Date: May 9, 2009

Elias Says...

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

NBA

MAGIC FROM THE FLOOR

The Magic made 39 of 66 shots, 59 percent in its win over the Celtics on Friday. That's the highest shooting percentage in a postseason game for Orlando and the highest against the Celtics since the Hornets made 61 percent in a 1993 playoff game.

Orlando Magic

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Bryant

KOBE PASSES HAKEEM, TIES KARL

Kobe Bryant scored 33 points on Friday, his 54th 30-point game in the playoffs. That moved him past Hakeem Olajuwon and into a tie with Karl Malone for the sixth-most 30-point games in NBA postseason history. Kobe is still not even halfway to the top though; Michael Jordan had 109 30-point games in the playoffs.

Los Angeles Lakers

MLB

SHUTOUTS GALORE

There were four shutouts in the American League on Friday: Tigers against Indians, Yankees against Orioles, Twins against Mariners and Rangers against White Sox. That ties the most shutouts on one day in the American League during the era of the designated hitter (since 1973).

CC Sabathia, Justin Verlander and Matt Harrison all went the distance to record shutouts. They're the first trio to throw shutouts in American League game on one day since August 7, 1996 (Kevin Appier, Tom Gordon and Rich Robertson).

Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers

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Verlander

VERLANDER IN A GROOVE

Justin Verlander has won his last three starts while allowing only one run and striking out 31 batters. He's the first pitcher in Tigers history to win three consecutive starts while allowing only one run and striking out 30 or more batters.

Verlander struck out 11 batters in his shutout against the Indians on Friday. He was the first visiting player to shut out Cleveland with 10 or more strikeouts since Roger Clemens in 1992.

Detroit Tigers

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Harrison

HARRISON BLANKS WHITE SOX

Matt Harrison blanked the White Sox at US Cellular Field on Friday. Over the last five seasons (since 2005) the only other pitcher to shut out the White Sox at home was Jeff Weaver in 2007.

Texas Rangers

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Sabathia

SABATHIA CAPS SHUTOUT IN STYLE

CC Sabathia struck out the last three batters to complete a shutout on Friday. He's the first Yankees pitcher to end a shutout by striking out the final three batters since Ron Guidry in 1984.

Sabathia ended a streak of 414 games without a shutout by a Yankees pitcher, the longest drought in team history. The previous mark, and the only one even half as long, was a 233-game stretch from 2003 to 2005.

New York Yankees

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Rodriguez

A-ROD HITS HOMER ON FIRST PITCH OF HIS SEASON

Alex Rodriguez hit a home run on the first pitch he saw this season. The only other player who homered on the first pitch he saw this year was Jeff Francoeur on April 5. It was the second time that A-Rod has hit a homer in his first at-bat of a season; he also did so in 2006 (after drawing a walk in his first plate appearance that year).

New York Yankees

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Bay

BAY A BEAST WITH MEN ON BASE

Jason Bay hit another three-run home run on Friday, giving him four three-run shots this year to go along with four two-run homers and one solo blast. That's the most multiple-run homers for any major league player this season.

Boston Red Sox

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Rodriguez

THE NEW WANDY PITCHES WELL ON THE ROAD

Wandy Rodriguez threw eight scoreless innings Friday, improving his road ERA to 2.42 this season. Over his first four seasons (2005-2008), Rodriguez's road ERA was 5.61, highest in the National League over that span (minimum: 250 IP).

Houston Astros

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Ramirez

TEST - TROUBLE FOR TYNES?

Hanley Ramirez scored two runs for the fourth consecutive games as the Marlins beat the Rockies, 3-1, on Saturday night. Ramirez is first major-league player to score at least two runs in each of four straight games this season and only the second player in Marlins history to do it. Mike Lowell had a four-game multiple-run streak for Florida in 2004 (April 27-30).

Florida Marlins

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Hamels

HAMELS HAS OWNED THE BRAVES

With his win tonight Cole Hamels is 7-1 against the Braves over the last three seasons. No other major league pitcher has more than four wins against Atlanta over that time.

Philadelphia Phillies

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Cueto

CUETO CONTINUES HOT STREAK

Johnny Cueto has gone seven or more innings while allowing no more than one run in each of his last four starts--the longest streak of that kind by a Reds pitcher since Tim Belcher had a four-game run in 1992.

Cincinnati Reds

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Delgado

DELGADO TURNS IT AROUND AGAINST PIRATES

Carlos Delgado went 3 for 4 with five RBIs in the Mets win over the Pirates on Friday. Entering the game Delgado had hit .186 (13 for 70) against the Pirates since joining the Mets in 2006, his lowest average against any team for the Mets (minimum: 20 at-bats).

New York Mets

HINCH THE YOUNGEST SINCE LARUSSA...WILL HE LAST AS LONG?

A.J. Hinch, the Diamondbacks new manager, who is 34 years old, is the youngest major league manager since Tony LaRussa took over the 1979 White Sox during the season at age 34. (LaRussa was then a younger 34 than Hinch is now.)

Arizona Diamondbacks

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Palmer

PATIENCE PAYS OFF FOR PALMER

30-year old rookie Matt Palmer improved to 30 in the Angels' win on Friday. Since 1950 only three other rookies who were 30 or older started a season 30: Chris Michalak (2001), Robert Ellis (2001) and Jose Contreras (2003).2003

Anaheim Angels

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Billingsley

BILLINGSLEY'S STREAK ENDS

The Giants hung an L on Chad Billingsley Friday, ending his streak of undefeated starts at 11. Entering the day Billingsley had been tied with A.J. Burnett for the longest current undefeated streak in the major leagues.

Los Angeles Dodgers

NHL

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Jokinen

ANOTHER GAME-WINNER FOR JOKINEN

Jussi Jokinen had the game-winning goal in Carolina's win over Boston. It was Jokinen's third game-winner of the 2009 playoffs. Only three other players in Hurricanes franchise historyincluding Hartfordscored three-or-more game-winners in one playoff year: Rod Brind'Amour (four in 2006), Cory Stillman (three in 2006) and Ron Francis (three in 2002).

Carolina Hurricanes

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Staal

STAAL SHOULD JUST SCORE IN EVERY GAME

Eric Staal scored the first goal for Carolina tonight. The Hurricanes are 70 in the 2009 playoffs when he scored a goal, 04 when he does not.

Carolina Hurricanes

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Backstrom

A QUICK ONE FOR BACKSTROM

Nicklas Backstrom scored at 0:36 of the first period Friday, the second-fastest goal to start a playoff game in Capitals history. Mike Gartner scored 15 seconds into a game on April 8, 1987.

Backstrom's goal was the fastest goal from the start of a game in this year's playoffs. Two other players have scored a first-minute goal in the 2009 postseason: Montreal's Andrei Kostitsyn (Game 4 vs. Boston, 39 seconds) and Anaheim's Corey Perry (Game 4 vs. Detroit, 42 seconds). In all three instances the team that scored in the first minute lost the game.

Washington Capitals

THE CURSE OF SCORING FIRST

You probably wouldn't blame Capitals fans if they groaned when Nicklas Backstrom scored 36 seconds into Friday's game to give Washington a 10 lead over the Penguins. Because as in each of the previous three games in the Caps-Pens series, the team that scored the first goal ended up losing, with Pittsburgh evening the series at two games apiece with a 53 victory. In fact, in the 16 games played so far in second round of this year's playoffs the team that scored first has won only six times. The team that opened the scoring won 31 of the 44 games in the first round this year.

Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals


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