January 19, 2019

June 14, 1984 - Hall of Fame Effort

Game #789 - Philadelphia Phillies, 1 @ Chicago Cubs, 7

Tim Corcoran jumped on a Rick Reuschel fastball for a solo homer and an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first.  But the Cubs would triple that score in the bottom half with only one hit!  Jerry Koosman allowed a lead-off single to Bob Dernier and then walked Gary Matthews.  Ryne Sandberg was up next and hit a hard grounder to Juan Samuel who bobbled the play, allowing Dernier to score.  Keith Moreland was up next and hit a grounder in the infield.  Matthews charged for home and was safe on the fielder's choice.  A couple of batters later Henry Cotto hit a sacrifice fly to plate Sandberg. 

Reuschel cruised in and out of trouble through the seventh, and even had an RBI single in the fifth to extend the Cubs lead to 4-1.  Chicago added two more runs on a Sandberg homer in the sixth and the Phillies never threatened after that.

Winning Pitcher - Rick Reuschel
Losing Pitcher - Jerry Koosman
Player of the Game - Ryne Sandberg, 2-4, HR, 2RBI, 2Rs, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt, Ryne Sandberg

Game #790 - Los Angeles Dodgers, 1 @ Houston Astros, 2

Nolan Ryan and Rick Honeycutt both looked good early, but especially Ryan.  The first five outs of the game for the Dodgers were all K's and Ryan had nine through four innings!  I thought we could be approaching Roger Clemens/Kerry Wood territory but Nolan let off the gas a bit after that.

The Dodgers scored first in the top of the fifth thanks to an RBI double by Pedro Guerrero.  But Houston responded by scratching out two runs in their half of the inning on RBI singles from Bill Doran and Jerry Mumphrey...

...and that would be all the offense on the day!  Ryan lasted seven innings while Dave Smith pitched two innings of relief for the win.

Winning Pitcher - Nolan Ryan
Losing Pitcher - Rick Honeycutt
Save - Dave Smith
Player of the Game - Ryan, 7IP, R, 11K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Nolan Ryan

January 8, 2019

June 14, 1984 - Backups to the Rescue

Game #787 - New York Yankees, 6 @ Boston Red Sox, 3

New York scored twice in the top of the second inning off starter Bruce Hurst.  Roy Smalley hit a sacrifice fly to plate Brian Dayett and Tim Foli (playing for the injured Willie Randolph) doubled home Ken Griffey.

The Yankees picked up another run in the third when Bobby Meacham hit a solo homer, but the Red Sox picked up two runs in the bottom of the third.  Jim Rice singled to bring home Dwight Evans, and then Rice scored on a Tony Armas triple.  That made it 3-2 in favor of the Yankees.

It stayed that way until the top of the eighth.  Smalley and Foli had back to back hits that led to three runs to pad the New York lead.  Armas would homer in the eighth but that's as close as the Red Sox got.

Winning Pitcher - Roy Fontenot
Losing Pitcher - Bruce Hurst
Player of the Game - Tim Foli, 3-3, 2 2B's, BB, RBI, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

Game #788 - Chicago White Sox, 3 @ California Angels, 7

This game was over almost as soon as it started.  In the bottom of the first LaMarr Hoyt gave up four runs; two on a homer by Fred Lynn and the other two on a double to Rob Wilfong.

Doug DeCinces added a two-RBI triple in the second to extend the California lead to 6-0.  Wilfong (getting increased playing time with Bobby Grich on the DL) added a solo homer in the fifth.

Chicago finally got three runs off Geoff Zahn later in the game but it was too little, too late. 

Winning Pitcher - Geoff Zahn
Losing Pitcher - LaMarr Hoyt
Player of the Game - Rob Wilfong, 4-4, 2B, HR, 3RBI, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Carlton Fisk, Harold Baines, Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

January 5, 2019

June 14, 1984 - Mahler Delivers

Game #786 - Cincinnati Reds, 1 @ Atlanta Braves, 5

Atlanta opened the scoring in the bottom of the first with lead-off, back to back doubles by Glenn Hubbard and Claudell Washington for the early 1-0 lead. 

The Reds managed to tie the game in the top of the fourth.  Wayne Krenchicki hit a solo homer off Rick Mahler.  Mahler sure settled down after that, though!  He retired the next 14 hitters in a row.  I also had him batting sixth in the lineup since he hit in the .290's in the real 1984.  He went 2-4 with a double!

The Braves went back out in front in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI double by Jerry Royster, who is subbing at shortstop for the injure Rafael Ramirez.  But the sixth inning was the major turning point for Atlanta.  They plated three more runs, including a rare solo homer from Bruce Bennedict.  Mahler went the distance for a complete game win.

Winning Pitcher - Rick Mahler
Losing Pitcher - Joe Price
Player of the Game - Mahler

January 3, 2019

June 13, 1984 - Tigers Clawing Towards First

Game #785 - Detroit Tigers, 14 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 11

You read that right - 14 to 11.  I think the pitchers were throwing underhand like a softball game...

The game was scoreless until the top of the second.  The Blue Jays had Doyle Alexander on the mound and he might be having the best season in Statis Pro.  But lil' Tom Brookens ripped a triple to plate Lance Parrish and Howard Johnson.  Whitaker then knocked in Brookens.

Alexander gave up solo homers to Chet Lemon and Lance Parrish in the third but the Blue Jays scored four in the fourth to cut the lead to one for Detroit.  Dave Collins hit a triple to plate two in that sequence.  Alexander gave up another home run, this time for two runs to Larry Herndon in the top of the fifth and finally got lifted.  His replacement, Jim Acker, gave up a solo job to Brookens and the Tigers were back up 8-4.

But the Blue Jays wouldn't give up!  After Willie Hernandez pitched three scoreless innings in relief of a short start by Dan Petry, Doug Bair took the mound and got rocked.  Toronto sent ten batters to the plate in the sixth and by the end of it the game was tied at eight apiece.

An RBI single by Lou Whitaker and a bases loaded walk to Darrell Evans in the seventh gave Detroit the lead again, but Ernie Whitt hit a solo homer in the bottom half of the frame and the Tigers were clinging to a one run lead.  But in the bottom of the eighth Roger Mason had a runner on base with two outs when Jorge Bell came to the plate.  HOME.  RUN.  Toronto finally had a one run lead!

The top of the ninth saw Jimmy Key take the mound hoping to preserve the lead.  He hasn't been good this Statis Pro season and his bad luck continued.  He gave up back to back doubles to Barbaro Garbey and Whitaker and the game was tied.  Alan Trammell singled to push Sweet Lou to third and bring up Evans.  Evans sent a ball deep into the right field bleachers and Detroit retook the lead by three runs!  Mason retired the side in the bottom of the ninth to go from the losing pitcher to the winner.

With that win the Tigers are now just a game and a half behind Toronto for first in the AL East!

Winning Pitcher - Roger Mason
Losing Pitcher - Jimmy Key
Player of the Game - Darrell Evans, 2-4, HR, 4RBI, 2 BB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Alan Trammell

January 1, 2019

June 13, 1984 - AL West End Boys

Game #783 - Kansas City Royals, 7 @ Seattle Mariners, 11

Seattle jumped to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first thanks to a two-run homer from red-hot rookie Alvin Davis.  They added another two runs in the second thanks to consecutive RBI hits from the Henderson boys (Dave and Steve).  Frank White managed to score after a triple in the top of the third, but another Seattle run in the fourth had them at a 5-1 lead.

Kansas City came roaring back in the fourth.  A Larry Milbourne error allowed Don Slaught to score and then, with two runners on, Darryl Motley crushed a homer to tie the game!

White hit a solo shot in the sixth to give the Royals their first lead but reliever Joe Beckwith surrendered that lead in the seventh.  It was still tied until the eighth when Steve "Bye-Bye" Balboni blasted a solo homer to give the Royals the lead yet again.

In the bottom of the ninth Beckwith walked the first to batters and then George Brett booted an easy grounder to load the bases with nobody out.  Al Cowens walked to tie the game but KC got two outs while keeping the bases loaded to bring up Bob Kearney for the Mariners.  All he did was HIT A WALK-OFF GRAND SLAM FOR THE WIN!!!!

Winning Pitcher - Don Geisel
Losing Pitcher - Joe Beckwith
Player of the Game - Bob Freakin' Kearney
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett


Game #784 - Minnesota Twins, 7 @ Texas Rangers, 4

The Twins hit three straight doubles off Mike Moore to give themselves a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first.  Kent Hrbek hit his second RBI double of the game in the third to push that lead to 3-0.  Tom Brunansky added a two-run homer in the sixth to go up by five.

The Rangers attempted a comeback in the bottom of the sixth.  Ed Hodge gave up back to back solo homers to Pete O'Brien and Larry Parrish.  They also scored twice in the eighth but that was as close as they could get with the Minnesota offense scoring once in the eighth and ninth.

Winning Pitcher - Ed Hodge
Losing Pitcher - Dave Stewart
Save - Rick Lysander
Player of the Game - Kent Hrbek, 3-3, 2 2B's, 2RBI, 2BB's, 2R's


December 30, 2018

June 13, 1984 - Sluggers Gonna Slug

Game #781 - Cleveland Indians, 1 @ Oakland A's, 11

Cleveland scored the first run of the game, a sacrifice fly from George Vukovich that plated Brett Butler...and then allowed eleven to Oakland.

Ouch.

Dave Kingman hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first.  Bill Almon hit a solo bomb in the second.  Oakland scored three more in the third before Dwayne Murphy launched a grand slam in the fourth.

It was ugly for Cleveland.

Winning Pitcher - Steve McCatty
Losing Pitcher - Neal Heaton
Player of the Game - Dave Kingman, 2-3, HR, 3RBI, BB, 3R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson

Game #782 - St. Louis Cardinals, 1 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 2

Bob Forsch was a good major league pitcher over his career but was awful in the real 1984 season.  He should be in Statis Pro, too, but for some reason he's been incredibly lucky so far.

That continued, to a degree, in this one too.

Juan Samuel was standing on third base with one out when John Denny grounded to Ozzie Smith.  Samuel broke to home and beat Smith's throw for the first score of the game.  Forsch got in and out of jams the rest of the way until the bottom of the seventh.  After allowing to straight hits in the seventh he got lifted in favor of Jeff Lahti.  Lahti was in a pickle, inheriting runners on first and third.  But he recorded back to back strikeouts against Gary Maddox and Greg Gross.  That brought up Mike Schmidt, and Schmidt roped a double to score Tim Corcoran and give the Phillies a 2-0 lead.

In the top of the eighth Tito Landrum walked and later scored on an Ivan DeJesus fielding error.  But Al Holland got two innings of relief in to save the game for John Denny.

Winning Pitcher - John Denny
Losing Pitcher - Bob Forsch
Save - Al Holland
Player of the Game - Mike Schmidt, 1-3, 2B, RBI, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Mike Schmidt

Happy Trails...Mark Salas


1984 marked the brief rookie debut of Mark Salas, mostly known for his days as a backup catcher over eight years in the big leagues.  Salas was on the active roster for the Statis Pro Cardinals due to Darrell Porter's injury.  Let's see how he did:

The Real 1984:  .100AVG, .100OBP, .150SLG, .250OPS, 2B, 1 RBI, 1 R
Statis Pro 1984:  .273AVG, .280 OBP., .364 SLG, .644OPS, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 0 R

Salas only played in 14 games in the real 1984 and didn't make much of an impact, while his Statis Pro self got quite a bit luckier with the bat.  His wRAA in Statis Pro was still negative (-0.8), so he wasn't that much better.  It would have been fun to see Salas in a 1985 season replay, as he hit .300 and was the primary starter for the Minnesota Twins.

December 28, 2018

June 13, 1984 - Coming Down to the Last Inning

Game #779 - Baltimore Orioles, 2 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 6

This game started off as a nice pitcher's duel.  Storm Davis of the Orioles and Moose Haas of the Brewers were both in fine form.

The first damage of the game came in the bottom of the second.  Rick Manning hit a solo homer with two outs off Davis.  The Brewers struck again in the bottom of the fourth with a two-out, RBI single by Jim Gantner that plated Robin  Yount.

Davis settled down after that while Haas cruised into the top of the seventh.  With two outs and Gary Roenicke on third, Rich Dauer ripped a double for Baltimore's first run.  Then Al Bumbry singled home Dauer and the game was tied up!

It was still knotted at 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth.  Storm Davis was still pitching when he loaded the bases off an error, single, and a walk.  That brought up Yount with the bases juiced.  HE WENT YARD.  GRAND SLAM WALK-OFF!!!

Winning Pitcher - Ray Searage
Losing Pitcher - Storm Davis
Player of the Game - Robin Yount, 2-5, GS, 4RBI, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, Robin Yount

Game #780 - Pittsburgh Pirates, 5 @ New York Mets, 4

I thought this game would be another pitcher's duel with Doc Gooden and John Tudor on the mound, but that wasn't quite the case...

The Mets scored first in the bottom of the first when a Keith Hernandez sacrifice fly scored Mookie Wilson.  The Pirates gained the lead in the second, though, on RBI hits from Tudor (!) and Marvelle Wynne.

New York surged ahead in the bottom of the third.  George Foster and Ron Gardenhire hit back to back RBI singles to give the Mets a 3-2 lead.  Foster added another run with a solo homer in the fifth, his third hit of the day.

But in the top of the sixth Doc Gooden had a runner on first with two outs when Doug Frobel stepped up.  He promptly jacked a two-run homer to tie the game!  Gooden would strike out the last batter in the sixth, his tenth "K" of the game, before getting lifted for a pinch-hitter.

Fast forward to the top of the ninth.  Wes Gardner surrendered four straight hits after recording the first hit, including an RBI single by Lee Lacy.  That one run would be the difference as Cecilio Guante got three outs in the bottom of the ninth.

Winning Pitcher - Don Robinson
Losing Pitcher - Wes Gardner
Save - Cecilio Guante
Player of the Game - Don Robinson, 2.1 IP, 3K's, 0H's & 0R's