Elias Says ...

6/6/2006 - MLB NHL

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:

• Carlos Zambrano allowed only one hit in eight innings and hit a home run in the Cubs' 8-0 win against the Astros. The last pitcher to hit a home run in a game in which he threw seven-or-more innings and allowed no more than one hit was Montreal's Floyd Youmans (a complete-game one-hitter against the Phillies) on June 8, 1986. The last pitcher to hit a home run and throw a no-hitter was Rick Wise of the Phillies in 1971.

• On Monday night, for the second time this season, Ken Griffey Jr. hit a game-winning come-from-behind home run in the ninth inning (or later) of a game. He also did that on May 11, in an 11-inning victory against Washington. Prior to this season, Griffey hit only two home runs of that type in his major-league career -- one in 1990 and one in 2000.

• The Yankees took a 13-2 lead after three innings and cruised to a 13-5 victory over the Red Sox. It was the most runs that either team ever scored in the first three innings of any of the 1,961 games between the two since the Yankees franchise moved to New York in 1903. The previous high was 11 runs, done four times by the Yankees and once by the Red Sox.

• The Yankees batted around in both the second and third innings, becoming only the third team to send at least nine men to the plate in back-to-back innings in a game this season. Arizona did that against San Francisco on April 17 and Florida did it vs. Pittsburgh on May 14.

• Melky Cabrera scored in each of the first three innings, becoming the first player to do that since Colorado's Todd Helton on Sept. 20 of last season in a 20-1 win against San Diego.

• Livan Hernandez pitched six innings and earned the win at Atlanta. Hernandez entered the game having lost his last 11 decisions against the Braves, which was the longest current losing streak by any active pitcher against one team.

• Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado both homered in the first inning in the Mets' 4-1 victory over the Dodgers. It's the only time in the last two seasons that the visiting team has come into Dodger Stadium and hit two home runs in the top of the first. The last team to do that was the Giants (Ray Durham and Pedro Feliz) on Oct. 3, 2004, en route to a 10-0 win.

• Mets' reliever Pedro Feliciano struck out Nomar Garciaparra in the eighth inning, breaking Nomar's career-long streak of 102 consecutive plate appearances without a whiff. The only other player to compile a streak of 100 PAs without a strikeout over the last eight seasons is Juan Pierre. Pierre had streaks of 147 in 2004 and 143 in 2001. The only other Dodgers player to reach the 100 mark over the last 20 years was Mickey Hatcher (116 in 1988).

• Ryan Howard hit his 20th home run of the year on Monday night, in the Phillies' 57th game of the season. It's the fastest that any reigning Rookie of the Year has ever reached 20 homers. Howard broke the standard set by Mark McGwire, who hit his 20th home run in 1988 in Oakland's 59th game

• Daniel Cabrera returned from the disabled list and threw five shutout innings in Baltimore's 4-0 win against Toronto. Cabrera threw 101 pitches. It was the second time this season that Cabrera threw 100+ pitches through the first five innings of a game while not allowing a run in those five innings. No other pitcher in the American League has done that even once this season.

• The Angels had 11 hits but failed to score in their 4-0 loss to Tampa Bay. It was the most hits for a major-league team in a game in which it was shut out this season.

• Rod Brind'Amour scored with 31.1 seconds remaining in regulation to break a 4-4 tie and win Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals for Carolina. It was only the fifth time in Stanley Cup finals history that a go-ahead goal was scored in the last minute of the third period. The others to do it were Mario Lemieux against Chicago in 1992 (19:47 of the third period), Bobby Orr against Philadelphia in 1974 (19:38), Alex Delvecchio against Toronto in 1964 (19:43) and Bob Pulford against Detroit in 1964 (19:58).

• Carolina became only the sixth team to win a Stanley Cup finals game after trailing by at least three goals. The last team to do that was Pittsburgh on May 26, 1992, against Chicago.

• Chris Pronger's penalty-shot goal was the first in Stanley Cup finals history, though it was the ninth penalty shot attempt in a finals game. Before Pronger, the last player to attempt a penalty shot in the finals was Vancouver's Pavel Bure against the Rangers' Mike Richter in 1994. The last three before Bure all involved the Oilers: Edmonton's Petr Klima took a shot against Boston in 1990, and Oilers goaltender Grant Fuhr stopped penalty shot attempts in consecutive games in the 1985 finals against the Flyers (by Ron Sutter and Dave Poulin).

• Ty Conklin became the first goaltender to make his NHL postseason debut in a Stanley Cup finals game since 1961, when Detroit's Hank Bassen relieved Terry Sawchuk.

• Edmonton did not face Carolina during the regular season. This is only the second time since the NHL took sole possession of the Stanley Cup in 1927 that the teams who met in the Cup finals didn't play each other during the regular season. The only other one was the 1995 finals between the Red Wings and Devils. The 1994-95 season was shortened to 48 games due to labor problems and the schedule was adjusted so that no interconference games were played.

• Cam Ward was the first rookie to start a Stanley Cup finals game since Ron Hextall started all seven games for the Flyers in 1987 against Edmonton. Only one rookie goaltender has played in a Stanley Cup finals game since then. Manny Fernandez played 17 minutes in relief of Ed Belfour for Dallas in Game 1 of the 2000 Stanley Cup finals against the Devils.

• On Monday night, Mark Recchi played in his first Stanley Cup finals game since Game 6 of the 1991 finals for Pittsburgh against Minnesota. Recchi's Stanley Cup finals appearances 15 years apart with none inbetween is the longest gap for any player in NHL history. Four others played in Stanley Cup finals at least 12 years apart with none in between: Dino Ciccarelli (14 years, 1981-1995), Brett Hull (13, 1986-1999), Johnny Bucyk (12, 1958-1970) and Glen Wesley (12, 1990-2002).