Tuesday, May 31, 2005
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
• Hideki Matsui snapped a streak of 180 at-bats without a home run Tuesday. Matsui hit 31 home runs last season, and his homer-less streak was the longest by a player coming off a season of 30 or more homers since Ed Sprague went 205 ABs without a homer in 1997. Sprague hit 36 HRs in 1996.
• The Royals overcame Matsui's two-run homer in the first inning to defeat the Yankees. That might not seem like much, but the Royals had lost 42 of the last 45 games between these teams in which the Yankees took a lead of two runs or more.
• Kenny Rogers tied an American League record with his seventh win in his last seven starts -- the longest such streak by an AL pitcher age 40 or older. The record was set by Ted Lyons of the White Sox in 1942 and tied by Jamie Moyer in 2003. The major league record is 11, held by Roger Clemens (2003-2004).
• Mike Hampton was removed after pitching four shutout innings and throwing 58 pitches in the Braves' 5-4 loss to the Nationals. It was Hampton's first appearance since coming off the disabled list. Atlanta doesn't have a recent history of keeping pitchers on a short leash in their first start off the DL. Nine of the 10 previous Braves pitchers threw at least 85 pitches in their return start, including Hampton in 2003 (six innings, 85 pitches).
• Bob Wickman pitched a scoreless ninth inning for a save, already his fifth against the Twins this season. Only one pitcher has ever recorded more saves against one team by May 31: Eddie Guardado of the Twins had six saves against the Royals by the end of May in 2002. Three other pitchers had five: Craig Lefferts vs. the Mets in 1990, Billy Wagner vs. the Cardinals in 2003, and Armando Benitez vs. the Phillies in 2004.
• Home team wins, 2-1 ... not a big deal, right? Except at Coors Field, where the Rockies defeated the Cardinals by that score Tuesday night. There have been 824 games played at Coors Field, and the home team has won only five of them by a score of 2-1.
• Shaquille O'Neal played only 25 minutes due to foul trouble in the Heat's 106-96 loss to the Pistons on Tuesday night. While Shaq was on the floor, the Pistons outscored the Heat 44-43. With Shaq on the bench, the Pistons had a 62-53 edge.
O'Neal grabbed only five rebounds in the game. It was the second time in this series that Shaq has been held to five rebounds, equaling the lowest total he'd ever recorded in a postseason game. O'Neal had one playoff game with five rebounds prior to this season; it was also against the Pistons, in 1996.
Major League Soccer
• Amado Guevara scored in stoppage time to give the MetroStars a 2-1 win over the Fire. It was the Metros' first home win this season, snapping a streak of seven games without a victory at Giants Stadium the fourth-longest home winless streak in MLS history.