Elias Says ...

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:


Ken Griffey Jr. Griffey Jr.

Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 564th career home run on Tuesday, giving him sole possession of 10th place on the all-time home run list, and knocking Reggie Jackson out of the top 10 for the first time since June 17, 1985. As of that date, the top 10 was:

Hank Aaron 755
Babe Ruth 714
Willie Mays 660
Frank Robinson 586
Harmon Killebrew 573
Mickey Mantle 536
Jimmie Foxx 534
Ted Williams 521
Willie McCovey 521
Ernie Banks 512
Eddie Mathews 512

On June 18, 1985, Reggie hit his 512th to move into a tie for 10th place. He hit No. 513 on June 20 to take sole possession of 10th place and he had been in the top 10 until Tuesday night.

• The Devil Rays win over the Yankees dropped New York into last place in the American League East with an 8-11 record. The Yankees have been alone in last place this many games into a season only once previously in Joe Torre's reign (which began in 1996). They were also 8-11, in last place in the East, through the games of April 21, 1997. (That was the only season the Yankees did not finish in first place in the division under Torre.)

New York Yankees

• The Yankees have lost five straight games while scoring at least four runs in each game for the first time in team history.

• The key at-bat in the Devil Rays' win was Carl Crawford's grand slam off Mike Myers. It was only the second-ever grand slam by a left-handed batter against Myers; Ray Lankford had one for the Cardinals when Myers was with the Brewers on July 28, 1998.

• The Nationals set a National League record when they failed to score in the first inning Tuesday at Philadelphia. Washington hasn't scored a first-inning run in 20 games this season. The only other NL team to advance 19 games into a season without scoring in the first inning -- and this was quite a surprise -- was the 1975 Reds, a.k.a. the "Big Red Machine." Three American League teams went 20 games into a season without scoring in the first inning, the 1948 White Sox (28 games), 1952 White Sox (22) and 1993 Rangers (21).

Jeff Francoeur Francoeur

Jeff Francoeur had an RBI in six straight plate appearances on Monday and Tuesday, the longest streak by any major league player since Kevin Millar had a RBI in six straight times up in 2003.

The last four times up with an RBI during Francoeur's streak all came with two outs. He's the first player to have an RBI in four straight plate appearances, all with two outs, since Brian Jordan did it in 1998 for the Cardinals.

• Dave Roberts' home run against the Dodgers ended a streak of 398 at-bats without a homer. The only active non-pitchers with longer current droughts are Jason Tyner (who has never hit a home run in 1,091 career at-bats) and Jason Kendall (none in last 484 at-bats).

• Through 20 games, the Tigers' starting pitchers have only seven decisions, with the bullpen getting the win or the loss 13 times. That ties the most decisions by a team's relievers over the first 20 games of a season. The 1982 Braves also had 13 bullpen decisions in the first 20 games.

• The starting pitching matchup in San Diego on Tuesday, Randy Johnson vs. David Wells, marked the first time in major league history that both starting pitchers in a game were 43 or older.

Randy Johnson Johnson

• In his first start of the season, the Big Unit allowed a home run to Adrian Gonzalez, filling his season quota for homers allowed to left-handed batters. Johnson allowed one home run in 162 at-bats by lefties in 2005 (to Eric Hinske) and one in 108 at-bats last season (to Mark Kotsay).

• The Athletics swept a two-game series from the Orioles in Baltimore and they are now 13-2 at Camden Yards over the last four seasons (since 2004). That's the second-best road record by a team against a league opponent over that time; the Padres are 8-1 against the Expos/Nationals in Montreal and Washington.

St. Louis Cardinals

• With their loss to the Reds on Tuesday, the Cardinals are now 1-7 at home this season -- the worst record by a defending World Series champion over its first eight home games the following season. Five previous champions started 2-6, the 1909 Cubs, 1913 Red Sox, 1964 Dodgers, 1988 Twins and 1998 Marlins.


Miami Heat

• The Heat are down 2-0 in their series against the Bulls. It's only the third time that the defending NBA champion has lost its first two postseason games to begin its title defense. The 1957 Philadelphia Warriors were swept out of the playoffs in a best-of-three series by the Syracuse Nationals. And the 1984 76ers lost their first two games and were eliminated in a best-of-five series by the Nets.

It's the 15th time that the defending NBA champion has been down 2-0 in a best-of-seven series; the champ has come back to win only three of the previous 14 times. The Celtics came back against the Lakers in the 1969 Finals; the Bulls beat the Knicks in the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals; and the Rockets beat the Suns in the 1995 Western Conference Semifinals.

• This is the 39th best-of-seven series coached by Pat Riley. He's been down 2-0 only four other times, in the NBA Finals in 1983, 1989 and 2006, in the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals. The only one of those series his team won was the 2006 Finals.

• The Suns beat the Lakers Tuesday, 126-98. That's the most points the Lakers have allowed in a non-overtime playoff game since a 129-121 loss to the Warriors on May 10, 1987. It was also the most points against a Phil Jackson team in a non-overtime game. The previous most was 121 points by the Suns on May 6 last year.

Steve Nash Nash

Steve Nash had 14 assists on Tuesday, the 14th time he's been in double-digits in assists in a postseason game. That ties Nash with Oscar Robertson for seventh-most in postseason history.

Vince Carter and Jason Kidd each had 11 rebounds in the Nets loss. The last postseason game in which a team had at least 10 rebounds from each of its starting guards was when Stephon Marbury and Anfernee Hardaway did it for the 2003 Suns. The last time before that was when Norm Van Lier and Jerry Sloan did it for the 1973 Bulls.

• Neither the Raptors nor the Nets scored as many as 15 points in the first quarter of their playoff game on Tuesday. It was only the second NBA postseason game in the shot-clock era (1955 to date) in which neither team scored 15 points in the first quarter. On May 20, 1999, the Trail Blazers led the Jazz after the first quarter, 14-11, en route to an 84-81 win.