Date: May 23, 2008

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN.com

NBA

PISTONS WIN GAME 2 IN BOSTON

The Pistons' win in Boston on Thursday was the first Celtics game this postseason in which the road team won. Boston's streak of 15 consecutive games won by the home team was the longest in NBA playoffs history. The previous record was a 14-game streak by the Lakers over the 1970 and 1971 playoffs.

Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons

PISTONS CRACK THE 100 BARRIER

The Pistons were the first opposing team to score 100 or more points in a playoff game in Boston since the Pacers scored 108 in 2004, a span of 14 games. That was one game shy of the longest streak in Celtics history; they held opponents to fewer than 100 points in 15 consecutive home playoff games from 1993 to 2003.

Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons

MLB

A RECORD FOR DICE-K

It wasn't his best start of the season, but Daisuke Matsuzaka improved his season record to 8-0 - and including a victory in his last regular-season start last September, he became the first pitcher born in Japan to win nine consecutive regular-season big-league decisions on this side of the Pacific. He broke the record that he had previously shared with Hideki Irabu (eight straight wins in 1999) and Hideo Nomo (eight straight over 2002-03).

Boston Red Sox

50 DOWN, 112 TO GO

The Red Sox became the first major league team to reach the 50-game mark, and did so with a 31-19 record, which is just about what the Nation has become accustomed to in recent years. Consider: the Red Sox have won at least 30 of their first 50 decisions seven times in the last 10 seasons.

Over those last 10 seasons (1999-2008), Boston's cumulative first-50-games won-lost record is an impressive 308-192 (.616) - the best such mark for any big-league team since the Braves had an identical first-50-games record from 1995 to 2004. And it's the best first-50-games record over a 10-year span for any American League team since the Mantle-and-Berra Yankees went 314-186 (.628) from 1953 to 1962.

Boston Red Sox

THE LATEST TO BE THE HOTTEST

Josh Hamilton's 10th-inning home run, which proved to be the game-winner, left him with 17 hits, including four homers, in his last 30 at-bats. Doesn't it seem as if we've had an exceptional flurry of hot-as-blazes hitters over the first two months of the season? Here's what the numbers show:

Hamilton is already the fifth player this season to have amassed as many as 17 hits and four homers within a span of 30 at-bats. Chipper Jones had 18 hits and five homers over 30 at-bats in April; and earlier this month, Lance Berkman had 21 hits and four homers; Alfonso Soriano had 17 hits and seven homers; and Dan Uggla had 17 hits and five homers - all over 30-at-bat spans.

Texas Rangers

POWER FROM THE 9-HOLE

Brandon Inge's three-run homer in the second inning was the big blow in the Tigers' win over the Mariners. The shot by Detroit's trusty old catcher/third baseman/center fielder was the team's fifth home run from the ninth spot in the lineup this season (including three by Inge); the Tigers lead the majors in homers and RBIs (27) from the nine-hole.

Detroit Tigers

BRAVES RALLY AGAINST SANTANA TO SWEEP METS

Omar Infante drove in the tying run, Chipper Jones the go-ahead run, and Mark Teixeira the insurance run in Atlanta's three-run seventh-inning rally against Johan Santana as Tim Hudson defeated the Mets, 4-2, completing a four-game sweep.

Infante was a rather unlikely contributor: he had been hitless in 19 previous career at-bats vs. Santana. But Jones and Teixeira are more predictable sources of Mets-bashing: It was Chipper's 121st RBI against the Mets, the most among active players; and Teixeira maintained the distinction of having driven in at least one run in each of the Braves' nine games against the Mets this year. It's the longest RBI streak against the Mets since current New York outfielder Moises Alou - whom the Mets placed on the disabled list on Thursday - had a 14-game RBI streak against the Mets from 1993 to 1995.

Atlanta Braves, New York Mets

CANO'S WALKOFF HIT

Robinson Cano's game-winning single off Jim Johnson produced only his second walkoff RBI in his four seasons as the Yankees' second baseman. Cano had a game-winning hit last July 17 against Toronto's Casey Janssen - and like Thursday night's hit, it was also a single to left field.

New York Yankees

QUENTIN DRIVES IN A PAIR

Carlos Quentin's RBI grounder in the first inning got the White Sox on the board, and his RBI single drove in what proved to be the game-winner in the eighth as Chicago defeated Cleveland, 3-1, to complete a sweep of their series. Those were the 11th and 12th go-ahead RBIs of the season for Quentin the highest total by anyone in the American League.

Chicago White Sox

PHILS: FIRST TEAM TO 70 HRs

Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell cracked home runs in the Phillies' 7-5 victory in Houston, lifting the team's major-league-leading home run total to 70 in its first 49 games. It's the first time since 1929 that the Phillies have been the first big-league team to 70 homers. (That was also the last year in which the Phillies finished the season leading the majors in home runs.)

Philadelphia Phillies

MILLER LIKES MAY BETTER

Andrew Miller, who had a 9.12 ERA in six starts in April, pitched seven scoreless innings against the Diamondbacks on Thursday, lowering his ERA in May to 1.44 and his opponents batting average to .178. Among pitchers who have thrown at least 20 innings this month, only the Indians' Aaron Laffey has a lower ERA (0.64) and only the Blue Jays' Shaun Marcum has allowed a lower batting average (.131).

Florida Marlins

PIRATES OUTFIELDERS TOO MUCH FOR BREWERS

Pirates outfielders - Jason Bay, Nate McLouth and Xavier Nady - went a combined 8 for 11 with seven runs, three RBIs, and two home runs in Pittsburgh's win over the Brewers on Thursday. Pirates outfielders lead the major leagues in home runs (29) and slugging (.526); they're second in RBIs (95); and they stand third in both runs (105) and batting average (.296).

However, for as good as Pirates outfielders have been, their infielders have balanced things out. Pittsburgh's infielders rank last in the major leagues in slugging (.327) and next-to-last in the majors in batting average (.228).

Pittsburgh Pirates

RARE BIG HIT BY TORONTO FIRST BASEMAN

Lyle Overbay's sixth-inning home run was the difference in the Blue Jays' 4-3 win over the Angels on Tuesday. Even with that homer, Blue Jays first basemen (mainly Overbay, but also Rod Barajas, Marco Scutaro, and Brad Wilkerson) have only three home runs this season (more than only the Royals, who have one) and 13 RBIs (the lowest total in the major leagues).

Toronto Blue Jays


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