Lately, we've been pretty good about picking only one or two great/awful/interesting lines per night to include in this column, but this time we just couldn't do it. There were too many awesome/terrible/peculiar stat lines from last night's action for us to single any few out. So instead, we're going to give you quick nuggets on a six different stat lines (drawn from all three major sports not sorta in a lockout) that really caught our attention. To see who made today's cut, hit the jump!
D. Roloson (TB): 36 shots, 0 Goals Against vs. Penguins
Talk about stepping up when your team needs you the most. Looking to complete an epic comeback (the Lightning were down 3-1 after being swept on their home ice last week), Tampa Bay was facing a do-or-die Game Seven in enemy territory. Their skaters played a subpar game last night, though, getting out-shot 36-23 while losing a majority of the faceoffs (35-31) and spending more time in the penalty box (12 minutes to six minutes). Despite such lackluster play, Dwayne Roloson stepped up for the team that he joined at midseason and carried them to second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. He saved all 36 shots that came his way, and he did so with no margin for error. His teammates only gave him one goal to work with, but Roloson far outperformed his 2.56 goals against average since joining the Lightning, and now his new squad is moving on.
F. Liriano (MIN): 3 IP, 6 H, 7 R (7 ER), 4 BB, 4 K vs. Rays
It's been awhile since we included an absolutely awful stat line in this column, so we're going to do that right now. Francisco Liriano had already been terrible this season: 1-3 with a 7.40 ERA in four starts for the struggling Twins. Last night, though, he took his team's misfortune--and his ERA--to a whole new level. Lirano exited after throwing 83 pitches, and his ERA had jumped to 9.13 on the season. He had absolutely no command of his pitches last night, walking four batters in only three innings. He was behind to nearly ever hitter, too, throwing first-pitch strikes to only five of the 19 batters he faced. Liriano gave up 10 total bases, while recording only nine outs--making for a game OPS-against of 1.053. That means that Francisco Liriano made the entire Rays lineup look like Albert Pujols (career 1.047 OPS) last night in Minnesota. How nice of him.
J. Reyes (TOR): 2.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K vs. Rangers
Jo-Jo Reyes sailed through the first two innings last night in Arlington, facing the minimum number of batters while giving up only an infield single to the potent Rangers lineup (sixth in batting average, fourth in runs entering the game). In the third inning, it all came unraveled, though, as he allowed six unearned runs in that frame. Reyes should have been out of the inning, but an error by third baseman Edwin Encarnacion prolonged the turn at bat for the Rangers. With two outs and a runner on first (due to Encarnacion's throwing error), here's what the ensuing six hitters did: walk, single, double, hit by pitch, single, double. Six Rangers crossed the plate during those six at-bats before rookie manager John Farrell mercifully pulled the pug on Reyes. Technically none of those runs were Reyes' fault, as his season ERA actually dipped from 6.20 to 5.48. But we all know that those runs could have--and, in my opinion, should have--been prevented by Jo-Jo Reyes.
M. Ginobili (SA): 33 points (10-18 FG, 9-10 FT), 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals vs. Grizzlies
Manu Ginobili has been the key to the Spurs' (fleeting) success in this first round series. He returned from sitting out Game One with a sprained right elbow to score 17 points with a +16 +/- rating in the Spurs' Game Two victory. Last night, with San Antonio facing elimination, Manu stepped up again for the Spurs. He scored a game-high 33 points on 10-18 shooting (55.6%) from the field, to go along with six rebounds, six assists, and four steals. In overtime, Ginobili got a critical rebound with 18 seconds remaining, and he hit the ensuing free throw to ice the game for the Spurs. While Zach Randolph was impressive (26 points, 11 rebounds, six assists), Manu was just too much for the visiting Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
D. Wade (MIA): 26 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists vs. 76ers
Despite his 6-4 stature, Dwyane Wade can really rebound the basketball. He led all guards (and set a career-high) by averaging 6.4 rebounds per game this season. He even managed 10 or more rebounds for the Heat in 10 games during the season. Last night, his all-around prowess was on display yet again, as he pulled down 11 boards (including three offensive) to go with 26 points and seven assists. It was a stellar performance from Wade who also got a block and a steal on the defensive end. He even had the best +/- rating of any Heat starter while playing the most minutes. D-Wade was especially adept at setting up the struggling Chris Bosh for some easy buckets--he assisted on three third quarter buckets for the Heat's power forward, who broke out for 22 points in the game. Not only did Wade have a game-high 26 points and 11 rebounds, he also made his teammates look pretty good too.
S. Ibaka (OKC): 1 point (0-4 FG), 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 9 blocks 5 turnovers vs. Nuggets
Though Kevin Durant led the Thunder's fourth-quarter comeback and sealed the series victory for OKC, Serge Ibaka had the most peculiar line of the game--or possibly the entire night. in 35 minutes of action, the sophomore power forward had only one points, and he didn't hit a single field goal. He also turned the ball over five times, meaning that he cost his team several possessions in a tight game. Despite his utter ineptitude on the offensive end, however, Ibaka was an absolute monster on the defensive end of the floor. He pulled down eight boards, including four offensive, and also got two steals in the game. Most impressively, though, Ibaka blocked nine shots last night, more than he Nuggets (three) and his Thunder teammates (five) combined. He blocked five shots in the first quarter alone, setting the tone defensively for Oklahoma City. Ibaka's biggest rejection came with 35 seconds left in the game, on an attempted layup by Nene. The block preserved a one-point Thunder lead, which Durant promptly turned into a three-point edge with two free throws. Had Ibaka not been there to alter so many Nuggets shots last night, the series might be heading back to Denver--but instead the Thunder are moving on to the second round.