Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Ryan O'Malley pitched eight scoreless innings to earn a victory in his major-league debut in the Cubs' 1-0 win over the Astros on Wednesday. Over the last 25 years, only two other pitchers threw eight innings or more to win their debut by a 1-0 score: Steve Woodard of the Brewers in 1997 and Rick Reed of the Pirates in 1988.
O'Malley was forced into service after the Cubs' scheduled starter, Rich Hill, pitched the final two innings of Tuesday night's 18-inning loss. There were fewer than 13 hours between the end of that game and the first pitch Wednesday afternoon. No pitcher has started a game after working at least two innings on the previous day since Jerry Reuss earned consecutive victories for the Dodgers on August 17-18, 1982, pitching 4.0 innings in relief and 5.0 as a starter, respectively.
• Joe Saunders allowed eight runs in 2 2/3 innings and took the loss in the Rangers' 9-3 victory over the Angels. That snapped the Angels' all-time record streak of 13 consecutive wins by rookies before their first loss. Saunders has four wins, Jered Weaver has eight, and Dustin Moseley has one.
Only two other teams had rookies who combined to win even their first 10 decisions: the 1985 Blue Jays (11 by Ron Musselman, Tom Filer, and Steve Davis) and -- applying the current criteria for rookie status -- the 1884 St. Louis Maroons (10 by Charlie Hodnett and Perry Werden).
• Saunders' loss also prevented he and Weaver from posting the first concurrent streaks of five or more wins by rookie teammates in more than a half-century. The last rookies to do so were Vinegar Bend Mizell (7) and Eddie Yuhas (6) of the 1952 Cardinals.
• Another L.A. streak ended as well in the Marlins' 15-4 win over the Dodgers. Los Angeles had won all 14 previous games that Wilson Betemit had started since joining the team. The last player whose team won his first 14 starts was another below-the-radar infielder: F.P. Santangelo (2001 A's).
• The Marlins became the first team in major-league history to post a victory by 10 or more runs against a team that had won 17 of its last 18 games (or better), as the Dodgers had done prior to their loss on Wednesday.
• David Wells survived some rough moments, allowing nine hits over 6 2/3 innings to record a victory in the Red Sox' 6-4 win over the Tigers. Wells became the first Red Sox pitcher in 10 years to win consecutive starts despite allowing at least nine hits in each. The last to do so was Tom Gordon in 1996.
• David Ortiz temporarily gave the Red Sox a lead with a two-run home run in the fifth inning. It was Ortiz's 49th go-ahead homer in the last three seasons. He ranks second during that time to Albert Pujols (56). Pujols and Ortiz are head-and-shoulders above the pack; no one else has even reached the 40 mark.
• Adam Loewen, who allowed one hit in 6 1/3 innings to defeat the Yankees on Aug. 5, yielded just four hits in the Orioles' 3-2 win at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night. The last rookie starter to beat the Yankees twice in that short a span, allowing fewer than five hits in both victories, was ... Vaughn Eshelman? It's true. Esh did it for the Red Sox in 1995.
• Things didn't start well for Orioles closer Chris Ray when he entered in the eighth inning with a one-run lead and immediately allowed back-to-back singles to Bobby Abreu and Alex Rodriguez. But Ray became only the second pitcher to earn a save at Yankee Stadium by pitching two or more innings after allowing the first two batters he faced to reach base. The other was Bob McClure of the Brewers in 1980, who pitched four innings protecting a three-run lead.
• Stephen Drew extended his hitting streak to 13 games in the Diamondbacks' 9-5 win over the Rockies, equaling the longest streak of the 2006 season by his brother, J.D. Drew. Over the last 40 seasons, the only other brothers with hitting streaks of 13 or more games in the same season were Roberto and Sandy Alomar, who did it in both 1994 and 1996.
• Todd Helton went 3-for-4 against Livan Hernandez, raising his career totals vs. Hernandez to 27 hits in 51 at-bats (.529). Helton is the first player to hold a batting average above .500 in at least 50 at-bats against a pitcher since Bruce Bochte had 27 hits in his first 53 at-bats against Paul Splittorff (1974-1984).
• Barry Bonds snapped a streak of 32 at-bats without a home run with career number 724 against Chan Ho Park on Wednesday night. It was the fifth time this season that Bonds went at least 25 ABs without a home run, equaling the total number of homerless streaks of that length that he recorded over the previous four seasons combined.
• The Red Bulls posted a scoreless tie against D.C. United in Bruce Arena's return to Major League Soccer. That snapped United's streak of 27 consecutive regular-season games with at least one goal, the second longest in league history, and it helped preserve a record set by United when Arena coached there. The league record for consecutive games scoring a goal is 52, set by DCU from 1997 to 1999. Arena was the coach for the first 39 of those games.
• Tony Meola posted the 61st shutout of his MLS career, a category in which he has held the all-time league lead for all but seven days of the past 10 years -- since he tied Mark Dodd for the lead on June 26, 1996, in the league's first season. Kevin Hartman, who took sole possession of the lead from March 25 to March 31 in 2000, recorded shutouts in six of his last eight starts to pull within one of Meola prior to Wednesday's match.