Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Derek Jeter sure accomplished a lot in the Yankees' 8-4 win over the Tigers on Tuesday night, and we're happy to help you learn about it.
Jeter became only the second player in major-league history to go 5-for-5 in a postseason game, and the first to spice such a 5-for-5 performance with a home run. The only other 5-for-5 game in postseason play was turned in by Marquis Grissom for Atlanta vs. Colorado in Game 4 of a 1995 Division Series.
This isn't the first time that Jeter has started a postseason by getting hits in each of his first five at-bats; he started the 2002 postseason by getting hits in each of his first five at-bats (over two games) against the Angels. (Jeter, with two by himself, equals the total of all other players in major-league history who started a postseason with at least five straight hits. Will Clark started with five hits for the Giants in 1989 and Jeter's current teammate, Miguel Cairo, started with seven straight hits for the Cardinals in 2002.)
Jeter also scored three of the Yankees' eight runs, lifting his career total of postseason runs scored to 84. That broke the all-time major-league record for postseason runs scored, previously held by Bernie Williams at 83.
• The Yankees ripped off six straight hits to start the third inning, tying a major-league postseason record for consecutive batters hitting safely from the start of an inning. The Red Sox had hits from each of their first six batters in the second inning of a division series game vs. Cleveland in 1999, and the Angels did it against the Twins in the 2002 AL Championship Series.
• The Yankees' left-hand-dominated lineup roughed up Nate Robertson, as New York's lefty batters went 5-for-15 against the Tigers' southpaw. Robertson had never before allowed as many as five hits to left-handed batters in a major-league game.
• Chien-Ming Wang joined an impressive list of foreign-born pitchers to have started and won Game 1 of a postseason series -- highlight names include Mike Cuellar, Luis Tiant, Fernando Valenzuela, Pedro Martinez, Bartolo Colon and El Duque -- but Wang is the first Asian-born pitcher to do so.
• Frank Thomas set a couple of postseason records with his pair of home runs that led the A's to a 3-2 win over the Twins at the Metrodome.
He became the oldest player (38) to hit two homers in a postseason game, breaking the record set by Larry Walker of the Cardinals at age 37 in 2004. (Walker, in turn, had broken a mark held since 1932 by Babe Ruth, who homered twice in a game in that year's World Series at Chicago.)
And with his second-inning home run, Thomas set a major-league record in becoming the first player to go more than 12 years between postseason home runs. (His only other postseason home run had come in 1993.) Five players had gone 12 years between postseason homers: Hank Aaron (1957 to '69), Bobby Grich (1974 to '86), Eddie Murray (1983 to '95), Wally Joyner (1986 to '98) and Mark Grace (1989 to 2001).
• The Twins suffered their first Game 1 loss in any of the last nine postseason series in which they have participated. Their streak of eight straight Game 1 wins had been the third-longest streak in postseason history. The Yankees opened nine straight series with wins from 1937 through 1950 (all in World Series play), while the Browns/Orioles franchise had a streak of 12 consecutive Game 1 victories from 1944 to 1979.
• The Cardinals (83-78 during the regular season) defeated the Padres (88-74) 5-1 in the opener of the first postseason series in major-league history between teams that won fewer than 90 games during a full regular season. (We're excluding the 1918 Cubs-Red Sox World Series, after the season had been summarily shortened due to World War I, and the 1981 and 1995 seasons, both shortened by labor disputes.)
• St. Louis has now played seven postseason games against San Diego and has won each of them. That's a new postseason record for consecutive wins by one National League team over another (the major-league mark is 10, by Oakland over Boston from 1988 to 2003).
St. Louis also became just the second big-league team to win its first seven postseason games against a particular opponent. In Game 2 on Thursday, the Redbirds will seek to tie the record of eight set by the Yankees against the Cubs (sweeping the World Series in 1932 and 1938).
• Albert Pujols went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer to lead the Cardinals to victory, raising his career postseason batting average to .340. The home run was the 11th in postseason competition for Pujols, as he became the 15th major leaguer to accumulate that many; none of the 14 others, though, has a postseason batting average as high as .340 (ranging from Steve Garvey's .338 to David Justice's .224).
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