Sunday, April 29, 2007
Elias Says ...
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Carlos Beltran's sixth-inning solo home run accounted for all of the scoring in the Mets' triumph at Washington. Beltran became the sixth player to homer in a 1-0 game at RFK Stadium and the first to do it since the Expos relocated to the nation's capital. The others to do it were Manny Jimenez (1962 Kansas City Athletics), Don Lock (1963 Senators), Tommie Agee (1967 White Sox), Frank Howard (1969 Senators) and Curt Blefary (1971 Yankees).
• Brandon Inge led off the ninth inning with a home run off Jesse Crain to lift the Tigers to a 4-3 triumph over Minnesota. It was the Twins' first walk-off loss of the year, after suffering only three such defeats all of last season. Crain was on the mound for each of those walk-off losses in 2006, one of which ended with a home run (by Seattle's Carl Everett on June 7).
• Matt Holliday's 11th-inning walk-off home run made him the hero of the Rockies' 9-7 win over the Braves, but it was
Troy Tulowitzki who found baseball immortality by pulling off the 12th unassisted triple in the regular-season history of the major leagues. Tulowitzki was the eighth shortstop to do it (along with two first basemen and a pair of second basemen).
• The Devil Rays defeated the Athletics 5-3 in a game that featured two pairs of back-to-back home runs. Mark Ellis and
Eric Chavez connected for Oakland in the first inning; Rocco Baldelli and Elijah Dukes hit consecutive shots in the Tampa Bay fifth.
Over the past six seasons (2001 to 2006) there were 31 major league games in which both teams hit consecutive home runs, but only one of those games was as low-scoring as Sunday's contest. That was a 4-3 Red Sox win over the White Sox (Aug. 14, 2004) with back-to-back homers by Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz as well as Timo Perez and Carlos Lee.
• One player who didn't go deep on Sunday in Oakland was
Jason Kendall, who extended his streak of homerless at-bats to 501. Over the past 20 years, only one other player with as many career homers as Kendall (68) fashioned a streak of at least 500 homerless at-bats. From 2005 to 2006, Royce Clayton went 664 at-bats between the 107th and 108th homers of his career.
• Jamie Moyer didn't allow a hit until the seventh inning and notched his fifth win in five career games against the Marlins. Moyer is one of three active pitchers who have earned a victory in each of at least five career appearances against a particular opponent. Brett Myers is 5-0 in five games against the Rockies and Kip Wells is 5-for-5 against the Phillies.
• Fausto Carmona won his second straight decision as the Indians rolled over the Orioles 6-1. Aubrey Huff's home run with one out in the ninth-inning ended Carmona's shutout bid. Carmona was the first pitcher to have a shutout spoiled by a ninth-inning homer this season; it happened seven times last year, but only once in an American League game (Michael Cuddyer off Jon Garland, Sept. 30, 2006). The last Indians pitcher to suffer such a fate was
Chad Durbin, whose shutout was spoiled by a homer off the bat of Kansas City's Tony Graffanino on July 24, 2004.
• The Yankees completed their April schedule with a 7-4 loss to Boston, which dropped their record to 9-14 (.391). That's second-worst April winning percentage for the Yankees in the last 22 seasons (since 1986); New York was 6-11 (.353) in April 1991, en route to a 91-loss season under Stump Merrill.
• Joe Torre used four relievers after a cracked fingernail forced Chien-Ming Wang from the game after six innings. It was the Yankees' 10th straight game in which they employed at least five pitchers, the longest such streak for any team in major league history. Only two other teams had ever done that in nine straight games, and those streaks included September games with expanded rosters. The Devil Rays used five or more pitchers in nine straight games last September and the Red Sox had a nine-game streak that overlapped the 2004 and 2005 regular seasons.
• The Blue Jays scored five runs in three innings against Brandon McCarthy in their 7-3 win over the Rangers. McCarthy has allowed at least five runs in no more than three innings pitched in each of his last three starts (allowing 17 runs, all earned, in a total of six innings) while no other pitcher in the majors has more than one such start this season. Over the past six seasons (2001 to 2006) the only other pitcher to allow five runs in three or fewer inning in each of three straight starts was Mark Mulder (his final three starts before shutting it down last August).
• The Dodgers outlasted the Padres for a 5-4 victory in 17 innings at San Diego with the bullpens combining to allow only one run, unearned, in 22 2/3 innings pitched. The last time relievers totaled that many innings pitched in a big-league game without allowing an earned run was on Aug. 15, 1980, when the Astros won a 3-1 decision over the Padres in 20 innings (also at San Diego) with the bullpens combining for 27 2/3 innings and no earned runs.
In franchise history, the Padres have played six home games of at least 17 innings and they've lost all of them. No other team in major league history has lost as many as five straight home games of that length, although both the Cubs (dating back to 1982) and Dodgers (since 1973) have lost each of their last four such games.
• The Bulls completed a four-game sweep of the Heat with a convincing 92-79 clincher in Miami. Only six teams have ever been swept in any round of the playoffs in defense of an NBA title, and three of them have been coached by Pat Riley: the Lakers in both 1983 (vs. Philadelphia) and 1989 (vs. Detroit), and this year's Heat. The other defending champions to be swept in a playoff series were the 1957 Philadelphia Warriors (two games vs. the Syracuse Nationals), 1991 Pistons (four games vs. Chicago) and 1996 Rockets (four games vs. Seattle).
• Shaquille O'Neal has been on the short end of six playoff series sweeps during his NBA career: three with the Magic (1994, 1995 and 1996), two with the Lakers (1998 and 1999) and now one with the Heat. The only other player to be swept out of the NBA playoffs six times was Darwin Cook, with New Jersey (1982, 1983, 1985 and 1986), Detroit (1987) and Denver (1989).
• Steve Nash had 23 assists, one shy of the NBA playoff record, as the Suns downed the Lakers 113-100. Magic Johnson and John Stockton (each of whom had separate 23- and 24-assist games) are the only players to hand out as many as 23 assists in a postseason game.
Nash assisted on 56.1 percent of the Suns' 41 field goals on Sunday, the fourth-highest percentage in NBA playoff history, behind Stockton (60.5 percent and 57.1 percent in the previously mentioned performances) and Mark Jackson, who had assists on 17 of 30 (56.7 percent) field goals for the Pacers in a loss at Cleveland in 1998.
• The Patriots traded for Randy Moss, whose career average of 15.8 yards per reception is second-highest among the 51 active players with at least 300 catches, behind Plaxico Burress (15.9). Moss will join Donte Stallworth (15.1 yards per catch), who signed with New England earlier this offseason. Last season, Patriots wide receivers averaged only 11.5 yards per catch, the second-lowest average for any team's wideouts, ahead of the Texans (10.5).