Cleveland's Francisco Lindor celebrates after hitting a solo home run off Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Matthew Boyd during the first inning Tuesday. ASSOCIATED PRESS
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians are riding the greatest — as in most dominant — winning streak in modern baseball history.
Does that also make them one of the greatest teams in baseball history?
Of course not ... yet. Check back with us in October.
Sure, in most other sports, a team encroaching on the longest winning streak of all time would immediately be in the discussion.
The 1972 Lakers who won an NBA-record 33 straight games on their way to a title? All-time great team. The 2007 Patriots who became the first team in NFL history to go 16-0? All-time great team (Super Bowl loss withstanding). You get the idea.
Yet for as mercilessly as the Indians have plowed through an AL-record tying 20 straight wins — and nobody ever has played the game better — baseball is a different species. It is a game in which a very good team can be historically great for three weeks (the Indians) and a very good team can be historically bad for nearly as long (the Dodgers). Neither streak is a good predictor of the legends of fall.
The Indians are the fourth team since 1884 to officially win at least 20 straight games, joining the 2002 Athletics (20), the 1935 Cubs (21), and the 1916 Giants (26).
None won the World Series.
The early wild guess here is the Indians will be the first this year. If they do, then we can talk.