Kent State students react to Indians’ historic streak

Cleveland Indians’ Roberto Perez, left, and Cody Allen celebrate a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, in Cleveland. The Indians set the American League record with 21 consecutive wins.

Cameron Hoover

Students in the Kent State Student Center sat on couches or huddled around laptops Wednesday watching the final innings of the Cleveland Indians game against the Detroit Tigers, with each pitch taking on more meaning as history approached.

Jay Bruce hit his 34th home run of the season, Cody Allen picked up his 27th save and the Cleveland Indians set the American League record for most consecutive wins with 21.

“We haven’t seen this kind of winning streak in years — not since the (Oakland) A’s in ’02,” said Nicholas LeMay, a junior integrated mathematics major. “It’s just really great seeing.”

Bryan Sufka, a freshman finance major, said that he could notice a tangible difference in the atmosphere among diehard Indians fans.

“I feel like in the beginning of the season, everyone was kind of doubting (the Indians),” Sufka said. “But they’re a second half team, so I feel like this win streak has reassured that we’ll be all right. (Relief pitcher Andrew) Miller will be back, so I think we’ll be all right.”

Anthony Askins said he also noticed an increase in interest as the streak built steam.

“I’d say it makes more people want to go to the regular day games,” said Askins, a junior managerial marketing major. “I know my parents are actually down there today, and I’ve had a lot of friends going down to the games. I’m trying to get tickets soon. You just see a lot of people wearing Indians gear on campus and kind of showing their true Cleveland pride.”

LeMay identified the Indians’ pitching staff as one of its strong suits during the historic run. The club has tossed six shutouts during the streak, while 14 other teams have tallied six or fewer all season.

Closer Allen hasn’t allowed a run since the streak began and holds a 0.00 ERA since Aug. 12. Before his start Wednesday, starter Mike Clevinger had thrown 18 consecutive scoreless innings. 

“All these guys are dealing,” LeMay said. “They’re going 7, 8, 9 innings (a start) and just shutting teams out. We have more shutouts in this win streak than some teams do all year. It’s amazing.”

Askins said that while he is confident in his team’s abilities, he also knows to be cautious of getting too far ahead of himself after last season’s World Series disappointment.

“I think we’re definitely making it back to the (World) Series this year,” Askins said, wearing his Indians jersey as Bryan Shaw threw a pitch on the screen behind him. “I’d like to say we’re going home with the trophy this time, but my only concern is that every team eventually hits some sort of slump, so I’d almost like to see us hit our slump sooner than later.”

Sufka said it also worried him that the club may be heading into the playoffs too hot.

“Personally, I hope they lose before the playoffs,” he said, “because going into the playoffs undefeated is never good. But overall, being a Cleveland fan, it’s pretty cool.”

As the first pitch of the ninth inning was thrown by Allen on his laptop, LeMay expressed excitement for what was to come for the team in October.

“Every team has a chance if they make the playoffs,” he said. “But I have faith we’ll get back to the World Series and actually win it this year.”

Cameron Hoover is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].