|2017 Cleveland Indians|
|American League Central Champions|
|Major League affiliations|
|General manager(s)||Mike Chernoff|
|Local television||SportsTime Ohio · WKYC|
(Matt Underwood, Rick Manning)
|Local radio||WTAM · WMMS|
Cleveland Indians Radio Network
(Tom Hamilton, Jim Rosenhaus, Rick Manning)
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The 2017 Cleveland Indians season was the 117th season for the franchise. It was the fifth season under the leadership of manager Terry Francona and second under general manager Mike Chernoff. The team entered as the defending American League champion and World Series runner-up. The Indians played all of their home games at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.
On September 13, the Cleveland Indians won their 21st game in a row, surpassing the 2002 Oakland Athletics for the longest winning streak in American League history and tying the 1880 Chicago White Stockings and the 1935 Chicago Cubs for the second longest winning streak in Major League Baseball history. Their win streak reached 22 games on September 14, giving the Indians the longest winning streak in Major League Baseball history. They were 5 games short of tying the all-time record for longest streak without a loss of 27 games (26 wins, 1 tie) held by the 1916 New York Giants. On September 15, the 22-game win streak ended in a 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals.
The Indians finished the season with a record of 102-60, the best record in the American League. They won their second straight American League Central title but were upset by the New York Yankees in five games in the American League Division Series. Their 102 win total was the most wins the Indians had since the 1995 season.
The Indians opened the season by sweeping the Texas Rangers in Arlington. This series was highlighted by a 9-6 win on April 5 in which Francisco Lindor hit his first career grand slam during the five-run 9th inning in which the Indians erased a 6-4 deficit. However, the Indians would go on to lose six of their next seven games. The Indians' lone win in that stretch was a 2-1 win in the team's home opener over the Chicago White Sox. The Indians started the season with two of their key contributors from 2016 - Lonnie Chisenhall and Jason Kipnis - on the disabled list. Chisenhall returned to the Indians on April 13.
On May 2, starting pitcher Corey Kluber left the game with a lower back strain, and would miss the rest of the month. He had posted a 3-2 record, 5.06 ERA, 41 strikeouts and 13 walks in innings. Without Kluber in the rotation, the Indians could not establish any consistency, finishing the month 13-14, their only sub-.500 month of the season. The month was highlighted by a sweep of the AL West leading Houston Astros in Houston.
SP Corey Kluber would return to the Indians' rotation on June 1, as he would go six shutout innings en route to an 8-0 win over the Oakland Athletics. After struggling through the early part of June, the Indians would win six in a row from June 15-19, including a 4-game road sweep of the Minnesota Twins, with whom the Indians were battling for the lead in the AL Central. However, the Twins would return the favor a week later, sweeping the Indians in Cleveland. On June 26, the Indians had one of their more impressive wins of the season, coming back from a 9-2 deficit to defeat the Texas Rangers, 15-9.
José Ramírez collected nine consecutive multi-hit games in June, the longest such streak for an Indians player since Roy Hughes in 1936. Ramírez was named AL Player of the Week for the first time in his career on June 18, after batting .516 with 16 hits, three home runs, seven RBI and a stolen base. He raised his average from .265 to .320 over his previous 22 games.
The Indians went 15-12 in June, to improve to 42-36 on the season. Kluber was selected as the AL Pitcher of the Month for June after posting a 4-0 record, 43 IP, 1.26 ERA, 64 SO, 0.67 WHIP and 13.4 K/9 in six starts. It was the third time in his career he had won the award.
On July 2, OF Michael Brantley, SP Corey Kluber, SS Francisco Lindor, RP Andrew Miller, and 3B José Ramírez were all named to the American League team for MLB All-Star Game, played at Marlins Park in Miami. Ramírez started the game at third base, becoming the first Indian to start in the game since Juan González in 2001. As the AL representative in the 2016 World Series, the Indians' coaching staff coached the AL team. Manager Terry Francona had to miss the game, as well as six Indians games due to a heart procedure.
In the fifth inning of the July 7, contest against the Detroit Tigers, Carlos Carrasco pitched an immaculate inning, striking out the side on the minimum nine pitches. He became only the second pitcher in Indians history to do so, following Justin Masterson in 2014, and the 84th in MLB history.
When Jason Kipnis sustained a hamstring injury on July 9, the Indians placed him on the 10-day DL, and shifted Ramírez to cover second base to replace him for much of the remainder of the season.
The Indians started July 6-8, including a tough west-coast trip following the All-Star break that saw the team go 1-5 against the last place Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants. After that trip, however, the Indians swept a seven-game home stand as part of a nine-game winning streak. On July 22, Lindor hit his first career walk-off home run in the 10th inning against the Toronto Blue Jays for a 2-1 victory.
On August 3, Corey Kluber struck out 11 batters and gave up three hits in a 5-1 complete game win against the New York Yankees, making him the fourth pitcher ever to get eight or more strikeouts in 12 consecutive starts. The preceding three were Nolan Ryan, Pedro Martínez and Randy Johnson.
The Indians finished the month of August with a 19-9 record, including eight straight wins to end the month. Kluber won his second AL Pitcher of the Month Award of the season for August, totaling a 5-1 record and 1.96 ERA.
Corey Kluber pitched his third shutout of the season with 12 strikeouts on September 12, against the Detroit Tigers, giving the Indians their 20th consecutive win, matching the 2002 Oakland Athletics for the American League record. Kluber scattered five hits while allowing no walks and struck out eight. On September 13, Cleveland broke the AL record for consecutive wins with its 21st straight, surpassing the 2002 A's, and moved into a tie with the 1935 Chicago Cubs for the second-longest winning streak in baseball history. The major league record is 26 consecutive wins, set by the New York Giants, accomplished September 7-30, 1916. The Indians would win a 22nd straight game the next day, but their streak was snapped on September 15, with a 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals. During the streak, the Indians had outscored their opponents 142-37, trailing after just eight of a possible 199 full innings.
Kluber won the AL Player of the Week Award for September 17 after becoming the third Indians pitcher with multiple 250-strikeout seasons. Carrasco struck out 14 Minnesota Twins batters on September 28, 2017, in a 5-2 score to give Cleveland their 100th win of the season. It was the third time in franchise history they had reached 100 wins in one season, following the 1954 club (111 wins) and the 1995 club (100).
Kluber, later named the AL Pitcher of the Month for September, produced a 5-0 W-L record, 0.84 ERA, 50 strikeouts and 43 innings pitched. The Indians' record for the month was 25-4, and included the majority of the 22-game win streak, with Kluber pitching Cleveland to three of those victories in September.
The Indians clinched a playoff spot on September 14, the AL Central championship on September 17, and the #1 seed in the American League playoffs on September 30. The team finished the season with a record of 102-60 (.630). The 102 wins marked the team's second highest win total in franchise history, trailing only the 1954 Indians. The Indians led the major leagues in both ERA (3.30) and in pitching strikeouts (1,614). It was the fourth consecutive season they led the American League in strikeouts.
|Kansas City Royals||80||82||0.494||22||43-38||37-44|
|Chicago White Sox||67||95||0.414||35||39-42||28-53|
|Boston Red Sox||93||69||0.574|
Wild Card teams|
(Top 2 qualify for 1-game playoff)
|New York Yankees||91||71||0.562||+6|
|Kansas City Royals||80||82||0.494||5|
|Los Angeles Angels||80||82||0.494||5|
|Tampa Bay Rays||80||82||0.494||5|
|Toronto Blue Jays||76||86||0.469||9|
|Chicago White Sox||67||95||0.414||18|
2017 American League Records
Source: AL Standings Head-to-head
|AAA||Columbus Clippers||International League||Chris Tremie|
|AA||Akron RubberDucks||Eastern League||Mark Budzinski|
|A-Advanced||Lynchburg Hillcats||Carolina League||Tony Mansolino|
|A||Lake County Captains||Midwest League||Larry Day|
|A-Short Season||Mahoning Valley Scrappers||New York-Penn League||Luke Carlin|
|Rookie||AZL Indians||Arizona League||Anthony Medrano|
|Rookie||DSL Indians||Dominican Summer League|