broke for third on the 1-1 pitch to Jose Ramirez. 

Royals catcher Eric Haas sailed the pickoff throw into left field. Lindor picked himself up and scampered home to give the Tribe a 1-0 lead. 

Lindor led off the top of the third by golfing a stike low in the zone over the wall in left-center. His 38th homer of the season put the Indians up 2-0. 

In the bottom of the fifth, Brian Goodwin got aboard with a single to left that was only the Royals second hit of the day. He stole second and advanced to third on an Alcides Escobar groundout. Carrasco walked Brett Phillips and the Royals had runners at the corners. Meibrys Viloria hit a sharp ground ball back up the middle. It skipped over Carrasco’s glove and into center field scoring Goodwin. 

To stay stretched out and setup the playoff rotation, Trevor Bauer came on to pitch in the bottom of the sixth. Carrasco’s final line was one run on three hits and six strikeouts. This brought his season K total to 231.

Bauer faced only fourteen Royals in four innings of work. His defense of a one run lead through the final four innings earned him his first (and still only) save. He added two strikeouts bringing his season sum to 221.

Photo Credit: @Indians Twitter

Today’s two pitchers along with Corey Kluber (222 strikeouts) and Mike Clevinger (207) were the first pitching staff to have four 200+ strikeout pitchers in the same year. Only three teams had previously had three 200+ K pitchers: the 1967 Twins, 1969 Astros, and 2013 Tigers. The 2017 Indians narrowly missed joining this club. 

The pitching staff overall was 4th in the league in strikeouts with 1,544. 

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Game 160

September 29, 2017Ramirez Knocks 90th Extra-Base Hit, Bauer Just Misses 200 Strikeouts

Chicago was in town to start off the final series of the regular season. While the Tribe had long clinched the Central Division crown, they were locked in a fight with the Astros for home-field advantage and looking for their 101st win of the season. 

Trevor Bauer took the hill for the Tribe with 189 strikeouts on the year. He would have to have a career night to join Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco with over 200 Ks for the season. Mike Pelfrey was slated to pitch for the White Sox. 

Bauer got right to work, striking out Yolmer Sanchez to lead off the game and Jose Abreu to end the top of the first. The Tribe loaded the bases against Pelfrey before Carlos Santana’s line out to deep left ended the threat. 

Bauer pitched another 1-2-3 inning in the second, but all of the outs came on batted balls. 

Jason Kipnis was aboard with a walk to lead off the bottom of the second. After a Yandy Diaz strikeout, Kipnis stole second with catcher Roberto Perez at the plate. Perez eventually drew a walk, and then Francisco Lindor lined out to left for the second out. 

Austin Jackson poked a two-out RBI single over the second base bag and into center field. Jose Ramirez drove a double down the left field line that scored Perez and Jackson. Edwin Encarnacion reached on an error and Jose was able to come around and score during the confusion. Jay Bruce blasted a homer into deep left-center to cap off the 6-run inning. 

Bauer collected two more strikeouts in the top of the third, while the Indians scored four more in the bottom of the frame, including a bases-clearing double by Encarnacion.

Yolmer Sanchez was the first White Sox to reach base, and he did so in a big way. He lead off the top of the fourth with a home for the Sox only run of the day. He notched three more strikeouts before being relieved by Joe Smith in the top of the seventh. 

With a nine-run lead the Tribe relievers cruised to a Friday-night victory and held on to home field advantage. 

The Indians narrowly missed being the fourth team in MLB history to have three starters with 200 strikeouts for the season. Kluber (265) and Carrasco (226) far surpassed the mark, with Bauer falling just short at 196. 

Jose Ramirez’ two doubles (55 on the year) gave him 90 Extra-base. That put him 4th in Indians history for Extra-Base Hits He trailed only Albert Belle (103 in 1995), Hal Trosky (96 in 1936) and George Burns (94 in 1926).

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Game 157

September 24, 2013 – Jason Giambi Walkoff Keeps the Tribe’s Playoff Hopes Alive

Back in Game 16 of the 2013 season, a 5-RBI game likely kept Jason Giambi on the roster. In Game 105 he became the oldest player to hit a walkoff home run. 

Photo Credit: David Richard

The Indians entered this Tuesday night contest barely hanging on to the second wildcard spot. The White Sox sent Hector Santiago to the hill to face Ubaldo Jiminez. After two rough years, Ubaldo had been carrying the Indians rotation since Justin Masterson’s early-season injury. 

Michael Brantley put the Tribe out in front with an RBI single in the bottom of the second. 

Jiminez walked Connor Gillespie to lead of the top of the fourth. Paul Konerko singled to right to advance Gillispie to third. After Ubaldo struck out Adam Dunn, Avasail Garcia hit a long fly to left. Gillespie scampered home to score on the sacrifice. 

Jiminez gave up five hits and struck out seven over 6 ⅓ innings of work. In the top of the seventh he gave up a single to Gordan Beckham and walked Josh Phegley. Cody Allen entered the game looking to end the threat. Alejandro De Aza singled to left, scoring Beckham and putting the Sox up 2-1. 

Michael Brantley took Hector Santiago’s first pitch deep into right field to tie things up. Mike Aviles lined one into left for a single. Michael Bourn laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved Aviles over to second. Nate Jones came on to pitch and got Nick Swisher to fly out to center. Jason Kipnis stepped in and lined Jones’ 1-1 pitch into left to put the Tribe on top 3-2. 

Joe Smith retired Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn, and Avisail Garcia in order in the eighth. Nate Jones returned the favor. 

Chris Perez came on looking for the save in the top of the ninth. Dayan Viciedo smashed Perez’ third pitch over the right field wall to tie the game. Perez struck out the next two White Sox before he hung the first pitch to Alejandro De Aza. De Aza’s homer to right-center put the Sox up 4-3. After Alexei Ramirez poked a single through the left side of the infield, Perez left the mound to a chorus of boos. 

Marc Rzepczynski hit the only batter he faced before Bryan Shaw got the final out of the ninth. 

Yan Gomes struck out swinging to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Michael Brantley poked a single through the right side of the infield and was safely aboard. Mike Aviles struck out, and things were looking bleak. Michael Brantley stole second to get into scoring position with Jason Giambi at the plate. 

Giambi crushed Addison Reed’s 1-1 pitch deep into right field. This was his third pinch-hit walkoff for the Indians. “Yeah I ran into it, I hit it,” Giambi said. “There’s nothing more special, that’s what keeps me coming back every year.” With that he bested his own record as the oldest player to hit a walkoff homer. 

Photo Credit: Kyle Emery

Soak in this Hammy Call:

Jason Kipnis put it best in a post-game tweet, “Are you shitting me with this game tonight!! Big G and the Goon Squad comin thru again!! Unreal game tonight!!”

Now, contrast with the call from Hawk Harrelson:

This was the Indians 11th walkoff win of the season, and fifth win in a row. Most importantly, it kept them 1 game ahead of the Rangers in the Wild Card race.

Baseball Reference Box Score

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Game 148

September 17, 2016 – Most Pitchers Ever Used in a Shutout After Carlos Carrasco Is Hit with Line Drive

The Plain Dealer’s Sunday Sports Headline the next day read, “Sept. 17: The day Cleveland Indians’ postseason dreams ended before they began.” Of course, that turned out to be false. Although 2016 ended in heartbreak, the heartbreak happened in Game 7 of the World Series and was hardly a foregone conclusion. 

The Tribe had an eight-game lead over Detroit in the Central and was poised to clinch the Division, but had been wracked with injuries–most recently to Danny Salazar and Yan Gomes. A strong regular season including a then franchise-leading fourteen game win streak had the Indians in a strong position, but fans and writers were doubting their staying power.  Carlos Carrasco was set to square off with Justin Verlander in the premier matchup of the weekend.

Ian Kinsler lined Carlos Carrasco’s first pitch right back to the mound that struck Carlos in the hand. Carrasco left the game and was later diagnosed with a broken bone in the little finger of his throwing hand. It was immediately apparent that he was done for the season. 

A day that started as an opportunity for a workhorse starter to eat innings and prepare for the post-season became a bullpen day in an instant. 

Terry Francona called Jason Bere the bullpen coach, “Tell them to put their seat belts on, ‘because they’re all going to pitch, and we’re going to win.” First up was Jeff Manship, who attempted to right the ship. Manship erased Kinsler by getting Cameron Maybin to ground into a double play. He went on to pitch a scoreless 1 ⅓ innings. 

Kyle Crockett retired the remaining two batters in the top of the second with no damage done. Cody Anderson was untouched in the top of the third. In the top of the fourth, Miguel Cabrera got aboard with a line drive single to left, but Victor Martinez grounded into a double play. Zach McAllister needed only ten pitchers to retire the Tigers side in the top of the fifth on three fly balls. Perci Gardner put runners on first and third before getting Victor Martinez to strike out to end the inning. Bryan Shaw walked J.D. Martinez to lead off the seventh, but retired the next three Tigers with no damage done. Cody Allen dispatched with Detroit in order in the top of the eighth. 

Through all of these changes, Justin Verlander worked through the Indians lineup. He pitched seven scoreless innings, giving up only one hit and four walks. Alex Wilson replaced him on the mound for the bottom of the eighth and held on to the scoreless tie. 

Andrew Miller came on to pitch the top of the ninth for the Indians. He battled Miguel Cabrera through an 8 pitch at-bat and eventually set Miggy down on a swinging strikeout. J.D. Martinez came up with a two-out single, but was left on base when Justin Upton lined out to right. 

After the Tribe squandered a two-out rally in the bottom of the ninth, Andrew Miller returned to pitch the top of the 10th. Miller struck out the first two Tigers, and then got Jose Iglesias to ground out weakly back to the mound. 

Justin Wilson stayed on to pitch the bottom of the 10th for Detroit. Carlos Santana drew a walk to lead off the inning. Jason Kipnis laid down a bunt, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia scooped it up in front of the plate and forced Santana out at second. With Franciso Lindor at the plate, Kipnis advanced to second on a wild pitch, and then stole third. Lindor drew a seven-pitch walk to put runners at the corners. Detroit issued Mike Napoli an intentional walk to load the bases and set up a double play. 

Jose Ramirez stepped in and knocked Wilson’s 2-2 pitch into center field scoring Kipnis easily. Jose’s walkoff single was the club’s 10th walkoff win of the season. Miller was credited with the win and later remarked, “”We have no other choice … we have to find a way to win – no matter who is starting.” There could not have been a better tagline for the six weeks that were about to come between Game 148 and Game 7 of the World Series. 

The Indians used nine pitchers who combined for a four-hit ten strikeout victory. The bullpen crew gave up only three walks throughout the whole game. 

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Game 147

September 14, 2017 – Lindor Keeps the Streak Alive with 2-out Single Off the Wall

The Indians entered this Thursday night game riding a twenty-one game winning streak. Sports talk radio was abuzz with debate about whether a win would place the Tribe in sole possession of the longest winning streak. Either they would pass up the 21 win streak of the 1935 Cubs. Or they would still be chasing the 1916 Giants, who went 26 games without losing. The Giant’s streak included a tie. 

Josh Tomlin was matched up with Jacob Junis for this run at history. The Tribe got behind early as the Royals got to Tomin in the top of the second inning. He walked Eric Hosmer to lead off the inning, and then Salvador Perez lined a single into right field that advanced Hosmer to third. Mike Moustakis grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, but Hosmer came home to score. 

Abe Almonte lead off the Indians’ half of the third with a line drive double down the right field line. With two outs, Lonnie Chisenhall looped a double into right. Almonte dug for home and came around to score. Chisenhall attempted to stretch the play into a double, but was thrown out at second to end the inning. 

In the top of the sixth, Tomlin gave up a double to Whit Merrifield. Lorenzo Cain hit into a fielders choice that put Merrifield out at third. Melky Cabrera grounded one weakly down the first base line. Carlos Santana charged the ball and flipped it to second to get Cain at second. Eric Hosmer slapped a double down the left field line that scored Melky from first. 

Andrew Miller returned from the injured list to pitch the top of the seventh. He allowed two hits, but got Alex Gordon to hit into an inning-ending double play to get out of trouble. One of the more incredible facts about the streak is that the Tribe won 21 games straight without their best relief pitcher. 

The Indians offense could not get anything going against Royals reliever Mike Minor in the seventh. They loaded the bases against Ryan Butcher in the bottom of the eighth, but consecutive pop-foul outs by Jay Bruce and Carlos Santana ended the threat. 

Kelvin Herrera got Yandy Diaz to ground out to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Tyler Naquin slapped a single through the left side of the infield. Francisco Mejia grounded to second and Naquin was forced out. Erik Gonzalez came on to pinch run for Mejia. The Indians were down to their final out, and Francisco Lindor was hitless on the day so far. Lindor came to the plate looking to keep the Indians’ hopes–and the streak–alive. 

Lindor worked Herrera into a 2-2 count. Down to his final strike, Lindor laced one into deep left field. Alex Gordon raced to the base of the 19-foot wall and made a leaping attempt, but was unable to make the catch. Gonzalez raced around to score the tying run, and Lindor ended up on second. Austin Jackson grounded out to end the inning and send the game to extras tied at 2-2. 

Cody Allen needed only eighteen pitches to retire the Royals in the top of the tenth. Over the course of the streak Cody Allen did not allow a single run. His ERA was perfect from August 12th through this game. 

Jose Ramirez lined Brandon Maurer’s 1-1 pitch into right-center and never hesitated in pushing for second. He narrowly beat the throw and was safe with a double to get things started in the bottom of the tenth. Maurer had Edwin Encarnacion behind in the count 0-2, but EE hung in and drew a seven-pitch walk.

Jay Bruce stepped to the plate and laced one into the right field corner. Ramirez raced around from second to score the winning run and give the 2017 Indians a place in history. 

During the streak, the Tribe outscored their opponents by a combined score of 140–36 in an unprecedented run of dominance. 

Baseball Reference Box Score 


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Game 140

September 7, 2017 – The Streak Reaches 15 Games, Universal Windows Direct Pays out $1.7M in Promotional Rebate

Local business promotions have been a part of baseball since the dawn of the game. Marketing agencies and the teams themselves constantly look for ways to integrate advertising into the game, the stadium, and the broadcast. In 2017, Universal Windows Direct, a local home remodeling company was getting set to celebrate its 15th anniversary. In 2016, on the way to the division win and eventually the World Series, the Tribe rattled off 14 wins in a row from Game 66 to Game 79.

Universal Windows Direct concocted a promotion such that any work purchased during the month of July would be refunded in full if the Indians went on a 15-game win streak between August 1st and the end of the season. 

SCA Promotions is a Dallas-based company that underwrites promotional contests and sweepstakes. They constructed an actuarial model to calculate the likelihood of a 15-game win streak and accounted for Universal’s July sales totals. Universal paid approximately $75,000 to insure themselves against the possible payout. 

Beginning with Game 126 on August 24th, the Tribe got on a roll and stayed red hot. Corey Kluber was matched up with White Sox starter Mike Pelfrey for a Thursday night contest on the south side of Chicago that would make or break the summer for over 220 Universal Windows customers. 

Francisco Lindor led off the game with a triple. Austin Jackson drove him in with a double to center. Yandy Diaz walked, and then Edwin Encarnacion gave the parrot a ride after a 3-run bomb over the left field fence. The Indians stranded runners on first and third but still closed out the inning with a 4-0 lead. 

Kluber was not sharp early. He gave up home runs in the bottom of the first to Yolmer Sanchez and Jose Abreu to cut the lead in half. 

Lindor led off the top of the second with another home run blast and Erik Gonzales took Pelfrey deep for a two-run shot in the top of the third. 

Kluber settled in and went seven innings in total, striking out 13 and giving up only two runs on three hits. Greg Allen added to the Tribe lead in the top of the seventh with his own home run. Erik Gonzales homered again in the top of the ninth. 

Universal Windows Direct CEO William Barr with a Happy Customer

Kluber handed the game off to Shawn Armstrong who pitched a 1-2-3 eighth frame, while Craig Breslow did the same in the bottom of the ninth. The Indians won 11-2 and kicked off quite a party back at Progressive Field where a group of Universal Windows customers had gathered for a watch party. SCA was set to pay out rebates totaling over $1.7 Million to over 200 customers. 

The Tribe broke their own year-old franchise record for consecutive wins and finished the day 5.5 games up on the White Sox in the Central Division. They had their sights set on the 20-game win streak set by the Moneyball A’s in 2002. 

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Game 136

September 3, 2017 – Jose Ramirez’ Five Extra Base Hits Tie MLB Record

The Indians entered this game riding a 10-game win streak. The Tribe had a nine game lead in the division and were wrapping up a weekend series in Detroit against the lowly Tigers. Josh Tomlin was set to pitch against recent call-up Chad Bell. 

In the top of the first, Jose Ramirez stepped in against Bell with two outs. He lined the 3-1 pitch to deep left field where it hit the yellow line at the top of the wall. Mikie Matouk jumped and attempted to catch the live ball, but ended up tipping it over the wall and out for a home run. The Tribe manufactured two more runs in the bottom of the second courtesy of RBIs by Roberto Perez and Francisco Lindor. The Indians had a 3-0 lead in the early going. 

After recording the first two outs in the bottom of the second, Tomlin gave up three consecutive singles to Candelario, McCann, and Jacoby Jones. Jones’ single plated Candelario to cut the Indians lead to 3-1. 

Ramirez doubled once again to lead off the top of the third inning. He advanced to third on an Encarnacion groundout and then scored on Carlos Santana’s fielder’s choice. 

Jose doubled down the left field line in the top of the fifth and chased Bell from the game. 

In the top of the sixth, after a Greg Allen strikeout, Lindor homered off Zac Reininger. Austin Jackson followed with a single to left. Ramirez stepped to the plate and lined one sharply to the right field corner. Again, it just cleared the wall and bounced off the railing for Jose’s second home run of the game. 

NIck Goody replaced Tomlin to get the final out of the sixth and then pitched a 1-2-3 seventh. 

Jose led off the top of the eighth with his third double of the game–a well-hit ball that bounced behind Jacoby Jones’ and off the wall in dead center.He joined only nine other players that have recorded five extra-base hits in a nine-inning game. The list includes two other Indians. Lou Boudreau in Game 81 of 1946 where he hit a homer and slapped four doubles in a loss at Fenway. Kelly Shoppach hit two homers and three triples in a 14-12 loss to the Tigers in Game 106 of 2008.

Gio Urshella came in to pinch run for Ramirez. Encarnacion doubled to drive in Urshella and make it a 9-1 game. 

The Indians would add another two runs, but Encarnacion never had the opportunity to shoot for a sixth extra base hit and sole possession of the record. Jose had 14 total bases–one short of Lonnie Chisenhall’s club record from Game 64 of 2014. The win was the eleventh of the streak that began with Game 126.

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Honorable Mention – September 24, 1903 – Bill Bradley Hits for the Cycle

In a 12-2 victory over the Washington Senators, third baseman Bill Bradley hit for the cycle–with an extra double. One of the finest hitters of the deadball era, Bradley’s accomplishments are largely lost to history but he is remembered as one of the luminaries of early Cleveland baseball along with Nap Lajoie, Addie Joss, and Elmer Flick. 

SABR Biography 

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