Diamond Digits: Home stretch

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To commemorate this past weekend's wedding of one of SI's best baseball writers to one of the SI Franchise's favorite editors, Diamond Digits includes someone old, something new, something borrowed and something (Dodger) blue. Plus we look at a Met on a tear and an Indians pitcher getting torn up.

At bats without a home run by Houston shortstop Miguel Tejada, a streak that ended with a grand slam against the Pirates in Wednesday's 7-4 Houston win. It was just Tejada's second home run since June 20 when his career long streak of 32 games without a longball started, spanning 119 at bats until his solo shot against the Reds on July 29. Still, even with Tejada not hitting and Carlos Lee out for the year, Hurricane Ike causing havoc with their city, and being no-hit by Carlos Zambrano, then one-hit by a foursome of Cubs, the Astros remain within striking distance of the NL wild card berth, chasing the Phillies and Brewers.

Major league leading at-bats per home run ratio of Rangers rookie catcher Taylor Teagarden. A backstop on Team USA's bronze medal-winning Olympic squad last month, Teagarden has produced unprecedented power for a catcher so early in his career. Only three other rookie catchers -- Todd Pratt, Humberto Cota and Chris Snyder -- have hit as many as five home runs in fewer than 100 at bats and Teagarden's 32 at bats is less than half the total of any of the other three. By hitting five home runs in his first nine games, Teagarden became just the sixth player at any position in the last half century to do so. He's also driving in runs at an alarming rate. His 2.36 at bats per RBI is the second best rate in the big leagues this month so far among players with at least 25 at bats. The leader? Alex Rodriguez at 2.32 (19 RBIs in 44 at bats).

Career games in which Dodgers Hall-of-Famer-to-be Greg Maddux pitched at least seven innings without allowing an earned run yet failed to record a win, like he did on Sunday when the Dodgers dropped a 1-0 decision to the Rockies at Coors Field. It was the 18th no-decision of his career in that situation, including one in April against the Giants while he was still a member of the Padres. His lone career loss was the result of four unearned runs (on three Braves errors) in a complete game against the Expos in Sept. 1999. Only once before Sunday had Maddux pitched at least seven innings and allowed two hits or fewer yet failed to pick up a W.

David Wright, 3B, Mets

Wright was one of the scapegoats of the Mets collapse last season but it's safe to say that no fingers will be pointed his way this season even if New York blows its postseason chance again. For the seven day period ending on Sunday, Wright batted a ridiculous .632 with four home runs, nine RBIs, an OBP of .696, with a slugging percentage of 1.316. Twice during the week, Wright had four hits in a game, doubling his season total of four-plus hit contests from two to four, tied for seventh in the majors and raising his average from .289 to .301. He's now one of four elite players -- joining Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols and Mark Teixeira -- batting over .300 with 30 home runs and 100 RBIs for the second straight season.

Fausto Carmona, SP, Indians

You'd never know from his performance this week, but on a staff that featured both C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee last season, Fausto Carmona had the best ERA and was tied for the lead in wins with 19. This week, Carmona, winner of just eight games this season, was pounded in losses to the Royals and Orioles. In 11 2/3 innings against two of the AL's worst teams, Carmona allowed 14 earned runs on 17 hits with seven walks and just seven strikeouts. In 52 at bats, opposing batters like Alberto Callaspo, Ross Gload and Oscar Salazar hit a robust .327 against him. Only Seattle's Felix Hernandez (25) allowed more baserunners than Carmona's 24.

According to the good folks at baseball-reference.com, the 250,000th home run in baseball history was hit this week. The quarter-millionth clout came last Monday off the bat of Detroit's Gary Sheffield against Oakland's Gio Gonzalez. It was Sheffield's second home run of the game and the 16th of his disappointing season Sheffield failed to homer again that night. In fact, Sheffield has never hit three home runs in a contest, and only Rafael Palmeiro has more career home runs (569) without a three home run game.