Elias Says ...

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


Ryan Howard went 0-for-3 in the Phillies' 3-2 loss to Nationals on Wednesday. But his total of 18 home runs at the end of May is the highest in major-league history by a sophomore (defined by Elias as a player in the season following his rookie year). Eddie Mathews and Dale Long, who both hit 14 home runs through May 31 in their sophomore season, were the co-holders of that record for more than 40 years until Tony Clark hit 17 in 1997. Howard broke Clark's record on Monday.

• The Mets defeated the Diamondbacks 1-0 in 13 innings on Wednesday night. It was the 12th game at Shea Stadium in which neither team scored over the first 12 innings, now the highest total of any stadium in major-league history. Griffith Stadium, home of the Washington Senators from 1911 to 1961, had been the site of 11 such games.

Pedro Martinez was the hard-luck starter for the Mets on Wednesday night, pitching eight scoreless innings. Martinez finished the month of May without a win in six starts despite a 2.14 ERA. No pitcher had gone winless in a month making at least six starts with an ERA that low since Bill Laskey went 0-3 despite a 1.98 ERA in six starts for the Giants in April 1984.

But Pedro shouldn't feel too sorry for himself. It could be worse. Just ask ex-Angels pitcher Tom Murphy, who posted an 0-4 record despite a 1.85 ERA in six starts in July 1968, and then had it happen again in August 1971 (7 GS, 0-3, 2.08).

• Hard luck of a different sort cost Mike Mussina a shutout in the Yankees' 6-1 win over the Tigers. Detroit scored its only run with two outs in the ninth, and it was unearned due to an error by Alex Rodriguez. The last Yankees starter to lose a shutout to an unearned run with two outs in the ninth inning was Catfish Hunter in a 1-0 loss to the Red Sox in 1975.

• Despite four consecutive losses to end the month, the Tigers will enter June with the best record in the majors (35-18) after posting a 71-91 record in 2005. Since 1900, only two other teams finished the month of May with the best record in the majors after ending the previous season at least 20 games below .500: the 1951 White Sox and 1993 Phillies.

Jose Castillo extended his home-run streak to five consecutive games in the Pirates' 6-1 victory over the Brewers. Over the last 40 years, only two other second basemen homered in five straight games: Robby Thompson (1993) and Ryne Sandberg (1989).

Castillo has hit seven homers in his last 41 at-bats, compared to a career average of one homer per 45 ABs prior to that.

• Three days after Barry Bonds passed Babe Ruth's career total of 714 home runs, Jason Kendall moved past the Bambino in career home runs with the A's. On Wednesday, Kendall hit his first home run in 192 games with Oakland, snapping his streak of 961 at-bats without a homer.

But Kendall's homerless drought wasn't only the longest current streak by any player -- pitchers included -- it was the longest by any active player at any point in his career. The last player with a longer streak was Rey Sanchez (now retired), who went 1,094 at-bats without a home run from 2000 to 2002. The longest current streak now belongs to Curt Schilling (769).

• Like father, like son, and then some: Kendall's father, Fred, a former major-league catcher, had a streak of 518 at-bats without a homer from 1974 to 1976.

• The Royals lost to the A's 7-0 on Wednesday, missing a chance to sweep their three-game series in Oakland and end their streak of 73 consecutive road series without a sweep. That is the fourth-longest such streak in major league history.

Felix Hernandez faced the minimum of 12 batters over the first four innings against the Rangers on Wednesday. But Hernandez allowed five runs as he struggled to complete the fifth inning without squandering the 7-0 lead his teammates provided. Over the last four seasons, only two other pitchers allowed five or more runs in the fifth after facing 12 batters through the first four innings: Jeff Weaver on May 8 and Mike Mussina last season.

• David Pauley lasted only 4 2/3 innings in his major league debut, but the Red Sox defeated the Blue Jays 8-6. Matt Clement pitched 3 1/3 innings and Josh Beckett pitched 4 2/3 in the first two games of the series at Rogers Centre, marking the first time in more than 40 years that the Red Sox played a road series of three or more games in which none of their starters completed five innings.

The last time it happened was July 16-18, 1963, at Municipal Stadium in Kansas City against the Athletics. Boston's starting pitchers were Dave Morehead (1 inning), Bob Heffner (1 inning), and Chet Nichols (4 2/3 innings).


• The Heat made only six of 20 foul shots (30 percent) in Wednesday's 91-78 loss to the Pistons. It was the third-lowest free-throw percentage in an NBA postseason game. The only lower marks were set by the Philadelphia Warriors, who shot 6-for-23 (26.1 percent) in a loss to the Celtics in 1960; and by the Pacers, who shot 2-for-7 (28.6 percent) in a loss to the Pistons last year.


• Dedi Ben Dayan scored in the 33rd minute of the Rapids' 1-0 victory over the Galaxy. The Galaxy has now lost 19 consecutive games in which it trailed at halftime, equaling the third-longest such streak in MLS history.