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 Pistons won Game 2 of their series with the Bulls by 21 points after winning Game 1 by 26 points. It's the sixth time in NBA playoffs history that a team won each of the first two games of a series, each by at least 20 points. The previous cases: Lakers against Spurs in 1986, Celtics vs. Knicks in 1988, Suns vs. Rockets in 1995, Hawks vs. Pistons in 1999 and Hornets vs. Heat in 2001. The 1995 Rockets came back to defeat the Suns in seven games; the other four teams that won the first two games by at least 20 points all won a best-of-five series.
• The Jazz-Warriors game on Monday was the first postseason game in NBA history in which both coaches had at least 1,000 NBA regular-season wins: Jerry Sloan (1,035-689) vs. Don Nelson (1,232-920).
• The Warriors had four players score at least 20 points and still lost. That hadn't happened in a non-overtime playoff game in over 16 years, since the Pacers lost at the Boston Garden on May 5, 1991, 124-121, despite getting at least 20 points from Reggie Miller, Chuck Person, Detlef Schrempf and Micheal Williams. (Earlier in that series the Celtics also lost a non-overtime game despite four players scoring at least 20 points.)
• When the Red Wings have had a chance to eliminate an opponent from the postseason in recent years, they have not delayed. With a series-clinching win over the Sharks on Monday, the Red Wings have now won their last 11 games when they could eliminate an opponent, extending the longest streak in NHL history. No other team has won more than eight in a row in possible elimination games.
• The Red Wings have reached the conference finals for the first time since 2002, the year they won their last Stanley Cup. This is the Wings' sixth trip to the third round of the playoffs in the last 13 years (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002), tying them with Colorado for the most over that span by any team. New Jersey and Philadelphia have reached the conference finals four times since 1995, and Buffalo clinched its fourth trip yesterday.
• Robert Castellini may be the president and CEO of the Reds, but by this point their legal owner has to be Roy Oswalt. With another win against the Reds on Monday, Oswalt is now 19-1 against Cincinnati. Only four other pitchers in major league history won at least 19 of their first 20 decisions against a team: Juan Marichal and Larry Jackson each began 19-1 against the Mets in the 1960s; George Cuppy started 19-1 against St. Louis in the 1890s; and Charlie "Old Hoss" Radbourn won his first 20 decisions against Philadelphia in the 1880s.
• Bengie Molina hit two home runs in the fifth inning against the Mets on Monday, making him only the third catcher in major league history to hit two home runs in an inning. The Phillies' Andy Seminick did it on June 2, 1949 and the Expos' John Boccabella did it on July 6, 1973.
• Matt DeSalvo made his major league debut when the Yankees hosted the Mariners on Monday. As noted in exclusive Elias research that has already been widely reported, DeSalvo is the Yankees' 10th different starting pitcher this season, the highest total in major league history over a team's first 30 games. Two related notes that haven't yet been reported:
DeSalvo is the sixth different rookie to start for the Yankees this season, following Kei Igawa, Darrell Rasner, Chase Wright, Jeff Karstens, and Phil Hughes. The only other team to start six rookie pitchers in its first 30 games -- and only by applying current rookie criteria to an earlier era -- were Pittsburgh (National League) in 1890 and Kansas City (Union Association) in 1884.
DeSalvo joined Igawa, Wright, and Hughes as the fourth pitcher to make his MLB debut as a Yankees starter this season. Only two other teams used four starting pitchers making their debuts in their first 30 games: Boston (National League) in 1890, Richmond (American Association) in 1884, and Providence (National League) in 1878.
• With their 3-0 win over the Nationals on Monday, the Brewers have now won 19 of their last 25 games after starting the season 3-4. That's Milwaukee's best 25-game stretch in one season since they won 19 of 25 down the stretch in 1992, when they finished 92-70, four games behind the Blue Jays in the old American League East.