Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
Willis has three home runs this year, all at Shea (the other was a grand slam on July 7). He's the first pitcher with three homers vs. a particular club in one season since 1971, when the Phillies' Rick Wise hit three against the Giants and Boston's Sonny Siebert hit four homers vs. the Orioles. But neither of those guys hit three in their opponents' ballpark. Willis became the first pitcher to do that since 1958, when Lew Burdette of the Milwaukee Braves homered three times against the Dodgers at the L.A. Coliseum.
• The Blue Jays prevented the Yankees from clinching the AL East title "on the field" with a 3-2 win at Rogers Centre, but, more importantly, Roy Halladay left the game with arm discomfort in the fourth inning. Halladay is 0-2 over his last six appearances, matching his longest streak of consecutive winless starts since 2003. Halladay went 0-2 over his first six starts that year before winning his next 15 decisions.
• The Red Sox's loss to Minnesota eliminated Boston from the AL East pennant race, but the consolation prize for the home crowd was David Ortiz's 50th home run of the year. Ortiz tied the single-season franchise record set in 1938 by Jimmie Foxx, who also hit his 50th at Fenway Park.
Between Foxx and Ortiz, the only player to hit home run No. 50 or more of a season at Fenway was Mickey Mantle, who smacked his 51st homer of the 1956 season there, as well as the last of his 54 homers in 1961.
The Cardinals' loss in Milwaukee was their ninth straight defeat in road games decided by a one-run margin. It's the Cardinals' longest such streak within the confines of a single season since 1976, when they dropped nine consecutive one-run decisions away from Busch Stadium.
• Aaron Cook handed a 3-0 lead to the bullpen to begin the seventh inning, but it took seven Colorado relievers to record the final nine outs in a 7-4 loss to the Giants. The Rockies' bullpen has a 7.26 ERA in relief of Cook this season, the highest for any starting pitcher in the majors (minimum: 10 starts).
Colorado's bullpen has relinquished the lead in seven games this season in which Cook was the pitcher of record on the winning side at the time of his departure. Cook's seven "blown wins" this year are tied with Jarrod Washburn for the most in the majors.
• Joe Crede went 0-for-4 and grounded into three double plays in the White Sox's loss to the Tigers. Crede is 0-for-his-last-22, which matches the longest hitless streaks of his career; he went 22 straight at-bats without a hit during both the 2003 and 2005 seasons.
Crede is the first player to ground into three double plays in one game since Todd Greene did it for the Rockies almost two years ago (Sept. 29, 2004). Over the past 15 seasons (1991-2005) the only player to do it for the White Sox in a nine-inning game was Maggio Ordonez (May 12, 1998).
• Francisco Rodriguez struck out three batters in the ninth inning to preserve the Angels' 3-0 shutout in Kansas City. It was the seventh time this year that Rodriguez had three strikeouts in an inning. The only AL reliever to do it more often than K-Rod is J.J. Putz, who had three ninth-inning strikeouts while nailing down the Mariners' 6-3 win at Texas. Putz, Billy Wagner and Brad Lidge each have eight three-strikeout innings this year, the most among major league relievers.
• Salomon Torres made it exciting, but he finally extinguished a ninth-inning rally to earn his 10th save of the month as Pittsburgh beat the Dodgers. Torres set a Pirates franchise record with 10 saves during September, breaking the mark set by Jim Gott in 1988. Torres is the second pitcher ever to record at least 10 saves in a season in which he had none through the end of August. Dale Murray saved 10 games for the 1974 Expos, all during September.