Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Tom Glavine and Jamie Moyer were the starting pitchers in the Mets' 5-3 win over the Phillies. It was the first game in major-league history in which a pair of left-handers with at least 500 career starts each started against each other.
• Jimmy Rollins became the first visiting leadoff batter to hit home runs in both the first and second innings at Shea Stadium. In so doing, Rollins also became the first player with two multiple-homer games against Tom Glavine.
• The game-time temperature at Shea Stadium was 44 degrees. It was already the 32nd game this season with a temperature below 45 for the first pitch -- more than three times the total for the entire 2006 season (10).
• The Nationals defeated the Braves 2-0, giving first-time manager Manny Acta his second win in 10 games. Since 1900, only five managers lost as many as nine of their first 10 major-league games, but two -- Gil Hodges (1963) and Malachi Kittredge (1904) -- did so for Washington teams. The others were Alan Trammell (2003 Tigers), Greg Riddoch (1990 Padres), and Marty McManus (1932 Red Sox).
• Once again, the Nationals failed to score in the first three innings. Washington became the first team in major-league history not to score in the first three innings in any of its first 10 games of the season.
• Travis Hafner's three-run home run in the eighth inning lifted the Indians to a 4-2 win over the Angels, who had won 88 of the last 89 games in which they led in the eighth inning or later.
• Justin Morneau hit a game-winning home run in the bottom in the ninth of the Twins' 3-2 victory over the Devil Rays. It was the fourth walkoff hit of Morneau's career in 32 potential walkoff plate appearances.
• The Rangers defeated the Thrashers 4-3 to snap their streak of 10 consecutive losses in playoff series opening games. The only other team to lose 10 straight Game 1s was the Maple Leafs (1965-75).
• The Rangers' win was their first in a postseason game since Game 2 of the conference finals at Philadelphia on May 18, 1997. That gap of 9 years, 329 days between playoff wins is the longest since the Red Wings endured an NHL-record span of 11 years, 350 days (1966-78).
• The Thrashers fell behind 2-0 in the first period and narrowed the lead to one goal three different times. But serious trend watchers knew better than to expect a come-from-behind victory, since only one team in NHL history won its first-ever playoff game after falling behind. (Of course, the best of the trend watchers knew that the sole come-from-behind win by a postseason debutant was posted by the Islanders, who overcame a two-goal deficit against the Rangers in 1975.)
• Marcel Hossa scored the Rangers' third goal after missing the final 16 games of the season. Over the last 25 years, only two other players scored in their team's postseason opener after missing at least 15 games to finish the regular season: Wojtek Wolski of the Avalanche in 2006 and Tomas Sandstrom of the Penguins in 1996.
• Wade Dubielewicz, who has made only 10 regular-season starts in his NHL career, started for the Islanders in their 4-1 loss to the Sabres. Over the last 20 years, only two other teams opened their postseason with a goaltender who had started as few as 10 games: Johan Hedberg for the Penguins in 2001 (9 GS) and Kay Whitmore for the Hartford Whalers in 1989 (3). Like Dubie, Hedberg and Whitmore both lost.
• The Sabres limited the Islanders to one shot on goal in the first period. The last team to open their postseason allowing only one SOG (or none) in the first period was Buffalo in a 3-2 loss to the Quebec Nordiques in 1984.
• At age 45, Chris Chelios became the second-oldest player ever to take the ice for an NHL postseason game as the Red Wings defeated the Flames, 4-1. Gordie Howe was 52 when he played his last NHL postseason game in 1980 for the Hartford Whalers.
Chelios and 42-year-old Dominik Hasek became the third defenseman and goaltender, both in their forties, to play together in a playoff game. The others were Allan Stanley and Johnny Bower for the 1967 Maple Leafs and Tim Horton and Terry Sawchuk for the Rangers in 1970.
• Zach Parise scored the go-ahead goal in the third period for the Devils in their 5-3 win over the Lightning -- just as his father, J.P. Parise, did in the Minnesota North Stars 3-2 victory over the Blues in the opening game of their first-round series in 1971. The only other fathers and sons to score tie-breaking, third-period postseason goals were Bobby and Brett Hull, Ken Hodge Sr. and Jr., and Butch and Pierre Bouchard.
• Kobe Bryant scored 50 points in the Lakers' 118-110 loss to the Clippers. It was Bryant's ninth 50-point game this season, equaling the third-highest single-season total in NBA history. Wilt Chamberlain was the only other player with as many as nine 50-point games in one season, and he did it four times: 45 in 1961-62, 30 in 1962-63; and nine in 1963-64 and 1964-65.
• Did Jason Kidd channel Dennis Rodman? For the third consecutive game, Kidd reached double-figures in rebounds (11) while scoring 10 points or less (8) in the Nets' 94-76 loss to the Cavaliers. The only other player with a three-game streak as a starting guard over the last 20 years was Darrell Walker in 1990.
• Kenny Cooper scored his second goal in two games for FC Dallas in its 2-1 win over the Galaxy. Cooper also scored in each of his first two games in 2006. The only other MLS players to score in each of their first two games in consecutive seasons were Carlos Ruiz (three years in a row, 2002-04), Brian Ching (2005-06), and Jaime Moreno (1996-97).
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