Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Craig Monroe became the fifth player to hit a home run in each of his first two World Series games. The others were Barry Bonds (2002), Ted Simmons (1982), Dusty Rhodes (1954) and Jimmie Foxx (1929).
• The Tigers have hit at least one home run in each of their 10 postseason games this year. Only two other teams did so in their first 10 games in any postseason. The Blue Jays homered in their first 10 games in 1992, and the Astros homered in their first 12 in 2004.
• Kenny Rogers, 41, became the oldest starting pitcher ever to win a World Series game. Early Wynn had previously been the oldest (39). Dolf Luque of the Giants was the oldest reliever to do so (age 43 in 1933).
• Rogers pitched eight scoreless innings in the Tigers' 3-1 victory over the Cardinals. Rogers has now pitched 23 innings without allowing a run during the 2006 postseason. That's the longest scoreless streak to start a postseason since 1981, when Jerry Reuss didn't allow a run in his first 23 innings. The only pitcher to go further into a postseason before or without allowing a run was Christy Mathewson (27 innings in 1905).
During his 18 regular seasons in the majors, Rogers recorded only two scoreless streaks longer than his current postseason span: 39 innings in 1995 and 31 in 2005.
• Scott Rolen's first-inning infield single snapped another impressive streak by Rogers, who had held opponents hitless in their last 28 postseason at-bats with runners on base, dating back to 1999. Only four pitchers compiled longer streaks in postseason play: Whitey Ford (0-for-34, 1960-1962); Bob Gibson (33, 1964-1968); Christy Mathewson (30, all in 1905); and Dave McNally (30, 1966-1969).
• Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Vick each threw three touchdown passes in the first half of the Falcons' 41-38 overtime win against the Steelers. There were only two other NFL games in which opposing players both had three or more TD passes before halftime: Kerry Collins (Raiders) vs. Billy Volek (Titans) in 2004, and Tom Flores (Raiders) vs. George Blanda (Oilers) in 1963.
• Michael Vick's four TD passes snapped his career-long streak of 56 regular-season starts without throwing more than two touchdowns in any of them. That was the fifth-longest such streak during the NFL's expansion era (that is, since 1960).
• The Steelers were only the third team in NFL history to lose a game in which it had as many as five touchdown passes without being intercepted.
• The Eagles lost to the Bucs 23-21 despite outgaining them in total yards, 506-196. It was only the third time in NFL history that a team lost a game in which it recorded 500 or more yards of offense and held its opponent to less than 200 yards.
• Matt Bryant kicked a 62-yard walkoff field goal in Tampa Bay's victory. Last week, the Eagles lost when John Carney of the Saints kicked a game-winning field goal on the final play. The last team to lose consecutive games on fourth-quarter walkoff FGs was the 1984 Browns. (Those were a noteworthy pair of games for the Browns, who fired their longtime head coach, Sam Rutigliano, after the first of those two losses, hiring Marty Schottenheimer.)
• Ronde Barber became the second player in NFL history to score a touchdown in a regular-season and a postseason game on INTs against the same passer. Barber returned two INTs for TDs in the Bucs' victory over the Eagles. Both came against Donovan McNabb, who also threw the pass that Barber returned for a TD in the NFC Championship Game in January 2003.
Willie Brown of the Raiders scored on interceptions against Bob Griese of the Dolphins in both the regular season (1968) and postseason (1970).
Note that McNabb's career average of one interception per 45 passes is the second best in NFL history. Only Neil O'Donnell had a lower INT rate (one per 47 passes).
• Chester Taylor ran 95 yards for a touchdown in the Vikings' 31-13 win at Seattle, one week after Warrick Dunn's 90-yard TD run against the Giants. That never happened before in consecutive weeks. In fact, there were only two other seasons in which two players rushed for touchdowns of 90 yards or longer: Wilbert Montgomery and Tony Dorsett did in 1982; Jim Spavital and Bob Hoernschemeyer did it in 1950.
• The Broncos defeated the Browns 17-7, but the news may have been Cleveland's seven points. It was only the second touchdown against Denver this season. The Broncos are the first team since the 1934 Lions to allow two or fewer TDs over the first six games of the season. (Detroit shut out its first seven opponents in 1934).
• Denver is the first team since the 1934 Giants to win five consecutive games, scoring 17 or fewer points in all of them.
• Matt Pickens made eight saves in the Fire's 1-0 victory over the Revolution in Sunday's Eastern Conference semifinal. That equaled the second-highest total of saves in an MLS postseason shutout. The record is 10, set by Tony Meola in the 1-0 win for the Wizards over the Fire in the 2000 MLS Cup Final.
Pickens is only the third goalkeeper to record a 1-0 shutout victory in his MLS postseason debut. The others were Dave Salzwedel, in the fourth MLS playoff game ever (1996) and Troy Perkins for D.C. United against the Red Bulls on Saturday.
• Brad Guzan preserved Chivas USA's 2-1 victory over the Dynamo by saving Dwayne De Rosario's penalty kick in the 86th minute. Four other keepers have saved PKs while protecting a one-goal lead in an MLS postseason match, but none of them did so in the final 30 minutes of play.
• Ken Hitchcock was fired on Sunday as coach of the Flyers, who posted a 1-6-1 record in their first eight games this season. It was the earliest firing in the NHL since 2001, when the Penguins replaced Ivan Hlinka with Rick Kehoe after an 0-4-0 start.
• The Kings scored twice in the first period, but lost to the Ducks 3-2 in a shootout. Those were the first goals allowed by Anaheim in the first period this season. Over the last 50 years, only one other team shut out each of its first seven opponents of the season in the first period: the Kings in 1974.
ESPN TOP HEADLINES
- Kobe to sit out Christmas game against Bulls
- Westbrook lifts Durant-less OKC past Spurs
- Wall, Wizards race past struggling Knicks
- Knicks' Acy thrown out after scuffle with Wall