Date: August 15, 2009

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN.com

MLB

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Holliday

BEST ACQUISITION EVER?

Matt Holliday went three for five on Friday giving him 37 hits in his first 75 at-bats for St. Louis. Holliday is the first player in the last 100 years to have that many hits in his first 75 at-bats for a team.

St. Louis Cardinals

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Inge

INGE ENDS IT FOR DETROIT

The Tigers defeated the Royals on Friday, 1-0, on a walkoff homer by Brandon Inge. The last time Detroit won a game with the only runs scoring on a game-ending homer was on May 19, 1989, when Lou Whitaker hit a two-run homer off Bret Saberhagen.

Detroit Tigers

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Lee

CUBS BLOW OUT PIRATES

There's a lot to say about the Cubs' 17-2 win over the Pirates on Friday. The 15-run margin was the largest for the Cubs in a victory over the Pirates in 115 years, since Chicago beat Pittsburgh 24-6 on July 25, 1894. The last time a team scored 17 or more runs in a game, all in the first four innings was when the New York Giants defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers, 19-2, on July 3, 1947. Pittsburgh allowed 14 runs in the first two innings--the most runs that the Pirates have ever allowed over the first two innings of a game. Derrek Lee had seven RBIs; he also had seven RBIs in a game earlier this season against Milwaukee. The only other Cubs player with two 7+ RBI games in one season was Rogers Hornsby in 1931. (Hornsby was the Cubs' player-manager that year.) Lee tied a major-league record today for most RBIs in a game (seven) without a home run. That's been done many times, most recently by Jeff Cirillo (Rockies) in 2000.

Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates

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Howard

QUESTIONABLE DECISION BY COX

Bobby Cox did not leave left-hander Mike Gonzalez in the game to start the ninth inning to face Ryan Howard on Friday, preferring right-hander Rafael Soriano instead. Howard's numbers against left-handers have been in steady decline since he hit .279 with a .558 slugging average against left-handers in 2006. His batting and slugging averages in each season since then: 2007-.225 BA, .493 SLG; 2008-.224 BA, .451 SLG; 2009-.193 BA, .313 SLG.

Howard averaged one home run every 14 at-bats against left-handers over the past three seasons but this year he's hit only three homers in 166 at-bats off lefties.

Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies

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Haren

HAREN DOMINATES THE DIVISION

Dan Haren allowed one earned run in eight innings against the Dodgers on Friday, dropping his ERA in division games to 1.65. The only major-league pitchers with a lower ERA in division games (minimum: 50 innings) are Justin Verlander (1.63) and Zack Greinke (1.63).

Arizona Diamondbacks

BREWERS TIE A TEAM RECORD

The Brewers scored eight first-inning runs against the Astros on Friday. That tied a Brewers record for most first-inning runs, done three times previously.

Milwaukee Brewers

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Halladay

HALLADAY TAKES CHARGE

Roy Halladay went eight innings in Toronto's win over Tampa Bay on Friday. Halladay has gone at least seven innings in 21 of his 23 starts, failing to do so only in the two starts bookending his trip to the disabled list. No other major-league pitcher has more than 17 starts of seven or more innings this season.

Toronto Blue Jays

A RARE KIND OF LOSS FOR RANGERS

The Rangers lost to the Red Sox on Friday after leading by two runs in the ninth inning. Over the last eight seasons Texas has lost only one other home game in which it led by two or more runs in the ninth inning or later (2006 against the Mariners).

Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox

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Pie

PIE HITS FOR CYCLE

Felix Pie hit for the cycle on Friday with his single being an infield single. It's the second time this year a player hit for the cycle with their only single being of the infield variety; Orlando Hudson did it against the Giants on April 13. The only player to do that over the previous four seasons was Carlos Gomez for the Twins in 2008.

Baltimore Orioles, Anaheim Angels

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Contreras

CONTRERAS CAN'T HOLD 6-RUN LEAD

Jose Contreras was pulled in the fifth inning after failing to protect a six-run lead against the Athletics on Friday. In 36 previous starts in which his team had a lead of four or more runs Contreras was 32-0 with four no decisions.

Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics

SOMEONE IS GOING TO SCORE 10

The Twins defeated the Indians on Friday, 11-0, marking the 27th time this season that either Minnesota or its opponent has scored 10 or more runs in a game. The only team with more games this season in which at least one team scored in double digits is the Angels (#29 tonight).

Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians

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Mauer

MAUER HEATING UP

Joe Mauer's batting average dropped to a season-low .353 on August 1 but since then he's 23 for 44, a .523 batting average, including a 3 for 3 night on Friday.

Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians

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Pagan

ZITO ALLOWS FIRST-BATTER HOMER

The Mets never trailed the Giants on Friday after Angel Pagan's home run off Barry Zito in the bottom of the first inning. Zito has allowed a regular-season leadoff home run to three other players: Ichiro (three times), Derek Jeter (twice) and Rafael Furcal.

New York Mets, San Francisco Giants

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Belliard

NATIONALS WIN 2-0 ON TWO HOMERS

Ronnie Belliard and Wil Nieves hit home runs in Washington's 2-0 win against Cincinnati on Friday. The last time the Nationals or Expos won a 2-0 game with two home runs was on May 24, 1985 when Tim Raines and Hubie Brooks went deep against San Francisco.

Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds


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