Elias Says: June 9, 2017

Penguins’ big win puts them a win away from the Stanley Cup

The Penguins’ 6–0 win over the Predators was the largest margin of victory in a Stanley Cup Final game since the Bruins beat the Canucks by an 8–1 score in Game 3 of the 2011 Final. It was the most one-sided shutout in a Stanley Cup Final since Game 6 in 1991, when Pittsburgh clinched its first cup with an 8–0 win against the North Stars in Minnesota. The Penguins’ win on Thursday also matched the largest margin of victory in Game 5 of a Stanley Cup Final series that was tied at two wins apiece. In 1965, the Canadiens took a three-games-to-two lead in the Final with a 6–0 win on home ice against the Black Hawks. Montreal went on to win that series in seven games.

Rookie goalie blanks Predators

Matt Murray, who made 24 saves in recording the 6–0 win for the Penguins, is only the fourth rookie goaltender to post a shutout in a Stanley Cup Final game over the last 71 years. The other rookies to do that since 1946 were the Bruins’ Don Simmons in 1957 (2–0 vs Montreal in Game 4), the Canadiens’ Patrick Roy in 1986 (1–0 vs. Calgary in Game 4) and the Hurricanes’ Cam Ward in 2006 (5–0 vs. Edmonton in Game 2).

Malkin notches his 10th goal of the 2017 playoffs

Evgeni Malkin scored his 10th goal of the 2017 playoffs in Pittsburgh’s Game 5 victory over Nashville. This is the third time that Malkin has produced a double-digit goal total in a Stanley Cup playoff year, having previously done so for the Penguins in 2008 (10 goals) and 2009 (14 goals). The only other active NHL player who’s scored 10 goals or more in three different playoff years is Jaromir Jagr, who notched all of them when he played for Pittsburgh (11 goals in 1992, 10 in 1995, 11 in 1996).

Volquez follows his no hitter with a gem

Edinson Volquez followed up his no-hit performance by pitching seven innings and allowing no runs and three hits in the Marlins’ 7-1 win over the Pirates on Thursday. Volquez is the first pitcher to pitch at least seven shutout innings while allowing three or fewer hits in a start immediately following a no hitter in over 26 years, since the Phillies Tommy Greene hurled a three-hit shutout against the Expos on May 28, 1991 after tossing a no hitter against Montreal in his previous start.

Sanchez homers twice for the fifth time in his young career

Gary Sanchez hit two home runs in the Yankees’ 9-1 win over the Red Sox on Thursday night. Sanchez has now hit multiple homers in a game five times in his 87-game career. Among players who began their career since 1900, the only one who reached five multiple home run games in fewer games than Sanchez is Mark McGwire (84). Barry Bonds did not reach five multi-homer games until his 374th game, Alex Rodriguez reached that total in his 393rd game, Babe Ruth in his 418th game and Hank Aaron in his 538th game.

Iannetta drives in seven for D’Backs

Chris Iannetta drove in seven runs in the Diamondbacks’ 15-3 rout of the Padres on Thursday. Those are the most RBIs in a game by a Diamondbacks’ catcher in the team’s franchise history and the most by any Arizona player in over 11 years, since Damion Easley had seven RBIs against Atlanta on June 3, 2006.

Iannetta is the second catcher with a 7-RBI game this season, joining Seattle’s Mike Zunino (June 3). This is the first time multiple catchers had seven or more RBIs in a game in the same season since 2012 when Carlos Ruiz and Jonathan Lucroy (twice) each did it.

Another four-hit game for Votto

Joey Votto went 4-for-4 with a home run leading the Reds to a 5-2 victory over the Cardinals on Thursday. It’s the 22nd time Votto produced four hits in a game since he made his major-league debut in 2007, the second highest total in the National League over the last 11 seasons behind Carlos Gonzalez (24 four-hit games).

Cards go 0-7 on road trip

After losing three straight games at Wrigley Field last weekend, the Cardinals dropped all four games they played in Cincinnati this week. It’s the first time St. Louis has been swept in a road trip of any length since September 7-13, 2007, when it had an 0-7 trip against the Diamondbacks, Cubs and Reds.

LeMahieu’s beats Cubs with his first Wrigley home run

DJ LeMahieu’s three-run home run off Jon Lester in the second inning was the deciding blow in the Rockies’ 4-1 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Thursday night. LeMahieu entered the contest tied with Matt Adams for the second most at bats at Wrigley Field among active position players who didn’t have a home run there, behind Martin Prado (95).

Nats pitchers strikeout 15, walk none

Three Nationals pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts and did not issue a walk in the team’s win over the Orioles on Thursday night. It’s the sixth time Washington’s pitchers have registered 15 or more strikeouts without allowing a walk since the start of the 2015 season, which are by far the most such games for any major-league team over that span. In fact no other team has more than two 15-strikeout, zero-walk pitching performances since 2015 (the Orioles, Indians and Yankees have two each).

Norris homers in consecutive innings

Derek Norris hit a solo home run in the third inning and then hit a two-run blast in the fourth inning lifting the Rays to a 7-5 win over the White Sox on Thursday. Norris is the second catcher to homer in consecutive innings this season, along with Washington’s Matt Wieters, who went deep in the sixth and seventh innings against the Mets on April 30. The only other Rays catcher to do that in the team’s franchise history is Ryan Hanigan (April 19, 2014 against the Yankees).

Kemp comes through in the first inning

Matt Kemp’s double plated the second run in a two-run first inning which was all the Braves would need in their 3-1 win over the Phillies on Thursday night. Kemp did not have an extra-base hit in 23 first-inning at bats entering Thursday’s action, which tied for the second most at bats among N.L. players who did not have a double, triple or homer in the opening frame this season, behind Jose Peraza (26).

Giants score four in the tenth after blowing two-run lead in the ninth

After surrendering a two-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Giants rallied for four runs in the top of the 10th and beat the Brewers, 9-5, on Thursday afternoon. The Giants became the first visiting team to score four or more runs in the 10th inning after squandering a multi-run lead in the ninth in nearly six years, since the Marlins did it against the Mets at Citi Field on August 1, 2011. The Marlins entered the bottom of the ninth inning with a 3-1 lead and allowed the Mets to tie the game on a home run by Lucas Duda before Giancarlo Stanton hit a grand slam in the top of the 10th giving Florida the lead again in a 7-3 win.

Hunter Pence drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the tenth inning, lifting his career batting average in extra innings to .374. The only active player with a higher batting average in extra innings than Pence (minimum: 100 AB) is Nick Markakis (.395).

Trout’s fill in produces in Angels’ win

Eric Young Jr., filling in for the injured Mike Trout, had three hits and scored three runs in the Angels’ win over the Tigers on Thursday. It’s only the second time in his 573-game career that Young produced three hits and scored three runs in the same game, with his only other such game coming on April 10, 2014 (three hits, four runs).

Altuve delivers the big blow in Astros’ win

Jose Altuve’s two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning gave the Astros a 3-1 lead in a game they would go on to win by a score of 6-1 over the Royals on Thursday night. It was Altuve’s 69th career home run, but only the second he has hit to give his team the lead in the ninth inning or later. His only other such home run was a walkoff homer against the Red Sox’ Craig Breslow on July 23, 2015 giving the Astros a 5-4 victory.