Elias Says: Sept. 7, 2017

Indians win 14 in a row for second straight season

Carlos Carrasco tossed a complete game while allowing just one run in the Indians’ triumph over the White Sox, extending their winning streak to 14 games. Cleveland also had a 14-game winning streak last season, from June 17 to July 1. Four other teams in major-league history had winning streaks of at least 14 games in back-to-back seasons: the White Stockings (current-day Cubs) in 1885 (18-game winning streak) and 1886 (14), the Orioles (different from the current-day franchise, this team played in the National League in the 1890’s) in 1894 (18) and 1895 (14), the Giants in 1912 (16) and 1913 (14), and the Cubs in 1935 (21) and 1936 (15).

Despite a long streak coming to an end, the Diamondbacks are not rattled in LA

Cody Bellinger’s first-inning RBI single gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead over the Diamondbacks, ending a streak of 97 consecutive innings in which Arizona did not trail. That matched the 1947 Dodgers for the second-longest such streak within one season in the modern era (since 1900). The Yankees went 100 innings without trailing in 1942.

The Diamondbacks came back to score three unanswered runs on Wednesday, extending their winning streak to 13 games. Coupled with the Indians’ current 14-game winning streak, Arizona’s win marked the first time in MLB history that two teams had concurrent winning streaks of at least 13 games.

Panik sends Rockies into a state of…panic

Joe Panik went 5-for-6 with two RBIs and three runs scored in the Giants’ 11-3 rout of the Rockies at Coors Field, as they avoided a three-game sweep. Over the trio of games, Panik had 12 hits, tied for the most in the modern era (since 1900) for any player in a three-game series. Three other players had done so: Hall-of-Famer Willie Keeler of the Superbas (current-day Dodgers) in 1901 versus the Reds, the Senators’ John Stone in 1935 against the Browns, and Eric McNair of the White Sox in 1939, also against the Browns.

No luck for Sandoval

Pablo Sandoval entered the game between the Giants and Rockies as a pinch hitter on Wednesday night and struck out to lead off the sixth inning. Sandoval is hitless in each of his last 38 at-bats, the longest such streak for a Giants position player in the modern era (since 1900). That is the longest hitless streak for any position player since Coco Crisp had a 39 at-bat streak spanning the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Andrus hits 20 for the first time in ninth season

Elvis Andrus powered the Rangers to an early lead in the first of two games against the Braves, hitting his 20th home run of the season in the top of the first inning of a Rangers’ 12-8 victory. Andrus, who is in his ninth season in the major leagues, had never hit as many as 10 home runs prior to the 2017 campaign (his previous high was eight in 2016). Only three other players in major-league history had their first 20-homer season come in their ninth (or later) season in the majors, after never before hitting 10 homers in a season.

Hall-of-Famer Cap Anson hit 21 homers in 1884, his ninth season in the major leagues, with his previous high being two home runs in 1876. The 1884 season was the first in which any player hit at least 20 homers, with three others doing so in addition to Anson. Lonnie Smith first reached the 20-homer mark in his 12th season, hitting 21 in 1989 after never hitting more than eight in a season. And John Vander Wal hit 24 homers in 2000, his 10th season, with his previous high being six in 1999.

Avila’s triple is the unlikely winner

In a scoreless game in the top of the ninth inning, catcher Alex Avila delivered a run-scoring triple and the Cubs went on to defeat the Pirates, 1-0. That marked the second time in the expansion era (since 1961) in which the lone run of a game was scored on a triple by the catcher. J.T. Realmuto of the Marlins connected on a seventh-inning RBI triple in a 1-0 win over the Phillies on September 24, 2015.

Maybin makes an impact

Cameron Maybin’s two-run home run in the ninth inning proved to be the game-winner in the Astros’ 5-3 win over the Mariners. Maybin has eight RBIs in six games with Houston, after the team acquired him via waivers a week ago. Only two other players had that many RBIs over their first six games with the Astros: J.R. Towles, with nine in 2007, and Tyler White, also with nine, in 2016. For both Towles and White, those were their first six games in the major leagues.

One home run = One RBI for Kinsler

Ian Kinsler’s 15th home run of the season, a fifth-inning solo shot, tied the game at 2-2, in a matchup the Tigers ultimately lost in blowout fashion to the Royals. Each of Kinsler’s home runs this season have come with no one on base. In the Divisional Era (since 1969), three other players’ first 15 homers of a season were all of the solo variety: Ken Singleton of the Orioles in 1975 (all 15 of his home runs that season were solo), Andre Dawson for the Expos in 1981 (first 15), and Kal Daniels of the Reds in 1987 (first 16).

Nationals once again dominate the Marlins

Gio Gonzalez pitched five scoreless innings and the Nationals’ bullpen took care of the rest in their 8-1 victory over the Marlins. Washington has won each of its last eight games against Miami, outscoring the Marlins, 53-12, over that span (dating back to August 9). The last team to score at least 50 runs and give up 12-or-fewer runs to a particular opponent over an eight-game span within one season was the Expos against the Padres in the 1994 season (two overlapping spans, one in which they outscored San Diego, 54-11, and the other, 55-12).

Mets continue reign over Phillies

Asdrubal Cabrera went 3-for-3 with two runs scored in the Mets’ rain-shortened victory over the Phillies. Over the last three seasons (since 2015), the Mets are 37-17 (.685) versus the Phillies, the third-highest winning percentage for one team against another over that span (minimum 25 games played). The Nationals are 36-15 (.706) against the Braves and the Cubs are 38-16 (.704) versus the Reds since 2015.

Cishek’s costly error seals the Rays’ fate

Steve Cishek’s seventh-inning throwing error on a Jorge Polanco bunt single allowed Brian Dozier to come all the way around from first base to score what proved to be the winning run in a Twins’ 10-6 triumph over the Rays. That was the first run that Cishek surrendered as a member of the Rays, entering the day with no runs allowed in 16 ⅔ innings with the team (Tampa Bay acquired Cishek in a trade this past July with the Mariners). Entering Wednesday’s game, Cishek had not allowed a run in his last 19 innings (dating back to his time with Seattle), which stood as the fourth longest active scoreless innings streak in the majors.

Castillo pitches like a veteran in win over Brewers

Reds rookie starting pitcher Luis Castillo struck out 10 batters over eight innings in Cincinnati’s 7-1 win over the Brewers on Wednesday afternoon. There have been over 600 starts from rookie pitchers this season, with Castillo being the first to toss at least eight innings with 10-or-more strikeouts. Last season, only one rookie pitcher had a start of this type; Jon Gray pitched a complete-game shutout with 16 strikeouts against the Padres at Coors Field (that is the most strikeouts in a game by a Rockies pitcher as well as the most strikeouts in a game by a pitcher for either team at Coors Field). The last Reds rookie pitcher with a start of this type was Bruce Berenyi, who had four such starts in the 1981 season.

Davis drives them in at home

Khris Davis’s fourth-inning solo home run put the A’s ahead to stay in their 3-1 triumph over the Angels at Oakland Coliseum. Davis has driven in at least one run in each of his last six home games, the longest active streak in the majors. That is tied for the longest home streak of this variety by an Athletics player over the last 10 seasons (since 2008); Kurt Suzuki did so in 2011 and Davis did that last season as well.

Pitching like an ace

Doug Fister continued his recent dominance on Wednesday night, allowing one run over seven innings and earning the win for the Red Sox over the Blue Jays. Over his last four starts, dating back to August 22, Fister is 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA and just 14 hits allowed over 30 innings pitched. That is his fewest hits allowed over a four-start span within one season since he allowed 13 hits over four starts in September 2011.