Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• With 36 points in Thursday night's victory, Dwyane Wade has now scored 129 points in this series. That's the second-most points ever scored by an NBA player in his first four career games in the Finals. The top four: Allen Iverson (141), Wade (129), Willis Reed (127) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (127).
• The Mavericks made only 25 field goals in the 98-74 loss at Miami. That's their lowest total in any game this season -- in the playoffs or the regular season. In the last 25 years, only one other team recorded its season low for field goals in an NBA Finals game: Portland on June 7, 1992 in a loss to Chicago (28 field goals).
• The Diamondbacks lost to the Giants, ending their homestand with a 1-9 record. Arizona began that 10-game stretch in first place in the NL West. Since 1900, that's the worst record on a homestand of at least 10 games by a team that started that stretch of home games in first place. The previous worst was 2-10 by the Brewers in 1975.
• The Mets' concluded their 10-game road trip with a victory in Philadelphia. Carlos Delgado had 16 RBI and Carlos Beltran had 15 in those 10 games. In the past 10 years only two other teammates each had 15-plus RBI on a single road trip: Mark Teixeira and Hank Blalock for Texas in 2004; Tony Batista and Raul Mondesi for Toronto in 2000.
• The Mets have led by at least four runs in each of their last eight games. It's the longest such streak in Mets history and it matches the longest streak of its kind over the last 95 seasons by a National League team (eight games, last done by the 1999 Giants). No NL team has had a longer streak of games in which it led by at least four runs since the Pirates in 1911 (nine games).
• Dodgers starting pitcher Chad Billingsley had a memorable major-league debut at the plate. He was hit by a pitch in his first time up and then stroked a two-run single to give Los Angeles a 2-0 lead in his next trip to the plate. The last major-league pitcher to get hit with a pitch in his first career plate appearance was Pittsburgh's Brett Gideon in August 1987. Three other active pitchers had 2-plus RBI in their first career at-bat: Mike Gonzalez, Guillermo Mota and Darren Oliver.
• Billingsley started, Jonathan Broxton got the win and Takashi Saito finished the game in the Dodgers' victory. It was the first time in 25 years that the Dodgers had three different rookie pitchers start, win and finish a game. The last L.A. trio of rookies to do that was Fernando Valenzuela (starter), Tom Niedenfuer (winner) and Dave Stewart (finisher) on Aug. 16, 1981 against the Braves.
• Brad Ausmus' two-run single with the bases loaded in the eighth inning gave the Astros a 3-2 lead, and that score held up as final in Houston's victory at Wrigley Field. Ausmus entered that at-bat with a .205 career average with the bases loaded, the second-lowest among the 81 active major leaguers with at least 100 at-bats with the bags full. The only man below him? Damion Easley, who hits .183 with the bases loaded.
• The Indians took a 2-0 lead at Yankee Stadium on Thursday afternoon, thanks to consecutive doubles by Ron Belliard, Jhonny Peralta and Todd Hollandsworth. It was only the fifth game in Mike Mussina's major-league career in which he allowed three straight extra-base hits. He had last done that in the 2004 season-opener against Tampa Bay in Tokyo.
• The Cardinals beat the Pirates on Thursday afternoon, something they have done 75 percent of the time in Pittsburgh over the last seven seasons. St. Louis' 39-13 (.750) record at Pittsburgh since 2000 is the best by any major-league team on the road against a divisional opponent over that period. Next-best: the Red Sox are 41-18 (.695) in Baltimore since the calendar turned to 2000.
• Livan Hernandez threw 138 pitches before exiting during the seventh inning of the Nationals' loss to Colorado. That's the most pitches thrown by any major-league pitcher in a game this season. The previous high was 133 by Curt Schilling at Cleveland on April 25. Livan took the gold medal in this category last year, throwing an MLB-high 150 pitches on June 3, 2005 against Florida.
• On Thursday night, Jason Kubel became the first Twins' rookie to hit a home run in three consecutive games since Marty Cordova had a five-game streak in 1995. Kubel is the first rookie to hit home runs against the Red Sox in each of three consecutive games since Ron Kittle did it for the White Sox in September 1983.
• During the opening round of the 2006 U.S. Open, the par-4 450-yard first hole played the hardest on the course. The hole scored an average of .692 strokes over par. You have to go back 23 years to find the last time that any hole played harder in a U.S. Open first round. At Oakmont Country Club in 1983, the par-4 first hole played to a .785 average over par and the par-4 10th hole played to a .704 average over par.
That first hole at Winged Foot averaged 2.10 putts. It's the first time since 1997 that in the opening round of a U.S. Open, players averaged two or more putts at a particular hole.
• In his first competitive golf since the Masters in April, Tiger Woods recorded a bogey on each of his first three holes. It's the first time in Woods' PGA Tour career that he began an event with at least two consecutive holes-over-par, let alone three. It's the fourth time that Woods has begun any round in the U.S. Open with two consecutive holes-over-par (third round in 1999, fourth in 2002, fourth in 2005). But it's the first time Woods has ever started any U.S. Open round with three consecutive holes-over-par.
• Phil Mickelson had an even-par opening round. Mickelson hit a respectable 64 percent of the fairways-in-regulation but struggled approaching the green, hitting only 44 percent of the greens-in-regulation. In 58 rounds of play at the U.S. Open, Mickelson recorded only one other round in which he hit 64 percent or more of the fairways while at the same time 44 percent or less of the greens. In 1997 during round three at Congressional, Mickelson had those same numbers, 64 percent of the fairways and 44 percent of the greens.
• David Toms opened the 2006 U.S. Open by double-bogeying each of the first two holes. This is only the second time in Toms' PGA Tour career that he has opened an event by double-bogeying the first two holes. The only other occurrence came at the 2004 PGA Championship, when Toms shot 75 for the day and finished the tournament tied for 29th.
• Toms carded a 42 on the front nine, the highest score of his PGA Tour career on the front nine of a par-70 course. His previous worst was a 40 at last year's U.S. Open at Pinehurst. Toms finished that tournament in a tie for 15th place.
• Carlos Tenorio and Agustin Delgado both scored for the second consecutive game for Ecuador, in a 3-0 win over Costa Rica. They are the 10th set of teammates to score in each of their team's first two games of a World Cup, but only the third to do so over the last eight tournaments (since 1978). The others to do so since then: Rivaldo and Ronaldo, who scored in each of Brazil's first four games in 2002; and the German trio of Jurgen Klinsmann, Lothar Matthaus and Rudi Voller, who all scored in the first two games in 1990.
• Trinidad and Tobago finally allowed a goal, with less than eight minutes remaining in its second World Cup match (a 2-0 loss to England). Its total of 172 minutes before conceding its first-ever World Cup goal is the fifth longest in tournament history.
• Sweden became the first team in 20 years to record shutouts in each of its first two World Cup games using a different goalkeeper in each: Rami Shaaban vs. Trinidad and Tobago and Andreas Isaksson vs. Paraguay.
• Pity the Paraguayans, who were eliminated on a pair of 1-0 losses despite playing 176 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal between the own goal by Carlos Gamarra against England and Freddy Ljungberg's game-winner.