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 span between no-hitters by Randy Johnson (May 18, 2004) and Anibal Sanchez (Wednesday night) was the longest in major league history. Two players participated in the two games that book-ended that gap: Luis Gonzalez and Chad Tracy.
• Sanchez's no-hitter was the fourth by the Marlins in the last 11 seasons (along with Al Leiter in 1996, Kevin Brown in 1997 and A.J. Burnett in 2001). The last team with so many no-hitters in such a short span was the Yankees, who had four of them over the course of seven seasons from 1993 to 1999 (Jim Abbott, Dwight Gooden, David Wells and David Cone).
• Joe Girardi became the first man since Jeff Torborg to both catch and manage a no-hitter. Girardi employed six rookies on Wednesday night, including Sanchez. That's the most rookies to play in the winning side of a no-hitter since 1957, when the major leagues established its first official rule to define the rookie status of players.
• The Nationals rallied for two ninth-inning runs off Jason Isringhausen in a 7-6 victory over the Cardinals. It was the fifth time during their just-completed homestand that the Nationals won a game in which they trailed in the eighth inning or later. No team since the 1998 Red Sox had won as many as five games in that fashion during one homestand, and no National League team had done so since the Phillies of 1955.
Isringhausen blew his 10th save opportunity of the year, to go along with his 33 saves. Over the previous 10 seasons, only two pitchers blew as many 10 opportunities in a 30-save season: Rick Aguilera for the 1998 Twins (38 saves, 11 blown) and Troy Percival for the Angels in 2000 (32 saves, 10 blown).
• Brian Roberts homered on the first pitch of the game in the Orioles' loss at Anaheim. It was the fifth time this season that a player hit a first-pitch home run to lead off the top of the first inning, and the fourth time that it was done in a losing effort. Only Alfonso Soriano did it in a victory (July 18 versus the Marlins); Jose Reyes, David DeJesus and Soriano (July 15) are the others who did it in losses.
• Mike Stanton closed the door on the Reds with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, preserving the Giants' 3-2 win. Stanton has earned a save in each of his last four appearances (his longest such streak since 1993) without allowing a baserunner over that span. The only other pitcher to record a "perfect" save in each of four straight appearances this season is Tom Gordon (May 1-6).
• Neither Ken Griffey Jr. nor Barry Bonds played in Wednesday's Giants-Reds matinee. Griffey, who has missed 33 games this season and is sidelined with a dislocated toe, hasn't played as many as 40 consecutive games since 2000.
• Wednesday's twinbill at Shea Stadium marked the third time in five days that the Braves played a pair of games in one day. No team had done that since the 1998 Mets, and the Braves hadn't done it in almost 30 years -- since they played four doubleheaders over a six-day span in September 1976.
• Carlos Delgado hit his 36th home run of the season in the Mets' first-game victory over the Braves, a two-run shot to give him 100 RBI during his first year with New York. Evidently, Delgado isn't bothered by a change of scenery. Last year, Delgado had 33 homers and drove in 115 runs in his first season with the Marlins. Delgado is the only player in major-league history to hit 30 home runs and knock in 100 runs in his first season with a club, then switch teams and do it again for another club the following season!
• The Mets' victory in the nightcap was the 300th game of Willie Randolph's managerial career. Randolph's 169-131 mark seems fairly impressive for a second-year manager, but four current big-league skippers posted better records through their first 300 games than Willie: Ken Macha (177-123), Grady Little (173-127), Ozzie Guillen (170-130) and Dusty Baker (170-130).
• The Athletics came from behind to defeat the Rangers as Joe Blanton notched his 15th win of the season. Blanton, who won 12 games as a rookie last season, is only the fifth pitcher since 1950 to win as many as 15 games for the A's in his sophomore year in the majors. The others were Vida Blue (24-8 in 1971), Tim Hudson (20-6 in 2000), Mark Mulder (21-8 in 2001) and Barry Zito (17-8 in 2001).
• Derrek Lee celebrated his birthday with a grand slam in the Cubs' 7-2 victory over the Pirates. Lee was the second player to have a slammin' good time on his birthday this season, joining Travis Hafner, who did it on June 3. Over the previous three seasons, only two players hit a bases-loaded home run on their birthday: Mike Sweeney (July 22, 2004) and Aramis Ramirez (June 25, 2005).
• The Mariners tagged Joel Zumaya with the loss in their 10-inning, 5-4 victory at Detroit. Zumaya had held opponents hitless in their previous 24 at-bats (since Aug. 14) before he allowed five hits in a span of six at-bats in the ninth and 10th innings. The Tigers have lost their last six one-run decisions at Comerica Park.
• With his victory at Fenway Park on Wednesday, Jose Contreras is 3-0 with a 3.86 earned-run average in four starts against Boston since joining the White Sox. While pitching for the Yankees, Contreras was 0-4 with a 16.43 ERA in five regular-season appearances (four starts) against the Red Sox.
• Greg Norton and Ty Wigginton hit consecutive seventh-inning homers in the Devil Rays' 4-2 win over the Twins. It was the second time this season that Tampa Bay players hit back-to-back homers, the first of which tied a game and the second of which gave them a lead (Wigginton and Toby Hall did it on May 16). Prior to this season, the Devil Rays had only two pairs of back-to-back game-tying and go-ahead home runs in their history (both in 2002).