Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• The Edmonton Oilers staved off elimination in a way never seen before in the Stanley Cup finals -- on a shorthanded overtime goal. A team had won in overtime when facing elimination nine previous times, most recently when the Lightning did it in Calgary in 2004.
In fact, this was the first Stanley Cup finals game to end on a shorthanded goal. Six other playoff games had ended like that. The Sabres' Jason Pominville did it earlier this year against the Senators, but before that it had not happened since Tony Granato did it in 1990.
Fernando Pisani also scored in 16 seconds into the first period. The only other player with a first-minute goal and an OT goal in a Stanley Cup finals game is Sid Smith, who did it for the Maple Leafs against the Canadiens in the first game of the 1951 finals.
• There have been 46 one-goal games in the 2006 NHL playoffs, tying the NHL record for most one-goal games in one playoff year. There were also 46 one-goal games in the 2001 playoffs.
• Sami Al Jaber, who scored the second goal for Saudi Arabia in its 2-2 draw with Tunisia, will forever be associated with some of the greatest players in sports history -- at least in this regard: Al Jaber also scored goals in the 1994 and 1998 World Cups. Only four other players scored goals in World Cups 12 years apart: Pele, 1958-70; Uwe Seeler, 1958-70; Diego Maradona, 1982-94; and Michael Laudrup, 1986-98.
• Al Jaber scored two minutes after entering the game as a substitute, the quickest go-ahead goal by a sub in World Cup history. Three players scored go-ahead goals three minutes after entering as a substitute: Saura (Spain vs. Yugoslavia, 1982), Eugene Ekeke (Cameroon vs. England, 1990) and Hiroaki Morishima (Japan vs. Tunisia, 2002).
• Oliver Neuville scored in stoppage time to give Germany a 1-0 victory over Poland. In the 2002 World Cup, Neuville scored an 88th-minute goal in Germany's 1-0 win over Paraguay. Neuville is the first player in World Cup history to score after the 80th minute in two different 1-0 games. In fact, the only player even to score in the second half in two 1-0 games was Geoff Hurst, who did it for England against Argentina (1966) and Romania (1970).
Four other players have scored a goal in the 90th minute or later in a regulation 1-0 game (no extra periods): Daniel Fonseca (Uruguay vs. Korea, 1990), Ove Grahn (Sweden vs. Uruguay, 1970), Eladio Rojas (Chile vs. Yugoslavia, 1962) and Joaquin Peiro (Spain vs. Mexico, 1962).
• David Villa was subbed out seven minutes after scoring his second goal, with 35 minutes to play. No other player in World Cup history was pulled from a match with more than 20 minutes to play while seeking a hat trick (i.e., with two goals already scored).
• Ukraine lost to Spain 4-0 in its first World Cup match, equaling the worst defeat over the last 50 years by a debutant. The other teams to lose by at least four goals in their first World Cup game: Korea to Hungary in 1954 (9-0), Indonesia to Hungary in 1938 (6-0), Greece to Argentina in 1994 (4-0) and Bolivia to Yugoslavia in 1930 (4-0).
• The Mets scored two runs in the top of the first and added seven more to defeat the Phillies 9-3. The Mets have now won their last seven games, having started each of them by scoring in the top of the first. That ties the major-league record for consecutive wins, all on the road, scoring in the first inning in each game, done previously by the 1939 Yankees.
• Coors Field, it's not: The Rockies defeated the Nationals at RFK Stadium 14-8. It was only the fourth time in 915 games at RFK in which the teams combined for at least 20 runs. The Senators did it three times, with the A's in 1963, Orioles in 1965 and Royals in 1970.
There are 79 ballparks in major-league history that have hosted at least 500 games. The only place where the teams combined for at least 20 runs in a lower percentage of the games was at the original Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, which was a major-league ballpark from 1901 to 1908. In 531 games there in the thick of the deadball era, there was never a 20-run game.
• Jeremy Bonderman recorded the 500th strikeout of his career Wednesday. At the age of 23 years, 229 days, Bonderman is the youngest pitcher to reach that milestone since Jose Rijo got there in 1988 at 23 years, 118 days.
• Justin Morneau hit a grand slam for the Twins after Jason Kubel had hit a game-ending granny for the Twins on Tuesday. The Twins have hit a grand slam in consecutive games only two previous times in franchise history (including their years as the Washington Senators), in 1961 (Bob Allison and Julio Becquer) and 1972 (Rich Reese and Bobby Darwin).
• Rodrigo Lopez allowed six runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Blue Jays, and his career ERA against Toronto now stands at 7.66. That's the sixth-highest ERA by any active pitcher against any team, and it's the second-highest all-time against the Jays (minimum: 50 innings). Tim Leary had a 7.77 career ERA against Toronto.
• Trevor Hoffman got a save in a Padres win over the Dodgers for the 50th time in his career. He's the first pitcher to record 50 saves for one team against another club.
• If Randy Johnson was sending a message to the Indians after Jorge Posada was plunked, he picked the right batter to tell. Eduardo Perez hit three home runs last season against Johnson, in a span of only five at-bats. The only other players to hit three home runs in five at-bats against the Big Unit are Chipper Jones and Marquis Grissom.