Elias Says: May 5, 2017

Information researched by Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.

Celtics routed

The Celtics held a 2–0 series lead over the Wizards but were routed by 27 points in Washington on Thursday night, 116–89. Boston lost only one game in the playoffs by a larger margin after entering that game leading the series. That setback came at Madison Square Garden in the 1973 Eastern Conference Finals, a 33-point loss to the Knicks (129–96) in Game 2 of a series New York won in seven games.

Thomas held to 13 points

Isaiah Thomas was held to 13 points, the fewest in NBA playoff history for a player coming off a 50-point game. Thomas broke the mark set by Sleepy Floyd, who scored 51 points and then 18 points for the Warriors in May 1987 versus the Lakers.

Warriors trio has Jazz singing the blues

In Thursday night’s win against the Jazz, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Draymond Green became the first trio of NBA teammates in nine years to each score at least 20 points and hand out five or more assists in a playoff game. The last threesome to do that had been Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili against the Suns in 2008.

Rangers rebound at MSG

The Rangers lost the first two games of their series against the Senators with a pair of one-goal losses in Ottawa (2–1, and 6–5 in overtime) but they tied the series with 4–1 wins in Games 3 and 4 at Madison Square Garden. Since 1992, there have been only three other instances of an NHL team losing the first two games of a playoffs and then winning each of the next two games by at least a three-goal margin: the Sabres at Pittsburgh in a second-round series in 2001, the Bruins versus the Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, and Anaheim at Nashville in a first-round matchup last year. Only the 2011 Bruins went on the win the series.

Lindberg lifts Rangers to series tie

Oscar Lindberg, who scored the first playoff goal of his NHL career in the Rangers’ victory in Game 3 of their series against the Senators, scored twice as the Blueshirts tied the series with a 4–1 win in Game 4. Lindberg scored eight goals in 65 games during the 2016–17 regular season and never scored more than one goal in any game. He’s the third Rangers player to score two goals in a game in this year’s playoffs and the second (along with defenseman Brady Skjei) who did not register a multiple-goal game during the regular season. Over the previous 23 playoff years (1993–2016) only two men recorded a multiple-goal game for the Rangers in the playoffs after not producing any multi-goal games during the preceding regular season: Brandon Dubinsky in 2008 and Jesper Fast in 2015.

Scherzer improves to 5–0 versus Diamondbacks

Max Scherzer struck out 11 batters in seven innings and improved to 5–0 (in six starts) against his original team in Thursday’s victory over the Diamondbacks. No other active pitcher won each of his first five decisions against a franchise for which he made his major-league debut. Some of the retired pitchers who did that were Steve Carlton (won his first five decisions against the Cardinals), Nolan Ryan (first five against the Mets) and Greg Maddux (first seven versus the Cubs).

Brewers snap series drought versus Cardinals

The Brewers defeated the Cardinals on Thursday night, 5–4, to take two of three games in their matchup this week (one game was rained out). That ended Milwaukee’s streak of 17 consecutive series against St. Louis without winning a series. That is the longest streak of series between two teams without a win by one side in this century.

An oddity at Wrigley

Check out the 13-inning linescore from the Cubs’ 5–4 win against the Phillies. Chicago scored one run in five different innings and the Phillies did so in four different innings. The nine total runs tied the most in a game at Wrigley Field in which neither team scored more than one run in any particular inning. The other such game at the Friendly Confines took place in 1989, a 5–4 win for the Cubs against the Mets.

Gonzalez homers in four straight games

Marwin Gonzalez, who entered this season with 37 home runs in 516 games––or one per 14 games––has homered in each of his last four games. Dave Winfield played 23 seasons in the major leagues and he hit 465 home runs, but he never homered in four straight games. (Winfield is the only member of the 400-plus home run club who never had a four-game homer streak.)

Hanigan makes winning first impression

Ryan Hanigan, making his Rockies debut, singled in the 11th inning to bring home the decisive run in the Rockies’ 3–2 win at San Diego. Hanigan is the first player to produce a game-winning RBI in extra innings in his first game with a team since Daniel Murphy did that on Opening Day last year for the Nationals. Murphy’s 10th-inning double plated the winning run that day at Turner Field.

Votto’s extra-special start through 100 at-bats

Joey Votto stroked two RBI-doubles in three at-bats to help the Reds defeat the Pirates, 4–2. Votto is now 27 for 100 with seven doubles, no triples and nine home runs for the season. The 16 extra-base hits tie his career high through his first 100 at-bats of a season; he also had 16 in 2012.

Abreu back in power groove

Jose Abreu’s first-inning homer gave the White Sox a 2–0 lead and they never squandered that advantage in Thursday’s 8–3 victory against the Royals. Abreu did not go deep in his first 75 at-bats this year––the second-longest homerless drought within any of his four seasons with the White Sox––but he has cracked four homers in 25 at-bats since then. With four homers this year Abreu is ahead of last year’s pace, when he hit three round-rippers in his first 100 ABs and wound up with 25 for the season.

Healy marks 100th game with home run

Ryon Healy celebrated the 100th game of his major-league career with two hits, including a home run, in the Athletics’ victory at Target Field. Healy began the game with only one RBI in 61 plate appearances on the road this season. Entering play on Thursday the only other major-league players with at least 60 PAs away from home this season and no more than one RBI in those trips to the plate were Kevin Kiermaier and Carlos Gonzalez.

Machado hits four homers on wild road trip

Manny Machado homered in the Orioles’ 8–3 win at Boston, concluding Baltimore’s wild seven-game road swing through Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. Machado hit four homers over those seven games, tying his career high for a single road trip.