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Thursday, May 10, 2012
Streaks, homers and sweet relief


No Rumblings and Grumblings this week, but the Astounding Facts keep on coming:

1 Way back this past October, in Game 3 of the World Series, Albert Pujols crashed three home runs into the Texas ozone -- and then he didn't homer again until this past Sunday. So if you count the postseason, he went 31 straight games (covering123 at-bats and 135 plate appearances) without hitting a home run. Over the past half-century, only one other player played more homerless games, covering more ABs and PAs, than that following a three-homer game. And no, it wasn't Mike Lansing, Jose Lopez or Adam Kennedy. So who was it? Well, with the help of the Sultan of Swat Stats, SABR home run historian David Vincent, we've determined that man was … the great Roberto Clemente, of all people. He had a three-homer game Aug. 13, 1969, against the Giants, then didn't hit another home run until the following April 21. The gap in between: 49 games, 177 AB, 203 PA. So at least Albert is in distinguished company.

2 Elvis Andrus did something Tuesday only two other players have done: He was on base for all four bombs in Josh Hamilton's four-homer game. The only players in history who could relate to that: Gerald Perry, who got to trot home on all four of Mark Whiten's home runs Sept. 7, 1993, and Carl Furillo, who was along for Gil Hodges' four-homer ride Aug. 31, 1950.

Chris Davis
Chris Davis' fastball touched 90 mph. Who knew?

3 Box Score Line of the Week: It feels like we've dissected everything about Chris Davis' trip to the pitcher's mound at Fenway Park on Sunday except his awesome box score line: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. So anybody want to guess the last position player to spin at least two shutout innings, with at least two whiffs, in his big league pitching debut? That would be Mateo (Matty) Alou, who cranked out a spectacular 2-3-0-0-1-3 line against Pittsburgh on Aug. 26, 1965 -- and turned it into one of the most famous mystery-pitcher outings of all time by striking out Willie Stargell twice.

4 Couldn't decide which sweet-swinging Rockies pitcher to salute this week. So let's go two-deep with this note. Couldn't overlook Jamie Moyer, of course. Last weekend, when he singled against Atlanta's Mike Minor, Moyer became the fourth-oldest player in the live-ball era to get a hit. The three 50-somethings who beat him, according to Baseball-Reference.com's fabulous Play Index: Charlie O'Leary (at 58) in 1934, Nick Altrock (at 53) in 1929 and Minnie Minoso (at 50) in 1976. But what has fellow Rockies pitcher Drew Pomeranz done this year that no other pitcher in baseball has done? He's actually hit a home run. That's what. But it took until May 7 -- the deepest into any season the pitchers out there have gone without a home run trot since 1994. It took all the way until May 23 that year before Kevin Gross (not to be confused with Frank McCourt's favorite bankruptcy judge) finally homered.

5 Finally, you probably knew Ervin Santana ended one streak Wednesday (i.e., five straight starts in which his team got shut out). But he ended another one, too, that we just about guarantee you missed: Before that, the Angels were taking their desperation for a "W" a little too literally -- because they'd gotten six of those W's in a row from, well, a W. The winning pitchers in their six previous wins: C.J. Wilson, Jerome Williams, Jered Weaver, then Wilson, Williams and Weaver again. Is that some kind of record? Hey, you tell us. If you can find a longer streak of consecutive W's by a W, email us at uselessinfodept@yahoo.com or tweet us at @jaysonst. As always, trivia operators are standing by!