Monday, May 21, 2007
Elias Says ...
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• C.C. Sabathia recorded the 1,000th strikeout of his career on Monday, fanning Ichiro Suzuki to reach the milestone. Among players who debuted in the last 25 years, the only others to strike out 1,000 batters before turning 27 are Kerry Wood, Pedro Martinez, Dwight Gooden and Roger Clemens. (Sabathia turns 27 on July 21.)
• Derek Jeter had another hit on Monday with two out and a runner in scoring position, giving him 13 hits in his last 17 at-bats in that situation. Since 1990, only two other players have had a hit in 13 of 17 at-bats with two out and runners in scoring position: Paul Lo Duca had a span like that in 2003 and Shawon Dunston did it in 1999.
• Tim Wakefield is 2-7 against the Yankees since 2005, tying the second-most losses by any pitcher against any team over that time. Jeff Francis is 2-8 against the Padres; Joel Pineiro is 2-7 against the Athletics.
• Alex Rodriguez's first-inning home run was his sixth off Wakefield, the most that the Red Sox' knuckleballer has allowed to any batter.
• Nick Swisher drove in five runs on Monday against the White Sox, but no one drove him across the plate, and the Athletics lost 8-5. He's the first player to drive in as many as five runs in a game this season without scoring a run himself. And it's the second time this season that an A's player has driven in five runs without hitting a home run; Mark Ellis did it on April 4. No other major league player has had a five-RBI game without the benefit of a home run this year.
• Javier Valentin's pinch-hit home run proved to be the winning runs in the Reds' 8-7 comeback victory over the Nationals. Valentin has the most pinch hit home runs in the major leagues over the last two seasons. He had four last year, and Monday's was his first of this season.
• Alex Gonzalez's RBI double brought the Reds within two runs in the third inning. That snapped Gonzalez's streak of hitless at-bats with runners on base at 21. That had been the longest current streak in the major leagues by any non-pitcher, and it was the longest single-season drought of Gonzalez's career.
• Ryan Klesko hit his first home run since 2005 on Monday and the shock was that it came off a left-handed pitcher, Trever Miller. Klesko has hit only 30 of his 273 home runs off southpaws, 11 percent. Among the 178 players in major league history with at least 250 home runs, only one hit a lower percentage of his home runs against left-handed pitchers: Duke Snider, who hit only eight percent of his homers against lefties.
• The Twins started the season 11-6, at which point they had a 1½-game lead in the American League Central. But since then, including their 14-4 loss to the Rangers on Monday, the Twins are 9-18, tying them with the Reds for the worst record in the major leagues since April 22.
• To no one's surprise, it was a low-scoring game in which the Pistons beat the Cavaliers in Game 1 of the conference finals 79-76. It was the third time in the shot-clock era that neither team reached 80 points in Game 1 of the conference finals. The Pacers beat the Pistons in 2004 78-74, and the Nets beat Detroit in 2003 76-74.
• The Pistons and Cavs combined for an average of 171 points in 16 regular-season games over the last four seasons -- that is, since LeBron James joined the Cavaliers. The only intra-conference matchup with a lower average during that time (minimum: 10 games): Spurs vs. Rockets (165).
There has been only one Pistons-Cavs regular-season game and one postseason game in which either team scored 100 points during that time: Cavs 101, Pistons 97 in overtime on March 7, 2007 and Pistons 113, Cavs 86 in Game 1 of last year's Eastern Conference semis.