Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Here's a tasty leftover from Friday night. Derek Jeter led a charmed life this past week. On Tuesday, Jeter continued his hitting streak despite going hitless in four plate appearances -- three walks and a hit-by-pitch, which don't break the streak because none was an official at-bat.
Then, on Friday night, Jeter took over the lead in the American League batting-average race even though the Yankees were rained out. Joe Mauer went 0-for-4 and dropped below Jeter after 98 days in the top spot. Mauer became the first player since 1990 to relinquish a batting-average lead in either league after being on top at the end of each day's play for that long. Lenny Dykstra slipped from the NL top spot Sept. 13, 1990, after leading for 117 consecutive days.
Ironically, Mauer regained the lead Saturday the same way Jeter took it away Friday: by sitting. Mauer didn't play in the Twins' 4-1 win over the Indians, but Jeter slipped out of the top spot by going 2-for-10 in the Yankees' two games against the Red Sox.
• The Yankees started two 17-game winners Saturday: Chien-Ming Wang, who was 17-5 heading into a 5-2 loss to the Red Sox; and Randy Johnson, 17-10 before his start in the second game. The last team to start two pitchers with at least 17 wins coming into a doubleheader -- either traditional or separate-admission (which isn't officially a doubleheader) -- was the Brewers on Oct. 1, 1982. Milwaukee's starters were Pete Vuckovich (18-5) and Mike Caldwell (17-12), and they both lost to the Orioles.
• The Yankees' victory in the nightcap was their 90th of the year. New York has reached that milestone in 10 of 11 seasons under Joe Torre. Torre had never managed a team to a 90-win season prior to 1996, but he's done it every year since then, with the exception of 2000, when the Yankees won their most recent World Series despite an 87-74 regular-season record.
Torre is only the third manager in major-league history to win 90 or more games 10 times in a span of 11 seasons. The others to do it are Casey Stengel (11 times in 12 years from 1949-60) and Bobby Cox (10 of 11 seasons from 1995-2005).
• Cole Hamels helped the Phillies stay mathematically alive in the NL East race by pitching 6 2/3 no-hit innings en route to a 7-2 win over the Astros. Hamels was the fifth rookie to take a no-hitter at least six innings this year, joining Matt Cain, Anthony Reyes, Ricky Nolasco, and of course Anibal Sanchez. The last season in which that many rookies carried a no-no into the seventh was 1983. The pitchers that year were Craig McMurtry, Charles Hudson, Jeff Russell, Jose DeLeon (three times) and Mike Warren (who completed the no-hitter).
• Chris Carpenter allowed one run in seven innings in the Cardinals' 6-1 win over the Giants, lowering his home-game ERA to 1.46. No qualifying pitcher has finished the season with a lower ERA at home since Mike Morgan (1.38) for the 1992 Cubs. The last Cardinals pitcher with a better home ERA was Bob Gibson in 1968 (1.41). That was the year Gibson set the NL record with a 1.12 overall ERA, and on the road it was an amazing 0.81.
• Rich Hill threw a two-hitter against the Reds at Wrigley Field. Hill became the first rookie to toss a shutout for a team managed by Dusty Baker. Since the team's last NL pennant in 1945, only one other Cubs rookie left-hander has pitched a shutout allowing two or fewer hits: Jamie Moyer on Aug. 16, 1986, at Montreal.
The Cubs were the last team to throw a complete game this season. No team has gone an entire season without one. The only team to go further into a season without a pitcher going all the way was last year's Devil Rays, who didn't get a CG until their 161st game (Mark Hendrickson). Saturday was the Cubs' 149th game. Chicago's last complete game was by Greg Maddux in a loss to the Pirates last Sept. 27.
• Aramis Ramirez drove in two runs in the Cubs' 4-0 win, giving him 102 RBI for the season. Chicago has scored 4.27 runs per game in 2006, the lowest average in the majors, slightly worse than Tampa Bay (4.29). Only one player has ever driven in 100 runs for the team with the lowest scoring average in the majors. Wally Berger had 130 RBI for the 1935 Braves.
• Frank Thomas drove in four runs against his former team in the Athletics' 7-4 win over the White Sox, bringing his season total to 102. This is the 11th season in which Thomas has driven in at least 100 runs. Only five players have had more 100 RBI seasons than Thomas since the statistic became official in 1920: Jimmie Foxx (13), Lou Gehrig (13), Barry Bonds (12), Babe Ruth (12) and Al Simmons (12).
• Barry Zito earned his 16th win despite walking seven White Sox batters in seven innings. Zito also walked seven in seven innings June 11 at Yankee Stadium. Over the past two seasons, a pitcher has issued seven walks in at least seven innings only two other times: Carlos Zambrano (seven walks in eight innings) on Aug. 14, 2006, and Kirk Saarloos (seven in seven) on May 28, 2006.
• Carlos Silva earned the win in the Twins' 4-1 win over the Indians by pitching seven innings and allowing one run. Through Sept. 1, Silva had the worst ERA of any major league qualifier (6.56), but since then he's allowed just two earned runs in 20 innings (0.90 ERA).
• Ichiro Suzuki collected three hits in the Mariners' 7-4 loss in Kansas City, raising his total to 201 this season. Ichiro has at least 200 hits in each of his six major league seasons. His streak of six 200-hit seasons is the third longest in major league history, behind Wee Willie Keeler (eight in a row from 1894-1901) and Wade Boggs (seven from 1983-89).
• Michael Young also got his 200th hit Saturday, the fourth straight year he's reached that milestone. Young, who was mostly a second baseman the first year of the streak (2003) and has been primarily a shortstop since, is only the second middle infielder with 200-plus hits in at least four straight seasons. Second baseman Charlie Gehringer did it five straight years from 1933-37.
• Joey Gathright hit his first major league home run in his 592nd at-bat in the Royals' win over the Mariners. The only active major league position player who had more at-bats without a homer is Jason Tyner (1,023 and counting).
• Prince Fielder's first-inning home run off Pedro Astacio was his 26th of the season, tying the record for most homers in a rookie season by the son of a big leaguer. Jose Cruz Jr. also hit 26 for the Mariners and Blue Jays in 1997. Fielder's father, Cecil, hit at least 26 home runs seven times in his career.
• Mark Teixeira drove in four runs in the Rangers' win over the Angels. It was Teixeira's 23rd career game with four or more RBI, the second most in the majors since his debut in 2003, behind David Ortiz (29).
• Chone Figgins hit for the cycle in the Angels' 12-6 loss at Texas. He's the seventh switch-hitter among the past 10 players to hit for the cycle. The others: Gary Matthews Jr., Carlos Guillen, Jose Reyes, Randy Winn, Jeff DaVanon and Mark Teixeira. None of the previous 19 players who hit for the cycle was a switch-hitter.
• Craig Biggio's biennial September slump reached a record level Saturday when he extended his hitless streak to 28 at-bats. Biggio's previous high was an 0-for-27 slump in September 2002, and his third highest was a streak of 23 hitless at-bats in September 2004.
• Josmer Altidore scored his first MLS goal in the 83rd minute of the Red Bulls' 1-0 victory over the Crew. At 16 years, 314 days, Altidore is the fourth-youngest player to score in Major League Soccer. The only younger player to score in a 1-0 game was Freddy Adu, who did it twice before reaching Altidore's current age (once at age 15, once as a 16-year-old).
• The veterans came through again for Real Salt Lake in its 3-2 victory over FC Dallas on Saturday night. RSL's goals were scored by Jason Kreis, Chris Klein, and Andy Williams. That's the fourth different group of three Real Salt Lake players with at least 150 games of MLS experience to score in the same game this season. No other team in MLS history has done that even once.
• Greg Owen has shot 69-68-68 in the first three rounds of the 84 Lumber Classic to find himself in contention heading into the final round Sunday. It's the first time in Owen's career that he has shot in the 60s in each of the first three rounds of a PGA Tour event.