Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Alex Rodriguez, who had 121 RBI during the regular season, started in the eighth slot in the Yankees' batting order on Saturday. No player with as many as 121 RBI in the preceding regular season had ever before started in the bottom third (seventh, eighth or ninth) of his team's lineup during a postseason game. The previous record was held by Gil Hodges, who batted seventh for Brooklyn in the first two games of the 1949 World Series against the Yankees, after driving in 115 runs during the regular season.
• For the second consecutive year, Alex Rodriguez had at least 100 RBI during the regular season and then failed to drive in a run during the postseason. Only one other player in major-league history who played in the postseason after each of two consecutive 100-RBI seasons did that: Rusty Greer for Texas in 1998 and 1999.
• The Yankees, who led the major leagues in runs scored during the regular season, did not score for 20 consecutive innings before posting a run in the seventh inning on Saturday. That was the longest postseason drought by a team that led the league in runs scored during the preceding regular season since the infamous 1919 White Sox (aka the "Black Sox") failed to score in 26 consecutive innings against Cincinnati during the World Series.
• Jeremy Bonderman had a perfect game until Robinson Cano singled to start the sixth inning. In the past 20 years, only one other pitcher was perfect through at least the first five innings of a postseason game: Mike Mussina, who had a potential perfect game broken up with one out in the seventh inning in Game 1 of the 2004 ALCS on a double by Boston's Mark Bellhorn.
• For the first time in the history of their franchise, the Yankees have lost three consecutive postseason series (the 2004 ALCS and the ALDS in both 2005 and 2006).
• Detroit's pitchers had the lowest earned-run average in the major leagues this season and the Yankees led the majors in runs scored. Each of the last three postseason series pitting the MLB leader in ERA against the MLB leader in runs scored has been won by the ERA leader: Tigers-Yankees in 2006, Braves-Indians in 1995 and Athletics-Dodgers in 1974.
• Jim Leyland inherited a Tigers team that was 71-91 in 2005. Only one other manager took over a team that was at least 20 games below .500 and led it to a postseason series victory: Dusty Baker with the 2003 Cubs.
• Chris Young was 6-0 in road games during the regular season and he earned a win at St. Louis on Saturday. Young is one of 49 pitchers since 1903 to go 5-0 or better on the road during a regular season, but he's the first of those 49 to follow that up with a road victory in the postseason. (1903 was the first year of postseason play in Major League Baseball.)
• Albert Pujols said about Chris Young after the game: "I don't think he's difficult to hit." But Young struck out Pujols twice during the game. Only two pitchers did that during the entire 2006 regular season: Jake Peavy on May 28 and Roy Oswalt on Sept. 23. The only other pitcher to whiff Pujols more than once in a postseason game was Jason Schmidt in 2002.
• Russell Branyan's two-run double in the fourth inning gave San Diego a 2-0 lead over St. Louis and ended the Padres' streak of six consecutive postseason games in which they did not a hold a lead, the second-longest streak in major-league history. The Royals had an eight game streak from 1980 to 1985.
• The Padres are 1-for-25 with runners in scoring position so far in the series. They are the first team in major-league history to begin a postseason with no more than one hit in its first 25 at-bats in those situations.
• There were 30 hits in Saturday night's Mets-Dodgers game: 14 for the winners and 16 for the losers. It was the most hits ever recorded in any National League postseason game. The 16 hits for the Dodgers were the most ever by a team in a postseason game in which it was eliminated from the playoffs.
• Shawn Green went 3-for-5. He is the first former Dodgers' player to collect at least three hits in a postseason game against them.
• Jeff Kent had eight hits in the series. Only one player had more hits in a postseason series that lasted three games: Fernando Vina had nine hits for the Cardinals in a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks in the 2002 NLDS.
• The Mets made two errors with Steve Trachsel on the mound on Saturday night: one by David Wright and one by Carlos Beltran. The Mets made only two fielding errors with Trachsel on the mound during the entire regular season (and one was by Trachsel himself, on a wild pickoff throw), the fewest for any pitcher in the majors who threw at least 150 innings. Every other pitcher in that group had at least five team errors while he was in.
• Tom Glavine (290 career wins) started for the Mets on Thursday night and Greg Maddux (333 career victories) started Saturday night for the Dodgers. It was only the second postseason series in major-league history in which two individuals with at least 250 wins each pitched. The other one was the 1913 World Series between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Athletics. Christy Mathewson (337 wins) and Eddie Plank (269) each appeared twice in that series -- in fact, they started against each other both times, with each pitcher winning once.
• Since winning the World Series in 1988, the Dodgers are 1-12 in postseason games. The lone victory came in the 2004 NLDS against the Cardinals, on a five-hit shutout by Jose Lima.
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