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 tidbits about our favorite sports, teams, and players.
Here’s a statistical look at the week that was.
From Elias: Chase Headley drove in a run in the Padres’ loss to the Giants to give him 30 RBI during September, after he drove in 31 runs in August. Over the last 13 years (2000-2012), the only other major-leaguer to register 30 or more RBI in each of two consecutive calendar months was the Cardinals’ Albert Pujols in 2006 (April and May). Headley is the first player with two 30-RBI months for the Padres, not only in consecutive months and not only in two months within one season, but in his career with San Diego.
From Elias: Add this to Mike Trout’s list of accomplishments: on Monday he became the first player to have four hits, including two extra-base hits (he had a double and a triple) in one game against Felix Hernandez. Trout went 9 for 17 (.529) against Hernandez this season, the most hits that any player has had against King Felix in one season. (The previous high by Orlando Cabrera, who was 8 for 13 against Hernandez in 2007.)
From Elias: Omar Vizquel went 1-for-3 in his final major-league game, a 2-1 Blue Jays win over the Twins. Vizquel is one of 19 players to play 24-or-more seasons in the majors; nine of them are Hall-of-Famers and four are not (or not yet) eligible (Pete Rose, Roger Clemens, Jamie Moyer and Vizquel). The six eligible players with at least 24 major-league seasons who are not in the Hall are Deacon McGuire, Jim Kaat, Tommy John, Rick Dempsey, Charlie Hough and Jesse Orosco.
From Elias: The Nationals (98 wins), Reds (97), A’s (94) and Orioles (93) all won over 90 games this season after finishing the 2011 season with a sub .500 record. This is the first time in major-league history that four teams won at least 90 games in a season after finishing the previous campaign with a losing record. There were three such teams in six different seasons: 1965, 1987, 1990, 1998, 2000 and 2007.
From Elias: Derek Jeter went 3-for-5 in the Yankees’ come-from-behind win at Toronto. Jeter has 213 hits this season, but it was the 212th hit that was historically noteworthy. With that knock, Jeter broke Ty Cobb’s record for the most hits in a season by a player who entered the year with 3000 or more career hits. Cobb had 211 hits under those circumstances in both 1922 and 1924. Jeter’s 212th hit of the season was also the 3300th hit of his career. Among the ten players who’ve reached that milestone, only Cobb (age 36 in 1923) got there at a younger age than Jeter (38 years, 96 days).
From Elias: Drew Brees threw three touchdown passes in the Saints’ 28-27 loss at Green Bay, and in so doing he tied Johnny Unitas’ record of 47 consecutive games with a TD pass. Unitas had held that record outright since he broke Cecil Isbell’s record streak of 22 games in November 1958.
Brees has thrown 114 touchdown passes during his current streak, 12 more than Unitas tossed during his run. But the difference in the average length of the TD passes during their respective streaks is stunning: Brees, 18.0 yards; Unitas, 25.5 yards, including 26 TD passes of 40 yards or longer.
From Elias: With a 21-yard completion to Malcom Floyd on the Chargers’ first possession, Philip Rivers became the 63rd NFL passer to reach the 25,000-yard mark. It took Rivers 3144 passes to reach that milestone; only four of the others did so in fewer passes than Rivers: Kurt Warner, 3076; Ben Roethlisberger, 3109; Johnny Unitas, 3117; and Steve Young, 3120.
From Elias: The 49ers’ 34-0 victory over the Jets was their fifth win in the Eastern time zone over the last two seasons. Over the last two seasons, all other West Coast teams have a 2-8 combined record playing three time zones from home.
The Niners gained 245 rushing yards on Sunday. Over the last 15 seasons, only one other West Coast team posted a rushing total that high in the Eastern time zone. Oakland ran for 299 yards at Miami in 2007.
From Elias: The Rams ran their record to 3-2 after their 17-3 victory over the Cardinals on Thursday night. That ended a streak of 93 consecutive games in which the Rams were at or below .500, tied for the third longest such streak in NFL history. The Raiders played 101 consecutive contests in which they did not have a winning record after the game from 2004-10, New Orleans had a 97-game streak from 1971 to 1977 and Philadelphia was .500-or-worse after 93 straight games from 1967 to 1974.
From Elias: Greg Zuerlein kicked four field goals, including FGs of 60 and 58 yards, in the Rams’ 19-13 win over the Seahawks. Zuerlein’s 60-yarder was the longest in NFL history by a rookie, and he was the first player, rookie or otherwise, to kick two FGs longer than 55 yards in the same game. Morten Andersen in 1995 and Neil Rackers in 2004 each kicked a pair of 55-yard field goals in the same game.