As the official statistician of MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, and the WNBA the Elias Sports Bureau provides a look into sports that goes beyond the home run saving grabs, made-for-highlight-reel stiffarms, and ankle breaking crossovers. They sift through the streaks, trends, and numbers to often provide us with interesting and little known bits of information about our favorite sports, teams, and players.
Here’s a statistical look at the past week.
From Elias: The Cardinals had 13 hits in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Nationals on Monday, including eight extra-base hits and four homers. St. Louis set a team record for extra-base hits in a postseason game and the Cardinals tied their record for total bases (30, set in Game 3 of last year’s World Series) in any of their 207 postseason games.
Two of the Cardinals’ four home runs were hit by Carlos Beltran, who had his third multiple-homer game in postseason play; the others came for the Mets and Astros. The only other players with three postseason multi-homer games are Babe Ruth (four, all for the Yankees, and obviously, all in the World Series) and Manny Ramirez (three, two for Cleveland, one for Boston).
From Elias: Four pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout as the Athletics beat the Tigers. It was the eighth time a team used four or more pitchers in a nine-inning shutout while allowing no more than four hits in a postseason game. The last such occurrence came in Game 1 of the 2008 ALCS when the Boston quartet of Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima, Justin Masterson and Jonathan Papelbon combined on a four-hit shutout of Tampa Bay.
From Elias: Rookies Ryan Flaherty and Manny Machado each homered for the Orioles in Game 3 of their Division Series against the Yankees. It was the first time in major-league history that rookie teammates each hit a home run in the same postseason game. There have been two other postseason games in which two different rookies homered, one on each team: Game 4 of the Braves-Astros NL Division Series in 2005 (Brian McCann for Atlanta, Chris Burke for Houston) and Game 2 of the Diamondbacks-Cubs NL Division Series in 2007 (Arizona’s Chris Young and Chicago’s Geovany Soto).
From Elias: Rookie shortstop Pete Kozma hit a three-run home run in the second inning of the Cardinals’ 8-0 win over the Nationals in Game 3 of the Division Series between St. Louis and Washington. It was only the fourth time in major-league history that a rookie hit a home run as a shortstop in a postseason game. The others were by Chris Speier (1971 Giants in NLCS), Derek Jeter (1996 Yankees in ALCS) and Troy Tulowitzki (2007 Rockies in Division Series).
From Elias: Justin Verlander pitched a four-hit shutout and registered 11 strikeouts in Detroit’s series clinching 6-0 win over Oakland on Thursday night. Only one other pitcher in major-league history has pitched a shutout with at least 10 strikeouts in a “winner take all” postseason game. Sandy Koufax allowed three hits and had 10 strikeouts in a 2-0 shutout win over the Twins in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series.
From Elias: Drew Brees’ 40-yard scoring pass to Devery Henderson extended his streak to 48 consecutive games with a TD pass, breaking the record that Johnny Unitas had held since 1958. During Unitas’ 54-year reign as the record-holder, no player prior to Brees had come within even 10 games of his mark. Incidentally, Unitas began his 47-game TD-pass streak in the 10th game (6th start) of his NFL career.
From Elias: Andrew Luck rallied the Colts from a 21-3 halftime deficit to a 30-27 victory over the Packers. During the NFL’s expansion era (that is, since 1960), only three other starting rookie QBs led their team to a victory after trailing by 18 or more points: John Elway (Broncos vs. Colts in 1983), Vince Young (Titans vs. Giants in 2006), and Matthew Stafford (Lions vs. Browns in 2009).
From Elias: The Giants have gained 1877 yards in their last four games, the highest total over any four-game span in team history. The previous high was 1698, set by Y.A. Tittle’s 1963 team that won the Eastern Conference. That mark was equaled two years ago.
From Elias: Wes Welker caught 13 passes in the Patriots’ 31-21 win over the Broncos. It was the fifth time that Welker made at least 13 receptions, the most such games in NFL history. He previously shared the record with Marvin Harrison.
From Elias: Arian Foster reached 5000 career scrimmage yards (those made on carries or catches) on Monday in his 40th game in the NFL. Only two players in league history reached 5000 scrimmage yards in as few games as Foster: Edgerrin James (36 games) and Eric Dickerson (39).