The Indians beat the Detroit Tigers 2-0 last night in Cleveland to win their 20th straight game — tying the American League winning streak held by the 2002 Oakland Athletics.
Baseball fans and movie goers alike will remember that team.
The 2011 movie Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt, told the story of how the A’s used detailed statistics to assemble a roster of under-appreciated, low-salaried players 15 years ago who went on to become a powerhouse team that won 20 straight games.
The A’s finished first in the American League West that season with a record of 103-59.
The Indians will go for 21 straight wins when they play the Tigers this afternoon in Cleveland.
The 1935 Chicago Cubs, a National League team, currently holds that record.
Tying that record would be bittersweet. The 2016 Cubs beat the Indians 4-3 in last season’s World Series. Cleveland had taken a three-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven series.
The Indians, however, haven’t let that loss define them.
Cleveland’s winning streak began last month in Boston, and as the streak has continued, the team has done it’s best to keep it from being a distraction.
The Associated Press reports Indians Manager Terry Francona has been downplaying the streak but chooses his words carefully whether he’s talking to reporters, family or friends:
“I got one really good buddy, one of my best friends, but he’s notoriously bad luck,” Francona said. “Everybody kind of refers to him as like the gray cloud. He knows who he is and you talk about superstitions, I will not talk to him. He is a text only.”
If Cleveland wins later today, and they’ve already beaten the Tigers six times during the streak, they can challenge the record held by the 1916 New York Giants.
The Giants had an unbeaten streak of 27 games, but that included a tie. Baseball views the Giants’ winning streak of 26 games as the longest in history.
Steve Hirdt, executive vice president at the Elias Sports Bureau, which is Major League Baseball’s official record keeper, is asked all the time which record he would like to see broken.
He tells The Associated Press that he is “eager to see if Cleveland can topple the Giants’ gigantic mark.”