Date: April 22, 2012

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN.com

NBA

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Nash

NASH'S PASSES PASS THE BIG O

From Elias: Steve Nash passed Oscar Robertson and moved into fifth place on the all-time leaderboard in NBA assists on Saturday. When the Big O retired after the 1973-74 season he had 2911 assists more than had anyone else in NBA history and the only players with even half his total were Lenny Wilkens (6976), Bob Cousy (6955), Guy Rodgers (6917) and Jerry West (6238).

Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets

WIZARDS MAKE HISTORY

From Elias: The Wizards won in Miami on Saturday after they won their previous road game, in Chicago on Monday. It's the first time in NBA history that a team with a winning percentage under .300 won consecutive road games against opponents who had winning percentages of at least .700, at least 10 games into a season.

Washington Wizards, Miami Heat

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Williams

SWEET LOU LIFTS 76ERS

From Elias: Lou Williams went 2 for 5 on three-point field goals on Saturday, but the two he made each put the 76ers ahead in overtime, in their win over the Pacers. He's the fourth player this season to make two go-ahead three pointers in overtime, joining Dorell Wright (Jan. 10), Pau Gasol (April 15) and Devin Harris (April 16).

Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers

MAVERICKS EARN UNWANTED DISTINCTION

From Elias: The Mavericks scored only eight points in the first quarter of their loss to the Bulls on Saturday. That's the fewest points that they have scored in the first quarter of any game in team history.

Dallas Mavericks, Chicago Bulls

MLB

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Humber

PHIL PERFECT

From Elias: Philip Humber had made only 29 starts with 11 total wins before throwing his perfect game on Saturday. Of the 19 other pitchers to throw regular-season perfect games, only one had fewer wins and just two had fewer starts before their 27-up, 27-down performances. Charlie Robertson of the 1922 White Sox, did it with three previous starts and one previous win, and Lee Richmond of Worcester of the National League in 1880 had only 20 previous starts.

Humber is the second pitcher whose first career complete game was a perfect game. Dallas Braden's first complete game was his perfecto for the A's on May 9, 2010.

Chicago White Sox, Seattle Mariners

AN EPIC COMEBACK BY YANKEES TO DEFEAT RED SOX

From Elias: The Yankees defeated the Red Sox on Saturday after trailing in the sixth inning, 9-0. The Yankees have had only one other win in team history in which they trailed by nine-or-more runs in the sixth inning or later, and that one also came at Fenway Park, on April 18, 1950, in the season opener for each team. The Yankees trailed, 9-0, in the sixth inning of that game before scoring four runs in the sixth, nine in the eighth and two more in the ninth to record a 15-10 win. And they did it all without the benefit of a home run, though Billy Martin, making his major-league debut as a player, had two hits in New York's nine-run eighth inning.

In Saturday's game, New York scored seven times in the seventh inning and seven more times in the eighth. It's only the second time in team history that the Yankees scored seven or more runs in consecutive innings of one game; they also did that against the Red Sox in the eighth (nine runs) and ninth (seven runs) innings on June 19, 2000, in a 22-1 win.

Boston's relievers allowed 14 runs in the final three innings after Felix Doubront had allowed only one run in the first six innings. It was only the second game in Red Sox history in which their relievers allowed 14-or-more runs in three-or-fewer innings of work; the first instance was in a 19-9 loss to the Indians in 1977.

Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees

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Kemp

THE DYNAMIC DUO

From Elias: Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier each drove in two runs on Saturday, giving Kemp 22 and Ethier 21 RBI for the season. The only other pair of teammates to have 20 or more RBI in their team's first 15 games of a season was Ted Williams (21) and Vern Stephens (21) for the 1949 Red Sox.

Kemp has 27 hits, nine homers and 22 RBI this season. The only other player to match or better Kemp's numbers in those categories in his team's first 15 games of a season was Willie Mays for the 1964 Giants (29 hits, 10 homers, 25 RBI). No major-league player has met those minimums in any 15-game span, at any point of a season, since David Ortiz in 2004; the only other Dodgers player to do so was Jack Fournier in the summer of 1923.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros

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Burnett

A STELLAR DEBUT FOR BURNETT

From Elias: A.J. Burnett threw seven scoreless innings and struck out seven in his Pirates debut on Saturday. Since 1900, only one other pitcher threw seven-or-more innings without allowing a run with at least seven strikeouts in his first game for the Pirates-and that man, Nick Maddox, did it nearly 105 years ago, on Sept. 13, 1907 (a shutout in which he had 11 strikeouts).

Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals

RANGERS AND TIGERS SPLIT TWO GAMES

From Elias: The Rangers and Tigers split their Saturday doubleheader, with the Rangers winning the first game, 10-4 and the Tigers taking the second, 3-2. The Rangers have scored 91 runs and allowed only 40 in 15 games this season, a difference of 51 runs. Only four other teams in the last 50 seasons have outscored their opponents by at least 50 runs in their first 15 games of a season: the 1994 Braves (+54), 1981 Athletics (+53), 1979 Angels (+52) and 2001 Red Sox (+51).

Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers

WEAVER IS MR. APRIL

From Elias: Jered Weaver had a complete-game win against the Orioles on Friday, extending his run of early-season dominance. In Weaver's last 17 starts in March or April, dating back to 2009, he's now 13-0 with a 1.85 ERA. That's the longest streak of undefeated starts in March and April for any pitcher since Brad Penny had a 17-start streak from 2004 to 2008.

Los Angeles Angels, Baltimore Orioles

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Halladay

AN OFF-NIGHT FOR HALLADAY

From Elias: Roy Halladay walked four batters, none intentionally, in his loss to the Padres on Saturday. That ended Halladay's streak of 117 starts without four un-intentional walks, which had been the third-longest current streak in the major leagues. Carl Pavano extended his streak to 154 starts like that on Saturday, and Ricky Nolasco has a 121-start streak.

Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres

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Shields

BIG GAME JAMES

From Elias: James Shields pitched eight-plus innings and got a win for his third consecutive start on Saturday in Tampa Bay's win over Minnesota. It's the 15th time over the last two seasons that Shields has won a game in which he pitched eight or more innings, the highest total for any major-league pitcher since the start of the 2011 season.

Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins

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Willingham

WILLINGHAM TIES TEAM RECORD

From Elias: Josh Willingham has had a hit in all 15 Twins games this season, including Saturday. He's tied the franchise record for most consecutive team games with a hit to start a season, set by Goose Goslin with the Washington Senators in 1927 and matched by Kirby Puckett in 1994.

Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays

STRASBURG KEEPS ROLLING

From Elias: Stephen Strasburg didn't allow a run and struck out six batters in six innings on Saturday, giving him 25 strikeouts and a 1.08 ERA in 25 innings this season. The only other pitchers in Expos/Nationals history to go at least 25 innings, average at least one strikeout per inning, and have an ERA under 2.00 in their first four starts of a season are Strasburg in 2010 (1.78 ERA, 41 SO in 25 IP) and Pedro Martinez in his NL Cy Young Award season, 1997 (0.31 ERA, 32 SO in 29 IP).

Washington Nationals, Miami Marlins

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Hutchison

HUTCHISON WINS DEBUT

From Elias: Drew Hutchison, born on Aug. 22, 1990 and the youngest active player in the major leagues, got a win in his debut on Saturday, although he allowed five runs in 5 innings. Three other Toronto pitchers have started and won in their major-league debut at age 21 or younger: Brandon Lyon in 2001, Phil Huffman in 1979 and Jerry Garvin in 1977.

Toronto Blue Jays, Kansas City Royals

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Clevenger

CLEVENGER MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF

From Elias: Steve Clevenger went 3 for 4 for the Cubs on Saturday to improve to 10 for 17 on the season. That's the fewest at-bats any Cubs player has needed to reach 10 hits since 1996, when Tyler Houston started his Cubs career 10 for 15 and Mark Grace began the season 10 for 17.

Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds

NHL

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Anderson

STONEWALL ANDERSON LEADS OTTAWA TO WIN

From Elias: Craig Anderson made 41 saves to lead the Senators to a 2-0 win at Madison Square Garden in Game 5 of their series against the Rangers. Anderson was the first NHL goaltender to make at least 40 saves in a road shutout in the playoffs since the Stars' Ed Belfour made 48 stops in a 1-0 triple-overtime win at New Jersey in Game 5 of the 2000 Stanley Cup Final. Before Anderson, the last goaltender to do that in a road playoff game that did not go to overtime was Toronto's Felix Potvin with a 42-save, 3-0 shutout at Chicago in 1995.

Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers

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Brouwer

BROUWER GETS A LATE GAME-WINNER

From Elias: Troy Brouwer's goal with 1:27 remaining in the third period snapped a 3-3 tie and earned the Capitals a 4-3 victory at Boston and a three-games-to-two lead in the series. It was only the second time in franchise history that a Capitals player scored a go-ahead goal in the final two minutes in the third period of a playoff game. The other Washington player to do that was Craig Laughlin against the Islanders in Game 1 of the 1984 Patrick Division Final.

The only other go-ahead goal in the last two minutes of the third period in a 2012 playoff game was scored by the Bruins' Zdeno Chara in Game 3 of this series. This is the first NHL playoff series in which each team scored a goal of that kind since the second-round matchup between the Penguins and Devils in 1995. Pittsburgh's Luc Robitaille scored a go-ahead goal in the last two minutes of regulation time in Game 1 and New Jersey's Scott Stevens did so in Game 2.

Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals

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Theodore

THEODORE HAS FIRST PLAYOFF SHUTOUT IN 8 YEARS

From Elias: Jose Theodore had his first playoff shutout since April 19, 2004 in the Panthers win over the Devils on Saturday. Only six other goaltenders have gone eight years between postseason shutouts, most recently Brian Boucher, who went just over 10 years (1999 to 2009).

Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils

PANTHERS BEAT DEVILS, 3-0

From Elias: The Panthers took the lead in their series against the Devils with a 3-0 win in Game 5. The Panthers' final goal, a last-minute empty-netter, continued the trend of one team or the other taking a 3-0 lead in every game of the series (New Jersey in Games 1, 3 and 4; Florida in Games 2 and 5). The only other playoff series in NHL history in which one of the teams grabbed a 3-0 lead in each of the first five games was the Bruins versus Penguins best-of-five first-round series in 1980.

Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils


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