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Elias Says: May 3, 2017

Thomas and Wall put on a unique show

  • Isaiah Thomas scored 53 points in the Celtics’ Game 2 overtime win over the Wizards. That was the second-highest point total by a Boston player in a playoff game – John Havlicek put up 54 against the Hawks in 1973. John Wall added 40 points for Washington in a losing effort. This was the first playoff game in NBA history in which one player scored at least 50 points and another poured in at least 40.

Wizards fizzle again after hot start

  • After scoring 38 in the opening period of their Game 1 loss on Sunday, the Wizards put 42 points on the scoreboard of their Game 2 loss at Boston Tuesday. Washington’s total of 80 first-quarter points is the second highest in NBA history by any team over its first two games of a playoff series. The Lakers scored 87 in a first-round series against the Suns in 1985. Los Angeles went on to sweep that series in three games, while the Wizards find themselves behind, 2–0.

Warriors win without shooting their best from the outside

  • Stephen Curry led all scorers with 22 points as the Warriors beat the Jazz, 106–94 in Game 1 of their second-round series. Curry tied a career playoff low with just one three-pointer made, and Golden State as a team made just seven shots from behind the line. Over the last five postseasons, the Warriors are 4–8 when they make seven-or-fewer threes, with two of the three previous wins being by margins of fewer than five points, and the other requiring overtime. Over that same span, Golden State is 41–16 in the playoffs when it makes at least eight three-point field goals.

Lundqvist wins #60

  • Henrik Lundqvist posted the 60th win of his NHL playoff career with a 4–1 victory in Game 3 of the Rangers’ second-round series against the Senators. Lundqvist, who has spent his entire NHL career with the Rangers, is one of five goaltenders with at least 60 career victories in the Stanley Cup playoffs, all for one team. The others are Martin Brodeur (Devils 113), Billy Smith (Islanders 88), Ken Dryden (Canadiens 80) and Turk Broda (Maple Leafs 60). Those four goaltenders combined to win 18 Stanley Cups (Brodeur 3, Smith 4, Dryden 6, Broda 5) while Lundqvist is still looking to win his first Cup.

Predators offense gets started late

  • The Predators and Blues were scoreless at the second intermission, but Ryan Ellis and James Neal scored third-period goals and Nashville took a three-games-to-one series lead with a 2–1 home win over the Blues. It was the Predators’ second playoff win in 2017 in which they didn’t score in either of the first two periods – they also beat the Blackhawks that way in Game 3 of their first-round series. No other team has more than one such win in this year’s playoffs.

Sale continues dominant start in Boston

  • Chris Sale struck out 11 in eight innings of work in the Red Sox’ 5–2 home win over the Orioles. Sale, who was traded to Boston last December, has 63 strikeouts in six appearances in a Red Sox uniform. That ties the record for most K’s by any pitcher in his first six games for a team since the pitcher’s mound was placed at its current distance in 1893. The only other hurler since then with at least 60 strikeouts through six games with a team is Randy Johnson, who had 63 for the Diamondbacks in 1999 and 61 for the Astros the previous year.

A rare offensive performance by pitcher Glasnow

  • Pirates starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow hit a two-run single and walked twice, including once with the bases loaded, and also earned the win in Pittsburgh’s 12–3 victory at Cincinnati. The last pitcher to have three RBIs and two walks as a batter in one game was the Phillies’ Randy Lerch, against the Cubs in 1978. The only other Pirates pitcher to do that since RBIs became an official statistic in 1920 was Al McBean, against the Braves in 1967.

Santana remains nearly untouchable

  • Ervin Santana threw six shutout innings in the Twins’ 9–1 home win over the Athletics. In six starts this season, Santana has held the opposition scoreless three times and allowed exactly one run in each of the other three. Santana is the second pitcher in franchise history to allow no more than one run in each of his first six starts of a season. Walter Johnson started 1913 with a streak of seven straight such starts for the Washington Senators (4 complete-game shutouts and three starts with one run.)

Dickey beats Mets in second straight start

  • R.A. Dickey won his second straight start, both of which were against the Mets, as the Braves won, 9–7 on Tuesday. Dickey, who won the National League’s Cy Young Award while pitching for New York in 2012, is the fifth pitcher to, in two straight starts, defeat a team for which he’d previously won the Cy Young Award. The others were Dean Chance in 1968 (Twins vs. Angels), Roger Clemens in 2001 (Yankees vs. Blue Jays), Pedro Martinez in 2006 (Mets vs. Nationals, although the team played in Montreal when Martinez won the award), and Dickey’s current teammate Bartolo Colon in 2013 (A’s vs. Angels.)

Big game for Baez from the bottom of the lineup

  • Javier Baez, who started at second base and batted ninth, was 4-for-4 with three RBIs in the Cubs’ 8–3 home win over the Phillies. The last player to produce at least four hits and three RBIs from the ninth lineup slot in a game in which the designated hitter was not in use was Diamondbacks pitcher Micah Owings, at Pittsburgh in September 2007 (4-for-4, 3 RBI). The only Cubs player to do this in any game since 1920, regardless of whether or not a DH was available, was pitcher Lew Burdette, at San Francisco in 1964 (4-for-5, 3 RBI.)

Lots of homers at Yankee Stadium

  • The Yankees’ Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge each homered twice and the Blue Jays’ Steve Pearce also hit two home runs in New York’s 11–5 home win. There has been only one other game over the last three seasons in which three different players hit multiple homers. That was also at Yankee Stadium, on September 8, 2016 (Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier and Steven Souza, and New York’s Brian McCann.)

Volquez is wild in Miami

  • Edinson Volquez issued eight walks and struck out nine batters in the Marlins’ 3–1 home loss to the Rays. Volquez was the second pitcher this season to have at least eight walks and eight strikeouts in a game. The Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez walked eight and struck out 11 against the Yankees on April 15. Before 2017, no pitcher had put up a line like that since the Orioles’ Daniel Cabrera in 2006 (9 BB, 10 K.) The last season featuring two games like this was 1997 (David Cone and Randy Johnson.)

Gonzalez caps big game with eighth-inning slam

  • Marwin Gonzalez’s second home run of the game came with the bases loaded and the Astros trailing 5–3 in the bottom of the eighth inning, and the Astros held on to win, 8–7. Only one other Houston player has hit two home runs in one game, including a game-winning grand slam in the eighth inning or later. That was Kevin Bass, whose four-run shot came in the bottom of the ninth inning of an 8–4 win over the Cubs at the Astrodome in 1989.

Dodgers pound Matt Moore

  • The Dodgers scored nine runs off Matt Moore in their 13–5 home win over the Giants. Since this rivalry relocated to California in 1958, only three other San Francisco pitchers have allowed at least nine runs in one game against the Dodgers: Sam Jones at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1960 (9), Jim Barr at Candlestick Park in 1977 (10), and Vida Blue at Dodger Stadium in 1979 (9.)

Peralta can’t figure out Cards

  • Wily Peralta, despite allowing only two runs, dropped his ninth consecutive decision to the Cardinals in the Brewers’ 2–1 loss at Busch Stadium. Peralta’s nine-decision losing streak against St. Louis matches the longest by any pitcher over the last 60 years. Tom Hume lost nine straight for the Reds from 1978 to 1984, and Charlie Morton dropped nine consecutive decisions for the Pirates from 2011 to 2015.

Padres infielders hit back-to-back homers

  • Second baseman Yangervis Solarte and third baseman Ryan Schimpf hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning of the Padres’ 6–2 win over the visiting Rockies. It was the first time that two San Diego infielders hit consecutive homers since first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and third baseman Chase Headley did so at Dodger Stadium in May 2010.

Verlander continues to be a workhorse

  • Justin Verlander needed 118 pitches to get through seven innings but earned the win in the Tigers’ 5–2 home victory over Cleveland. It was the 192nd time that Verlander has thrown at least 110 pitches in a regular-season game, which is easily the most by any pitcher since his debut (July 4, 2005.) Only CC Sabathia (126) is within 75 110-pitch games of Verlander since that date.

Royals offense is sputtering

  • Jose Quintana threw eight scoreless innings in the White Sox’ 6–0 home win over the Royals. It was the ninth time this season that Kansas City was held to no more than one run, the highest total by any team in the majors in 2017.