Cleveland Wins 21 Straight, Close To Breaking Another Record
MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:
Let's go to Cleveland next, where something really crazy is underway. We are talking baseball. We're talking the Cleveland Indians, and they are on a record-breaking run, 21 consecutive wins over the past few weeks. If - if they win tonight, they will shatter a record that has stood for 82 years. Here's David C. Barnett of WCPN Ideastream.
DAVID C. BARNETT, BYLINE: When choosing between going to work and sneaking off to the noontime ballgame yesterday afternoon, Rick Stanford and his buddies made an executive decision.
RICK STANFORD: I called the day off. Coming to watch a great game. What else are we doing?
MATT JANOSEK: Twenty-one. They're breaking records.
NICK THOMAS: It's history.
STANFORD: Who doesn't want to be here?
BARNETT: It was a chance for the Indians to notch the most consecutive wins in American League history. About 30,000 fans were on their feet to see Indians closer Cody Allen seal the team's 21st consecutive win.
UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Cheering).
BARNETT: As streaks go, Cleveland's is a doozy. This isn't a team that squeaks their way to victory. The pitching is dominating, and the hits are relentless. The Indians have scored more home runs alone than all runs scored against them. Over the course of 189 innings, they've only trailed in four of them. But Cleveland also has a long history of sports losses, a legacy of promising teams that let victory slip away at the last minute. Many fans are still disappointed that the Indians lost Game 7 of the World Series last year after a momentum-crushing rain delay. But Ozell Dobbins says he doesn't believe in the Cleveland curse.
OZELL DOBBINS: No, man. That's been broken. The Cavs won a championship. It's our time. I mean, the Tribe should've won last year. If it weren't for the rain, we would've won last year.
BARNETT: As fans swarmed out of Progressive Field yesterday afternoon, T-shirt vendor Vern Thompson says he was on a streak of his own.
VERN THOMPSON: This has definitely blown away our best Indians week ever. So it's been crazy. We're trying to keep everything on the shelf that we can. We've reordered, like, four times now. So it's just - it's been awesome, and we're going to continue to ride the streak.
BARNETT: Cleveland is looking to continue the streak tonight when they face the Kansas City Royals. A win would put them past the 1935 Cubs and just six games away from besting the all-time winning streak of the modern era, the 26 games the New York Giants won consecutively in 1916.
For NPR News, I'm David C. Barnett in Cleveland.
(SOUNDBITE OF JOSHUA REDMAN AND THE BAD PLUS' "AS THIS MOMENT SLIPS AWAY") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.