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 St. Louis Cardinals lost their eighth consecutive game on Friday night, giving them their second eight-game losing streak this season. In each case they have remained in first place in the N.L. Central throughout the length of those losing streaks. They are the first team in major-league history to suffer two eight-game losing streaks in one season, while remaining in first place throughout the streak.
• Chase Utley's hitting streak ended at 35 games. It was the longest streak by a strictly left-handed batter in more than 60 years -- since Tommy Holmes set what was then a modern-day National League record with a 37-game streak in 1945. (Pete Rose subsequently broke Holmes's mark.)
Utley batted .405 during his 35-game streak, but there was one player in the majors who hit for a higher average over that span (min: 100 at-bats). Would you believe Nick Markakis? The Baltimore Orioles' rookie outfielder hit .422 over that period.
Curt Schilling allowed two home runs to the Devil Rays, increasing his road total to 20 this season. He has given up only four home runs at Fenway. Over the last 50 seasons, only one pitcher has given up 20-or-more home runs in one year and allowed at least five times as many on the road than at home. In 2000, the Los Angeles Dodgers' Carlos Perez was tagged for 21 round trippers away from home, while allowing only four at Dodger Stadium. Schilling (20 and 4) and Kenny Rogers (16 and 3) are each in position to join Perez this year.
• The Braves loaded the bases with nobody out in the ninth inning but failed to score and lost to the Cincinnati Reds 5-4. Since moving to Atlanta in 1966, there was only one other game in which the Braves did not score under those conditions -- ninth inning, bases loaded, nobody out and down by one run. That happened in a 2-1 loss to the Phillies in Sept. 1992.
• The Reds, who were no-hit by Greg Maddux for six innings on Thursday night, failed to get a hit in the first five innings on Friday night. Only one other major-league team was held without a hit through five innings in back-to-back games this season: the Los Angeles Angels, on May 7 and 8. It's the first time that's happened to the Reds since April 1994.
• The New York Yankees won in Baltimore, but Randy Johnson failed to strike out a batter for the second consecutive start. His current streak of 32 straight outs recorded without a strikeout is the longest of his major-league career. His previous longest drought of that kind was 22 as a rookie for the 1989 Seattle Mariners.
• Tom Gorzelanny threw eight shutout innings and allowed only two hits in the Pittsburgh Pirates' 6-0 win against the Chicago Cubs. In the last 30 years only two other rookies came into Wrigley Field and authored at least eight scoreless innings while allowing no more than two hits: Orel Hershiser in 1984 and the Expos' Brian Barnes in 1991.
• The Chicago White Sox's Jon Garland beat the Toronto Blue Jays on the road Friday night and he has now won eight consecutive road-game starts, the longest current streak of that kind for any pitcher in the major leagues.
Excluding pitchers, Lopez is one of four players whose batting average, slugging average, and on-base percentage have declined in each of the last three seasons. The others are Lew Ford, Jose Guillen, and Adam Melhuse.