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MAVERICKS WIN FIRST TWO GAMES IN LOS ANGELES
From Elias: The Mavericks defeated the Lakers to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series on Wednesday night. The Mavericks are the first team to beat the Lakers on their homecourt in the first two games of a playoff series since Portland did it in the Conference Finals in 1977. Prior to this series, the Lakers had hosted the first two games of a playoff series 60 times since the last time they dropped the first two games at home.
NOAH FILLS UP THE STAT SHEET
From Elias: Joakim Noah registered 19 points, 14 rebounds and three steals to help lead the Bulls to a victory over the Hawks in Game 2 of their playoff series on Wednesday. Only two other Bulls players have reached those levels in those categories in a postseason game: Michael Jordan in 1989 (40 points, 15 rebounds and six steals) and Clifford Ray in 1974 (19 points, 15 rebounds and three steals).
GRIFFIN NAMED NBA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
From Elias: Blake Griffin was named the NBA's Rookie of the Year on Wednesday afternoon. Griffin had 47 games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers during the season. Since the 1970-71 season, only one other rookie had as many 20-point/10-rebound games as Griffin. Shaquille O'Neal had 52 games with 20+ points and 10+ rebounds in his rookie season in 1992-93.
ETHIER'S HITTING STREAK PUT ON HOLD
From Elias: Andre Ethier, he of a current 29-game hitting streak, was not in the lineup Wednesday afternoon as the Dodgers hosted the Cubs, apparently the victim of a balky elbow. Since 1941, the year of Joe DiMaggio's record 56-game hitting streak, only two other major leaguers have missed a game while on a streak as long as Ethier's. In 1997, Sandy Alomar Jr. rested for a day while at 29 games; he then hit safely in his next game (the day before the All-Star break) before going 0-for-4 in his first game after the break. And in 2003, Albert Pujols took a 30-game hitting streak to the bench, missing four games with flu-like symptoms; in his first game back, he went 0-for-5.
PERFECT DAY FOR MCLOUTH
From Elias: Nate McLouth had a day he will never forget on Wednesday. McLouth went 3-for-3 with a walk in four plate appearances in the first game of Atlanta's double-header sweep over Milwaukee and then went 2-for-2 with two walks in four trips to the plate in the nightcap. Over the last 65 years, only one other player has reached base via hit, walk or hit by pitch in every plate appearance of a doubleheader with at least four trips to the plate in each game. On September 19, 1992, Ryne Sandberg went 3-for-3 with a walk in four plate appearances in the first game of a doubleheader and then followed that up by going 2-for-2 with three walks in five trips to the plate in game two against the Cardinals.
HUDSON TOSSES HIS THIRD ONE-HIT SHUTOUT
From Elias: Tim Hudson hurled a complete-game one-hit shutout in Atlanta's 8-0 victory over Milwaukee in the second game of a doubleheader on Wednesday night. It is the third time in his career that Hudson has pitched a one-hit shutout. Only one other active pitcher has pitched as many one-hit shutouts as Hudson: Mark Buehrle (three, two of which were no-hitters).
PHILLIES ROOKIE SHINES AGAIN
From Elias: Phillies rookie Vance Worley followed his six shutout inning performance in his first start of the season with six innings of one-run ball and earned the victory in Philadelphia's 7-4 win over the Nationals on Wednesday night. Worley is the first Phillies rookie pitcher to win each of his first two starts of a season while pitching at least six innings and allowing one-or-fewer run in each start since Marty Bystrom in 1980.
REDS: ONE HIT THROUGH EIGHT; STUN ASTROS IN NINTH
From Elias: The Reds scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to erase a 2-0 deficit and defeat the Astros by a score of 3-2 on Wednesday afternoon. Cincinnati entered the ninth inning with only one hit off of Houston pitching. Only one other team over the last 20 years has come back to win a game in the ninth inning after trailing by at least two runs and having one hit or less through the first eight innings of the game. On August 29, 2003, Seattle trailed Baltimore 2-0 with only one hit entering the bottom of the ninth inning before scoring three runs to win the game 3-2.
It was the second time this season that Houston has lost a game in which it led by two-or-more runs entering the ninth. Only one other team in the majors has lost two games in that fashion this season: the White Sox.
DOUMIT SLAMS PADRES
From Elias: Ryan Doumit hit a grand slam home run to highlight a six-run third in the Pirates' 7-4 victory over the Padres on Wednesday night. Doumit has now hit three grand-slam home runs since the start of the 2009 season, the most for any catcher in the major-leagues over that span.
STANTON'S NINTH INNING HOME RUN LIFTS MARLINS
From Elias: Mike Stanton hit a tie-breaking two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to lead the Marlins to an 8-7 win over the Cardinals on Wednesday. Over the last 14 seasons, only three players have hit a home run to put his team ahead in the ninth inning or later at a younger age than Stanton (21 years, 177 days old): Jay Bruce on May 31, 2008, Prince Fielder on August 31, 2005 and Miguel Cabrera on June 20 and September 20 in 2003.
CAHILL RUNS RECORD TO 5-0
From Elias: Trevor Cahill pitched seven strong innings to lead the A's to a 3-1 win over the Indians on Wednesday night. Cahill is 5-0 with a 1.79 ERA through his first seven starts of the season. Since the A's moved to Oakland in 1968, only one other pitcher has started 5-0 or better with an ERA under two through his first seven starts of a season with the team: Dave Stewart in 1990 (6-0 with a 1.46 ERA through seven starts).
LIND STAYS HOT
From Elias: Adam Lind went 4-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs to help lead the Blue Jays to a 3-2 win over the Rays on Wednesday night. Lind has now produced at least two hits and an RBI in each of his last four games. The last Blue Jays player to do that in four straight games prior to Lind was Lyle Overbay in August of 2008.
SCHERZER FINALLY HITS THE .500 MARK
From Elias: Max Scherzer hurled eight shutout innings and registered nine strikeouts to lead Detroit to a 4-0 victory over the Yankees on Wednesday night. Scherzer lifted his career record to the .500 mark (26-26) with his win on Wednesday, which is no small accomplishment considering he lost his first seven decisions in the majors. There are 62 pitchers other than Scherzer who began their major-league careers with seven straight losses. Only eight of those pitchers ever reached the .500 mark (most noteworthy among them: Wilbur Wood).
NEW YORK TEAMS PUT UP GOOSE EGGS
From Elias: The Yankees dropped a 4-0 decision to the Tigers in Detroit while the Mets were losing by a 2-0 score to the Giants at Citi Field on Wednesday night. That marked only the fourth time since the 1990 season that both New York baseball teams were shut out on the same day. That also happened on August 31, 2004 (Mets lost 5-0 to Florida; Yanks 22-0 to Cleveland), September 4, 2004 (Mets lost 7-0 to Philadelphia; Yanks 7-0 to Baltimore) and June 23, 2009 (Mets lost 3-0 to St. Louis; Yanks 4-0 to Atlanta).
EARLY GOALS LIFT BRUINS
From Elias: The Bruins got goals by Zdeno Chara and David Krejci in the first 63 seconds of the first period and then cruised to a 5-1 win in Game 3 of their series against the Flyers on Wednesday night. They were the fastest two goals by the Bruins from the start of any playoff game in team history and the quickest two goals from the start of a postseason game by an NHL team since 1998, when Sergei Fedorov and Brendan Shanahan scored goals in the first 61 seconds for the Red Wings in the third game of their series against Phoenix.
LIGHTNING SWEEP TOP SEEDED CAPITALS
From Elias: The Lightning completed a four-game sweep of the number one seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Washington Capitals, with a 5-3 victory in Tampa on Wednesday night. It's the second consecutive year in which the top seed in a conference has been swept out of the NHL playoffs. The Sharks were eliminated in four games by the Blackhawks in last year's Western Conference Final. Before that, no NHL team with the best record in its conference had suffered that fate since the Red Wings lost the 1995 Stanley Cup Final to the Devils in four straight games.
SETOGUCHI COMPLETES THE HAT TRICK IN OT
From Elias: Devin Setoguchi's third goal of the night was the overtime winner for the Sharks in Game 3 of their series against the Red Wings. Setoguchi is only the third NHL player in the last 15 years to record a hat trick in a postseason game, including an overtime goal. The other players to do that since 1997 were Anaheim's Joffrey Lupul in a four-goal performance at Colorado in 2006 (Game 3), and Washington's Nicklas Backstrom against Montreal last year (Game 2).
BRUINS AND SHARKS TAKE 3-0 LEADS
From Elias: The Bruins and Sharks took three-games-to-none leads in their second-round playoff series with wins on Wednesday night: Boston over Philadelphia and San Jose (in overtime) against Detroit. It's the second consecutive year in which the Bruins have jumped out to a 3-0 series lead against the Flyers (they did so in the second round last year as well, only to lose the next four games), and the same can be said for the Sharks versus the Red Wings (San Jose won its 2010 second-round matchup with Detroit in five games). Boston and San Jose are the first NHL teams to take a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven series against the same opponent in consecutive years since the Canadiens did so against the Hartford Whalers in both 1988 and 1989.