Elias Says ...

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

Updated: September 14, 2006, 10:37 AM ET
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc. | Special to ESPN Insider

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

MLB
• Every day in baseball, if you're looking closely enough you'll see something you've never witnessed before. Wednesday was the first day in major-league history in which three visiting teams recorded shutout victories of nine or more runs: the White Sox at Anaheim (9-0), the Blue Jays at Seattle (10-0) and the Padres at Cincinnati (10-0).

• The Royals defeated the Indians, 6-2, last night to complete a sweep of their two-game series at Jacobs Field. That snapped Kansas City's streak of 86 consecutive road series without a sweep. Although it was widely reported that this was the third-longest such streak in major league history, it actually was an American League record and the second longest in major league history, behind only a streak of 88 road series by the Montreal Expos (1995-1998).

Published reports cited a streak of 100 road series without a sweep by the Washington Senators (1901-1905). But that figure incorrectly included a series in 1902 in which the Senators played three games, winning two and tying one.

You might think that shouldn't qualify as a sweep, but it does and here's why: In Major League Baseball, unlike the NHL, NFL, MLS, and so on, when a game ends in a tie, it is replayed as though it never happened. Except for purposes of individual statistics, a tie game is a do-over. And so, a series that ends 2-0 with a tie is, in fact, a sweep because the tie will be replayed at a later date. For purposes of team won-lost records, the tie game doesn't exist.

• Brad Penny pitched seven scoreless innings to earn his league-leading 16th victory of the season in the Dodgers' 6-0 win over the Cubs. With the exception of the strike-shortened 1981 season, this is the first time in the NL's 131 years of operation that no pitcher won more than 15 games before the second week in September. In fact, there were only two previous seasons in which no NL pitcher had won at least 16 games by the end of August.

Ben Sheets
Sheets
Freddy Garcia
Garcia
• Freddy Garcia was perfect through 7 2/3 innings and Ben Sheets through six in their respective wins on Wednesday afternoon. It was only the second time in the last 15 years that two pitchers carried perfectos to the seventh inning on the same day. Shawn Estes and Odalis Perez did it in 2002.

• Garcia has a record of 14-2 against the Angels over the last six seasons. That's three more wins than any other pitcher has over the Halos during that time. In fact, only three others pitchers have even half as many as Garcia does: Jamie Moyer, 11-9; Tim Hudson, 10-5; and Barry Zito, 10-8.

• The White Sox won two of three in their series at Anaheim. But it was the first series of any length this season in which Chicago failed to hit a home run.

Francisco Liriano
Liriano
• Francisco Liriano left in the third inning of his start against the A's after experiencing pain in his left elbow. It was Liriano's first major-league start since suffering a strained ligament in his left arm on Aug. 7. From the time of his first start of the season (May 19) until his injury, Liriano led the majors in both wins (11-3) and ERA (1.96).

• The A's avoided a three-game sweep with a 1-0 victory at the Metrodome. The Twins haven't swept a first-place team during the month of September since 1989, when they won three games against the Blue Jays at the Metrodome. The A's haven't lost three consecutive games since July 23-25, posting the best record in the majors since then (32-13, .711).

• For the third time in 12 days, the Phillies and Braves played two games against each other in one day. Over the last 20 years, only one other pair of teams faced each other twice in one day three times within two weeks. The Dodgers and Expos did it on three consecutive days in 1992. And yes, it would have been a lot easier to phrase that if we could have called these "doubleheaders." But according to Baseball Rule 2.00, a doubleheader is "two regularly scheduled or rescheduled games, played in immediate succession." On Sept. 2, the Braves and Phillies played a so-called "split doubleheader" -- technically not a doubleheader at all.

Kyle Davies
Davies
• Things were looking up for Kyle Davies when the Braves pitcher homered to lead off the second inning, giving Atlanta a 4-0 lead on Wednesday afternoon. But prosperity tries the fortunate, and Davies was gone before completing the third inning in the Braves' eventual 6-5 loss.

It was the second time this season that a Braves starter homered but failed to complete three innings. Jorge Sosa did it on April 6. That exceeds the number of pitchers to do so over the previous 10 seasons (1996-2005) for all teams combined. Only Eric Gagne did it during that time, for the Dodgers in 2001 (his last season as a starting pitcher).

• Things just keep getting worse in Beantown. Erik Bedard and a pair of relievers held the Red Sox to two hits in the Orioles' 4-0 victory on Wednesday night. It was the first time in 30 years that the Sox managed two or fewer hits in a loss to the O's. That gave Boston 32 losses in its last 50 games, its highest total over a 50-game span since the end of the 2001 season.

• Carlos Delgado delivered a pinch-hit, game-tying single with two outs in the ninth inning in the Mets' 7-4, 11-inning victory over the Marlins. Delgado doesn't pinch-hit often, but he has seven hits in his last 15 pinch-ABs, dating to 1997. Prior to that, he was 2-for-32 coming off the bench.

• Gregg Zaun became the first player since 2002 to homer from both sides of the plate and do it before the fifth inning. The last was Mark Bellhorn for the Cubs.

Gary Matthews Jr.
Matthews Jr.
• Gary Matthews Jr. became the seventh player to hit for the cycle over the last two seasons and the fifth to do so from the leadoff slot in the batting order. Only three leadoff hitters -- Eric Byrnes (2003), Craig Biggio (2002) and Neifi Perez (1998) -- had cycled over the previous 13 years.

• For the first time since 1993, Biggio was a "healthy scratch" in consecutive games. Biggio is hitless in his last 20 at-bats, equaling the fourth-longest hitless streak of his career. The only time since then that Biggio didn't appear in consecutive Astros games was in 2000, when he missed the final 56 games on the DL with torn ligaments in his left knee.

SOCCER
• The Rapids defeated the Fire 1-0 on an own goal scored by Jim Curtin. It was the seventh such 1-0 match in MLS history. Colorado's only two shots on goal were by Kyle Beckerman, 77 minutes apart.

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