Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• One last take on the madness at Dodger Stadium on Monday night, when the Dodgers hit four consecutive solo home runs to tie the Padres in the bottom of the ninth, then outscored San Diego 2-1 in the 10th inning to regain first place in the NL West.
Padres manager Bruce Bochy bypassed all-time NL saves leader Trevor Hoffman and called on Jon Adkins, who had no saves in 109 previous appearances, to start the ninth inning. It's true that this wasn't a "save situation" -- San Diego led by four runs -- but with the NL West lead on the line that seemed like a trivial point. And Hoffman had not only saved more games for Bochy than any other pitcher had for any manager in major league history (450), only three pitchers attained totals even half that high: Mariano Rivera, 412 for Joe Torre; Dennis Eckersley, 386 for Tony LaRussa; and Rick Aguilera, 254 for Tom Kelly.
But here's something to support Bochy's decision: He faced that situation -- leading by four runs with the opponent coming to bat in the ninth -- 95 times in his 12 seasons with Hoffman and the Padres. Bochy called on Hoffman only 29 times in that situation, but the Padres had won all 94 previous games.
• Justin Morneau added some luster to his MVP candidacy with a 5-for-5 performance in the Twins' 7-3 win at Fenway Park. Over the last 30 years, only four other players went 5-for-5 after already reaching the 30-homer mark: Adrian Beltre (2004), Alfonso Soriano (2002), Alex Rodriguez (1996 and 1998), and Andre Thornton (1984).
• Delmon Young went 0-for-4 in the Devil Rays' 5-4 loss to the Orioles, and he's now 31-for-84 (.369) after 20 major-league games. Young's total of 31 hits to date is the most by any player in his first 20 games since Bo Hart went 32-for-89 (.360) for the Cardinals in 2003. The last AL player with at least 31 hits in his first 20 games was Ichiro (31-for-88 in 2001).
• Jeff Karstens was the winning pitcher in the Yankees' 6-3 victory over the Blue Jays, one night after his fellow rookie teammate Darrell Rasner started and won. It was the first time in 15 years that a pair of Yankees rookies started and won consecutive games. On Wednesday night, Sean Henn can try to match the three-game streak in 1991 by Scott Kamieniecki, Jeff Johnson, and Wade Taylor.
• Jimmy Rollins hit his 22nd home run of the season and extended his stolen-base streak to 20 in a row in the Phillies' 4-1 victory over the Cubs. The only other active players to record 20 straight steals in a 20-homer season are Carlos Beltran (2003 and 2004) and Jason Bay (2005).
• Verlander, Josh Johnson, Weaver, Sanchez, Cain in a season when every month seemed to deliver a new candidate for top rookie pitcher, Chuck James has quietly been the winningest freshman (10-4) since the date of his first victory (June 25). But there's a new sheriff in town. On Tuesday night, Beltran Perez of the Nationals defeated James and the Braves, and he did it impressively, allowing one hit and no walks in six innings. Only two other pitchers in the live-ball era allowed a total of one hit and walk pitching at least six innings in their first major-league start: Darrin Winston (1997 Phillies) and Jimmy Jones (1986 Padres).
• The Rockies followed Monday night's 20-8 victory over the Giants with a 12-4 win. Scoring is down at Coors Field this year, but even with supposedly spongy baseballs, it's still one of the best hitters' parks in the majors. The average of 10.2 runs per game there is 12 percent higher than it is in Rockies road games (9.2 per game), a useful measure of a stadium's effect. (The corresponding figure for the first 11 seasons at Coors Field was plus-48 percent.)
• Kirk Saarloos struck out 11 batters in five innings in earning the victory in the A's 7-3 win over the Indians. Saarloos hadn't recorded even half that many strikeouts in any of his previous 29 starts.
• The Cardinals learned on Tuesday that they will be without Jason Isringhausen for the remainder of the season. Isringhausen will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his arthritic left hip later this week. Since joining the Cardinals in 2002, Isringhausen ranks third in the majors with 173 saves, trailing only Mariano Rivera (197) and Billy Wagner (177).
• The Pirates defeated the Dodgers, 10-6, on Tuesday night despite striking out 15 times. It was the third time this season that a team scored in double-figures despite at least 15 strikeouts. (The Braves and Nationals did it, both against the Phillies.) There were only two other such games during the live-ball era -- one in 2001, the other in 1975.
• We'll finish tonight with a pop quiz. Jim Tracy's Pirates defeated the Dodgers on Tuesday night. Who was the last ex-Dodgers manager to lead an opposing team to victory at Dodger Stadium? It was Leo Durocher as manager of the Astros in 1973.
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