Posted on July 3, 2016 by Bryan Zarpentine
All good things must come to an end, and on Saturday the longest winning streak in Major League Baseball this season came to an end. After 14 straight wins, the Cleveland Indians had their streak snapped in a loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.
A call at home plate that was overturned on review was the catalyst for the Indians losing their first game since June 15. Ezequiel Carrera was initially called out on a play at home plate, but upon review was determined to be safe, breaking a 6-6 tie in the bottom of the 8th and opening the door for a three-run inning that would ultimately give the Blue Jays the win.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona was in utter shock that the call at the plate was reversed. “They keep telling us it has to be conclusive,” he said after the game. “I will look forward to an explanation that I understand. As of now, from what I’ve seen, I don’t know how they did that.”
On the play, Carrera was adamant that he was not tagged, immediately signaling to the Toronto dugout to review the play, but many might see the replay as inconclusive. “I definitely thought I had him in the leg,” Indians catcher Chris Gimenez said. “The explanation they gave us was his arm got in there before I tagged him. I don’t necessarily think that was the case.”
Even Toronto manager John Gibbons said that his team “caught a break” with the replay review going their way. “We liked what we saw but you never know for sure,” Gibbons said.
In any event, it counts as a loss for Cleveland, ending what is now a franchise-best 14-game winning streak for the Indians. It was the longest winning streak by an American League club since 2002 when the Oakland Athletics rattled off 20 in a row.
After the loss, there seemed to be more optimism at the streak than disappointment at the loss. “We’re starting to believe that we’re pretty good,” said Giminez. “That’s something that can be a very powerful thing, to be honest with you. [When] you get a group of guys together that start believing that something can really happen here, it’s amazing.”
The winning streak may be over for the Indians, but the Indians will continue to reap the benefits from it. Before the streak began, Cleveland had a half-game lead over the Kansas City Royals atop the AL Central, with the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox 1.5 and 2.5 games back, respectively. Today, the Indians have a six-game lead over the Royals, and a 6.5 and 8.5 game leads over the Tigers and White Sox, respectively. Cleveland now also has the second best record in the American League.
The Indians will look to get back to their winning ways Sunday when they finish off their four-game series with the Blue Jays. Corey Kluber will start for Cleveland after going 4-1 with a 2.19 ERA during the month of June. He actually took the loss in Cleveland’s final loss before the 14-game win streak started. The Blue Jays will send JA Happ to the mound.