Elias Says: May 22, 2017

Bradley’s game winning field goal gets Celtics back in the series

Avery Bradley’s field goal with 0.1 seconds remaining gave the Celtics a 111-108 victory over the Cavaliers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday night. Bradley made only one go ahead field goal with less than one second remaining in the fourth quarter or overtime in his career prior to Sunday and that came on February 5, 2016, a three pointer, also against Cleveland, turning a 103-101 deficit into a 104-103 Celtics’ victory.

Celtics pull off a stunning comeback

The Celtics overcame a 21-point deficit and defeated the Cavs by a score of 111-108 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday night. LeBron James’s teams were 49-0 in the playoffs when leading by 20 or more points entering the contest.

Boston faced a 21-point deficit in the third quarter. They are the second team to win a game on the road after trailing by 20 or more points in the second half in this year’s playoffs, joining the Cavaliers who did that in Indiana on April 20. There were only two such comebacks in the previous eight postseasons combined (2009 to 2016).

Penguins take 3-2 lead with 7-0 win

The 7–0 win by Matt Murray and the Penguins over the Senators in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final was the largest margin of victory in a shutout in a Conference Final or Stanley Cup Final game since 2002, when Dominik Hasek and the Red Wings routed the Avalanche by the same score in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final. This was the fourth time in the Penguins’ 50-year history that they recorded a playoff shutout by at least a seven-goal margin, having first done so in their Stanley Cup-clinching win in 1991 (8–0 at Minnesota), and then in first-round games in 1993 (7–0 vs. New Jersey) and 2000 (7–0 at Washington). That ties them with the Canadiens and the Red Wings for the most playoff shutouts by a 7–0 or larger score for any team in NHL history.

Malkin and Rowney each produce three assists in Pens’ win

Evgeni Malkin and Carter Rowney each assisted on three goals as the Penguins routed the Senators, 7–0, in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final. This was the first time that the Penguins had two players each produce at least three assists in the same playoff game since 2008, when Sidney Crosby (four assists) and Malkin (three) did so in another Pittsburgh win over Ottawa (Game 2 of a first-round series). Malkin and Rowney were the first pair of teammates on any club to do that in a Stanley Cup playoff game since Brent Burns and Logan Couture each notched three assists for the Sharks in their series-clinching win against the Kings in the first round last year (Game 5).

Yankees win despite 17 K’s

The Yankees struck out 17 times but still came away with a 3-2 victory over the Rays on Sunday. It’s the second time the Yankees have won a nine-inning game despite striking out at least 17 times this season having also done that on April 15 against the Cardinals (17 K’s). No other team has had multiple such wins in a single season since 1900.

Matt Holliday and Aaron Judge each went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in the Yankees’ win. It’s the first time in Yankees history that multiple players each had at least four strikeouts in a nine-inning game.

Pirates eke out 1-0 win on bases loaded hit by pitch

Aaron Nola hit David Freese with a pitch with the bases loaded in the sixth inning accounting for the only run in the Pirates’ 1-0 win over the Phillies on Sunday. That marked the first time in nearly 102 years the Pirates won a game by a score of 1-0 with the only run coming on a hit by pitch with the bases loaded, since the Cubs’ Jimmy Lavender hit Bill Hinchman with the bags full accounting for the only one run of the game on May 31, 1915.

Cubs get flawless performances from Bryant and Contreras

Kris Bryant went 3-for-3 with two homers and two RBIs and Willson Contreras went 3-for-3 with three RBIs leading the Cubs to a 13-6 win over the Brewers on Sunday. It’s only the second time in the last 55 years that the Cubs had multiple players each go 3-for-3 or better with multiple RBIs in the same game. The only other time that happened over that span was on April 29, 1987, when Andre Dawson went 5-for-5 with two ribbies and Dave Martinez went 3-for-3 and knocked in three runs against the Giants.

Cron slams Mets in the first inning

C.J. Cron hit a grand-slam home run in the first inning in the Angels’ 12-5 win over the Mets at Citi Field on Sunday. Cron is the first Angels player to homer with the bases loaded in the first inning of a road game in over 10 years, since Casey Kotchman hit a grand-slam in the opening frame at the Ballpark in Arlington in Texas on May 14, 2007.

Cron is the second visiting player to hit a grand slam home run in the first inning at Citi Field this season, joining former Met Daniel Murphy who did it on April 23. Prior to this season, the Mets allowed only four first-inning grand slams at home in their franchise history, and never more than one in a single season.

Cron and Murphy are two of the six players who have hit a first-inning grand slam this season, along with Marcell Ozuna, Chris Taylor, Alex Bregman and Javier Baez. The sixth such homer did not occur until July 31 last season.

Gomes knocks in five in Indians’ win

Yan Gomes homered and drove in five runs leading the Indians to an 8-6 win over the Astros on Sunday afternoon. It’s the third time Gomes has driven in five or more runs in a game, having also done that on August 29, 2015 and on April 23, 2016. The only other catcher in Indians’ history with three or more five-RBI games is Jim Hegan (three). Two other major-league catchers have driven in at least five runs three times since the start of the 2015 season: Yasmani Grandal and Stephen Vogt.

Rookie pitches and hits Rockies to victory

Kyle Freeland homered, doubled and earned the victory in the Rockies’ 6-4 win over the Reds on Sunday afternoon. Over the last 30 years, the only other rookie starting pitchers to produce multiple extra-base hits, including a home run, while earning a victory on the mound are San Diego’s Dennis Tankersley against Milwaukee on May 26, 2002, San Francisco’s Brad Hennessey against Washington on September 21, 2005 and Arizona’s Micah Owings against Atlanta on August 18, 2007.

Perez thriving at Target Field

Salvador Perez’s two-run home run in the second inning got the Royals off and running in the team’s 6-4 victory in the first game of a doubleheader in Minnesota on Sunday. Perez also went deep twice in Kansas City’s defeat in the second game of the double dip. Perez has now hit 14 home runs in 200 at bats at Target Field in his career, the second-best home run ratio (one HR every 14.3 AB) among players with at least 150 at bats in Minnesota’s current home, behind Jim Thome (one HR every 11.8 AB). Perez has averaged one home run for every 29.8 at bats in all other stadiums in his career.

Kennedy allows two homers in the first

Robbie Grossman and Max Kepler each hit two-run home runs off of Ian Kennedy in the first inning in the Twins’ 8-4 win over the Royals in the second game of a doubleheader on Sunday. It’s the first time Kennedy allowed multiple home runs in the first inning in the 244 starts he has made in his career.

O’s play a sloppy game in front of the home fans

The Orioles committed three errors and struck out 13 times in their 3-1 loss to the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon. It’s the first time Baltimore made at least three errors and fanned 13 or more times in a nine-inning game at Camden Yards since the ballpark opened in 1992

Cards pound Cain again

Matt Cain allowed seven runs in less than six innings of work in the Giants’ loss to the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. Cain’s career ERA against St. Louis rose to 6.62 with his poor performance, which is the highest mark against the Cardinals for any of the 372 major-league pitchers that began their career in the last 85 years and made more than 10 starts against them.

Gonzalez delivers with two outs

Adrian Gonzalez delivered a two-out, two-run double in the first inning and came through again with a two-out RBI single in the fifth inning, giving him three RBIs in the Dodgers’ 6-3 win over the Marlins on Sunday. Gonzalez only has 15 RBIs on the season, but 10 of them have come with two outs (66.7 percent). That ties Eugenio Suarez and Jose Reyes for the highest such percentage among National League players with at least 15 RBIs. Also, 15 of his 28 hits (53.6 percent) have come with two outs this season, the highest such percentage for any major-league player with 25 or more hits.

Richard ends Padres complete game drought at Petco Park

Clayton Richard hurled a complete-game five-hitter in the Padres’ win over Arizona in San Diego on Sunday. It marked the first time a Padres pitcher pitched a complete game at Petco Park in over two years, since Andrew Cashner went all nine innings against the Phillies in San Diego on September 15, 2014. San Diego’s streak of 193 consecutive home games without a complete game was the fourth-longest current streak of its kind in the National League entering Sunday’s action, behind the Mets (282), Brewers (236) and Marlins (229). Eight opposing pitchers hurled a complete game at Petco Park since the last time a Padres pitcher did so prior to Sunday.

White Sox get off to another strong start

After scoring four runs in the first inning on Saturday, the White Sox started strong again, scoring five runs in the opening frame on Sunday in their 8-1 win over the Mariners. It’s the third time in the last 34 seasons that Chicago scored four or more runs in the opening inning in consecutive games. The White Sox also did that on August 2-3 in 1996 and on July 27-28 in 2015.

Everyone drives in a run for the Red Sox…except the third place hitter

Eight of the Red Sox’ nine starters in their batting order drove in a run in the team’s 12-3 win over Oakland with the lone exception being third-place hitter Xander Bogaerts. Since the start of the 2015 season, only two other teams received at least one RBI from every starting slot in its batting order except for the player batting third: the Rockies on May 5, 2016 (no RBIs from Carlos Gonzalez) and the Twins on July 10, 2016 (no RBIs from Miguel Sano). That has happened only five other times for the Red Sox since MLB began officially tracking RBIs in 1920, with the last such instance coming on June 4, 2013 (no RBIs from Dustin Pedroia).