Friday, April 6, 2007
Elias Says ...
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• The Mets, who beat the Braves 11-1 on Friday night, are 4-0 and have outscored their opponents 31-3. Since 1900, only one other major-league team began a season with four consecutive victories while outscoring the opposition by at least 28 runs: the 1978 Brewers. The last National League team to do that was the New York Gothams in 1884. (The Gothams became known as the Giants a year later.)
• The Mets tied a major-league record by winning their first four games of the season and allowing no more than one run in each of those games. The 1991 White Sox and 1915 Phillies also did that.
• The Braves, whose history dates back to 1876, suffered their largest-ever margin of defeat in a home opener.
• The Mets and Braves were both 3-0 entering the game. It was the first time in 113 years that two National League teams - each 3-0 or better - opposed each other. That last happened in 1894, when 3-0 Baltimore defeated 3-0 Boston (the franchise that is now the Braves), 15-3, by scoring 14 runs in the ninth inning (which is still an MLB record for ninth-inning runs).
• Jose Reyes tripled twice -- once from each side of the plate -- in the Mets' victory. Reyes also had a right-handed and left-handed triple on May 18, 2005, against the Reds. Over the last 40 years, only three other players did that in two games: Roy White (for the Yankees in 1969 and 1970), Bernie Williams (for the Yankees in 1998 and 1999) and Dmitri Young (for the Reds in 2000 and the Tigers in 2003).
• Mike Mussina lasted only four innings against Baltimore, which makes 2007 the first time in Yankees history that their starting pitcher failed to throw at least five innings in each of the team's first three games of a season. The last major-league team to begin a season with such a three-game streak was the 2000 White Sox.
• Jamie Moyer continued his recent mastery of the Marlins, earning an 8-2 victory for the Phillies on Friday night. Moyer was 3-0 against Florida last Sept. He's the first starting pitcher to record three-or-more wins against one team in Sept. and then beat that team the next April since Warren Spahn beat the Cubs three times in Sept. 1957 and then won a game against Chicago in April 1958.
• Tony Pena's triple in the Royals' win against the Tigers was already his third in 2007. He is the first major-league player with three triples within the first four games of a season since Al Cowens did it for the Royals in 1978.
• Akinori Iwamura, in only his third game in the major leagues, went 4-for-4 for the Devil Rays on Friday night. In the last 50 years, only three other players had a 4-for-4 (or better) performance so early in their career: Willie McCovey (1959 Giants), Ted Cox (1977 Red Sox) and Derrick Gibson (1998 Rockies).
• Jeff Conine hit a home run and a triple in the Reds' win over Pittsburgh. It's the second time since Conine turned 40 last summer that he's homered and tripled in the same game. Conine did that only once prior to turning 40.
• Joe Kennedy pitched well, but took the loss in the Angels' 5-2 win against Oakland. Kennedy is now 0-9 lifetime vs. the Angels, the most losses without a win for any active pitcher against one team.
• Greg Maddux was removed in the sixth inning and took the loss for San Diego against Colorado. From 1986 to 2002, Maddux was 13-2 with two no-decisions in his first start of the season; but over the last five seasons he is 1-4.
• Texas defeated Boston 2-0 in the Rangers' home opener, with each team recording only three hits. It was the first game in the 14-year history of the Ballpark in Arlington in which neither team had more than three hits. The six hits by the two clubs combined matched the lowest total ever in a game there. On July 28, 1994, in Kenny Rogers' perfect game, the Rangers had six hits.
• Robinson Tejeda went seven scoreless innings and allowed only two hits for Texas. It's been 28 years since a Rangers pitcher threw at least seven innings while giving up no runs and no more than two hits this early in a season (within the team's first five games). Steve Comer (7 innings, one hit and no runs) did that in the third game of the 1979 season against Cleveland.
• Adam Wainwright earned a victory for the Cardinals on Friday night in his first major-league start, one game after Braden Looper made his first start in the big leagues. In the last 70 years there were only two other instances in which the Cardinals played consecutive games with their pitcher making his first career start: in 2002 (Travis Smith and Mike Crudale) and in 1969 (Santiago Guzman and Reggie Cleveland).
• The Cubs scored six runs in the top of the first inning and cruised to a 9-3 win at Milwaukee. In the last 20 years the Brewers allowed more runs in the first inning of a game only once: Aug. 3, 1991, when they gave up eight to the Rangers.
• The Nuggets beat the Mavericks, 75-71, on Friday night. Dallas entered the game with a 62-12 record. That's the fewest points ever scored in an NBA game by a team that entered play at least 50 games above .500.
• Josh Smith had 28 points, 18 rebounds and five assists in Atlanta's win against Milwaukee. It was his second 25-15-5 (points-rebounds-assists) game this season. Kevin Garnett is the only other player with two games of that type this season.
• Baron Davis led or tied for the team lead in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals in the Warriors win at Memphis. Only three other NBA players paced their team in all five of those categories in a victory this season: Kevin Garnett, LeBron James and Jason Kidd.
• Sacramento fell behind by 17 points in the third quarter, but rallied to beat Utah. It was the fourth time this season that the Kings won a game after trailing by at least 15 points in the second half. They had only one comeback win of that kind in the previous five seasons.
• Four different rookies scored a goal for the Panthers in their 7-2 win at Tampa Bay: Noah Welch, David Booth, Janis Sprukts and Kamil Kreps. It was the first time that Florida has ever had four rookies score goals in the same game and only the third time that any NHL team has done that over the last 15 seasons. The other clubs with four rookie scorers in one game since 1991-92 were Anaheim on April 18, 1998 at Los Angeles (Frank Banham, Mike Crowley, Josef Marha, Pavel Trnka) and Pittsburgh on Jan. 3, 2006 at Montreal (Sidney Crosby 2, Shane Endicott, Michel Ouellet 2, Maxime Talbot).
• Zach Johnson birdied seven of the eight par-5 holes he played in the first two rounds of the 2007 Masters. Johnson is the third player over the last 10 years to shoot under par on seven of the eight par-5 holes through the first two rounds at Augusta. The others were Phil Mickelson in 2006 and Shigeki Maruyama in 2002.
• Tiger Woods began the second round of the Masters with a bogey, after recording a bogey in each of the final two holes on Thursday. It's only the second time that Woods has shot three consecutive holes over par as a professional at the Masters. Woods has done that six times at both the U.S. Open and British Open, and four times at the PGA Championship.
• Padraig Harrington and Stuart Appleby opened the second round by carding a birdie on each of the first three holes. It's the first time since 1998 that two players started a round at Augusta with birdies on the first three holes; Fred Couples and Jeff Maggert did it in back then.
• David Carr agreed to terms with Carolina on Friday and is expected to serve as a backup to Jake Delhomme. That will create a circumstance of a quarterback chosen first overall in the NFL draft backing up a quarterback who was not drafted. That was the case for much of last season in Dallas (with Drew Bledsoe and Tony Romo). Two other recent examples: Eli Manning and Kurt Warner for the first nine games of the 2004 season with the Giants (in Eli's rookie year); Tim Couch and Kelly Holcomb for part of the 2003 season with the Browns.