Date: September 9, 2013

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to



Born to run

Ichiro Suzuki dashed home from third base with two outs in the ninth inning on Brandon Workman's wild pitch to give the Yankees a 4-3 walkoff win over the Red Sox. Suzuki set up that run with a one-out single and a stolen base before he advanced to third base on flyout to right field. That was Ichiro's 20th stolen base of the year, as he became only the third player who debuted in the majors since 1900 to swipe 20 or more bases in each of his first 13 seasons. Rickey Henderson did that in the first 23 seasons (1979-2001) of his 25-year career and Ozzie Smith recorded 20 or more stolen bases in each of his first 16 big-league seasons (1978-1993).

New York Yankees


Gattis homers twice for Braves only hits

The Braves managed only two hits in their 3-2 loss to the Phillies, and both were homers off the bat of Evan Gattis. Gattis is the first player to hit two or more home runs that accounted for the only hits by his team in a game since Cleveland's Manny Ramirez did it in a 2-1 win at Kansas City on July 3, 1998. Gattis is the first player to do that for the Braves since Hank Aaron's two home runs were the only hits for Milwaukee in a 3-2 victory over the Mets at New York's Polo Grounds on June 20, 1962 (in the second game of a doubleheader that was called after six innings).

Atlanta Braves


Bruce hits rare home run off Kershaw

Jay Bruce homered off Clayton Kershaw in the second inning on Sunday night. Kershaw hadn't allowed a home run since Jayson Werth took him deep on July 21st. His streak of 58 homerless innings had been the longest active streak by a starting pitcher.

Bruce was the first left-handed batter to homer off Kershaw since Adam Dunn on June 15, 2012. That spanned 248 at-bats by left-handed hitters, which had been the longest such gap in the majors.

And then Bruce hit another home run off Kershaw in his next at-bat. You just can't predict baseball.

Cincinnati Reds


All or nothing

Adam Dunn went 1-for-4 with a home run and three strikeouts to help the White Sox salvage the finale of their ten-game road trip with a 4-2 victory at Baltimore. It was Dunn's third game this season, and the 14th of his career, in which he homered despite striking out three or more times. That ties Dunn with Marlon Byrd, Paul Goldschmidt and Ryan Zimmerman for the most such games in the majors this year, and Dunn's career total ties him with Mark Reynolds for the second-most games of that kind among active players, behind Ryan Howard (17). The all-time record belongs to Jim Thome, who homered in 25 games during his career in which he stuck out three or more times.

Chicago White Sox


Never too late to join the club

Jason Giambi registered the 2000th hit of his major-league career with a ninth-inning single in the Indians' 2-1 loss to the Mets. At age 42, Giambi became the oldest player at the time of his admission into the 2000-hit club. Until Sunday, that distinction belonged to Carlton Fisk, who was 41 years old when he recorded his 2000th hit in 1989.

Cleveland Indians


Wacha on a roll

Michael Wacha didn't allow a run in the seven innings he pitched for the Cardinals in their win over the Pirates. Wacha, who pitched six shutout innings in his previous start, became the first rookie to toss back-to-to-back scoreless starts of six or more innings for the Cardinals since Ken Hill did it in 1989.

St. Louis Cardinals


Gallardo does it on the mound and at the plate

Yovani Gallardo drove in an insurance run in the seventh inning of the Brewers' 3-1 victory at Wrigley Field and he improved his record to 11-9 this season. Over the last five seasons, Gallardo has won 21 games in which he had at least one RBI. No other pitcher has won as many as 15 games in that fashion over that span (2009 to date).

Milwaukee Brewers


Colon beat the Astros again

Bartolo Colon improved his record against the Astros this season to 4-1 with his victory on Sunday. Colon is one of four pitchers who have notched four or more wins against one opponent this year. The other pitchers to do so are Jeremy Guthrie (4-1 versus the Twins), Justin Masterson (4-0 against the White Sox) and Dillon Gee (4-1 versus the Nationals).

Oakland Athletics, Houston Astros


Another walkoff for Pagan

Angel Pagan's game-ending single in the bottom of the eleventh inning gave the Giants a 3-2 win against the Diamondbacks. Pagan has won three games with walkoff RBIs this year, the most for any San Francisco player in one season since Andres Torres did it three times in 2010. No player has won four games in one season for the Giants with walkoff RBIs since Barry Bonds in 2003 (including three game-ending home runs).

San Francisco Giants


Reyes hangs another loss on Burton

Jose Reyes snapped a scoreless tie with his RBI double off Jared Burton in the eighth inning and he came around to score an insurance run in the Blue Jays' 2-0 win at Minnesota. With his loss on Sunday, Burton's record fell to 2-9 this season, a major-league high for losses by a reliever. Burton's nine losses match the most for a Minnesota reliever in any of the last 29 years. Two other Twins absorbed nine losses out of the bullpen in one season since 1985: Rick Aguilera (4-9 in 1998) and Matt Guerrier (6-9 in 2008).

Minnesota Twins


Smooth transition from the bullpen to the rotation

Bruce Chen defeated the Tigers to improve his record to 4-2 since he claimed a spot in the Royals' rotation on July 12. Chen, who was 3-0 in his 19 relief appearances this year before he joined the rotation, is the only major-league pitcher to notch four or more wins as a starter and three or more wins as a reliever this season.

Kansas City Royals


On any given Sunday ...

This is the first time in NFL history that the Lions, Saints, and Seahawks all won their opening game in the same season. (Seattle joined the NFL in 1976.) It's the first time since 1986 that the Packers, Vikings, and Steelers all lost their opener.

Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks


Boldin's big opener

Anquan Boldin caught 13 passes for 208 yards in the 49ers' 34-28 win over the Packers. Where do we start? Boldin matched the highest reception total in a season opener since Marshall Faulk caught 14 passes for the Rams on opening day in 2002. Boldin's yardage total was the highest in a season opener since he himself gained 217 yards on 10 catches in his NFL debut for the Cardinals in 2003. No other receiver has reached the 200-yard mark in his team's opening game even once over the last 15 seasons.

Boldin gained at least 100 yards receiving in his debut for each of his three NFL teams (217 for the Cardinals, 110 for the Ravens, and 208 for the Niners). Only one other player has done so in his debut for even two teams: Randy Moss for the Raiders and Patriots.

Boldin caught six passes for 104 yards for the Ravens against the 49ers in last February's Super Bowl. He became the first player in NFL history to score a touchdown in his debut for a team that he faced in the previous season's Super Bowl.

Finally, Boldin, who will turn 33 years old next month, became the oldest player in NFL history with 10 or more receptions for at least 100 yards and a touchdown in a season opener. The previous "record holder" was Chad Johnson for the Bengals against the Patriots in 2010.

San Francisco 49ers


Luck leads Colts to another close win

Andrew Luck scored on a 19-yard touchdown run with less than 6 minutes to play to give the Colts a 21-17 win over the Raiders. Over the last 25 seasons (1989-2013), only one other quarterback had as long a game-winning run in the fourth quarter as Luck's: Tim Tebow, for the Broncos against the Jets in 2011 (20 yards with 58 seconds to play).

Luck is the first quarterback in the expansion era to win each of the first seven games he started that were decided by a margin of four points or less. Five QBs went 6-0 before their first tie or loss in a four-point decision: Daryle Lamonica, Mike Tomczak, Tom Brady, John Skelton, and ... wait for it ... Tim Tebow.

Indianapolis Colts


Bush makes auspicious debut for Lions

Reggie Bush scored on a 77-yard pass play in the Lions' 34-24 victory over the Vikings. It was the longest TD on a play from scrimmage by a player making his Lions debut since Earl McCullough, a rookie, caught an 80-yard pass from Greg Landry in Detroit's season opener in 1968. Like Bush, McCullough was a first-round pick from USC (#24 overall), and that was the longest reception of his seven-year career in the league.

Detroit Lions


Peterson pays quick dividend to his fantasy owners

Adrian Peterson scored three touchdowns in the Vikings' loss at Detroit. It was the second time that Peterson scored three TDs in Minnesota's season opener, having previously done so in 2009. The only other NFL players with two such games for the same team were Gary Famiglietti of the Bears (1942 and 1945), Hugh Taylor of the Redskins (1947 and 1950), and Priest Holmes of the Chiefs (2002 and 2004).

Minnesota Vikings


It's going to be OK, Pats fans, even without Welker

Danny Amendola caught 10 passes for 104 yards in the Patriots' 23-21 win over the Bills. Amendola was the first player in Pats history with at least 10 pass receptions in his team debut. During his six seasons with New England, Wes Welker caught 10 or more passes 18 times, tied for the most 10-reception games in NFL history.

New England Patriots


Brady's fumble snaps his first-down streak

When Tom Brady fumbled the ball away on a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line in the third quarter, it marked the first time since 2005 that Brady failed to gain a first down carrying the ball on a third-and-1 or fourth-and-1 play. His streak of 44 consecutive conversions on such plays was the longest in the NFL since Randall Cunningham's streak of 47 first downs on third- or fourth-and-1's, which spanned more than 11 years (1988-99).

New England Patriots


Marshall again hits triple-figures in Bears' opener

Brandon Marshall caught eight passes for 104 yards in the Bears' 24-21 victory over the Bengals. Marshall caught nine balls for 119 yards in Chicago's opening-game win over Indianapolis last season. The only other Bears player with two or more 100-yard receiving games in season openers was Harlon Hill, who had three straight from 1954 to 1956.

Chicago Bears


Brees is now the career passing-yardage leader vs. Atlanta

Drew Brees passed for 357 yards in the Saints' 23-17 victory over the Falcons. Brees' career total of 4862 passing yards versus Atlanta is now the highest ever against that team, having surpassed those of Joe Montana (4797) and Steve Young (4784) on Sunday.

New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons

Jets are full of surprises on opening day

Leave it to the Jets to pull off an unprecedented victory on the first weekend of the NFL season. They defeated the Buccaneers, 18-17, to become the first team in the modern-QB era to open the season with a one-point win after starting a rookie quarterback.

And that wasn't all. What were you doing on Thanksgiving Day 1962? The Jets well, actually they were the New York Titans at that time defeated the Broncos, 46-45, at Bears Stadium in Denver. The significance? That was the last time the Titans or Jets won a game with a safety accounting for the margin of a safety. The Jets took a 2-0 lead on Sunday when Josh Freeman fumbled the ball out of his end zone.

New York Jets

No shutout in his Chiefs debut, but Reid will take the W

The Chiefs shook off an early safety to post a 28-2 victory at Jacksonville in Andy Reid's debut as head coach. That safety was also the only score that stood between Reid and the first shutout of his NFL head-coaching career. Reid's career-long streak of 225 regular-season games without his team shutting out its opponent is the longest in league history.

Kansas City Chiefs

Rams spoil Arians' debut with big fourth-quarter rally

The Rams scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to defeat the Cardinals, 27-24. It was the first victory since 2005 in which St. Louis overcame a double-digit deficit in the fourth period.

Across the field stood Bruce Arians, who was making his official NFL head-coaching debut after deputizing for Chuck Pagano with the Colts last season. Arians became only the fifth head coach in NFL history to lose his debut after holding a lead of 10 or more points in the fourth quarter. The others were Hank Stram (1960 Dallas Texans), Bruce Coslet (1990 Jets), Andy Reid (1999 Eagles), and Jack Del Rio (2003 Jaguars).

St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals

Dolphins' win echoes their first-ever loss

The Dolphins defeated the Browns, 23-10 at Cleveland, despite gaining only 20 yards on 23 carries. The last team to win its season opener with 20 or fewer rushing yards was Oakland, with 16 yards on the ground in a 23-14 victory over Miami at the Orange Bowl in 1966. That also happened to be the first regular-season game in Dolphins history.

Miami Dolphins


A Miami milestone TD

Ryan Tannehill's third-quarter touchdown pass to Brian Hartline was the 1000th TD throw in Dolphins history. The Dolphins beat the Bills to the 1000 mark, even though Buffalo started play six years before Miami did. With two TD passes by EJ Manuel on Sunday, the Bills' total stands at 986.

Miami Dolphins

Titans look like a changed team in win at Pittsburgh

The Titans, who allowed a league-high average of 29.4 points per game last season, defeated the Steelers, 16-9, at Pittsburgh. It was only the third time since 1950 that a team that allowed the most points in the NFL (or AFL, for that matter) opened the following season by holding its opponent to fewer than 10 points and doing it on the road. The only other teams to do so during that span were the Rams, with a 16-6 opening-game win over the Giants in 1983; and the Bengals, with a 21-3 victory at Seattle in 1992.

Tennessee Titans