November 16, 2018

June 11, 1984 - Backbreaking Losses

Game #757 - St. Louis Cardinals, 8 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 6

The Cardinals have the best record in Statis Pro and it's not even really close.  The first inning was a typical example of what this team does.  They reeled off four straight singles before starter Steve Carlton walked Lonnie Smith with the bases loaded.  Tom Nieto nearly drove in two more runs two batter later, but Sixto Lezcano threw out Tommy Herr at the plate.  St. Louis were up 3-0 before the Phillies got back to the dugout.

Ozzie Smith added a 2-RBI double in the top of the third to extend their lead to five runs.  Mike Schmidt put the first Philadelphia run on the board with a solo homer in the fourth, and went deep again in the sixth for two more runs. 

By the bottom of the eighth St. Louis was up 8-4 but reliever Ricky Horton allowed two runs and all of a sudden it was a ball game again.  Bruce Sutter slammed the door shut in the ninth, though, and the Cards went home winners.

Winning Pitcher - Dave LaPoint
Losing Pitcher - Steve Carlton
Save - Bruce Sutter
Player of the Game - Ozzie Smith, 2-5, 2 2Bs, 2Rs, 2RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter, Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton

Game #758 - Atlanta Braves, 4 @ San Diego Padres, 2 (13 innings!)

The Padres jumped out early on the Braves when Kevin McReynolds took Rick Camp deep for a two-run bomb in the first.  The Braves tied the game in the top of the seventh, though, when Dale Murphy singled home Glen Hubbard.  The Padres loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth but couldn't push a run across so the game stayed knotted at 2-2.

Goose Gossage worked his second scoreless inning in the top of the ninth while Steve Bedrosian did the same for Atlanta in the bottom half of the frame and that meant one thing:  FREE BASEBALL!

Greg Booker took over for San Diego in the tenth and, despite looking a little shaky, he went three innings without surrendering a run.  Donnie Moore pitched outstanding, also going three innings deep while striking out four and not allowing a base runner.

The Padres were down to their last reliever in the top of the thirteenth.  Andy Hawkins, recently demoted to the back of the pen, came in and, after allowing a lead off single, Claudell Washington ripped an RBI triple two batters later.  Washington then scored on a Murphy RBI and Atlanta had a two run lead heading into the bottom of the 13th.  Terry Forster allowed a single to Tony Gwynn but McReynolds grounded into a double play to end the game.

Winning Pitcher - Donnie Moore
Losing Pitcher - Andy Hawkins
Save - Terry Forster
Player of the Game - Claudell Washington, 3-5, 2B, 3B, RBI, 2Rs, 2BBs
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

November 13, 2018

Rest in Peace - Ken Howell

Sad news, Statis Pro fans.  Ken Howell passed away.  He was just 57 years old.  1984 was his rookie year, where he logged effective innings out of the bullpen.  Thoughts and prayers to his family, fans, and teammates.

November 8, 2018

June 11, 1984 - Victory for the Visitors

Game #755 - Baltimore Orioles, 4 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 3

Chuck Porter and Mike Flanagan faced off in this one, but it was Porter who relented first.  In the top of the second the Orioles sent eight batters to the box and Jim Dwyer, Wayne Gross, and John Lowenstein all crossed home to give the O's a 3-0 lead.

Flanagan, meanwhile, was electric.  He hadn't allowed a walk or a hit until the ninth place batter, Ted Simmons, hit his first homer of the year in the bottom of the third. 

It stayed 3-1 until the sixth.  Jim Dwyer doubled and, two batters later, Rick Dempsey singled him home.  That run proved valuable, because in the bottom of the eighth Flanagan was still on the mound when Jim "Gumby" Gantner singled and then Charlie Moore homered to bring the Brew Crew within a run of tying the game.  Sammy Stewart relieved Flanny and got the last five outs to save the day for Baltimore.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Flanagan
Losing Pitcher - Chuck Porter
Save - Sammy Stewart
Player of the Game - Stewart, 1.2 IP, 2Ks, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, Robin Yount

Game #756 - Pittsburgh Pirates, 6 @ New York Mets, 4 (10 innings)

It was a scoreless game in the bottom of the second when Mookie Wilson singled and then stole second base.  Tony Pena uncorked a wild throw on the attempt, which moved Mookie to third.  Two batters later Mike Fitzgerald singled off Larry McWilliams for the unearned run.

The Pirates struck revenge in the top of the third, though.  Denny Gonzalez singled and later scored on a Marvelle Wynne triple.  Wynne then scored on a Lee Lacy single and the Pirates were on top 2-1.

The Mets knotted the game in the fourth inning.  Hubie Brooks singled and, two batters later, Ron Gardenhire launched a deep double to plate Brooks.  It stayed tied at 2-2 until the top of the sixth.  With Walt Terrell still on the mound, the Pirates had runners on second and third with two outs.  Dale Berra, who has been below the Mendoza line all season, dug in and stroked a key single, scoring both Pirates and giving Pittsburgh a two run lead.

It was ironic, then, that in the bottom of the eighth, still holding a one run lead, that a Berra error at short allowed Fitzgerald to score and tie the game.  Neither team produced a runner in the ninth so that meant one thing:  FREE BASEBALL!

Brent Gaff was in his third inning of relief in the top of the tenth when he walked Lee Lacy to lead off the inning.  Two batters later Jason Thompson gripped it and ripped it, sending the ball over the right field fence to give the Pirates the lead.  Don Robinson, also in his third inning of work, got three outs in the bottom of the tenth and the Jolly Roger waved over Shea Stadium.

Winning Pitcher - Don Robinson
Losing Pitcher - Brent Gaff
Player of the Game - Jason Thompson, 1-4, HR, 2RBI, BB, 2Rs

November 5, 2018

June 11, 1984 - Lefties Dominate the NL West

Game #753 - Cincinnati Reds, 2 @ Houston Astros, 6

Mario Soto took the mound for the Reds and Bob Knepper was handed the ball for Houston, and both pitchers were dominant early.  In fact, through the first four innings, it was all goose eggs on the scoreboard.

In the bottom of the fifth, though, Houston finally came up big.  Craig Reynolds reached on an error with one out and then moved to third on a Ray Knight double.  That brought up Mark Bailey he launched his first homer of the year, good for three RBI.

The sixth and seventh innings were uneventful but the Reds finally put some runs on the board in the eighth when Cesar Cedeno took Knepper deep for a two-run blast.  But Houston picked up three insurance runs in the bottom half of the inning to guarantee the win.

Winning Pitcher - Bob Knepper
Losing Pitcher - Mario Soto
Player of the Game - Mark Bailey, 1-3, HR, 3RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Perez

Game #754 - San Fransisco Giants, 1 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 6

Fernandomania was in full effect in this game.  Valenzuela struck out the first two batters he faced.  Meanwhile, in the bottom of the first, LA posted an early 3-0 lead thanks in large part to a two-run bomb from Pedro Guerrero.  Guerrero is showing signs of finally heating up after a dismal start to the Statis Pro season.

Valenzuela picked up two more K's in the second and another in the third and I started to think something special was going on.  I wasn't disappointed!  In the fourth inning he fanned another two Giants and then he struck out the side in the fifth!!!  The Statis Pro single game strike out record so far is 15, by Steve Carlton, and it looked like he might fly by that.  But he "only" got one strike out in each of his last four frames to fall short of 15 by just one.  What a game!!!

Winning Pitcher - Fernando Valenzuela
Losing Pitcher - Mark Davis
Player of the Game - Fernandomania, 14Ks, CG, 1R, 4Hs, 3BBs

November 2, 2018

June 11, 1984 - Walk-Offs and Dominant Wins

Game #751 - New York Yankees, 6 @ Boston Red Sox, 7

Funny enough, I played this game on the night the Boston Red Sox won the World Series...#foreshadowing

Boston took and early 1-0 lead in the first when Tony Armas singled home Wade Boggs after he doubled to lead off.  An RBI single by Jim Rice in the third and a solo homer by Reid Nichols in the fourth extended their advantage to 3-0.

In the top of the fifth, though, New York finally tagged rookie hurler Roger Clemens for some runs.  Back to back RBI singles by Roy Smalley and Bobby Meacham cut into Boston lead, leaving the Yankees trailing by just one run.  Tony Armas, though, made up for the damage with a two-run bomb off Ron Guidry, who gave up a whopping total of twelve hits across his six innings of work.

It remained 5-2 Boston until the top of the eighth.  That's when Bob Stanley took the mound to pitch the last two innings of the game.  It did not go well!  With two outs and two runners on, Don Mattingly and Victor Mata had back to back hits to plate two runs.  Then, with Steve Kemp at bat, Jackie Gutierrez booted a ball that allowed Mattingly and Mata to score and give New York the lead, 6-5!!!

Jay Howell, one of the best relievers of the Statis Pro season, was on the mound for Boston's last chance in the bottom of the ninth.  He issued back to back walks to Wade Boggs and Dwight Evans, just his second and third walks on the season.  They eached advanced a base when Jim Rice made it to first on a fielding error by Roy Smalley.  With the bases loaded and the infield in, Tony Armas grounded into a force out at home plate.  That kept the bases juiced with still only one out.  But Howell got Mike Easler to strike out, so Boston was down to their last hitter.  Jerry Remy, a left handed hitter, subbed in for Marty Barrett, a righty just like Howell.  And the beloved future announcer came through with a single to center!  Evans scored...Mata threw home as Jim Rice rounded third...and he scored safely too!  Remy had a pinch hit, two-RBI, walk-off single!!!

Winning Pitcher - Bob Stanley
Losing Pitcher - Jay Howell
Player of the Game - Jerry Remy of course!
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

Game #752 - Montreal Expos, 9 @ Chicago Cubs, 0

This game got ugly early.  Dick Ruthven, starting for the Cubbies, got roughed up for three runs in the top of the ninth.  That included a bases loaded walk of Tim Wallach as well as a two-RBI single from Wallace Johnson.  The Expos went on to score nine total runs in the game.  Andre Dawson came a double short of being the first Statis Pro hitter with a cycle on the season and was one of three Expos with two runs scored (Tim Raines and Gary Carter were the others).

Meanwhile, the real story of the game was Dave Palmer.  He didn't allow a base runner until there were two outs in the bottom of the ninth and he walked Ruthven.  He didn't permit a  hit until there were two outs in the fifth - I was starting to get excited about a potential no-hitter!  Palmer went the distance while only allowing three total hits and two walks...not to mention his 11 K's on the day!

Winning Pitcher - Dave Palmer
Losing Pitcher - Dick Ruthven
Player of the Game - Palmer
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tim Raines, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg

October 30, 2018

June 10, 1984 - 750 Down, Many More to Go...

Game #749 - Chicago Cubs, 4 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 11

The Cubs jumped out to an early lead in this one.  In the top of the first Bob Dernier got walked by Kurt Kepshire and then stole second base off Tom Nieto.  Ryne Sandberg was up next and ripped a triple to score the first run of the game.  Gary Matthews batted third, and his single plated Sandberg.  Leon Durham struck out and Matthews got thrown out at home on a Keith Moreland single.  A "Z" play happened after that, allowing Moreland to score but Ron Cey getting caught in a run down as he rounded too far past first base.

That was a major lead to post before the Cardinals even batted, but they gave it away immediately.  Rick Resuchel gave up a grand salami to David Green with one out in the inning.  St. Louis picked up another three runs in the bottom of the second and the route was on.  Green added a second homer, this time a solo shot, in the fifth and the Cards scored three more in sixth inning off reliever Dickie Noles.

Winning Pitcher - Kurt Kepshire
Losing Pitcher - Rick Reuschel
Player of the Game - David Green, 2-4, 2HRs, 5RBI, GS
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg, Ozzie Smith

Happy Trails...Ken Oberkfell

This was the last game in a Cardinals uniform for Ken "Obi-Wan" Oberkfell.  Don't worry, though.  He'll pop back up on the Braves.  He went to Atlanta in the real 1984 after Bob Horner's season-ending injury.  I haven't added him to their active roster yet but probably will in the next game or two.

So how did Oberkfell do for St. Louis?  Quite well!  Check it out:

Statis Pro 1984:  27R, 66H, 18 2B, 2 3B, 30RBI, .379/.432/.506/.938 15.1 wRAA

The Real 1984:  17R, 47H, 11 2B, 1 3B, 11RBI, .309/.379/.395/.773  8 wRAA

Ken was no slouch in the real 1984, but he's been hitting out of his gourd in Statis Pro.  I don't foresee that continuing in Atlanta...  Terry Pendleton will get a bunch more starts now for St. Louis.

Game #750 - Oakland A's, 7 @ Texas Rangers, 8

That's right, game #750 - another big round number crossed off the list of the Statis Pro season.  It was a good one, too!

In the bottom of the first Larry Parrish went big-fly for a three run bomb to give Texas an early lead.  But in the top of the second Frank Tanana coughed up a triple, double, and single to Tony Phillips, Donnie Hill, and Bill Almon, cutting the score to 3-2.  In the top of the fifth the A's tied the game.  Rickey Henderson stole second, went to third base on a wild pitch, and then scored on a Davey Lopes single.

Oakland pushed ahead in the top of the sixth.  Dwayne Murphy blasted a Tanana pitch into the right field bleachers to score himself and Dave Kingman.  They took that 5-3 lead into the bottom of the sixth.  That's when a Phillips fielding error allowed Wayne Tolleson to scamper to third base and score on a subsequent Pete O'Brien single. 

It was still 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh.  With two outs and George Wright on second base Marv Foley came in to pinch hit for Tolleson.  He promptly took Keith Atherton deep to give the Rangers a one run lead!  Consecutive errors by Atherton and Rickey Henderson led to two more runs, giving Texas a three run lead.

In the top of the ninth, with Dave Tobik trying to close it out, Oakland came roaring back.  Joe Morgan reached on a fielding error by Curtis Wilkerson and then Tobik walked Bruce Bochte.  Henderson dug in next and lined a double to score Morgan.  Two batters later Bochte scored on a sacrifice fly by Carney Lansford.  But with Henderson still on second, Kingman lined out to Buddy Bell to end the game.

Winning Pitcher - Dave Schmidt
Losing Pitcher - Keith Atherton
Save - Dave Tobik
Player of the Game - Marv Foley, 1-1, HR, 2RBI, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan

October 27, 2018

Rest in Peace - Wayne Krenchicki

Sad news to report - Wayne Krenchicki passed away earlier this month at the age of 64.  His 1984 season was quite good in limited action and he's been a rock star in this Statis Pro season.  Thoughts and prayers to his friends, family, and teammates.