Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
The White Sox made it easy for Contreras, providing him with a 6-0 lead after four innings. Half that would have been fine. Contreras has a record of 28-0 with five no-decisions when staked to a lead of three or more runs.
• Albert Pujols went 4-for-4 with a home run in the Cardinals' 10-6 loss to the Tigers, his second game since returning from 18 days on the disabled list. Over the last nine years, the only other player to go 3-for-3 or better on a so-called "perfect night" at the plate with a home run in one of his first two games back after a stay on the DL was Bengie Molina in 2004.
• Chris Carpenter allowed seven runs in seven innings in the Cardinals' 10-6 loss to the Tigers, despite striking out nine and walking none. The last pitcher to allow as many as seven runs while striking out nine or more batters and not issuing a walk was Curt Schilling on April 25, 2001.
• Ryan Freel went 5-for-5 in the Reds' 3-0 victory at Cleveland. It was the fourth time in his last five games that Freel had at least three hits. The last Reds player with four three-hit games in a five-game span was Thomas Howard, who had four in a row in August 1996.
• Ryan Madson allowed six earned runs in 1 2/3 innings in the Phillies' 10-2 loss to the Red Sox. Madson's ERA for the first two innings is now 9.13, the third highest in the majors (minimum: 10 starts), behind Josh Towers (11.22) and Mark Redman (9.55).
• Andriy Shevchenko scored on a penalty kick in the 70th minute of Ukraine's 1-0 victory over Tunisia. Only two other players scored on a PK in the final half-hour of a World Cup match that ended 1-0: Andreas Brehme of Germany (1990 vs. Argentina) and Vladimir Petrovic of Yugoslavia (1982 vs. Honduras).
• Tunisia needed a win today (and some expected help from Spain) to advance to the World Cup Round of 16. But you can't win if you don't score, and statistics illustrate how difficult it is to score when playing a man down -- as Tunisia was forced to do after Zied Jaziri was issued a second yellow and sent off during first-half stoppage time: No team has scored a goal playing a man down during the 2006 World Cup. The totals: no goals scored, 13 goals allowed in 426 minutes (14 different matches).
• Tunisia coach Roger Lemerre's 2006 World Cup ended as his 2002 Cup did: three and out without a win. Lemerre's teams -- France in 2002 and Tunisia in 2006 -- managed only a draw in each tournament. The only other coach to lead different teams in consecutive World Cups and leave both without a victory was Blagoje Vidinic (Morocco in 1970, Zaire in 1974).
• With a berth in the second round assured and needing only a draw against Suadi Arabia to clinch first place in its group, Spain started 11 players who hadn't started either of its first two matches. Spain thus became the first team in World Cup history to change it starting lineup entirely from one match to the next. Previously, the lowest total of returning starters from one World Cup match to the next was two (by Brazil in 1966 and the Soviet Union in 1966 and 1986).
• Pascal Zuberbuehler of Switzerland became only the seventh goalkeeper to record shutouts in each of his first three World Cup matches. The last to do so was Carlos Roa of Argentina in 1998.
Switzerland is the fourth team under the current format (which started in 1986 -- one round of group play, then knockout matches) to shut out all three opponent during group play. The others: Argentina in 1998, Italy in 1990, and Brazil in 1986.
• Ben Curtis leads the Booz Allen Classic after two rounds with a 127, the lowest 36-hole total of his career, besting his previous low by five strokes. Curtis' previous low after two rounds was 132 at the 2005 Buick Championship, where he faded to a fourth-place finish.
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