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 hit a three-run walkoff homer to cap a six-run rally, giving the Yankees an 8-6 win over the Indians. It was A-Rod's 10th homer of the season in the Yankees' 14th game, breaking a 59-year-old American League record. The previous AL mark for fewest games to reach the 10-homer mark was set by Ken Keltner of the Indians in 1949. Two NL players hit 10 home runs in as few team games as Rodriguez: Mike Schmidt, 12 games (1976); Albert Pujols, 14 (2006); and Luis Gonzalez, 14 (2001).
• Rodriguez hit a walkoff grand-slam home run against the Orioles on April 7. The only other players to hit two walkoff homers this early in a season were Pat Burrell in 2002 (two in the Phillies' first nine games), Robin Yount in 1991 (12 games), and Tommy Henrich in 1949 (12 games).
• Today's victory marked only the second time in Yankees history that they won a game at Yankee Stadium in which they trailed by four or more runs when down to their last out with no one on base. The other was a 9-8 win in 10 innings over the Tigers in 1923 -- Yankee Stadium's first season of operation. Babe Ruth started a four-run game-tying rally in the ninth inning with an inside-the-park home run.
• And finally, this extraordinary fact: Sean Henn was the winning pitcher on Thursday against the Indians, earning the first victory of his major league career -- just as Chase Wright and Kei Igawa did in the first two games of the series. The Yankees became the first team in major league history to sweep a series of three of more games with all three winning pitchers recording their first major league victories.
• Manny Ramirez hit a game-tying two-run home run in the eighth inning -- his first homer of the season -- in the Red Sox' 5-3 win over the Blue Jays. That leaves only two players who hit at least 35 homers last season still homerless in 2007: Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Delgado.
This is the third consecutive season in which Ramirez failed to hit a home run in his first 10 games. He hit his first homer of 2005 in game No. 11, his first of 2006 in game No. 17.
• Roy Halladay was the hard-luck starter for the Blue Jays, leaving the game with a two-run lead before Shaun Marcum allowed the home run to Ramirez, the first batter he faced. Last season, Halladay suffered six blown wins by Jays relievers, tying him for the highest total in the AL.
• So who is the A-Rod of pitching this season? How about Rich Hill of the Cubs, who pitched eight innings in a 3-0 win over the Braves. It was Hill's third victory in three starts, and he lowered his ERA to 0.41. The last pitcher with an ERA that low in winning his first three starts of a season was Dontrelle Willis in 2004 (0.00 ERA). The last Cubs pitcher to do so was Phil Douglas in the dead-ball era (0.33 ERA in his first three starts in 1918).
• You think it's unusual for a winning pitcher to hit a home run? Maybe so, but here's something that's truly rare: Jake Peavy hit a double and a triple in the Padres' 11-6 win over the Diamondbacks. Peavy was only the second pitcher to do so since 1997. (Brandon Backe did it in 2005.) One hundred fifty-seven winning pitchers hit home runs during that time.
• Here's another one for you: What's rarer than a 5-for-5 game -- meaning five hits in five at-bats? How about five walks in five trips to the plate, as Jim Thome did in the White Sox' 6-4 win over the Rangers. Over the past two seasons (2005-2006), only Ryan Howard and Brian Giles had five BBs in five plate appearances, compared to 37 players who had the more traditional 5-for-5 game during that time.
• The White Sox won, so ultimately it didn't matter. But how about this: Prior to Thursday, no American League player had struck out to end an inning with the bases loaded more than once this season. Then Paul Konerko did it in consecutive innings -- the seventh and the eighth -- of Chicago's victory. Over the last 15 seasons, the only other player to end consecutive innings with a bases-loaded strikeout was Richie Sexson for the Indians in 2000.
• The Mets defeated the Marlins 11-3 for their third consecutive victory by seven or more runs -- the first such streak in the team's 46-year history.
• Josh Hamilton hit his fifth home run in his 29th at-bat of the season (and his career) in the Reds' 8-6 loss to the Astros. The last player to hit his first five homers in fewer than 30 at-bats was Mark Quinn of the Royals in 1999 (25 AB). (Quinn hit 20 homers as a rookie in 2000, but hasn't played in the majors since 2002.) The only active players to have done so are Carlos Delgado (25 AB) and J.D. Drew (27 AB).
• Brenden Morrow scored at 6:33 of the first overtime to give the Stars a 1-0 victory at Vancouver. It was the first power-play goal to end a scoreless tie in overtime since 1939, when Marty Barry scored one for the Red Wings against the Canadiens.
• Even with Thursday's victory, Marty Turco has the lowest career winning percentage in NHL history in postseason overtime games among goaltenders with at least 10 OT decisions (2-8, .200).
• The Senators made it easy for goaltender Roy Emery, holding the Penguins to 20 shots on goal, and Emery showed his appreciation by stopping all 20 as Ottawa clinched its series against the Penguins with a 3-0 victory. The last team to allow 20 or fewer SOGs in a series-clinching shutout was the Red Wings, with Curtis Joseph in goal, in a first-round victory over the Predators in 2004.
• Dany Heatley scored the first of the Senators' three second-period goals, and he did it on the power play -- just as he scored the other four postseason goals of his career. Only three other players scored each of their first five playoff goals with a man advantage: Francois Beauchemin (2006-2007), Mike Rathje (1995), and Dmitri Mironov (1993-1994).
• Kei Kamara came off the bench to score in the 86th minute, giving the Crew a tie against the Revs at Columbus. It was true on Thursday night, just as it was on June 21 last season -- Kamera scoring as a sub, against the same opponent, at the same venue, in the same minute of the game, with the same result. Thursday's final score was 2-2. (Last season's score was 1-1, but we won't say anything if you don't.)
• The Crew didn't score or allow a goal in either of their two previous matches this season. So what happened on Thursday night? It was the first MLS match of the season in which both teams scored in the first 10 minutes,
• Taylor Twellman's goal -- a bomb from approximately 25 yards out -- was his first from beyond the 18-yard line since July 27, 2003.