Special to ESPN.com
GARNETT IMPRESSIVE THROUGH 3 GAMES
Kevin Garnett has amassed 72 points and 35 rebounds through the first three games of the Eastern Conference Finals. No Celtics player has collected that many points and that many rebounds in the first three games of a playoff series since Larry Bird had 89 points and 39 rebounds in the first three games of the 1981 Eastern Conference Finals vs. Philadelphia.
Garnett's numbers are impressive against any team, to be sure, but unheard-of against the defense-minded Pistons. Get a load of this: The last player to collect that many points and that many rebounds over the first three games of a playoff series against the Pistons was Bob Pettit of the St. Louis Hawks in the Western Division Semifinals in 1963. (The Hall-of-Famer had 109 points and 55 rebounds in the first three games of that series.)
CELTICS HOLD DOWN PISTONS
You knew it would be a bad night for the Pistons when, as of the moment that the buzzer sounded ending the first quarter of Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Pistons had scored fewer points (17) against the Celtics than the Tigers had scored runs (19) in their game against the Twins, some miles away.
Things got no better for the Pistons, who dropped a 94-80 decision. Chauncey Billups and Tayshaun Prince combined for only 10 points, while shooting only 17.6 percent from the floor (based on 3-of-17 shooting). That's the second-lowest shooting percentage produced by Billups and Prince in any of the 106 playoff games that they have played as teammates; they went 1-for-12 from the floor in a loss to the Nets in the 2004 playoffs.
RED SOX HELD TO ONE HIT BY A's
The Red Sox and the Athletics have been playing one another since 1901, nearly 1,900 games, and in none of them have the Sox been held without a hit. That streak nearly came to an end on Saturday night, but David Ortiz's seventh-inning single ruined Justin Duchscherer's no-no bid. Duchscherer and Huston Street did not allow another hit, and Oakland won, 3-0.
So there was no major history at the Coliseum on Saturday night, but it was the first time in nearly 77 years that the Athletics in Oakland, Kansas City or Philadelphia had limited the Red Sox to one hit. The last A's pitcher to do it: George Earnshaw, at Fenway Park, on Sept. 5, 1931.
OUTFIELDER-TO-CATCHER DP DEFEATS PHILLIES
"It's a tough way to lose a game," said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. And an unusual way.
Houston left fielder Darin Erstad caught Shane Victorino's fly ball and his throw to catcher Brad Ausmus nailed the potential tying run, Pedro Feliz, at the plate for the final out in the Astros' thrilling 4-3 victory. There have been more than 20,000 regular-season major-league games played since the year 2000, and this was only the sixth of them that ended with the potential tying run being snuffed out via an outfielder-to-catcher double play.
ORDONEZ: A RARE 2-4-6 GAME
Magglio Ordonez's boxscore line in Saturday's 19-3 thumping of the Twins included two home runs, four runs scored and six runs batted in. He's the first major leaguer to fill a boxscore in that manner this season.
Since baseball began keeping track of RBIs in 1920, only two other Tigers players have ever had a 2-4-6 game, with at least two homers, at least four runs scored, and at least six RBIs. Ty Cobb? Hank Greenberg? Al Kaline? Nope, nope and nope. The two previous Tigers players to turn that trick were somewhat less renowned: Bobby Higginson (three homers, four runs, seven RBIs against the Mets in 1997) and Roger Cedeno (two homers, four runs, six RBIs against the Yankees in 2001).
3 PACKS PER DAY?
Why does Jim Leyland, by his own words, do three packs per day? Maybe his team's up-and-down offense is a factor.
The Tigers scored 19 runs in Saturday's game vs. Minnesota, the second time this season they have reached that total. (Only one other major league team, the Cubs, has even one such game.) And they have scored 10-or-more runs in seven games this season; only the Rangers (nine) have had more such games. But then there are the 12 games in which the Tigers have scored either no runs or one run; only the Royals (13) have had more games of that type this season.
BIG UNIT FANS 10 IN 6 INNINGS
Don't look now, but Randy Johnson is getting back on track. The Big Unit struck out 10 Atlanta batters in his six innings, though the Braves went on to win the game, 3-1, on Jeff Francoeur's walkoff homer.
It was the 210th double-digit strikeout performance in Johnson's big-league career, five shy of Nolan Ryan's all-time record after some thought that 209 would be the Unit's final total. Johnson's last such game came a bit over a year ago: He fanned 10 batters in 5 2/3 innings at Pittsburgh on May 20, 2007. And think about this: Johnson now has exactly 100 more double-digit strikeout games than Roger Clemens amassed despite the fact that Roger made 707 career starts compared to Randy's total of 564.
At the age of 44 years, 257 days, Johnson became the oldest big-leaguer with a 10-K game since the final one of Ryan's career, on Aug. 6, 1992, when Ryan was 45 years, 188 days.
WEAVER TOPS THE LIST
Jered Weaver's eight scoreless innings in Saturday's 2-0 Angels win at Chicago lowered his career ERA to the White Sox to 0.34 that's one earned run in 26 2/3 innings. And that is now the lowest ERA by any active pitcher against any major-league team (minimum: 25 innings); he supplanted Troy Percival, who owns an ERA of 0.41 in 44 1/3 innings vs. Minnesota.
SILVA CHANNELS SINATRA: RIDIN' HIGH IN APRIL, SHOT DOWN IN MAY
Carlos Silva allowed seven runs in six innings as the Mariners lost for the fifth time in five games at Yankee Stadium this season. Silva, 3-0 this April, is now 0-4 in May, and that's not just a one-year thing: His career numbers show a 14-5 (.737) record in April, 6-17 (.261) in May. Silva is the only pitcher in big-league history with at least 15 decisions in each of those months whose career winning percentage is over .700 in April but below .300 in May!
EVANS: 3 DOUBLES IN BIG-LEAGUE DEBUT
Nick Evans had three doubles in his major-league debut as the Mets won, 9-2, in Denver, becoming the fifth player over the past 11 years to collect three extra-base hits in his debut game. Oakland's Ben Grieve did it in 1997 (like Evans, he had three doubles), Craig Wilson of the White Sox (two doubles and a homer) did it in 1998, Kansas City's Mark Quinn (a double and two homers) in 1999, and Kazuo Matsui (two doubles and a homer) with the Mets in 2004. (But prior to Grieve, no major-leaguer had debuted that way since Ed Freed of the Phillies in 1942.)
WILKERSON SLAMS ROYALS
Brad Wilkerson's first-inning grand-slam homer provided all the support that Jesse Litsch needed as Litsch threw a 6-0 complete-game victory over the Royals.
For the Royals, this grand-slam stuff is getting a bit wearying. Wilkerson's slam was the fifth allowed by the Royals this season in only 36 bases-loaded at-bats mind you, a home run rate of one every 7.2 at-bats. Casey Blake, Josh Hamilton, Mike Lowell and J.D. Drew had powered the previous four-run homers vs. Kansas City. That ties the most grand-slam homers that any team has allowed over its first 50 games of a season in American League history a record shared by several teams, including last year's Royals! (The major league record is six, allowed by the Giants in 1996.)
BAY'S FIRST WALKOFF RBI
Jason Bay had driven in 412 other runs for the Pirates over the past six seasons, but his 14th-inning hit that drove in Freddy Sanchez to beat the Cubs, 5-4, provided Bay with the first walkoff RBI of his major-league career.
LONGORIA'S FIRST 2-HOMER GAME
Evan Longoria's two home runs paced the Rays' 11-4 win over the Orioles; the rookie third baseman joined three other rookies who have multiple-homer games this season (Jacoby Ellsbury; Geovany Soto; and Joey Votto, who hit three in a game). Longoria also became the youngest major-leaguer to have a multi-homer game this season.
IT'S ALL RED WINGS IN GAME ONE
The Red Wings beat the Penguins, 4-0, in Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals. That gave Detroit a leg up in the series, but based on recent history, the Red Wings might have won the Cup even before the series started, just by being at home for Game One! The team with home ice for the first game of the Finals won the Cup in each of the past nine Finals (1998-2007).
But believe it or not, that's only the second-longest such streak in Finals history. The team that played Game One at home won the Cup for 14 straight years from 1953 through 1966!
SAMUELSSON DOES IT BY HIMSELF - TWICE!
Mikael Samuelsson scored a pair of unassisted goals for Detroit in Game One. He's the first player to pot a pair of unassisted goals in one Finals game since Mark Messier did it on May 30, 1985, for Edmonton vs. Philadelphia.