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3 OKLAHOMA PLAYERS GO SOONER RATHER THAN LATER
Three players from Oklahoma, QB Sam Bradford (#1 to the Rams), DT Gerald McCoy (#3 to the Bucs), and OT Trent Williams (#4 to the Redskins), were among the top picks in the NFL Draft on Thursday night. It was the first time since the common draft was adopted in 1967 that three players from the same school were selected in the top four picks.
There were two drafts during that time in which three of the first five picks came from the same college: Bubba Smith (#1), Clint Jones (#2), and George Webster (#5) from Michigan State in 1967; and Ricky Bell (#1), Marvin Powell (#4), and Gary Jeter (#5) from USC in 1977.
BRADFORD WILL BLAZE A TRAIL AS AN NFL QB FROM OKLAHOMA
No player drafted from Oklahoma has passed for even 5,000 yards in his NFL career. The highest total by a Sooners draftee was 3,268 yards by Jack Jacobs, who played for the Rams, Redskins, and Packers in the 1940s before continuing his pro career in Canada.
BULLS GUARDS STAR IN VICTORY OVER CAVS
Derrick Rose scored 31 points and Kirk Hinrich added 27 in the Bulls' 108-106 victory over the Cavaliers. It was only the third playoff game in team history in which both starting guards scored at least 25 points. Michael Jordan (36) and Sam Vincent (31) did it against the Pistons in 1988; Jerry Sloan (27) and Norm Van Lier (26) did it against the Lakers in 1973.
BREWERS SCORE 3 TDS, MISS AN EXTRA POINT
So Pittsburgh lost, 20-0, and it had nothing to do with Ben Roethlisberger's suspension. Hard to believe, but the Brewers capped a three-game sweep at Pittsburgh with a performance that made their 8-1 and 8-0 wins look like they were hardly trying.
Milwaukee's win on Thursday marked only the second time in modern major-league history (since 1900) that a National League team won a shutout by a margin of at least 20 runs. The other was a 22-0 victory by the Pirates at Wrigley Field in 1975 in which second baseman Rennie Stennett went 7-for-7.
The Brewers' combined 35-run margin in their three games at PNC Park was the largest by an NL team in a three-game series in 109 years since the Brooklyn Dodgers posted wins by scores of 25-6, 16-2, and 9-2 over the Reds at League Park in Cincinnati in 1901.
More recently, two AL teams won three-game series by a margin at least as large as Milwaukee's over the Pirates: the Red Sox by 36 runs over the St. Louis Browns in 1950 (20-4, 29-4, and a 12-7 loss at Fenway Park), and the Tigers by 35 over the Twins in 1993 (12-4, 17-1, 16-5 at the Metrodome).
CABRERA DRIVES DODGERS BATTY
Orlando Cabrera went 3-for-4 with an RBI in the Reds' 8-5 victory over the Dodgers. Cabrera also drove in one run in the series opener and two in the middle game. He became the first Reds shortstop to drive in a run in every game of a series of at least three games against the Dodgers since they moved to Los Angeles in 1958.
CRUZIN' WITHOUT BEING CAUGHT
Nelson Cruz stole two bases in Texas' 3-0 win at Fenway Park, extending the Rangers' streak to 34 consecutive steals against the Red Sox without being caught. That's the longest streak by one team against another since the Reds stole 40 straight bases against the Astros in 1975-1976.
MOYER IMPROVES TO 109-0 AFTER BEING GIVEN A 5-RUN LEAD
Jamie Moyer extended an extraordinary record with an ordinary performance, nursing an early five-run lead to earn a victory in the Phillies' 8-3 win at Atlanta. Starting and winning a game after being staked to a five-run lead isn't usually noteworthy. But doing it 109 times without ever losing, as Moyer has done over a span of 25 seasons is pretty special.
HEY, COUNTRY JOE WEST, CHECK THIS OUT!
The A's needed only 2 hours, 7 minutes to defeat the Yankees, 4-2, on Thursday. It was the quickest win over the Yankees in 18 years, since the Royals posted a 3-2 win over the Bombers in 2 hours, 4 minutes.
YANKEES TURN THEIR FIRST TRIPLE PLAY IN 42 YEARS
The Yankees did their part to wrap things up quickly at Oakland by turning an around-the-horn triple play to end the sixth inning. It was the Yankees' first TP since 1968, when an obscure pitcher (Dooley Womack,), a likely Hall of Famer (Bobby Cox), and a Cooperstown immortal (Mickey Mantle) turned the trick.
The Yankees played 6,632 games between triple plays, during which time every other major-league team made at least one TP.
THE KRANE SHARES A LINE IN METS RECORD BOOK
David Wright's RBI double against the Cubs on Thursday night was the 225th of his career, tying Ed Kranepool for the all-time Mets lead. The only other current major-league team with a doubles record that low is the Rays, who have played only 13 seasons in MLB. Tampa Bay's leader is Carl Crawford (190).
Kranepool first gained the Mets' lead when he caught Jim Hickman and Ron Hunt in 1967, and he had been the sole leader since breaking a tie with Cleon Jones on August 12, 1975.
JIMENEZ OUTDUELS HERNANDEZ
The Rockies defeated the Nationals, 2-0, on Thursday. Ubaldo Jimenez, who allowed five hits over seven-and-a-third innings to earn the victory, was making his first start since tossing a no-hitter against the Braves on Saturday. He defeated Livan Hernandez, who was coming off a shutout against the Brewers. It was only the second time in the live-ball era that a starting pitcher coming off a shutout faced a pitcher coming off a no-hitter. The only other such matchup since 1920 was Al Leiter of the Marlins, off a no-hitter against the Rockies, facing Jim Bullinger of the Cubs on May 17, 1996.
Jimenez was the first pitcher since Chris Bosio in April 1993 not to allow a run in his first start after a no-hitter.
BOUCHER BLANKS DEVILS, FLYERS ADVANCE
Brian Boucher turned aside 28 shots in the Flyers' 3-0 victory over the Devils. Boucher was the first Flyers goaltender to record a shutout in a series-clinching game since Ron Hextall blanked the Rangers at Madison Square Garden to advance from the first round in 1987.
NIEMI'S SHUTOUTS EVEN SERIES
Antti Niemi made 33 saves in the Blackhawks' 3-0 victory at Nashville, as Chicago leveled the series at two games apiece. Like Jonas Hiller and Semyon Varlamov in 2009, Niemi has posted two shutouts in his first four playoff starts.
REGAN EXCELS ON THE ROAD
Peter Regin scored for the third straight game at Pittsburgh in the Senators' 4-3 win. Regin is the first rookie to score in three consecutive road playoff games since Chris Drury did it for the Avalanche against the Red Wings in 1999.