Elias Says ...

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.

Updated: July 8, 2006, 1:25 AM ET
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc. | Special to ESPN Insider

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:

 John Lackey
Lackey

MLB
John Lackey allowed a double to Mark Kotsay, the first batter he faced Friday, and then retired the next 27 Athletics batters in the Angels' 3-0 win. The last pitcher to retire 27 in a row after allowing the first batter to reach base was Jerry Reuss, who did it for the Dodgers against the Reds on June 11, 1982. Eddie Milner led off the game with a double, and he was the last batter to reach base against Reuss.

No pitcher had retired 27 consecutive batters at any point since Livan Hernandez retired 28 in a row over two starts in July 2004.

Orlando Cabrera's base-reaching streak ended at 63 games as he went 0-for-4 against Barry Zito, the pitcher against whom he has his lowest on-base percentage (minimum: 25 plate appearances). Cabrera is 2-for-24 (.083) vs. Zito with two walks and a hit by pitch for a .185 on-base percentage.

David Ortiz hit his 30th home run of the season Friday. It's the 58th time a Red Sox player has had a 30-homer season, but Ortiz is the first player to get to that plateau in as few as 84 team games. The previous fastest was 96 games by Manny Ramirez in 2001.

Ortiz reached 30 homers in fewer team games than anyone since 2001, when Barry Bonds got there in the Giants' 57th game and Luis Gonzalez hit his 30th in the Diamondbacks' 70th game.

• Before this season, only three designated hitters had hit 20 home runs by the All-Star Game: Jose Canseco in 1999 (29), Edgar Martinez in 2000 (23) and Ramirez in 2001 (20). But this season, three DHs have hit at least 20 homers: Jim Thome has 26 as a designated hitter (and 29 overall), Ortiz hit his 24th (30th overall) and Travis Hafner had his 22nd (25th overall).

 Travis Hafner
Hafner

• Hafner hit his fifth grand slam of the season Friday. Only three other players in major-league history have hit five grand slams in a season: Don Mattingly had six for the 1987 Yankees, Jim Gentile had five for the 1961 Orioles and Ernie Banks had five for the 1955 Cubs.

For the second time this season, Hafner has hit a grand slam while a teammate threw a shutout. He also hit a granny May 17 in Jake Westbrook's shutout. Three other players in major-league history have hit a grand slam in a teammate's shutout twice in a season. Tim Raines did it for Charlie Lea and Steve Rogers in 1983; Gus Zernial did it twice for Bobby Shantz in 1952; and Wally Westlake connected for Bill Macdonald and Vern Law in 1950.

• Bonds hit a home run off 21-year-old Chad Billingsley on Friday. It was Bonds's 720th career home run but only the 13th he has hit off a pitcher younger than 22. The youngest pitcher to allow a home run to Bonds was Felix Hernandez, 20, on June 16.

 Dontrelle Willis
Willis

Dontrelle Willis' grand slam Friday capped a six-run inning for the Marlins. It's the third consecutive game in which Florida has scored at least six runs in an inning. No team had done that without the benefit of a designated hitter since 1959, when the Red Sox did it in three straight games at Yankee Stadium.

• Willis' grand slam was the first by a pitcher since Robert Person hit one for the Phillies in 2002. In the live-ball era (1920 to date) there have been two longer spans without a pitcher hitting a granny. The longest span during that time was nine years between Bob Forsch in 1986 and Chris Hammond in 1995. The second-longest, a few days longer than the current span, was between Jimmy Ring in 1925 and Phil Collins (no, not the "In the Air Tonight" guy) in 1929.

• Willis has hit a home run in each of his first four seasons in the major leagues. Among pitchers who debuted in the last 50 years, only four others have hit a hit a home run in their first four seasons, starting with their rookie year: Carlos Perez, Tim Lollar, Gary Peters and Don Drysdale.

The only other pitcher to hit a home run in each season since 2003 is Carlos Zambrano.

• "Lima Time" may become slang for a pitcher allowing at least five runs. Jose Lima has allowed at least five runs in nine of his last 10 major-league starts. Over the last 70 years, only four other pitchers have had a 10-start span like that: Albie Lopez (2001), Shane Reynolds (2000-01), Danny Jackson (1995) and Gaylord Perry (1975).

• Joe Torre took Jaret Wright out of Friday's game after Wright pitched six scoreless innings, allowing only four hits and no walks while striking out 10. Only three other pitchers in the last 80 years haven't started the seventh inning after pitching six scoreless innings without a walk and with at least 10 strikeouts: Ben Sheets in 2004, Matt Perisho in 1999 and Sid Fernandez in 1995.

Things worked out for Torre, as the Yankees held on for a 1-0 victory. The Yankees are 16-6 in 1-0 games for Torre. That's the second-best record in 1-0 games by a manager for one team (minimum: 20 games). A guy named Red Dooin went 17-3 in 1-0 games for the Phillies from 1910-14. Torre was 15-28 in 1-0 games before joining the Yankees.

Ian Snell had a rough time of it in interleague play in June, going 0-3 with a 5.82 ERA in four starts. However, Snell has won his last five starts against National League teams, including a win over the Phillies on Friday, and he has a 2.53 ERA in those games.

Chipper Jones has had an extra-base hit in each of his last nine games, the longest streak for any major-league player this season. The last major-leaguer with a longer streak was Bobby Abreu, who had an extra-base hit in 11 consecutive games last May. Since the Braves moved to Atlanta, no other player has had a longer streak than eight games.

World Cup
• Germany's Lukas Podolski, who turned 21 on June 4, won the Best Young Player Award for the 2006 World Cup. Podolski, who has scored three goals in the World Cup, is the first German player younger than 22 with more than one World Cup goal since Franz Beckenbauer had four goals at age 20 in the 1966 tournament.

Over the last eight World Cups (since 1978), the only player as young as Podolski to score as many as three goals was France's Thierry Henry, who had three goals in 1998, at age 20.

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