Saturday, October 21, 2006
Updated: October 22, 9:17 AM ET
Elias Says ...
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• The Cardinals are the fifth team since 1940 to win Game 1 of the World Series on the road by at least a five-run margin. The previous four teams to do that over the last 66 years went on to lose the series: the Tigers in 1940 (at Cincinnati), the Cubs in 1945 (at Detroit), the Brewers in 1982 (at St. Louis) and the Braves in 1996 (at New York).
But how's this for a favorable omen for St. Louis? The last team to win Game 1 of the World Series on the road by a margin of five or more runs and then win the Series was the 1934 Cardinals, who beat the Tigers 8-3 in Detroit in the opener and went on to win the series in seven games.
• Justin Verlander allowed seven runs and struck out eight batters against the Cardinals on Saturday night. Only one other pitcher struck out at least seven batters and allowed at least seven runs in the same World Series game: the Cubs' Mordecai Brown (7 runs and 7 strikeouts) in Game 5 of the 1910 World Series against the Athletics.
• Anthony Reyes retired 17 consecutive batters during Saturday night's game, easily the longest streak by a rookie in a World Series game. The previous rookie record was 13 in a row, by the Cardinals' John Stuper in 1982 and Dickie Kerr of the White Sox in 1919.
• Albert Pujols homered on the first pitch of his third-inning at-bat. None of Pujols' 12 previous hits during this postseason came on the first pitch. Pujols hit 49 home runs during the regular season, third-most in the majors, but only five of them came on the first pitch. Thirty-four major leaguers hit more first-pitch home runs than Pujols during the 2006 regular season.
• Scott Rolen was 0-for-15 in his career in the World Series before hitting a home run on Saturday night. No other player in major league history was hitless in at least his first 15 World Series at-bats and ended that drought with a home run. The old mark was held by Benny Kauff, who was 0-for-13 before hitting a home run for the Giants in the 1917 World Series.
• The Tigers committed three errors in the sixth inning. In the last 40 seasons, the only other team to make three errors in one inning of a World Series game was the Indians in the ninth inning in Game 3 in 1997 against Jim Leyland's Marlins. Florida scored seven runs in that inning and won 14-11.
• Pittsburgh rookie Jordan Staal scored two goals, both shorthanded (including one on a penalty shot), in the Penguins' 5-3 win over the Blue Jackets on Saturday night. Staal, age 18 years, 41 days, was the youngest NHL player to score two or more goals in one game since Dec. 21, 1943, when Bep Guidolin, age 18 years, 12 days, scored twice for the Bruins in an 8-5 win over the Maple Leafs.
Staal is the youngest NHL player ever to score a pair of shorthanded goals in one game, breaking the mark set by Radek Dvorak with Florida on Dec. 12, 1997 (age 20 years, 278 days), and he's the youngest player in NHL history to score on a penalty shot, smashing the record formerly held by Florida's Nathan Horton (age 18 years, 224 days on Jan. 8, 2004).
• Jose Theodore allowed eight goals in Colorado's 8-5 loss at Montreal. It's the first time in 15 years that a goaltender surrendered at least eight goals in his first game against a team for which he formerly played: San Jose's Jeff Hackett did that on Oct. 29, 1991, in an 8-4 loss to the Islanders.
• Martin Brodeur was pulled from the Devils' game in Ottawa at 13:57 of the second period after matching a career high by allowing six goals. It was the ninth time that Brodeur has allowed six goals in a regular-season game in his 14-year NHL career. Six of those nine games have come since the start of last season (four times in 2005-06, twice this season). Only one other netminder has allowed six or more goals in a game over the last two seasons as often as Brodeur: Olaf Kolzig, who did it for the seventh time in Washington's 6-4 loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday.
• Carolina's Rod Brind'Amour had a goal and two assists in the Hurricanes' 4-3 overtime loss to the Islanders on Saturday night. Brind'Amour has 36 goals, 43 assists and 79 points (in 76 games) against the Islanders in his career to rank third among active NHL players in all three categories, behind Jaromir Jagr (51-73-124) and Mark Recchi (38-65-103).
• Atlanta's Marian Hossa scored two goals in the Thrashers' 4-2 win over the Panthers. Hossa has 29 multiple-goal games over the last four NHL seasons (2002-03 to date), eight more than any other player has posted over the same span. Rounding out the top five are Jonathan Cheechoo (21), Ilya Kovalchuk (21), Olli Jokinen (20) and Dany Heatley (19).
• Tom Poti scored a power play goal 23 seconds into overtime to give the Islanders a 4-3 win over the Hurricanes. It was Poti's fifth career overtime goal, which ties him with Tomas Kaberle, Mattias Ohlund and Jaroslav Spacek for second-most among active NHL defensemen, behind Scott Niedermayer, who is the all-time leader with nine OT goals.
• On Saturday night, Vancouver became only the sixth NHL team to win on the road in overtime on consecutive days since 1983-84, when the 5:00 OT period was introduced.