David Shovein

Baseball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Sweet Sixteen

Saturday, September 9, 2017


Setting a new franchise record with their 15th consecutive victory on Thursday was cool. Continuing to win and extending that winning streak is much cooler.

 

That's just what the Cleveland Indians did in Friday's series-opener against the Baltimore Orioles. Edwin Encarnacion clubbed a three-run homer off of Wade Miley in the first inning, generating more than enough offense than would be needed in the 5-0 victory. The Indians have struck first in every game during this impressive run.

 

As they have done throughout this epic winning streak, the Indians are excelling in all facets of the game. Mike Clevinger delivered another outstanding start, racking up seven strikeouts and allowing just three hits over six shutout innings.

 

The Indians are now just the third team since the expansion era (post 1961) to achieve a winning streak of 16 or more games, matching the 1977 Royals and trailing the 2002 Athletics who won an American League-record 20 straight contests.

 

They're the 10th team in Major League history to win 16 or more games consecutively. Only six of those teams have won 17 straight. The all-time record of 21 games by the 1935 Cubs is now in their sights.

 

Friday's victory was also the fifth shutout during their impressive run. During the streak the Indians have outscored their opponents a mind-boggling 114-28. They have jumped out to an 11-game lead over the Twins in the race for the American League Central Division crown and are closing in on the Astros for the best record in the American League.

 

They'll look to take another step towards history when Josh Tomlin takes on Gabriel Ynoa and the Orioles on Saturday afternoon.

 

 

Editor’s Note: Win a FREE trip to the World Series plus cash prizes!

 

 

Down go the Diamondbacks

 

While one club was extending their franchise-record winning streak on Friday night, the Arizona Diamondbacks were dealt their first loss since August 23, snapping their club-record 13-game winning streak.

 

The Padres jumped out to an early lead, scoring six runs off of Patrick Corbin in the fourth inning and held an 8-0 advantage through the top half of the fifth.

 

The Diamondbacks weren't going to go quietly though, scoring twice in the bottom half of the inning on a home run from Reymond Fuentes and adding four more the following frame which included a two-run bomb from J.D. Martinez. That cut the deficit to two runs at 8-6, but would be as close as they would get, eventually falling by a score of 10-6.

 

What the Diamondbacks' winning streak was able to accomplish, is putting some distance between themselves and the other contenders vying for a Wild Card berth in the National League. While they still trail the Dodgers by 10 games in the National League West, they hold a six game edge over the Rockies for the top Wild Card spot.

 


Fifty is Nifty

 

Dee Gordon swiped his 50th base of the season in Friday's victory over the Braves. It's the third time in his career that he has reached the 50-steal plateau.

 

With teammate Giancarlo Stanton already having slugged his 50th home run this season, he and Gordon became just the third set of teammates in MLB history to hit those marks in the same season. They join Albert Belle & Kenny Lofton of the 1995 Indians and Sammy Sosa & Eric Young from the 2000 Cubs.

 

Gordon has single-handedly stolen more bases than four different TEAMS this season, including the Rockies, Blue Jays, Mets and Orioles. The Orioles as a club have swiped a grand total of just 29 bases this season.

 

Gordon has been especially hot at the plate as of late, hitting .410 (25-for-61) with seven stolen bases in his last 14 games.

 

 

Herrera Yanked

 

Royals' manager Ned Yost announced prior to Friday's game that he has removed Kelvin Herrera from the closer's role, at least temporarily.

 

The right-hander has been battling a strained forearm and has struggled to the tune of a 7.20 ERA, 3.00 WHIP and 6/5 K/BB ratio over five innings in his last six appearances.

 

For now, the Royals will employ a committee of Scott Alexander, Brandon Maurer and Mike Minor in the ninth inning. Maurer has the most closing experience of the trio, but Alexander has netted two saves recently and has been pitching very well of late. Both are probably worth speculative adds from mixed league owners who are chasing saves.

 

With the Royals battling for a playoff spot in the American League, they couldn't afford to let Herrera get right with the game on the line in the ninth inning. He'll work in middle relief until he can overcome his forearm issues and get back on track.

 


American League Quick Hits: Miguel Sano (shin) was able to do light running and hit in the batting cages on Friday. He's still at least a few days away from a potential return... The White Sox have shut down Carlos Rodon for the remainder of the season as the young southpaw is battling stiffness in his shoulder... Eduardo Nunez sat out Friday's game against the Rays due to back spasms. He's considered day-to-day... Josh Donaldson was scratched from the Jays' lineup on Friday due to illness. He should be fine to return in a day or two... James Paxton (pectoral) will return to the Mariners' rotation next week against the Rangers... Steve Pearce left Friday's game with lower back stiffness. He's considered day-to-day... Evan Gattis (wrist) is set to rejoin the Astros on Sunday, the first day he's eligible to be activated from the DL.. Steve Souza was forced to leave Friday's game with an apparent leg injury after colliding with the outfield wall... Collin McHugh was lifted from his start after three innings due to a right middle fingernail avulsion... Ian Kennedy was removed from his start against the Twins after just three innings due to right shoulder tightness... Nicholas Castellanos made his first career start in right field on Friday and carried the Tigers' offense with a grand slam in a win over the Blue Jays... Josh Reddick homered, doubled twice, walked twice and plated four runs in a loss to the Athletics... Eddie Rosario plated four and swiped a base in a win over the Royals... Matt Belisle locked down the ninth inning there to earn his seventh save... Marcus Semien blasted a grand slam in a comeback victory over the Astros.

 

National League Quick Hits: Brandon Belt is unlikely to return to the Giants this season as he continues to battle post-concussion symptoms... The Giants are expected to exercise Matt Moore's $9 million club option for 2018 according to Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle... Adrian Gonzalez will be shut down for the next few days after receiving an epidural in his ailing back... The swelling in Amed Rosario's injured finger has gone down, but he isn't quite ready to return to the Mets' lineup... The Nationals opted to play Alejandro De Aza over top prospect Victor Robles for the second straight game after Robles was promoted from the minors... Noah Syndergaard (lat) is scheduled to throw a 50-pitch simulated game next week... Phillies' prospect Jesen Therrien has been diagnosed with damage to his UCL and may need Tommy John surgery... Addison Russell (foot) was able to jog on the field before Friday's game. He's still expected to return before the end of the regular season... Paul Goldschmidt missed his fifth consecutive game due to elbow soreness, but could return to the lineup over the weekend... Corey Seager (elbow) returned to the Dodgers' lineup, going 1-for-5 with a double in a loss to the Rockies... Mark Melancon will undergo season-ending elbow surgery on Tuesday. He'll be sidelined for 2-3 months but should be fully healthy and ready to roll by spring training... Jimmy Nelson was removed from Friday's start against the Cubs after five shutout innings due to right arm soreness... Jose Reyes homered twice and plated three runs as the Mets beat the Reds... Seth Lugo fired six scoreless innings in the victory there... Nick Williams went 4-for-5 and clubbed a three-run homer in a loss to the Nationals... Rhys Hoskins swatted a three-run homer, his 13th of the year, in the defeat... Michael Taylor went 4-for-5 with a triple and an inside-the-park grand slam in a win over the Phillies... Ryan Braun blasted his 300th career home run, powering the Brewers past the Cubs... Juan Nicasio recorded a four-out save against his former club in his Cardinals' debut... Luke Weaver fanned seven over 5 2/3 scoreless innings in a victory there... Manuel Margot went 3-for-5 with a double, triple and four RBI in a win over the D'Backs... J.D. Martinez slugged his 35th home run in a losing effort there.



Dave Shovein is a baseball writer for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveShovein.
Email :David Shovein



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