Thursday, May 26, 2005
Updated: May 27, 11:29 AM ET
Elias Says ...
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
Major League Baseball
• Alex Rodriguez's homer on Thursday was the 398th of his big-league career, tying Ken Griffey Jr.'s all-time big-league record for home runs by a player before his 30th birthday (in 1999, Griffey surpassed Jimmie Foxx's pre-30 record of 379 that had stood since 1937).
A-Rod now has until his birthday on July 27 to hit two more home runs, which would make him the first player to connect for 400 home runs before turning 30.
• What home-field advantage? The Cubs have lost their last two games, both at Wrigley Field. On Wednesday they lost to Houston (2-21 on the road entering the game) and Thursday they were beaten by Colorado (3-20 on the road entering the game).
The Cubs have now scored four or fewer runs in each of their last 11 games; that matches the longest such streak in Dusty Baker's 13-year major-league managerial career. (Baker's Giants had an 11-game streak of that kind in 2002).
• After being blanked in their last two games in Atlanta, the Mets busted out with a 12-4 win over the Marlins in South Florida. They were the second team this year to score at least a dozen runs in a game after having been shut out in each of their previous two games; on April 22, the Orioles went for a baker's dozen, winning 13-5, at Toronto after having been blanked by the Red Sox in each of their two previous games.
Still, the Mets have done better. Back in 1964, they followed a double-blanking by defeating the Cubs, 19-1, at Wrigley Field.
• Jeff Kent's fourth-inning double off the Giants' Kirk Rueter snapped his hitless streak, which had grown to 22 at-bats. That matched the longest such streak of Kent's big-league career; he went 22 at-bats without a hit while playing for the Giants in July 1998.
• San Diego's Jake Peavy and Arizona's Brandon Webb started against each other Thursday for the third time this season. They're already halfway to last year's "what-you-again?" leaders; the Padres' Adam Eaton and the Dodgers' Jeff Weaver started against one another six times.
• Former big-league shortstop Chico Carrasquel died. Carrasquel started three All-Star Games for the American League in the early 1950s one more than the career total of All-Star Games started by Hall of Famer (and Carrasquel's American League contemporary) Phil Rizzuto.
• The Blue Jays' 8-1 win over the Red Sox completed a three-game series sweep of the defending world champions. Since Toronto won back-to-back titles in 1992-93, this is just the third time the Jays have swept a series of three-or-more games over the defending world champs.
They swept the Yankees in September 2000 and did the same to the Angels in May 2003.
• There are very few sure things in baseball but the Red Sox, playing on the road, allowing six runs in the first inning, as they did at Toronto that's about as close as you can come.
In 105 years, the Red Sox have won only one road game in which they allowed six-or-more runs in the first inning. That game came in Cleveland on July 30, 1948, when, after the Sox scored three in the top of the first, the Indians responded with six in the bottom half. Boston eventually won, 8-7, pinning the loss on the legendary Satchel Paige, whom the Indians had signed earlier that month Paige's first major-league loss.
Ironically, the Red Sox and the Indians finished tied for first place in the American League that year, with Cleveland winning the one-game tiebreaker at Fenway Park, 8-3, to take the pennant.
None of the 15 other franchises that have been in the majors for more than 100 years has won fewer such road games allowing at least a six-spot in the first than have the Red Sox.