Wednesday, August 2, 2006
Elias Says ...
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Alfonso Soriano hit two home runs in Washington's loss at San Francisco, the fourth time this season he has hit more than one home run in a game. He's the first National League leadoff hitter with four multihomer games in one season since Lou Brock of the 1967 Cardinals. For the manager in the opposing dugout on Tuesday afternoon it was a case of "been there, done that." Felipe Alou had two or more home runs as a leadoff batter four times for the 1966 Braves.
• Jason Schmidt pitched six innings and recorded 10 strikeouts to get the win for the Giants, the second time this season that he has whiffed at least 10 batters in an outing of six or fewer innings. No other pitcher in the major leagues has done that more than once in 2006.
• Boston beat Cleveland 6-5 on Mark Loretta's two-run double off Fausto Carmona in the bottom of the ninth inning. That hit gave Boston three walk-off wins in a span of five days for the first time since July 1975.
Carmona's problems began with two outs in the ninth inning when he hit Doug Mirabelli and Alex Gonzalez with consecutive pitches. Only one other reliever in the major leagues this season plunked a batter on back-to-back pitches: Florida's Jason Vargas, against the Pirates, on May 12.
• Boston didn't need David Ortiz's heroics. In fact, Big Papi was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, the fifth time in his career that he went down on strikes at least four times in one game. Jeremy Sowers had three of those punchouts, becoming the first rookie to ever whiff Ortiz three times in one game.
• The Tigers posted their 72nd win of the year on Wednesday night. Detroit was 71-91 in 2005. This is the earliest date on which a team coming off a season of at least 60 wins has surpassed its victory total from the prior year. The previous fastest was set by Brooklyn in 1892, which recorded its 62nd win on Aug. 3, after going 61-71 in 1891.
• Takashi Saito earned a perfect save for the Dodgers, retiring all four Cincinnati batters he faced and striking out the side in the ninth inning. Only one other pitcher in the major leagues recorded a save this season in which he pitched more than one inning and struck out the side in order in the ninth inning: Seattle's J.J. Putz on April 6.
• Ichiro, hitless in his last 15 at-bats, ended the drought with a ninth-inning single against the Orioles. It's the third time this season that he's gone at least 15 consecutive at-bats without a hit. He had only four streaks of that type over his first five seasons with the Mariners (2001-2005).
• Adrian Beltre's only hit in the Mariners' 2-1 win at Baltimore was a two-run homer in the first inning. He's batting .328 in the first inning this season, compared to only .251 in all other at-bats.
• Jeff Weaver allowed seven runs in 3 1/3 innings against the Phillies, raising his ERA to 6.71 this season, the highest for any qualifying pitcher in the majors. Next highest: Carlos Silva (6.49).
• The Athletics' 3-2 win against the Angels was the 15th game decided by one run that the two teams have played over the last two seasons, the highest total between any two teams in the majors over that period.
There were only 14 runs scored in the three-game series between the A's and Angels. It was only the fourth three-game series in the American League this season in which the teams combined for fewer than 15 runs and either the Angels or the A's have been involved in three of them.
• Kip Wells got an easy win in his Texas debut, pitching only five innings while the Rangers beat the Twins, 10-2. That's already the fourth time this season that a starting pitcher in his first career appearance for a team earned a "five-and-fly" victory helped by at least 10 runs from his team: Dustin Moseley (Angels),
Mike Pelfrey (Mets) and Mike Thompson (Padres) also won games under those conditions. That's the most "welcome aboard" victories of that type in any major league season in the expansion era.
• Pittsburgh's 3-2 loss in Atlanta was the Pirates' 27th loss by a one-run margin this season, the most for any team in the major leagues. The Braves rank second with 23 losses by only one run.
• The Kansas City Chiefs traded for Michael Bennett on Wednesday. Kansas City, with Bennett, Priest Holmes (whose status for the 2006 season is in doubt) and Larry Johnson, now has three players who formerly rushed for at least 1,000 yards in a season. That's not as unusual as you may think. Since 2000, three teams have had three different former 1,000-yard runners: the 2000 Broncos (Terrell Davis, Olandis Gary and Raymont Harris), 2001 Broncos (Davis, Gary and Mike Anderson) and the 2005 Saints (Deuce McAllister, Antowain Smith and Anthony Thomas).