Indians become 1st team since '04 to have undefeated month at home
By Shane Jackson
CLEVELAND -- Over one million people packed downtown Cleveland on Wednesday to celebrate the city's first championship in over five decades. Even through countless Cavaliers signs and jerseys, one sign was visible along the parade route on E. 9th Street.
A sign featuring the Tribe mascot towered over the crowd with a message reading, "The curse is over. I'm next."
Even though late June is far too early to begin thinking about a parade in November, the Indians have at least done their part to point this season, with the latest installment being a 6-1 victory over the Rays on Wednesday night at Progressive Field to complete a three-game sweep.
"It's nice to win at home, I can tell you that," right-hander Trevor Bauer said. "Fans come out and supports us. We had a really good crowd tonight. To hear the excitement of them getting loud in the ninth was really cool."
Hours after the floats had passed, the Tribe wrapped an undefeated six-game homestand. Cleveland finished the month with a perfect 11-0 record at home, marking the first undefeated calendar month of at least 10 games in club history.
Cleveland Indians └ 2016 season └ Losses at home └ June └⚠️ This folder is empty
"I think when we play, we play whoever we're supposed to," Indians manger Terry Francona said. "Part of that streak was like three weeks ago. I think if we play good, we give ourselves a chance. If we don't, we give the other team a better chance."
Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the last team to go undefeated at home in a single month was the Astros, who went 12-0 in September 2004. Oakland's 13-0 stretch in September 2001 is the only other time a team has done it this century.
Before the Athletics achieved such a feat, no other club had done so since 1989 when the White Sox went 11-0 in July.
A large reason the Indians have been so successful at home has been their rotation. The starting staff posted quality starts in 10 of the 11 games this month at home. Corey Kluber and Bauer finished off the stretch with consecutive complete games.
In fact, the last time a pair of Cleveland hurlers tossed back-to-back complete games with three or fewer hits was Aug. 21-22, 1977.
"They're all pulling for each other and wanting to outdo each other at the same time," pitching coach Mickey Callaway said. "It's really fun right now."
Aided by a superb showing from the rotation, the Indians increased their American League Central division lead to three games. Prior to this six-game stretch, they maintained a half-game advantage in the standings.
"Guys are having fun," Bauer said. "We enjoy being around each other. Guys are playing well, and hopefully we keep it going."
It may be too early to start planning any parade, but it's certainly acceptable to at least enjoy the ride.
Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.