Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Daniel Briere's power-play goal in overtime gave the Sabres a 2-1 Game 6 victory and set up a winner-take-all game in Raleigh, N.C., on Thursday night. He got the idea by watching Carolina's Cory Stillman, whose power-play goal in overtime ended Game 5 on Sunday.
It's the first time in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs that consecutive games in the same playoff series have ended with power-play goals in overtime.
• Brett Hedican's goal for the Hurricanes, scored with fewer than five minutes remaining in the third period, tied the score 1-1 and sent the game toward overtime. Had Buffalo held on for the 1-0 win, it would have been the first such score of these playoffs. In 2004, the last year of the "Old NHL," there were no fewer than six 1-0 games. The last playoff year in which there were no 1-0 games was 1993.
• Reversal of fortune: The five teams that went into Tuesday's games with the five best records in the major leagues all lost: the Tigers, White Sox, Cardinals, Mets and Red Sox.
Tuesday was just the seventh day on which that -- the top five teams in the majors each losing -- has happened over the past seven seasons.
• Brad Hawpe's double leading off the eighth inning ruined the no-hit bid by Chris Young of the Padres, and the longest stretch of major league games without a no-hitter continues. (There have been nearly 5,100 games played since the last one, Randy Johnson's perfect game against the Braves on May 18, 2004.) Young was the first major leaguer this season to take a potential no-hitter into the eighth inning.
The Padres have played 5,921 games in their history without a no-hitter, the second-most games among franchises that have had no no-nos. The Mets are the leaders: 7,047 games with nary a no-no.
• Vernon Wells and Troy Glaus entered Tuesday night's game against the Red Sox sharing the major league lead in multiple-homer games. Each of them (along with five other players) had had three such games this season.
By the third inning, Wells had climbed atop the leaderboard by himself, as he homered in each of his first two at-bats against Josh Beckett. He stayed by himself for a half-hour or so, until Glaus came up in the fifth inning and smashed his second homer of the game, with Beckett also surrendering both of those. Wells later added a third home run.
That gave Toronto players 10 multiple-homer games this season (Shea Hillenbrand and Lyle Overbay have one each), the highest total for any big league team. (Every major league team except the Mariners has had one of its players have a multiple-homer game this season.)
• Jose Castillo homered in his fourth straight game, the Pirates' 12-1 win over the Brewers. But let's not damn him with faint praise: The guy went 4-for-4 with two homers and six RBI.
Who was the last player to have at least two homers, six RBI and four hits, while "batting 1.000" to lead the Pirates to a victory? Not Barry Bonds. Not Bobby Bonilla. Not Dave Parker. It was Pops himself, Willie Stargell, who went 5-for-5 with three homers and seven RBI in a 13-6 win at Wrigley Field on May 22, 1968.
• Andre Ethier has been in the majors for less than a month, but he hit his fourth home run in the Dodgers' 8-3 win at Atlanta. In April of last year, Jason Repko hit four home runs in the month of his big league debut, but before that, no Dodgers rookie had done that since Dick Gray belted four homers in April 1958, the Dodgers' first year on the West Coast.
• The Athletics took a 7-6 lead over the Royals into the ninth inning, but Kansas City scored one in the ninth and one in the tenth to take an 8-7 decision. Believe it or not, the Royals have joined the Nationals as the only major league teams to have won two road games this season in which they trailed going to the ninth inning.
• C.C. Sabathia spotted Chicago a 3-0 lead but earned the win as the Indians scored four runs in the third inning and held on for a 4-3 win. That lifted Sabathia's career record against the White Sox to 10-3; the resulting .769 career winning percentage against the Sox is the highest by any Cleveland pitcher against the Indians' 106-year rivals since Wes Ferrell went 17-5 (.773) vs. Chicago from 1929-33.
• Miguel Batista was not dominant -- he allowed nine hits and struck out three -- but he went all the way in the Diamondbacks' 7-2 win over the Mets. It was the 43rd complete game in the majors this season, but only the second in which a pitcher allowed as many as nine hits while striking out as few as three batters. (On May 1, Seattle's Joel Piniero defeated the Twins 8-2, allowing nine hits and striking out no one.)
How did Batista do it? He got the Mets to go 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position. You have to go back nearly 18 years to find the last major league pitcher who held opponents hitless in at least 15 at-bats with runners in scoring position. The last to do it: Scott Bankhead, who threw a complete-game shutout for the Mariners at Fenway Park on Aug. 16, 1988, holding the Red Sox hitless in 15 such at-bats.
• The Mets' highly touted former first-round draft choice Lastings Milledge made his major league debut Tuesday, 55 days after his 21st birthday. Milledge's debut might have been the most anticipated by a Mets position player since Darryl Strawberry's in 1983. And get this: Strawberry made his debut in May of that year, 55 days after his 21st birthday!
Milledge is literally one up on Straw: While Darryl went 0-for-4 in his debut game, Milledge went 1-for-4.
• Leadoff hitter Hanley Ramirez had a hit and a run scored, No. 2 hitter Dan Uggla had two hits and scored twice, and No. 3 hitter Miguel Cabrera had a three-run homer and an RBI double in the Marlins' 5-3 victory over the Giants.
Stump your friends with this one: This season, which National League team has gotten the highest batting average from its 1-2-3 hitters? None other than the 17-33 Marlins, whose hitters in the top three slots are batting a combined .316!
• One of the season's oddest streaks: With their 11-6 victory in 11 innings at Detroit, the Yankees have won the second game in each of their past 10 series, having scored 96 runs in those 10 games.
• The NBA has seen its share of close games during the 2006 playoffs, but in their 106-86 win over Dallas in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals, the Suns became the first team in these playoffs to win a game by 20 or more points after having been tied or trailing at the end of the first quarter.
Dallas' four other losses in the 2006 playoffs had all come by margins of five or fewer points.