Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Justin Verlander outdueled C.C. Sabathia in the Tigers' 4-1 victory at Cleveland to notch his 13th win of the season and grab a share of the major league lead in that category. Since 1900, the only pitcher to lead the majors in victories (either tied or outright) in his rookie season was Grover Alexander (28-13), who did it for the Phillies in 1911. Alexander (in his debut season) led the NL in wins and tied Jack Coombs (28-12) of the Philadelphia A's for the most in the majors.
Verlander allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings Wednesday. It was the fifth straight start in which he pitched at least six innings and allowed no more than one run. Verlander is the first AL rookie with a five-start streak of that nature during the designated-hitter era. No NL rookie has done it since Dwight Gooden in 1984.
• The Twins pulled into a second-place tie with the White Sox in the AL Central after completing a three-game sweep at Chicago. It was only the third time since the franchise relocated to Minnesota in 1961 that the Twins swept a road series of at least three games from the defending World Series champion. Minnesota did it twice in 1973, with a pair of three-game sweeps at Oakland (one in April, to begin the season, and the other in late September).
• The White Sox posted a 57-31 mark during the unofficial "first half" of the season, but they're only 2-10 since play resumed after the All-Star break. No other team that was at least 25 games over .500 at the time of the All-Star Game has ever lost 10 of its first 12 games after the break.
• With his defeat Wednesday, Mark Buehrle is 0-5 in July, losing in each of his starts this month. No White Sox pitcher had lost five games in July since Ken Kravec went 0-5 in July 1978.
Buehrle is 16-9 over his last 25 starts against Minnesota. No pitcher had earned a decision in each of 25 straight starts against a particular opponent since Jack Morris went 17-12 over a span of 29 starts against the Red Sox from 1981-94.
• The Mets' 10-inning, 1-0 victory over the Cubs was the fourth game in the majors this season that was scoreless through nine innings, but it was the Mets' second extra-inning shutout win. The other was against Arizona, also at Shea Stadium, on May 31. The only other season in which the Mets had more than one extra-inning shutout victory at home was 1969, when they won three games at Shea that were 0-0 at the end of regulation.
• Jose Valentin has come a long way in games that go a long way. From the time that Valentin came into the majors in 1992, he had just one hit in his first 33 at-bats in extra innings -- a span that took him into the 1998 season. He then went through an 8-for-41 stretch in extra innings, still a sub-Mendoza Line performance, taking him into the 2004 season.
But Valentin's game-winning hit off Glendon Rusch on Wednesday was his seventh hit in his last 14 extra-inning at-bats, including a 4-for-7 mark this season.
• Mark Prior's day was over after 103 pitches, five walks and 5 2/3 hitless innings. Over the last nine seasons (since 1998), the only other pitcher to be removed that late in a game with a no-hitter intact was Atlanta's Damian Moss on May 3, 2002 (no runs and seven walks in seven innings).
• The Cubs are 39-61 after Wednesday's loss. With the exception of the split season in 1981, Chicago's record is its worst through its first 100 games of a season since 1966 (31-69).
• Frank Thomas homered twice at McAfee Coliseum as the A's defeated Boston 5-1. It was the 28th multiple-homer game of the Big Hurt's career, with each of his previous 11 such games coming at US Cellular Field in Chicago (10 for the White Sox and one, earlier this season, for Oakland). The last player with a streak of that many multiple-homer games, all at one ballpark, was Frank Robinson. From Aug. 18, 1956, to Aug. 14, 1960, Robinson hit at least two home runs in a dozen different games, all at Cincinnati's Crosley Field.
• Pitcher Jake Peavy was 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBI while leading the Padres to a 10-3 win over the Dodgers. Peavy has four hits in his last six at-bats, with a double, two homers and six RBI over that span. Peavy was homerless in 230 career at-bats prior to that, with a .148 batting average, six extra-base hits (all doubles) and 10 RBI.
• Brad Penny suffered his third straight loss and became the first pitcher since Kevin Brown in 1992 to lose three consecutive starts that immediately followed a starting assignment in the All-Star Game.
• The Angels coasted to a 15-6 victory over the Devil Rays after a 10-run second inning gave Los Angeles a 12-4 lead. It was only the third game in American League history in which teams combined to score at least 16 runs through the top of the second inning. It happened previously June 29, 1950, in the Red Sox' 22-14 win at Philadelphia (18 runs through 1½ innings) and July 5, 1996, when the A's beat the Angels 16-8 at Oakland (17 runs through 1½ innings).
• Casey Fossum, who started for Tampa Bay, was charged with seven runs in 1 1/3 innings of work. Fossum's career average of 5.36 innings per start is the second-lowest among current pitchers who have started at least 100 games. Kent Mercker, currently on Cincinnati's disabled list, has a career average of 5.34 innings per start.
• The Braves waged a see-saw battle against Marlins, with solo homers by Andruw Jones and Adam LaRoche proving to be the difference in Atlanta's 6-5 victory. Jones tied the game with a first-pitch leadoff homer in the bottom of the eighth; it was the tenth home run on a 0-0 count for Jones this season, the most for any NL player. (Justin Morneau leads the majors; he hit his 11th first-pitch home run of the season Wednesday.)
• Jason Giambi drove in the tying and winning runs with a two-run, ninth-inning homer off Akinori Otsuka in the Yankees' 8-7 victory at Texas. It was the third home run that Otsuka has allowed this season, and each was a ninth-inning shot that turned a Rangers lead into a deficit. Jorge Posada (May 16) and David Ortiz (June 11) hit the others. Only two other pitchers have surrendered more than one such homer this season (turning a lead into a deficit in the ninth inning or later): Ryan Dempster and Derrick Turnbow (two each.)
• The Yankees have won their last seven games at Ameriquest Field (dating to last season), their longest winning streak against the Rangers in Texas. The only AL team with a longer current winning streak in road games against a particular opponent is Oakland; the Athletics have won their last 12 games at Kansas City (dating to May 2003).
• The Phillies defeated the Diamondbacks behind Jon Lieber, who beat Arizona for the first time in his career. Lieber had lost each of his seven previous appearances against the Diamondbacks and was one shy of Sterling Hitchcock's record eight-game losing streak against Arizona (1998-2001).
• The Cardinals defeated the Rockies 6-1 at Coors Field after the previous two games there resulted in shutouts (7-0 for Colorado on Monday, 1-0 for St. Louis on Tuesday). Prior to that, there had never been three straight games in Colorado in which the losing team scored fewer than two runs in each.