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RASHARD LEWIS'S GREAT ALL-AROUND GAME
Rashard Lewis had 33 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists in the Magic's 111-86 Game 3 win over the Pistons. Lewis was 11-for-15 (73%) from the field, 5-for-6 (83%) from 3-point range and 6-for-8 (75%) from the free throw line. The last player to go 30-5-5 and shoot 70% or better on field goals, three-pointers and free throws in a playoff game was Kenny Anderson of the Trail Blazers in a 1997 win over the Lakers.
PISTONS LOSE BIG
The Pistons lost by 20+ points for the second time this postseason. They also lost 95-75 at Philadelphia in Game 3 of the first round. Since the NBA went to 16 playoff teams in 1984, no team has advanced to the Conference Finals after a 20-point loss in each of the first two rounds.
BRYANT CONTINUES HOT SHOOTING
After receiving his MVP trophy, Kobe Bryant scored 34 points, shooting 11-for-18 (61%) from the field in the Lakers' 120-110 Game 2 win over the Jazz. That was the second-best field-goal percentage Bryant has had in 42 career playoff games of 30 or more points. Kobe was 18-for-27 (67%) in Game 2 versus the Nuggets last month.
REDS HIT SEVEN HOMERS, PITCH SHUTOUT
The Reds hit seven home runs in their 9-0 home win over the Cubs. Cincinnati became the fourth team to hit at least seven home runs while shutting out their opponent, and the first team to ever do it at home. The Expos hit eight homers in a 19-0 win at Atlanta in 1978, the Mariners went deep seven times in a 10-0 win at Anaheim in 1999 and the Pirates hit seven in a 14-0 win at St. Louis in 2003.
ROOKIE VOTTO HITS THREE HOMERS
Joey Votto is the first rookie to hit three home runs in a game since Cody Ross of the Marlins on September 11, 2006 against the Mets. Votto is the first rookie to ever hit three homers in a game for the Reds or against the Cubs.
VOTTO THIRD CANADIAN TO HIT 3 HOME RUNS IN GAME
VOTTO HAS THE FIRST 3-HOMER GAME THIS SEASON
Votto is the first player to hit three home runs in a game this season. This is the farthest into a season before the first three-home-run game (excluding 1995, when the season started late due to the strike) since 1993, when Cleveland's Carlos Baerga did it first on June 17.
VOLQUEZ CONTINUES TO DOMINATE
Edinson Volquez pitched seven shutout innings for Cincinnati. Volquez has not allowed more than one earned run in any of his seven starts in 2008. In the last sixty years, only three other pitchers have allowed one or fewer earned runs in each of their first seven starts of a season: Mike Norris, 1980 A's; Fernando Valenzuela, 1981 Dodgers; Bob Knepper, 1988 Astros.
GOMEZ HITS FOR FIRST TWINS CYCLE SINCE 1986
Carlos Gomez hit for the cycle in the Twins' 13-1 win over the White Sox in Chicago. The last Minnesota player with a single, double, triple and home run in the same game was Kirby Puckett on August 1, 1986. Only two teams have gone longer without a cycle. The Dodgers' last cycle was by Wes Parker in 1970. The Padres, who began play in 1969, have never had one. (The Marlins, who debuted in 1993, and the Rays, who started in 1998, have also never had a player hit for the cycle).
A ROUGH DAY FOR PENNY
Brad Penny allowed 10 runs in the Dodgers' 12-1 loss to the Mets on Wednesday afternoon. It was only the third time that a Dodgers pitcher allowed 10 or more runs in a game at Dodger Stadium. The other Dodger pitchers to do that were Ramon Martinez (10 runs, July 2, 2005 vs. Colorado) and Chan Ho Park (11 runs, April 23, 1999 vs. St. Louis). Park (who also pitched in relief of Penny Wednesday) gave up his 11 runs in one inning - the third - including eight of them on a pair of grand slams by Fernando Tatis.
Penny fell to 5-12 with a 6.21 ERA lifetime against New York. That's the highest ERA for any pitcher with at least 100 innings pitched against the Mets. The next highest belongs to Bruce Ruffin (5.56).
ELLIS BREAKS OUT OF SLUMP IN A BIG WAY
Mark Ellis's 10th-inning home run gave the Athletics a 6-5 win over the Orioles. Ellis had been hitless in his last 16 at-bats entering the game. The last player to enter a game on a streak of 0-for-16 or worse and end the game with a home run was Luis Gonzalez of the Diamondbacks (0-for-16) on July 7, 2005 against the Cardinals.
DON'T CALL HIM HAMMERIN' LARRY
Chipper Jones went 2-for-4 in the Braves' 5-2 win over the Padres in Atlanta. Jones has now played 30 games and is 51-for-119 (.429) with 10 home runs. The last major leaguer with as many as 51 hits and 10 homers in his first 30 games of a season was Hank Aaron, who had 61 hits and 11 home runs through 30 games for the 1959 Milwaukee Braves.
A RARE MATCHUP OF UNDEFEATED PITCHERS
Cliff Lee (5-0 entering Wednesday) and Chien-Ming Wang (6-0) faced off at Yankee Stadium, with Lee earning a 3-0 victory. This was the first time in almost exactly 20 years in which both starting pitchers entered a game undefeated in at least five decisions. On May 8, 1988, the Athletics' Dave Stewart (7-0) defeated the Indians' Greg Swindell (6-0) by a score of 5-1 in Oakland.
CLIFF LEE'S LOW ERA
Lee pitched seven scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to 0.81. Since the end of World War II, only three pitchers have won their first six starts while posting a lower ERA: Fernando Valenzuela (0.33) in 1981, Roger Clemens (0.73) in 1991 and Pedro Martinez (0.79) in 1997.
ZITO LOSES AGAIN
Barry Zito's return to the starting rotation resulted in another loss, 3-1 at Pittsburgh. Zito is the third pitcher in Giants franchise history to lose his first seven starts of a season. Bill Carrick lost seven before his first win in 1899 and Bill Clarkson lost all seven starts in 1927. One note in Zito's defense is that the Giants have scored only nine runs in his seven starts. The last San Francisco pitcher with that little offensive support through seven starts was Ed Halicki (9 runs) in 1976.
POLANCO HAS 5 HITS, WALK-OFF RBI
Placido Polanco went 5-for-6 and had a 9th-inning game-winning RBI single off Jonathan Papelbon in the Tigers' 9-8 win over the Red Sox. The last Detroit player with five hits and a walk-off RBI in a game was Kirk Gibson on May 14, 1982. Gibson was 5-for-6 with a game-winning 2-run home run off the Twins' Terry Felton in the 11th inning.
LUCKY 13 FOR LIDGE
Brad Lidge struck out two of the three batters he faced, earning his eighth save in the Phillies' 5-4 win at Arizona. Lidge has not allowed an earned run in any of his first thirteen appearances for Philadelphia. Lidge is the fourth pitcher not to allow an earned run in any of his first 13 career games for the Phillies. The others: Ed Roebuck (1964), Roger McDowell (1989) and Darrel Akerfelds (1990).
ROCKIES COME BACK LIKE THEY DID LAST YEAR
The Rockies rallied for four eighth-inning runs to beat the Cardinals, 4-3. This was Colorado's first win of the season in a game they trailed by at least three runs in the eighth inning or later. Last season, the Rockies won six such games, two more than any other major league team.