Monday, August 14, 2006
Elias Says ...
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Pedro Martinez allowed six runs in only one inning Monday, ending his streak of 289 consecutive starts in which he lasted at least three innings. That was the longest streak of starts going at least three innings for any major league pitcher since Walter Johnson went at least three in 313 straight starts from 1911 through 1919.
The last time Pedro did not record at least nine outs was almost exactly 10 years ago, on Aug. 19, 1996, when he allowed six runs and got only four outs at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego.
Entering the day, the only pitcher with a current streak of going at least three innings even half as long as Pedro's was Roger Clemens, who has done it in each of his last 188 starts (since 2000).
• The Mets, 71-45 (.612) entering the day, were beaten by the Phillies, 13-0. In the last 75 years, only two other teams with as good a record as the Mets at least 100 games into a season have been shut out by such a margin. In 2004, the Yankees (81-49) were beaten by the Indians, 22-0. And in 1977, the Phillies (72-44) were blanked by the Expos, 13-0.
• The Mariners beat the Athletics in their first meeting this season, but the Oakland topped Seattle for the 13th consecutive game on Monday. That ties the second-longest single-season winning streak by a team against a division opponent since the advent of divisional play in 1969. The Braves won 15 straight against the Padres in 1974; four other teams had 13-game winning streaks: the Braves vs. the Rockies (1993), Pirates vs. Cardinals (1992), Mets vs. Pirates (1986) and Dodgers vs. Padres (1974).
That's also the longest current winning streak by one team over another in the major leagues.
• The Giants had lost nine consecutive one-run games, tying their second-longest single-season skid in franchise history, so Felipe Alou might feel justified in tying a major league record for most pitchers used in a nine-inning 1-0 win. Alou used six pitchers Monday to defeat the Padres, 1-0, tying the mark set by, who else, Tony LaRussa in a 1-0 Cardinals win in Philadelphia in April 1996.
• Chipper Jones hit three home runs at RFK Stadium Monday. It was the second time this year that a player has hit three dingers in a game at RFK -- Alfonso Soriano did it against the Braves on April 21. No other stadium has had more than one three-homer game this year. There was not a single three-homer game in the final seven seasons that the Senators played at RFK (1965-1971).
It was the first three-tater game of Jones's career. The only active players who have as many homers as Chipper (349) without hitting three in one game are Gary Sheffield (453) and Jim Edmonds (349).
• Matt Diaz had a hit in each of 10 consecutive at-bats, dating back to Saturday, before being retired by Chris Schroder in the ninth inning. Diaz tied the National League record for hits in consecutive at-bats, done nine previous times, most recently by Bip Roberts for the Reds in September 1992. The American League record is hits in 12 consecutive at-bats, by Mike Higgins (1938 Red Sox) and Walt Dropo (1952 Tigers).
Of the nine National League players besides Diaz to get hits in 10 consecutive at-bats, four are in the Hall of Fame -- Ed Delahanty, Kiki Cuyler, Chick Hafey and Joe Medwick. But the other five are unremarkable -- Bip Roberts (six major league teams from 1986-1998); Woody Williams (who did it in 1943, a year that he had only 26 hits); Buddy Hassett (1940, when he hit .234; without the streak he would've hit .217); Ed Konetchy (1919 Dodgers; played in the bigs from 1907-1921); and Jake Gettman (1897 Washington, when they were in the National League, less than a month after his major league debut).
Diaz has raised his season batting average from .316 to .351 since Saturday.
• Carlos Zambrano got a win with eight scoreless innings against the Astros Monday. In four starts against Houston this season, Zambrano is 3-0 and he's allowed only two runs, both earned, in 31 innings, for an 0.58 ERA. Over the last eight seasons, since 1999, only two other pitchers have had such a low ERA against one team in a season in at least 30 innings pitched. Brad Penny had a 0.30 ERA in 30 innings against the Expos in 2001 and Pedro Martinez had a 0.55 ERA in 33 innings against the Devil Rays in 2003.
• With a win Monday, the Dodgers have won 16 of their last 17 games. Over the last 10 years, the only National League team to win 16 of 17 was the 2000 Braves, who did it in April and May. The Dodgers had won 16 of 17 only twice previously, both times while the club was still in Brooklyn, in August 1953 and in May/June 1899, when the team was known as the Superbas.
• The Royals lost to the White Sox on Monday 12-2, after losing to the Indians on Sunday, 13-0. Over the last 10 years, only once has a team lost consecutive games to different opponents, each by at least 10 runs. In May 1999 the Rangers lost back-to-back games to the Orioles (16-5) and Devil Rays (13-3).
• After taking the lead against John Lackey, the Yankees broke Monday's game open with four runs on three hits in the eighth inning against Brendan Donnelly, beginning with Jorge Posada's home run. Entering the game, opponents had been hitless in 25 consecutive at-bats against Donnelly, the longest current streak against any major league pitcher. Entering the day (but not the at-bat), Posada was hitless in 25 consecutive at-bats, the longest current streak for any major league position player and the longest drought of Posada's career.
• Junior Seau, who officially retired Monday, is one of four players to make 12 straight Pro Bowls since the 1970 merger. The others: Bruce Matthews (14, 1988-2001), Reggie White (13, 1986-1998) and Randall McDaniel (12, 1989-2000). The next-longest streaks by linebackers are 10 seasons by Mike Singletary (1983-1992) and Lawrence Taylor (1981-1990).