Elias Says: Sept. 22, 2017

Gurley scores three touchdowns and ties a Rams record

Todd Gurley scored his fourth, fifth and sixth touchdowns of the season for the Rams in their 41–39 win over the 49ers. Gurley has tied the Rams franchise record for to most touchdowns in the team’s first three games of a season, a mark set by Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch in 1951 and previously equaled by Marshall Faulk in 2000.

The total of 80 points the Rams and 49ers put on the scoreboard on Thursday night matched the high for any game in this rivalry, which dates back to 1950. On Oct. 23, 1983, the 49ers won, 45–35, in Anaheim.

The Rams are racking up points under their rookie head coach

The Rams, led by first-year NFL head coach Sean McVay, have scored 107 points in their three games. That’s the third-highest point total over the first three games of a season for an NFL team with a rookie head coach (with the exception of 1920, the first season in league history). The two higher point totals are 119 by the 2000 Rams under Mike Martz and 113 by the 2002 Raiders for Bill Callahan.

27 wins in 28 games for the Indians

The Indians, who completed a three-game sweep of their series against the Angels in Anaheim with a 4–1 victory on Thursday afternoon, are 27–1 since August 24. Only two other teams in major-league history won 27 times over a span of 28 games within one season: the 1916 New York Giants, and the 1884 Providence Grays, who went on to win 28 of 29 games. The Grays’ ironman pitcher, Old Hoss Radbourn, started and completed 27 games during Providence’s 28–1 run, and he won 26 of those 27 starts. Radbourn was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1939, the fifth pitcher so honored, after Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Cy Young and Grover Cleveland Alexander.

Bellinger produces runs in the late innings

The Dodgers reduced their magic number to clinch first place in the N.L. West to one by coming from behind to beat the Phillies, 5–4, on Thursday afternoon. The Dodgers trailed, 4–3, going to the seventh inning, but they tied the score on a leadoff pinch-hit home run by Andre Ethier. The next batter, Chris Taylor, tripled, and two batters later he scored what proved to be the game-winning run on rookie Cody Bellinger’s RBI groundout. Bellinger has produced 39 RBIs in the seventh inning or later, second-most in the major leagues this season, behind Scooter Gennett with 44. No rookie has racked up as many late-inning RBIs in one season as Bellinger has this year since Jose Canseco had 41 for the Athletics in 1986.

Machado and Ynoa team up to lead the Orioles to victory

The Orioles parlayed three first-inning runs, two on a home run by Manny Machado, and fine pitching by rookie Gabriel Ynoa (eight innings, one run), into a 3–1 win over the Rays. Machado has hit only four home runs in his 135 first-inning at-bats this season, an average of one homer every 33.8 at-bats, but he’s slugged 29 homers in 460 at-bats this year from the second inning on, which averages out to one home run every 15.9 at-bats.

Ynoa is only the second Orioles rookie in the last five seasons to win a game while pitching at least eight innings and allowing no more than one run. Tyler Wilson did that with eight shutout innings in his victory against the Red Sox in Boston on June 16, 2016.

Six straight 10-win seasons for Dickey

Braves starter R.A. Dickey reached the 10-win mark for the sixth consecutive season with a victory against the Nationals in which he pitched eight innings and limited Washington to two runs. Dickey is one of the six pitchers who’ve notched a double-digit win total in each of the last six or more seasons. The others are Zack Greinke (last 10 seasons), Gio Gonzalez (8), Clayton Kershaw (8), Max Scherzer (8) and Chris Sale (6).

Vargas is the first 17-game winner for the Royals since 2002

Jason Vargas notched his 17th win of the season with a 1–0 victory for the Royals in Toronto. Vargas is the only the second Kansas City pitcher since 1994 to post 17 or more wins in one season, joining Paul Byrd who was 17–11 for the Royals in 2002. Vargas is the first lefthanded pitcher to register at least 17 wins for the Royals in one season since Charlie Leibrandt was 17–9 in 1985.

Four consecutive multi-RBI games for Fowler

Dexter Fowler banged out three hits and drove in two runs to help lead the Cardinals to an 8–5 win in Cincinnati. Fowler has racked up nine RBIs over his last four games with at least two in each game. Over the last seven seasons, the only other time a Cardinals player produced a streak of four consecutive multiple-RBI games was when Fowler did so earlier this year (June 15–18)!

Mauer leads the majors in hits since mid-August

Joe Mauer, who went 3 for 4 in the Twins’ 12–1 rout of the Tigers in Detroit, has hit .401 with a major-league-high total of 55 hits since August 17, raising his season batting average to .311 from .276. Mauer has recorded at least one hit in 31 of the 35 games he’s played over this stretch.

Anderson’s road hitting streak continues

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson extended his road hitting streak to 13 games when he hit an eighth-inning home run in Chicago’s 3–1 win at Houston. It’s the longest road hitting streak of Anderson’s two-year major-league career and the longest road hitting streak by a White Sox player since 2015, when Jose Abreu had streaks of 16 and 13 games. Dating back to July 21, Anderson has hit safely in 24 of his last 25 road games.

Bryant blast the Brewers again

Kris Bryant’s two-run homer in the 10th inning snapped a 3–3 tie and earned the Cubs a 5–3 win at Milwaukee. Bryant’s home run was his third hit of the game, giving him a total of five three-hit games against the Brewers this season. No other player has more than two such games this year.