Sunday, May 28, 2006
Elias Says ...
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
Barry Bonds' home run Sunday was his first career hit against Byung-Hyun Kim, ending a streak of nine hitless at-bats.
• For the first time since June 1921 -- when Warren G. Harding was in his first year as president -- Babe Ruth ranks third on Major League Baseball's list of career home runs. Ruth began the 1921 season ranked ninth in career homers, but during June of that year, the Bambino climbed from seventh to second on the list, passing Mike Tiernan, Jimmy Ryan, Gavvy Cravath, Harry Stovey and Sam Thompson. Ruth became the career home run leader when he passed Roger Connor on July 18, and he would hold that position for the next 52 years.
• Albert Pujols hit his 24th home run of the season in the Cardinals' 50th game Sunday. In major league history, only two other players have hit as many home runs over a team's first 50 games: Bonds had 26 home runs through the Giants' first 50 games in 2001 and Mark McGwire had 25 in the Cardinals' first 50 games in 1998.
• Orlando Hernandez became the Mets' 10th different starting pitcher in the team's 49th game Sunday. The Mets are the first big-league team in 50 years to use 10 different starting pitchers in the first 50 games of a season; the last team to do that was the 1956 Cardinals.
• Sunday's loss dropped the Royals' record in road games this season to 3-22. That matches the worst record through the first 25 road games of a season for any team in American League history. The 1904 Washington Senators, 1916 Philadelphia Athletics and 1988 Orioles each lost 22 of their first 25 road decisions. The final records of those teams: 1904 Senators, 38-113; 1916 Athletics, 36-117; 1988 Orioles, 54-107.
• Lew Ford's 10th-inning home run Sunday was the 11th game-ending home run that Eddie Guardado has allowed in his career. That's the most among active players (one more then Troy Pervical has allowed) and it's the most against any pitcher since Randy Myers retired having allowed 12 game-ending home runs.
• The Braves hit eight home runs and did not allow any in their 13-12 win over the Cubs. That tied a major-league record, done three times previously, for the most home runs hit in one game while not allowing a homer. Oddly, in each case, it was the visiting team that won the home-run battle, 8-0. The other teams to do it: the 1939 Yankees (against the Athletics in Philadelphia), 1953 Milwaukee Braves (at Pirates) and 1978 Expos (at Atlanta).
• Cubs' starter Jae-Kuk Ryu allowed four home runs while recording only four outs. Three other active pitchers have allowed at least four home runs while recording four-or-fewer outs: Rick Helling (1994), Travis Harper (2005) and Victor Zambrano (2005).
• Mark Hendrickson allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Red Sox -- and actually lowered his career ERA against Boston from 8.63 to 8.56. That's the second-highest ERA by any active pitcher with at least 50 innings against any team; Sidney Ponson has fashioned a 9.47 ERA in 58 innings against the Indians.
And get a load of this: It was Hendrickson's 10th consecutive start against Boston in which he has allowed at least five runs -- the longest such streak by any major-league pitcher against any opposing team in the so-called live-ball era (meaning since 1920).
• The Astros won in Pittsburgh 5-4 after trailing in the ninth inning, 4-0. Houston had not won a road game in which it trailed by four runs going to the top of the ninth in almost 23 years, since a 6-5 win over the Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium on Aug. 23, 1983. That 1983 game was also the last one that the Pirates lost at home when leading by at least four runs in the ninth.
• With their comeback win on Sunday, the Reds have now won three games this season in which they trailed by at least three runs in the eighth inning or later. That's the most comeback wins of that type by any team this season. The Reds won only three games over the last two seasons combined in which they trailed by at least three runs in the eighth or later.
• The Nationals hit four home runs at RFK, giving them 25 long-balls in 23 home games this season. In 2005, the Nationals did not hit their 25th home run at RFK until their 39th game there, on June 30.
• Travis Hafner's home run against Kenny Rogers was Hafner's seventh against left-handed pitching this season, tying him with five other players -- all of whom are right-handed batters -- for the major league lead in that category. No other left-handed batter has more than five home runs against southpaws this season. Hafner had seven homers against left-handers in all of 2005.
• The Mavericks played the final 17:01 of their Game 3 win in Phoenix without a turnover -- the second-longest stretch without a turnover to close a game during the 2006 NBA playoffs. Back on April 26, Phoenix played turnover-free ball over the last 18:52 in a loss to the Lakers.
• The Hurricanes defeated the Sabres in overtime 4-3 after trailing earlier in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, 3-1. Before Sunday, the Sabres had been 7-1 in the 2006 playoffs in games in which they had a two-goal lead; the Hurricanes were 0-5 in games in which they trailed at any point by two or more goals.
• Carolina's coach, Peter Laviolette, has replaced his starting goaltender during a game four times in these playoffs, including Sunday when he yanked Martin Gerber in favor of Cam Ward after 22 minutes. It's the most mid-game goalie changes by a coach in one playoff year since 1998, when Montreal's Alain Vigneault replaced his starting netminder four times.
• Brian McBride scored the only goal in the United States' 1-0 win over Latvia in their final game before the FIFA World Cup. It was the fourth time that McBride scored the only goal in a 1-0 USA win, breaking a tie with Roy Wegerle for the most such goals in U.S. National Team history.
• The opening round of 2-over-par by Jeff Maggert at this week's FedEx St. Jude Classic was the first time on the PGA Tour this season that the eventual winner opened an event over par. You have to go back to April 2005 at The Masters, where eventual winner Tiger Woods shot a 2-over 74, to find the last winner on tour to open shooting over par.