Elias Says: May 11, 2017

Celtics win big over Wizards

The Celtics took Game 5 of their series from the Wizards, 123–101, after scoring at least 120 points in their two other home games during the series: 123–111 in Game 1 and 129–119 in Game 2. It’s the first time that Boston has scored 120 points in three games of one playoff series since doing so four times (and going 2–2 in those games) in a conference semifinal against the Bucks in 1987.

Avery Bradley led all scorers with 29 points, including 25 in the first half, in the Celtics’ Game 5 win over the Wizards on Wednesday. He’s the second player in this year’s playoffs to score 25 first-half points without having scored 25 points in any prior postseason game; Gordon Hayward did that on April 21. The only other active player who did that was Klay Thompson in 2013.

Rust Never Sleeps when it’s Game 7

Bryan Rust scored the winning goal in the Penguins’ 2–0 victory in Game 7 of their second-round series against the Capitals. Rust was playing in the second seventh game of his brief NHL career. In his first winner-take-all game Rust scored both goals for the Penguins as they beat the Lightning in Game 7 of the 2016 Eastern Conference Final. Rust is the tenth player in NHL history to score the winning goal in two Game 7’s but he’s only the third player to do so in each of his first two seventh games. The others are Leo Reise Jr. for the Red Wings in 1949 (vs. Montreal) and 1950 (vs. Toronto), and Nathan Horton for the Bruins in 2011 (vs. Montreal and Tampa Bay).

Fleury blanks Capitals

Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves in the Penguins’ Game 7 win. Fleury’s shutout was the third in NHL playoff history in a Game 7 against the team that finished the preceding regular season with the best record in the league. The others were by Tim Thomas of the Bruins at Vancouver in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, and Ben Bishop of the Lightning against the Rangers in New York in the seventh game of the 2015 Eastern Conference Final.

This was only the third Game 7 shutout for the Penguins in their 50-year history. The others were by Frank Pietrangelo versus the Devils in 1991 and Ken Wregget against Washington in 1995.

Ducks take out Oilers in Game 7

The Ducks defeated the Oilers in their Game 7 on Wednesday, 2-1, with goals from Andrew Cogliano, who played four seasons for Edmonton, and 21-year old Nick Ritchie. Only two players as young as Ritchie have scored a game-winning goal in the third period (or later) in a Game 7, and they did it on consecutive days in 1986: Claude Lemieux (age 20) for Montreal and Perry Berezan (21) for Calgary, on April 29 and 30, respectively.

Cogliano is the second player to score against a former team in a one-goal win in a Game 7, joining Gerry Ehman, who did it for Toronto against Boston in a 1959 semifinal. Ehman had played one game for the Bruins the previous season.

A first for the Cardinals, who joined the National League in 1892

The Cardinals capped a perfect road trip with a 7–5 win in Miami. It’s the first time in team history that the Cardinals swept a road trip of at least six games.

For the second straight night, the Cardinals won after facing a four-run deficit, something they’ve done only one other time in the last 68 years. On September 1–2, 1996 St. Louis overcame four-run deficits to defeat the Rockies and Astros (who had entered the game with a 1½ game lead over the Cardinals in the N.L. Central; St. Louis went on to win the division by six games).

One bright spot on Wednesday for D.C. fans

After blowing three-run leads late in two of their last three games, the Nationals turned the tables and defeated the Orioles, 7–6, by scoring twice in the eighth inning and three times in the ninth. Washington hadn’t won a game in which it was down by four or more runs in the eighth inning or later in nearly five years, since July 29, 2012 at Milwaukee. Baltimore’s last such loss was even further back, before Buck Showalter took over as manager, against the Red Sox on July 1, 2009.

Matt Wieters knocked in the final two runs for the Nationals, making him the first player to have a walkoff RBI against the Orioles after playing for them either earlier that year or the prior season since Fred Lynn’s walkoff homer for the Tigers on September 16, 1988.

Marquez is a one-man army

The Rockies blanked the Cubs on Wednesday, 3–0, with German Marquez throwing eight innings and knocking in two runs with a seventh-inning single. Marquez is the second rookie ever to throw at least eight scoreless innings and drive in two or more runs against the defending champion. Harry Taylor did that for the Brooklyn Dodgers against the Cardinals in 1947.

It was only the second time that the Rockies have shut out the defending World Series winner in Denver. They had a 5–0 win over the Giants on May 19, 2013.

Bellinger’s sixth blast

Cody Bellinger smacked his sixth home run in his 14th game in the major leagues in the Dodgers’ win over the Pirates on Wednesday. Since the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958, only two players, rookie or veteran, have reached six homers for the team in as few games as Bellinger: Jimmy Wynn in 1974 (12 games), and Matt Kemp as a rookie in 2006 (13 games).

Darvish’s impressive streak ends

Yu Darvish finally allowed a hit with a runner in scoring position on Wednesday, the first against him this season, ending his streak of 30 straight at-bats without allowing such a hit. That was the longest such streak to start a season for a starting pitcher since Jamey Wright’s streak of 32 at-bats for Colorado in 2004.

A doubly shocking comeback in Queens

The Giants came from behind in the ninth inning against Jeurys Familia to defeat the Mets on Wednesday, 6–5. San Francisco had lost its last 72 games when trailing in the ninth inning or later, which had been the second-longest current streak of that kind entering the day, behind the Twins’ 135-game streak. And the Mets had won the last 50 games in which they led in the ninth inning or later, which had been the longest current winning streak of that kind.

Chooch knocks in four against old mates

Carlos Ruiz knocked in four runs in his first start against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday. Ruiz played 536 games there for Philadelphia but knocked in four runs only once, against the Reds on June 26, 2007.

The old master up to new tricks

Aaron Altherr slugged a three-run homer in the Phillies’ loss to the Mariners on Wednesday. Altherr has homered with at least two men on base in each of his last three games, making him the first Phillies player to accomplish that feat since Mike Schmidt in the final week of the 1981 season.

Triggs escapes a jam then cruises

Andrew Triggs walked the first three batters he faced on Wednesday but wriggled out of the jam and went on to earn a win for the Athletics against the Angels. Triggs is the first pitcher to get a win and allow no more than one run in a start after walking the first three batters since Daisuke Matsuzaka did so for the Red Sox on June 22, 2007.

Archer in control against Royals

Chris Archer, who was 0–4 with a 5.63 ERA in five starts against the Royals before Wednesday, threw eight scoreless innings against Kansas City while striking out 11 batters. It’s the third time that Archer has thrown eight shutout innings with 10 or more strikeouts. He had games like that in 2015 against the Mariners and Astros.

Shaw and Thames lead Brewers to win

Travis Shaw drove in his 26th run of the season and Eric Thames got his 25th RBI in the Brewers’ win over the Red Sox on Wednesday, in Milwaukee’s 34th game. The last season in which a pair of teammates, who each had not played for the team the year before, reached 25 RBIs in as few games as Shaw and Thames was 2004 (when four pairs did it).

Goins, Going, Gone

Ryan Goins’ single gave the Blue Jays an 8–7 win over the Indians, after Cleveland had an early four-run lead. It was Goins’ second walkoff RBI in the major leagues and the first one also came against the Indians, when he homered off Bryan Shaw in 2015.