Inside the Indians strong start

April, 19, 2011
4/19/11
2:04
PM ET
Today’s Trivia: At .459, Matt Kemp leads the National League in batting average. Who was the last Los Angeles Dodger to be the batting champ?

Quick Hits: The Cleveland Indians have won four in a row, and at 12-4 are tied with the Colorado Rockies for the best record in the majors. Let’s focus in on the most surprising team of the season’s first few weeks.

• According to Elias, this is the 1st time the Indians have had the best record in the majors this late in the season since the end of 2007, when they ended the season tied with the Boston Red Sox for the best mark in MLB (both 96–66).

• After sweeps of the Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles, the Indians are 6-0 against the AL East. Last season, Cleveland was just 17-24 against teams in that division.

• Indians’ starting pitchers have 13 quality starts. The last AL team with more quality starts through 16 games? The 1991 Indians with 14.

• In their 12 wins, the Indians have allowed a total of 12 runs.

• Opposing 3-4-5 hitters are batting a combined .185.

• Last season, Indians pitchers only had 967 strikeouts, fewest in the majors, and an MLB-worst 1.69 K per BB. This season, their 2.21 K per BB is 4th best in the AL.

• Their .318 BA with RISP is second in the majors, which helps explain how the Indians lead the AL in runs.

• The Indians are hitting .331 with a .916 OPS against southpaws this season, and have a 5-1 record when facing a lefty starter.
Chris Perez
Perez

• Dating back to last season, Chris Perez has converted 15 straight save opportunities without allowing a run.

• Relievers Chris Perez, Tony Sipp and Rafael Perez haven’t allowed a run this season in 21 2/3 IP.

• The Indians are a perfect 11-0 when leading at the start of any inning after the 4th.

Trivia Answer: Tommy Davis won back-to-back batting titles in 1962 and 1963, but no Dodger has led the league in batting average since. Of course, Mike Piazza hit .362 in 1997, but was edged by Tony Gwynn (.372).

Jeremy Lundblad

ESPN Stats and Information

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