Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Elias Says ...
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
NLCS Game 5
• The Mets provided Tom Glavine with a two-run lead in the fourth inning -- usually a prescription for victory -- but the Cardinals chipped away and won 4-2, with Glavine charged with the loss.
It was only the second time that Glavine had lost a postseason game in which he was given a lead of two or more runs -- and each came in St. Louis. In a Division Series game in 2000, the Braves scored twice in the top of the first inning but Glavine allowed seven runs in 2 1/3 innings and the Cardinals won 10-4.
• Glavine was making the 35th postseason start of his major-league career, breaking the all-time record that he had previously shared with Andy Pettitte. But instead of a 15th victory -- which would have tied the all-time record held by his old buddy, John Smoltz -- he earned a 16th loss, which is also the highest total in history.
• Our friend Tim McCarver was mildly surprised when the Cardinals sent left-handed-hitting Chris Duncan up to pinch-hit against Mets southpaw Pedro Feliciano -- and so were we. But the real surprise came when Duncan knocked out a home run!
No one told Tim, but we're here to tell you, just how rare that was: In the 1,164 postseason games played since the American League and National League champions first met in 1903, there have been only two other occasions on which a left-handed batter pinch-hit a home run off a left-handed pitcher. Johnny Mize of the Yankees hit one off the Brooklyn Dodgers' Preacher Roe in the 1952 World Series, and Arizona's Erubiel Durazo hit one off Glavine, then with the Braves, in the 2001 NLCS.
• Duncan's home run was the fifth pinch-hit home run in the Cardinals' postseason history, and all five of those pinch-hitters have been sent to the plate by Tony La Russa. The others were Mark McGwire in a Division Series game in 2000, J.D. Drew and Eduardo Perez in the 2002 NLCS, and So Taguchi in this year's Division Series vs. San Diego.
• Adam Wainwright earned his second postseason save; he has allowed three hits and no walks with eight strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Over the last 20 postseasons, the only other rookies with at least two postseason saves were Kazuhiro Sasaki (three in 2000) and Bobby Jenks (four in 2005).
All right, NHL fans, which do you think happened more often in NHL games -- 1) a team scoring nine or more goals after being held scoreless in the first period; or, 2) six different teammates scoring a goal in the same period?
The answer is the latter. This was the 82nd time in an NHL game that six teammates scored goals in the same period. (It happened twice last season, after not occurring since 1999.) But it was only the 25th time that a team finished with nine or more goals after a scoreless first period. The last NHL team to do that was Ottawa in a 9-3 win vs. Tampa Bay on March 8, 1999.
• On the heels of a 7-4 win over the Rangers in their last game on Saturday, the Sabres have now scored 16 goals over a two-game stretch for the first time since an 18-goal festival in two games in 1992-93.
• The Sabres and the Flyers played a scoreless first period, but then six different Buffalo players scored in the second period to spearhead a 9-1 victory.
Arizona has scored three or more offensive touchdowns (by rushing or passing) in only two of 22 games over that time, while Baltimore had scored three or more offensive touchdowns in only four of 22 games.
• Offensive coordinators Jim Fassel (Ravens) and Keith Rowen (Cardinals) were relieved of those duties by their respective teams Tuesday. Each had been in his current position since the start of the 2005 season.