Welcome to The Upper Deck, Baseball America’s daily look at the biggest stories around the game and some lighter fare.
Someday, maybe even today, the Indians will lose. But it didn’t happen Wednesday. Cleveland now owns the longest win streak in AL history after beating Detroit 5-3 for its 21st consecutive victory. Oakland won 20 in a row in 2002; the 1935 Cubs won 21 in a row in 1935. The longest streak in MLB history is 26 wins, achieved by the 1916 Giants.
During the streak, Indians starters are 19-0, 1.70 and the offense has outscored opponents 139-35. Yep, pretty unbeatable.
Speaking of streaking, Rhys Hoskins might be the only entity that can rival the Indians in terms of success. The Phillies’ rookie slugger homered again Wednesday, giving him 17 in just 33 games, the quickest to that total. That’s no surprise, given that he reached 10 career homers quicker than any player, as well as 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16. Hoskins also has 37 RBIs in first 33 games, tying him with oh, just Joe DiMaggio (1936), Ted Williams (1934) and Zeke Bonura (1934) for most through 33.
NOT A BANNER DAY
Some fans in the Monster Seats hung a banner over the wall that said, "Racism Is As American As Baseball." Security removed them. pic.twitter.com/tVSai9XocY
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) September 14, 2017
Banners at Fenway Park have become commonplace in recent years as the Red Sox have won three World Series since 2004. A banner that was draped over the Green Monster didn’t bring good feelings Wednesday. The banner read, “Racism is as American as baseball.” According to The Boston Globe among others, a group of protesters was removed in the fourth inning after unfurling the banner.
According to the newspaper, one protester told Red Sox security the banner was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.
A statement on behalf of the group was later emailed to CSN New England.
"We want to remind everyone that just as baseball is fundamental to American culture and history, so too is racism," the group said in a written statement. "White people need to wake up to this reality before white supremacy can truly be dismantled. We urge anyone who is interested in learning more or taking action to contact their local racial justice organization."
Four people were ejected from the park for unfurling the banner, but no one was arrested, the Globe reported.
Earlier this year at Fenway, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones was berated by racist taunts, and in August, Red Sox owner John Henry said the team will move to change the name of Yawkey Way, named after longtime owner Tom Yawkey, who refused to allow black players on the Red Sox.
NO HAPPY RECAP
— Gary Phillips (@GaryHPhillips) September 13, 2017
The Yankees got a big win Wednesday in their effort to overtake Boston in the AL East. Despite that, two Yankees pitchers were less than thrilled with manager Joe Girardi.
Girardi removed starter Jaime Garcia, who is winless since his trade to New York, just one out short of being eligible for a win against Tampa Bay. The lefthander Garcia had a 3-1 lead with two outs in the fifth, but with righthanded hitter Evan Longoria coming up, Girardi opted for righthander Chad Green. Garcia was clearly not happy.
"I don't want to come out of any game,” Garcia told the New York Post. "It's human nature, we don't want to come out of the game.”
Then in the eighth inning, Girardi yanked Dellin Betances after he had just struck out Steven Souza. Betances did not talk to reporters after the game, but was visibly stunned when Girardi replaced him with closer Aroldis Chapman.
"I tell all my players, 'I don't want you to want to come out, I want you to stay in.' I don't take too much in the heat of the moment," Girardi told the newspaper. "I want competitors and I went up to him and said, 'I understand if you are mad at me.' I was happy he didn't want to come out.''