Date: April 24, 2014

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to



Heat take 2-0 series lead

In Game 2 of their series, the Heat led the Bobcats 57-47 at halftime and went on to win 101-97. Miami has won each of its last 25 playoff games in which it led by at least 10 points at the half. Since LeBron James joined the team in the 2010-11 season, the Heat are 12-0 in playoff games of this type. In the 2013-14 regular season, Miami was 13-1 in such games, with their only loss coming on December 27 at Sacramento (led 55-45 at the half, lost 108-103 in overtime).

Miami Heat

Spurs' turnovers spell doom in Game 2

The Spurs committed 24 turnovers to the Mavericks' eight in San Antonio's 113-92 Game 2 loss. Over the last 15 years, only two other teams had at least 16 more turnovers than their opponent in a playoff game. In Game 4 of their 2009 first-round matchup with the Nuggets, the Hornets had 27 turnovers to the Nuggets' 11 in a 121-63 blowout loss to Denver. And in Game 5 of the 2008 Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Magic were eliminated from the playoffs by the Pistons, turning the ball over 18 more times than Detroit (21-3 margin).

San Antonio Spurs


Aldridge scores 43 in Blazers' win

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 43 points in the Blazers' 112-105 win over the Rockets, and he's scored 89 points over the first two games of this series. Only four other players in NBA history have scored at least 89 points in their first two games of a playoff season: Michael Jordan (112 points in the 1986 playoffs and 105 in the 1988 playoffs), Jerry West (101 in the 1965 playoffs), Elgin Baylor (89 in the 1961 playoffs), and Tracy McGrady (89 in the 2003 playoffs).

Portland Trail Blazers


Howard and Aldridge shine in first half

In the first half of Game 2, Dwight Howard scored 25 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 23 of his own. The last playoff game in which opposing players each had 20 or more points in the first half was on April 30, 2009 in Game 6 of a first-round matchup between the Celtics and Bulls. Boston's Ray Allen scored 29 points, and Chicago's Derrick Rose had 20.

Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers


K's all around for Marlins and Braves

The Marlins (41 batting strikeouts) and Braves (37) combined for 78 strikeouts over their three-game set, setting a modern National League record (since 1900) for strikeouts over a three-game series. The previous record of 77 was held by the Cubs and Astros in May/June 2003.

In Wednesday's game, the Marlins struck out 16 times; it's already the second nine-inning game this season in which Miami's batters fanned at least 16 times (17 strikeouts against the Nationals on April 10). The Marlins are just the fourth team in the modern era with two nine-inning games of this type before the end of April, joining the 2013 Braves (3 such games), 2002 Brewers (2), and 1986 Mariners (4).

Miami Marlins, Atlanta Braves


Gattis hits clutch double

Evan Gattis hit a two-run double off Marlins relief pitcher A.J. Ramos in the eighth inning to put the Braves ahead for good in their 3-1 victory. Since the start of the 2013 season, Gattis has seven go-ahead RBIs in the eighth inning or later; only Paul Goldschmidt (9) and Chris Davis (8) have more over that span.

Atlanta Braves


Lackey has Pedro-like outing

The Red Sox defeated the Yankees 5-1 behind a strong pitching performance from John Lackey (8 IP, 1 R, 11 SO, 0 BB). Over the last 40 years, only one other Red Sox pitcher had double digit strikeouts and no walks in a start versus the Yankees: Pedro Martinez (doing so twice). Martinez had 17 strikeouts and no walks in a complete-game win at Yankee Stadium on September 10, 1999, and he had an 11-strikeout/no-walk start, again at Yankee Stadium, on July 7, 2003.

Boston Red Sox


Mets' defense preserves win

In the top of the ninth inning, with the Mets leading 3-1, Daniel Descalso doubled over the head of center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis to score Jon Jay. Nieuwenhuis then threw the ball to Ruben Tejada, who proceeded to throw Matt Carpenter out at the plate to preserve a Mets' victory. The last Mets' win in which New York threw out the potential tying run at home plate in the ninth inning or later on a ball hit to the outfield occurred on May 23, 2003 against the Braves. With New York leading 6-5, the Mets' Tsuyoshi Shinjo ended the game by throwing out Chipper Jones at the plate on a Julio Franco single to center field.

New York Mets


Unusual pitching line for Wacha

Michael Wacha struck out 10 Mets batters but issued five free passes, including walking in two runs in the fourth inning. Wacha was taken out after the fourth, making him only the third starting pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) to strike out 10 or more batters over four or fewer innings pitched. Danny Salazar of the Indians did so two weeks ago (3.2 IP, 10 SO on April 10) and the Mariners' Felix Hernandez did this late last season (4.0 IP, 10 SO on September 22).

St. Louis Cardinals

Cubs blow late three-run lead

The Cubs, leading 5-2 after eight innings, gave up five runs in the ninth and went on to lose 7-5 to the Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field. It's only the second time in the last 20 years that the Cubs lost a home game after leading by at least three runs in the ninth inning or later. On May 6, 2000 against the Pirates, Chicago led 9-5 entering the ninth and proceeded to allow six runs in that inning on their way to a 11-9 loss.

Chicago Cubs


Samardzija sharp again but does not get the win

Jeff Samardzija has pitched at least seven innings and allowed no more than two earned runs in each of his five starts this season. What does he have to show for it? A 0-2 W-L record. Samardzija is the first major-league pitcher since the leagues started keeping track of earned runs over 100 years ago to go without a win in his first five starts of a season despite throwing seven or more innings pitched while permitting two or fewer earned runs in each of those starts.

Chicago Cubs


Morse and Sanchez each launch two homers

Michael Morse and Hector Sanchez each hit a pair of home runs in the Giants' 12-10 extra-inning win over the Rockies. The last pair of Giants to hit multiple homers in the same game was Moises Alou (2 HR) and Pedro Feliz (2) on May 25, 2005 against the Dodgers.

Hector Sanchez's 11th inning grand slam gave the Giants a 12-8 lead. Since the franchise moved to San Francisco following the 1957 season, Sanchez is one of six Giants players with an extra-inning grand slam, joining Willie Mays (June 1967), Jack Hiatt (April 1969), Jeffrey Leonard (July 1983), Greg Litton (October 1992), and A.J. Pierzynski (May 2004).

San Francisco Giants


Seager stars in Mariners' win

Kyle Seager hit two home runs (including a three-run walkoff blast) and drove in all of the Mariners' five runs in Seattle's win over the Astros. Seager is the fourth player in major-league history with at least two homers, including one of the walkoff variety, while driving in each of his team's five (or more) runs. The others are Boston's David Ortiz in September 2007 versus the Devil Rays, the A's Sam Chapman in July 1941 against the White Sox, and the Giants' George Kelly in June 1924 versus the Reds. Ortiz and Chapman each had two homers along with five runs batted in, while Kelly connected for three dingers while driving in all eight of his team's runs.

Seattle Mariners


Cruz, Sanchez, and Seager show off their power

Nelson Cruz had two home runs and five RBIs in the Orioles' win over the Blue Jays; he was the third player to hit multiple home runs and drive in at least five runs on Wednesday (joining the Giants' Hector Sanchez and Mariners' Kyle Seager). The last day in which three players accomplished this was August 14, 2010, when the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez (3 HR, 5 RBIs), Angels' Bobby Wilson (2, 5), and Rays' Kelly Shoppach (2, 5) did this.

Baltimore Orioles


Perez with another complete-game shutout

23-year-old Martin Perez allowed no runs over nine innings in a 3-0 win over the Athletics. It's his second straight start not permitting a run in a complete-game performance, having done so on April 18 versus the White Sox. The last starting pitcher with back-to-back complete-game shutouts was Cole Hamels in August 2012. Only one other Rangers pitcher has done so over the last 30 years: Derek Holland in July 2011.

The last pitcher to have consecutive starts of this type at age 23 or younger was the Indians' Jeremy Sowers in July 2006.

Texas Rangers


Leadoff hitter Semien hits grand slam

Trailing 4-2, Marcus Semien hit a seventh-inning grand slam to give the White Sox a 6-4 win against the Tigers at Comerica Park. Semien is the third White Sox leadoff hitter to hit a grand slam over the last 10 seasons (since 2005), joining Scott Podsednik (June 23, 2006 vs. Astros) and Alejandro De Aza (May 24, 2012 vs. Twins). The last White Sox player to do so on the road was Ray Durham on September 20, 2000 also at Comerica Park.

Chicago White Sox

Nats charge back late to win

The Nationals scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to overcome a three-run deficit and defeat the Angels 5-4. Over the last 10 years, the only other game in which Washington trailed by at least three runs in the ninth inning or later and won was on June 21, 2011 versus the Mariners at Nationals Park; the Nats scored five runs in the ninth after trailing 5-1 entering that inning.

Washington Nationals


Reds use their speed in win

The Reds stole four bases (Jay Bruce 2, Roger Bernadina 1, Billy Hamilton 1) in their 5-2 victory over the Pirates Wednesday. That is the second game this season in which Cincinnati has had at least four stolen bases, with the first coming on April 18 against the Cubs (5 SB). Only the Dodgers (2) and Mets (2) have also had multiple games of this type in 2014.

Cincinnati Reds

What a relief for Twins bullpen

The Twins' bullpen pitched seven scoreless innings in their extra-inning win versus the Rays. Minnesota's relief pitchers have not allowed a run in their last 25 innings, their longest single-season streak of this type since August/September 1992 (30 2/3 innings).

Minnesota Twins


Another two-goal comeback in wild Jackets/Penguins series

The Blue Jackets overcame a 3-0 deficit to beat the Penguins, 4-3 in overtime, on Wednesday night and evened their first-round series at two wins apiece. In each of the first three games, all of which also ended with a 4-3 final score, the winning team trailed, 3-1. This is the first playoff series in NHL history in which there were four games, consecutive or not, in which the winning club overcame a deficit of two goals or more. There had been ten previous series with three such comeback wins, most recently the first-round matchup between Pittsburgh and Washington in 1996.

Columbus Blue Jackets


Foligno makes shot count

Nick Foligno had only one shot on goal in Game 4 of the Blue Jackets' series against the Penguins but that shot eluded Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for a goal at the 2:49 mark of overtime which earned Columbus a series-tying 4-3 victory. Foligno is the first player to score an overtime goal in the 2014 playoffs on his only shot on goal of the game. Two players did so in last year's playoffs: the Kings' Slava Voynov (Game 5 at St. Louis) and the Capitals' Mike Ribeiro (Game 5 vs. the Rangers).

Columbus Blue Jackets

Stars prevail despite falling behind early

The Stars trailed, 2-0, at the end of the first period in Game 4 of their series against the Ducks but they came from behind to record a 4-2 victory which tied the series. It was the first time that Dallas won a playoff game in which it trailed by two goals since Game 3 of the Stars' first-round series against Colorado in 2004 (4-3 in overtime), and the first time they did so in regulation time since Game 3 of a first-round series versus Edmonton in 1999 (3-2).

Dallas Stars


Kane wins it in overtime

Patrick Kane became the 49th player in NHL history to score three career overtime goals in the playoffs. But the only players to score their third career postseason overtime goal at a younger age than Kane (25 years, 155 days) were Danny Gare (21), Devin Setoguchi (24), Dale Hunter (24), Mel Hill (25) and Mike Bossy (25).

Chicago Blackhawks