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Monday’s MLB schedule featured just 10 games, but three separate teams scored 15 runs, the D’backs, Marlins and Twins. It was the first time in 70 years that three teams had scored at least 15 runs in a game on the same day with 10 or fewer major league games played. The last time was July 25, 1936!

My free play for Tuesday is Tor/NYY Over at 7:05 ET. I’m not waiting to play my one and only Oddsmaker Bug in August, I’ll release it today. Also, don’t miss my 15* NL Blowout of the Month. Get them BOTH, right now!

While the previous three teams were scoring all those runs, the Rockies beat the Brewers 4-2 at Coors Field. The game lasted just two hours and six minutes, the fastest game in the history of that stadium. The Rockies are averaging just 4.7 runs per game at home this year, after averaging 6.7 runs per game at Coors from 1995 to 2005!

With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that the Rockies are the biggest “short” team in MLB in 2006, going 39-59-7. That’s 20 more unders than overs. Only Detroit comes close to that mark (42-59-4), as it leads the league in runs allowed with 418 (3.98/game). In the National League, only the Houston Astros, and for just one game going 49-50-6, have played more lows than highs!

Chase Utley batted in his 32nd straight game in the Phillies’ 15–2 loss to the Marlins, giving him the second-longest hitting streak in team history. Jimmy Rollins had a 38-game winning streak snapped in Philly’s third game of the year, after finishing 2005 with one hit in his last 36 games. Utley has entered thin air as since 1901, there have been only 16 streaks longer than the current one, with Joe D’s 56-game streak in 1941 leading the way.

The Giants lost 10-7 at home to the Nationals last night, keeping alive the longest active losing streak in MLB. San Fran has now lost eight straight games and last night’s three-run loss could be considered a blowout as the Giants had lost their previous seven games by a total of just 10 runs! The Pirates own the longest active winning streak in MLB with five in a row, but they were inactive last night.

The schedule starts today in August and this is the first time in major league history that rookies have led both leagues in ERA at the end of July. The Marlins’ Josh Johnson leads the National League in earned run average (2.52) and the Twins’ Francisco Liriano leads the American League with a 1.96 mark.

Eight rookies before Liriano and Johnson have led their leagues heading into August: Mark Gardner, Expos (2.34 in 1990); Mark Fidrych, Tigers (1.80 in 1976); Dennis Eckersley, Indians (2.20 in 1975); Gary Peters, White Sox (2.04 in 1963); Spec Shea, Yankees (2.07 in 1947); Atley Donald, Yankees (2.30 in 1939); Lou Fette, Boston Bees (2.46 in 1937); and Wilcy Moore, Yankees (2.35 in 1927). Check back tomorrow and I’ll reveal if any held on to win the ERA title.

That’s the full 15-game schedule tonight. The Giants will try to avoid a ninth straight loss tonight at 10:15 ET when they host the Nationals. The Nationals send Liván Hernández to the mound and the Giants fight back with Matt Cain. The Nationals have won the last six times Hernandez has started, despite his 5.88 ERA. However, his ERA is a bit misleading, as he allowed seven ERs in one of the openings while he allowed exactly three ERs in each of the other five.

The Pirates will attempt a six-game winning streak when they host the Braves at 7:05 ET. John Smoltz goes to Atlanta and is 4-0 in his last five starts, while Ian Snell plays with his feet for the Pirates. Snell is 2-0 in his last four starts, with the Pirates winning all four. His move from him!

In other game highlights, the A’s and Angels resume their three-game series in Anaheim ((10:05 ET), after Oakland won 3-1 last night (now 3-0 in Anaheim this year). of their last six with a 2.83 team ERA, but tonight’s starter (Joe Blanton) is 0-4 in five career starts against the Angels. The Angels go with Joe Saunders, who is making just his fourth career start He won again on July 18 against Cleveland, but had a 7.71 ERA in two starts for the Angels last year.

In San Diego, it’s Andy Pettitte vs. Jake Peavy (10:15 ET). Pettitte was 17-9 with a 2.39 ERA last year, but this year he is 9-11 with a 5.18 ERA, allowing 173 hits in 139 innings. Peavy, who went 15-6, 2.27 in 2004 and 13-7, 2.88 in 2005, is just 5-10, 5.01 this year (the team is 8-12 in his starts), despite a of strikeouts to walks of 139. -19. Peavy has the highest ERA among the top 30 in the majors in strikeouts.

NFL ratings

Each day this week, I preview some of the topics I’ll be covering over the next month with my NFL countdown to the 2006 season.

The 2005 NFL regular season ended with 11 teams finishing with at least 11 wins, the most in a single year since the league adopted a 16-game schedule in 1978. The Kansas City Chiefs (10-6) were they became the fourth 10-win team not to make the playoffs since 1990, the year the NFL expanded to its current 12-team postseason format.

The Philadelphia Eagles became the fifth consecutive Super Bowl loser to finish the following season with a losing record (6-10) and the team’s failure to make the postseason in 2005 ended the longest current playoff streak. longest in the NFL (five) from any franchise. Green Bay finished just 4-12, ending the second-longest streak in the league (four). The Colts, who finished with a league-best 14-2 record, now own the league’s longest current postseason run in four straight years.

The Cincinnati Bengals won the AFC North with a record of 11-5, ending the league’s longest current playoff drought at 14 consecutive playoffless seasons. The new ‘leader’ in that department is the Arizona Cardinals, who have failed to make the playoffs for seven straight years.

Ness Notes is available Monday through Friday at 1:00 ET.

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