Elias Says: May 18, 2017

Cavs’ frontcourt dominates in Game 1

The Cavaliers received great production from their starting frontcourt, with LeBron James scoring 38 points, Kevin Love scoring 32 points and Tristan Thompson chipping in with 20 in Cleveland’s Game 1 victory over the Celtics. It’s the first time in over 31 years that a team’s starting frontcourt combined for 90 or more points in a regulation playoff game, since Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwon (36), Ralph Sampson (33) and Rodney McCray (21) accounted for 90 of the Rockets’ 131 points in a win over the Nuggets on May 6, 1986.

Four first-period goals spur Senators to 2-1 lead

Mike Hoffman, Marc Methot, Derick Brassard and Zack Smith tallied the goals as the Senators overwhelmed the Penguins in the first period in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final, outscoring them 4–0 in the opening 20 minutes en route to a 5–1 victory which gives Ottawa a two games to one lead in the series. The Senators matched the high for first-period goals by one team in a Conference Final game over the last 30 years. The other teams to “score four” in the first period of a Conference Final game since 1987 were the Oilers in 1991 (Game 2 vs. Minnesota), the Red Wings in 2002 (Game 7 vs. Colorado) and the Bruins in 2013 (Game 2 at Pittsburgh).

Rangers’ eighth and ninth place hitters each go 4-for-4

The Rangers bottom of the order had a big night, with the eighth and ninth place hitters, Jared Hoying and Delino DeShields each going 4-for-4 in the team’s 9-3 win over the Phillies. It’s only the second time since 1900 that a team’s starters in the eighth and ninth slot in the batting order each went 4-for-4 or better in the same game. The only other time that happened was on May 27, 2004, when Carlos Pena, starting in the eighth spot in the order, went 6-for-6 and ninth-place hitter Omar Infante went 4-for-4 for the Tigers’ in a win over the Royals.

Kershaw tames Giants again

Clayton Kershaw hurled seven shutout innings and earned the win in the Dodgers’ 6-1 victory over the Giants on Wednesday afternoon. That marked the eighth time Kershaw has blanked the Giants while pitching at least seven innings in his career. The only other major-league pitcher to do that at least eight times against the Giants since they moved to San Francisco in 1958 is Don Sutton (nine).

Kershaw now has 20 career wins against the Giants, equaling his highest total against any franchise (20 wins vs. Colorado). The only other active pitchers with at least 20 career wins against a team are Felix Hernandez (23 against Oakland), Justin Verlander (22 against Kansas City and 20 against Cleveland and the White Sox), CC Sabathia (21 against Detroit and 20 against Kansas City) and Bartolo Colon (20 against Seattle and Texas).

Braves score six times before making an out

The Braves scored six runs before Toronto starting pitcher Joe Biagini recorded an out in the first inning in Atlanta’s 8-4 win on Wednesday. That marked only the second time the Braves scored six or more runs before an out was recorded in the opening frame of a game since the team began playing in Atlanta in 1966. The only other time the Braves did that over that span was on August 15, 1984, when six Atlanta players crossed the plate before an out was recorded.

Yankees rough up Vargas again

The Yankees roughed up Jason Vargas, scoring six runs in four innings against him, in an 11-7 victory over the Royals on Wednesday. That raised Vargas’ career ERA to 7.15 against the Yankees, the highest for any of the 64 active major-league pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched against New York.

The Yankees have now scored more than 10 runs in a game seven times this season, equaling the total number of 11 or more run games they recorded in the entire 2016 campaign.

Rays hit 10 homers, strike out 40 times in three-game series against Indians

Corey Dickerson, Logan Morrison and Jesus Sucre all homered leading the Rays to a 7-4 win over the Indians on Wednesday afternoon. The Rays hit 10 home runs and struck out 40 times in their three-game series at Progressive Field, becoming the first team since 1900 to go deep at least 10 times and fan 40 or more times in a series of three-or-fewer games.

Altuve produces two doubles and two triples

Jose Altuve had two doubles and two triples in a 4-for-5 performance in the Astros’ 3-0 win over the Marlins on Wednesday. Altuve is the first player in Astros’ history with four or more extra base hits, including multiple triples, in a game. The only other major-league players to do that over the last 20 seasons are Detroit’s Dmitri Young on May 6, 2003 (two triples, two homers), Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford on August 2, 2005 (two doubles, two triples), Seattle’s Kyle Seager on June 2, 2014 (one double, two triples, one homer) and the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig on July 25, 2014 (one double, three triples).

Herrmann wins it in the 11th for the D’Backs

Chris Herrmann’s leadoff home run in the bottom of the 11th gave the Diamondbacks a 5-4 win over the Mets on Wednesday afternoon. Herrmann has hit nine home runs since the start of the 2016 season, which would not rank him in the top 200 in the major leagues in that category over that span. But Herrmann has hit two homers that gave his team the lead in the 11th inning or later since the start of the 2016 campaign, his other such homer coming on May 8 of last season. The only other players with multiple home runs of that kind over the last two seasons are Rougned Odor (three), Chris Davis (two), George Springer (two), Mark Trumbo (two) and Justin Upton (two).

Collins goes deep twice in Tigers’ win

Centerfielder Tyler Collins hit two home runs and drove in four runs leading the Tigers to a 5-4 win over the Orioles on Wednesday. That marked the first time in nearly eight years that a Tigers centerfielder hit multiple homers in a game, since Curtis Granderson went deep twice against the Rangers on July 29, 2009.

Angels’ dynamic duo leads team to win over the White Sox

Mike Trout hit a three-run home run and Albert Pujols had two hits and two RBIs in the Angels victory over the White Sox. It’s the 26th time that Trout and Pujols each had multiple RBIs in the same game since they became teammates, and the Angels have posted a 23-3 record in those contests. The Angels’ dynamic duo are tied with Baltimore’s Adam Jones and Chris Davis for the most games by teammates with both players knocking in multiple runs, with Detroit’s Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera just behind with 23 such games.

Schwarber and Rizzo bust out

Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo each delivered two-out, two-run singles with the bases loaded leading to five Cubs runs in the second inning in the team’s win over Cincinnati on Wednesday. Schwarber entered the contest just 1-for-11 (.091) with two outs and runners in scoring position and Rizzo was just 2-for-12 (.167) in that situation this season.

Bergman hurls a gem in second start with Mariners

Christian Bergman, who was making just his second start with the Mariners, pitched 7.1 shutout innings and struck out nine in Seattle’s 4-0 win over Oakland on Wednesday night. Bergman is the first pitcher in Mariners’ history to not allow a run while registering at least nine strikeouts in one of his first two starts with the team.

Red Sox win on Young’s 13th inning RBI single

Chris Young delivered a two-out, go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 13th inning lifting the Red Sox to a 5-4 win over the Cardinals. Young entered the game with a .185 batting average in extra innings, which was third lowest among the 75 active players with at least 75 at bats after the ninth inning, ahead of Carlos Gomez (.129) and Adam Lind (.154).