Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Elias Says ...
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• The Pistons backcourt had a poor shooting night in Tuesday's 91-86 loss to the Heat. Richard Hamilton shot 9-for-22 from the floor, and Chauncey Billups shot 6-for-19. It was the first time in 27 years that both starting guards on one team missed at least 13 field-goal attempts in a conference final or NBA final game. The last time was in 1979, when the Sonics lost to the Suns, 103-97, with Gus Williams shooting 4-for-22 and Dennis Johnson shooting 3-for-17.
• Ryan Madson pitched seven innings of scoreless relief for the Phillies before surrendering Beltran's game-winner. Over the last 15 years, the only other reliever to pitch at least seven innings and lose was Steve Sparks of the Tigers in a 17-inning loss to the Yankees in 2003.
• The Royals blew a 4-0 lead and lost 8-5 to the Tigers, extending their losing streak to 11 games. Kansas City is the first team in modern major-league history -- that is, since 1900 -- to record two losing streaks longer than 10 games this early in its season. (The Royals have played 43 games.)
The only other teams to post two streaks of 11 losses by the 43-game mark were Pittsburgh in 1890 and Cincinnati in 1876 -- which had three 11-game losing streaks by that point.
• Over the 25 years from 1982 to 2006, only three teams besides the 2006 Royals blew a lead of four or more runs in a home game to extend a losing streak beyond 10 games. One of them was the 2005 Royals. The others were the Tigers in 2003 and the Brewers in 1994.
• Carlos Beltran's 16th-inning home run against the Phillies was the latest walkoff homer by a Mets player since Dave Kingman hit one in the 17th inning of a victory over the Expos in 1983. The only other walkoff homers by Mets players in the 16th inning or later were hit by Lenny Randle (1977) and Tim Harkness (1963).
• Doug Mirabelli went one better than Josh Bard -- literally -- in the Yankees' 7-5 win over the Red Sox. One passed ball, that is. The Yankees scored an unearned run without benefit of a hit when Mirabelli allowed three passed balls in the sixth inning.
Mirabelli was reacquired by the Red Sox on May 1 after Bard was unable to handle Tim Wakefield's knuckleball. Bard committed 10 passed balls in 53 innings for Boston, but never more than two in one inning. The only other catcher to allow three PBs in an inning over the last six seasons was Jason LaRue of the Reds in 2002.
• For the second straight night, Manny Ramirez homered on an 0-2 pitch against the Yankees. Over the last five seasons, the only other players to do so in consecutive games were Garret Anderson and Aaron Rowand, both in 2004. (Incidentally, Ramirez was 4-for-46 with one home run on 0-2 pitches last season.)
• Kendry Morales went 3-for-5 with a home run in his major-league debut in the Angels' 7-6 win over the Rangers. That's a nice accomplishment, but before anyone gets too excited, here's a reality check -- a lineup of the most recent players with three hits and a homer in their debut: 1B-Travis Lee, 2B-Kazuo Matsui, SS-Craig Wilson (of the White Sox, not the Pirates), 3B-Jose Offerman, LF-Mark Quinn, CF-George Wright, RF-Rusty Greer, C-Mike Redmond, P-Jason Jennings. Not your fantasy dream team, is it?
• The Twins had to come from behind for a 6-5, 10-inning win over the Indians after Johan Santana uncharacteristically blew a four-run lead. Santana has a career record of 40-0 with eight no-decisions when given a lead of four or more runs.
• The Marlins overcame a 4-1 deficit to defeat the Cubs, 5-4. It was the first win this season in which the Marlins trailed by three or more runs. They were the last team without such a victory in 2006.
The only other NHL playoff game in which both teams scored at least four goals in the third period was a 6-5 Islanders win over the Penguins in 1993.
• The Oilers defeated the Mighty Ducks 5-4 in a game that they led 1-0 after two periods. It was only the second playoff game in NHL history in which there were as many as eight goals scored in the third period but only one (or none) prior to that. The other was Game 5 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Final, when the Canucks led 1-0 after the second period and defeated the Rangers, 6-3.
• Fernando Pisani of the Oilers scored his ninth goal of the 2006 postseason, tying him with Patrick Marleau for the NHL lead. Marleau plays for the Sharks, who have been eliminated. Pisani, who scored only 18 goals during the regular season, could become the first player to lead all playoff goal scorers after a sub-20 goal season since Sergei Fedorov in 1998. (Fedorov scored 10 goals during the 1998 postseason, after scoring only six during an injury-abbreviated regular season.)
• The U.S. had lost only one previous match in which Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, and Kasey Keller all started -- a 2-1 loss to Mexico in a World Cup qualifier at Mexico City in 2005. The U.S. record with all three in the starting lineup is now 16-2-2.
• Mohamed Madihi scored in the 90th minute to give Morocco a 1-0 win over the U.S. national soccer team in Nashville. It was only the third loss in the history of the men's team on a goal in the final minute of the second half (or stoppage time). The others were to Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier in 2000 and to Saudi Arabia in a friendly in October 1994.