“If we need that extra push over the cliff…”

The Indians ended their run of non-quality starts on Tuesday night. Rookie Corey Kluber pitched into the seventh inning and ended with three runs (one earned) allowed in an admirable effort for Cleveland. When he exited the mound, the Tribe held a four-run lead.

The Streak appeared to be on the verge of ending.

Then, it happened.

“Our two strengths during the season,” Indians manager Manny Acta said, “our defense and our bullpen, kind of betrayed us.”

A grounder skipped through Jason Kipnis’ wickets in the seventh, allowing two runs to score to help the Twins cap off a three-run burst to pull within one. In the ninth, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera misplayed a ball and first baseman Casey Kotchman was eaten up by a weird hop on another grounder, leading to a blown save for closer Chris Perez.

It was a cruel twist that sent the Tribe to an 11th consecutive defeat.

Here’s some historical perspective:

  • The 11-game losing streak equals what is recognized as the second-longest streak in the history of the franchise. The data goes back to 1918 and the Indians were founded in 1901. There are two other 11-game droughts: one in September of 2009 and another in September of 1928.
  • The Indians’ longest losing streak is 12 games from May 7-21, 1931. During that stretch, Clevelnd dropped games against the St. Louis Browns, Boston Red Sox, Washington Senators, Philadelphia Athletics and New York Yankees.
  • The Indians’ 7.54 ERA is the highest for the four streaks of 11+ losses and is the second-highest among the nine streaks of 10+ games. The only one that tops it is the 8.06 ERA posted in a 10-game drought in 1969.
  • The 11 games (can include wins or losses) with at least five runs allowed (earned or otherwise) matches the club record. The only other such streak was 11 games from Sept. 23, 2008-April 11, 2009 (record: 2-9).
  • This marks the 61st time in baseball history that a team has given up at least five runs in 11 consecutive games. It marks the first time since the 2007 Astros allowed at least five runs in 12 straight games (record: 4-8). The record is 20 such games in a row by the 1924 Philadelphia A’s.
  • This is the sixth time that a team has given up at least five runs in each game of a losing streak of 11 or more games. The record is 0-12 by the 2005 Royals and 1996 Tigers. The other three 0-11 runs with at least five runs given up in each contest include the 1994 Red Sox, 1962 Mets and 1951 Senators.
  • The 95 runs allowed by the Indians over the past 11 games are the most by the club in any 11-game stretch since Cleveland gave up 97 runs in an 11-game stretch from Aug. 23-30 in 1938.
  • The Indians have given up 95 or more runs in an 11-game stretch 15 times in club history. The -59 (36-95) run differential on the current streak is the highest mark among those 15 stretches. The second-highest is -56 (57-113) from Sept. 15-27, 1901.
  • The Indians have scored 36 runs during the losing streak. They scored just 30 in the 11-game slide in 2009. Like this streak, that one includes series against the Royals, Twins and Tigers. The ’09 drought also includes games against the A’s.
  • Cleveland has hit .224 over the past 11 games, marking the lowest team average among the club’s losing streaks of 10+ games since the Indians hit .195 in a 10-game slide that ran from 1969-70.
  • Cleveland’s rotation has gone 0-8 with a 10.44 ERA during the 11-game losing streak.

On deck:

Twins (49-61) at Indians (50-60)
at 12:05 p.m. ET Wednesday at Progressive Field

–JB

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