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August 20, 2016

Friend Requests - Baltimore Orioles Analysis

Hello!  I had a request for an update on a few teams, including my personal favorite, the Baltimore Orioles.  Who am I to deny my loyal readers the opportunity to learn more about the greatest team ever?

The Orioles are 22-17 in this 1984 Statis Pro season, one year removed from their real life World Series victory over the Phillies.  The team doesn't look that different than the champs, though some of their performances have varied.  They have a good record but are actually tied for fourth place with the Boston Red Sox, stuck behind the Yankees, Tigers, and Blue Jays.  The AL East is very tough, especially compared to the weak teams over in the West.

Let's take a look at the offense:

C   Rick Dempsey   7HR  15RBI  .223/.296/.476
1B Eddie Murray    8HR   35RBI  .348/.454/.582
2B Rich Dauer        9 2B    10RBI  .256/.278/.372
3B Wayne Gross    13HR  27RBI  .223/.321/.638
SS Cal Ripken Jr.   8HR    28RBI  .331/.402/.600
OF Mike Young     6HR    28RBI  .402/.491/.636
OF Al Bumbry        5 2B    5RBI     .385/.446/.431
OF Gary Roenicke  5HR   17RBI   .278/.393/.500
OF John Lowenstein 2HR  11RBI   .364/.414/.494
OF John Shelby      2 3B    8RBI     .225/.252/.297
DH Ken Singleton   2HR    5RBI     .268/.324/.340

As you can see, a lot of these guys are hitting way outside of their weight class.  Mike Young is the prime example of this.  He's the best hitter in the league right now not named Joe Morgan.  He and Morgan continue to be the luckiest players on the FAC's.  Wayne Gross hits homers, walks, or strikes out.  At some point the offense has to come back down to earth...right?

Here are the pitchers:

Mike Boddicker    7-2  1.78 ERA  33K
Mike Flanagan      3-2   3.28 ERA  27K
Storm Davis           4-3  3.17 ERA  32K
Scott McGregor     3-1  5.66 ERA  24K

Sammy Stewart      1-1   8.31 ERA  5 saves
Tippy Martinez       1-0   8.31 ERA  1 save
Dennis Martinez     0-2    8.40 ERA

Jim Palmer is already done for the season, his last as a professional.  The starters have been strong, though McGregor has suffered from some bad luck.  The bullpen is an obvious eye sore.  They've had bad luck too, though Dennis Martinez was not good in the real 1984.  He just got bumped into the rotation to fill the Jim Palmer void.

I predict these guys will finish third by the end of the year.  I think the Tigers and Blue Jays will continue to battle for first while the Yankees and Red Sox fade at some point.  This is a plus .500 team for sure, but they can't keep hitting like they are now.  Sadly.

August 19, 2016

May 19, 1984 - Double Digit Disasters

Game #489 - Chicago White Sox, 12 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 10

Jim Gott was the Toronto starter and he got knocked around in a hurry.  Scott Fletcher reached on an error by Rance Mulliniks and then trotted home ahead of a Harold Baines two-run blast.  Vance Law was the next man in the batter's box, and he went yard too, giving the Pale Hose a quick 3-0 lead.  They made it 7-0 in the top of the second when Ron Kittle cranked a three-run jack of his own.

But Toronto began a comeback in the bottom of the second.  They plated four, including a bases loaded, two-RBI single by catcher Ernie Whitt.  And the game kept going like that - each team spraying the ball around the field.  The White Sox would total five homers on the game, with Marc Hill and Greg Walker adding to the cause.  Toronto had two, a two-run bomb from Dave Collins and a two-run homer from Jorge Bell in the eighth that brought the Blue Jays within a run of tying the game.  But a Fletcher sacrifice fly in the ninth gave Ron Reed enough cushion to save the day for Chicago.

Winning Pitcher - Dan Spillner
Losing Pitcher - Jim Gott
Save - Ron Reed
Player of the Game - Spillner, who I just realized is also pitching on the Indians right now...

Game #490 - Houston Astros, 18 @ Chicago Cubs, 0

You read that right.  The Astros hung 18 on the Cubs.  It was ugly as they scored runs in seven of their nine innings.  Jerry Mumphry had five RBI, Enos Cabell had four, and Terry Puhl collected three.  Gary Matthews comes off the disabled list, so that's something...?  The Cubbies have an eleven game losing streak right now.  Not sure how they can recover to go to the playoffs like the real 1984 at this point...

Winning Pitcher - Bob Knepper
Losing Pitcher - Dick Ruthven
Player of the Game - Knepper, CG SHO, 4K's, 2-5, 2 2b's, RBI, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg


August 6, 2016

May 19, 1984 - AL Outfield Studs

Game #487 - Boston Red Sox, 6 @ Minnesota Twins, 4

The big story of this game was the fourth inning. Clinging to a one run lead, Boston exploded for five more off starter Mike Smithson.  Four of those came courtesy of Dwight Evans hitting a grand slam.  It wasn't all fun and games for the Red Sox, though.  Rich Gedman got injured in the bottom of the ninth and will miss the next nine games.

Winning Pitcher - Oil Can Boyd
Losing Pitcher - Mike Smithson
Save - Charlie Mitchell
Player of the Game - Evans, 2-4, grand slam, 4RBI's, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Kirby Puckett


Happy Trails...Charlie Mitchell

Rookie Charlie Mitchell notched ten games in the real 1984, and didn't get into a game until August.  I had him in the bullpen right at the start of the season, and used him as the closer.  How did Statis Pro Mitchell compare to the real one?

Real 1984:  2.76 ERA, 0-0, 0SV, 16.1IP, 7K's, 6BB's, 1.22WHIP
Statis Pro:   1.69 ERA, 1-1, 6SV, 16IP, 4K's, 2BB's, 0.69WHIP

As you can see, the Statis Pro version was a pinch better.  I think it's funny that both iterations hit two batters with pitches.  That's fairly random, especially with just ten games/16 innings to work with.  Mitchell had a 2-8 rated pitcher card in my deck, and closer duties will now fall to the 2-6 Bob Stanley.  Prepare for a bumpy ride.

Game #488 - California Angels, 3 @ New York Yankees, 5

In the bottom of the first Ken Griffey led off with a double and then trotted home on a Dave Winfield homer.  Winfield recorded another RBI in the third when he roped a double.  In fact, the Yankees rocked seven total doubles during the game.

It was still 5-0 in the top of the eighth when Ray Fontenot gave up a lead off home run to Bobby Grich.  Gary Pettis then doubled and Fontenot was lifted for Jay Howell.  But pinch hitter Reggie Jackson came in and blasted a homer of his own!  Alas, that is all the damage California would muster, as Howell settled down to save the game.  Good news for the Yankees, too - Willie Randolph is off the DL for their next game.

Winning Pitcher - Ray Fontenot
Losing Pitcher - Tommy John
Save - Jay Howell
Player of the Game - Dave Winfield, 3-4, 3RBI's, 2R's, HR, 2B
Hall of Famers in the Game - Reggie Jackson, Rod Carew, Dave Winfield

July 28, 2016

May 19, 1984 - I'm Back

It's been over a month, which was about the amount of time my family and I needed to move to a new house three miles away and get settled.  But we made it!  And my Statis Pro game was undamaged!  On to the games...

Game #485 - Texas Rangers, 1 @ Kansas City Royals, 6

I actually played this one before we moved!  As such the details are a little fuzzy but I know Pat Sheridan was spelling Willie Wilson in center field, and led off the bottom of the first with a single, eventually scoring on a Frank White sacrifice fly.  Onix Concepcion crossed home plate on a Greg Pryor ground out in the second, and that's all the scoring that occurred until the bottom of the eighth when K.C. erupted for four runs, including 2 RBI from a Dane Iorg single.  Charlie Leibrandt took a shutout into the ninth before George Wright plated Larry Parrish with a triple.

Winning Pitcher - Charlie Leibrandt
Losing Pitcher - Danny Darwin
Player of the Game - Leibrandt, CG, 3K's, 8H's

Game #486 - Cleveland Indians, 11 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 3

I played this one last night, so it's a bit fresher in my mind.  Especially Brett Butler.  In the real 1984 he had three home runs for the entire season.  In Statis Pro he'd only launched one.  In fact, Butler is one of the worst performing starters in my game, at the bottom of the unlucky barrel.  But he went crazy in this game!  He blasted a "clutch batting" homer in the second and bombed another one in the sixth, giving him four RBI's on the game!  Meanwhile, Bert Blyleven took his own shutout into the ninth before Roy Howell crushed a three run jack with two outs.  Howell had three of the seven hits on the day for the Brew Crew.  Howell is hitting over .400 on the season, about 170 points higher than he did in the real 1984.  Now we know who is stealing Brett Butler's mojo...

Winning Pitcher - Bert Blyleven
Losing Pitcher - Moose Haas
Player of the Game - Butler, 3-6, 2HR's, 4RBI's, steal
Hall of Famers in the Game - Bert Blyleven, Robin Yount

June 14, 2016

May 19, 1984 - 8.5 Innings

Game #483 - Seattle Mariners, 2 @ Baltimore Orioles, 7

Baltimore was looking for revenge after their absolute drubbing by the Mariners the day before, and they came out swinging.  Al Bumbry and Cal Ripken Jr. singled, and then Eddie Murray knocked a hit to score Bumbry.  But Seattle tied it up in the top of the second.  Mike Boddicker had retired the first five hitters in the game before issuing a walk to Phil Bradley.  That's when little Spike Own ripped a triple to even things up.

Rich Dauer pulled the O's ahead again in the bottom of the third when he launched a solo homer off Mike Moore.  Baltimore piled on in the fourth and fifth inning, plating another five runs, all off Mike Moore.  I didn't realize it until the end of the game, but Moore gave up 15(!) hits in six innings.  But in five of those six innings Baltimore managed to hit into a double play, including two lineouts to Phil Bradley who caught John Lowenstein too far off first.  A Bob Kearney solo bomb in the eighth wasn't enough to dig the Mariners out of their hole as the Orioles put one in the WIN column.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Boddicker
Losing Pitcher - Mike Moore
Player of the Game - Rich Dauer, 2-4, 2B, HR, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

Game #484 - Oakland A's, 4 @ Detroit Tigers, 5

Detroit is playing great baseball, but they continue to trail the Blue Jays in the AL East.  With the A's in town they needed to keep the pedal to the metal - *instert Detroit auto-industry pun* - to keep pace.

Jack Morris was tossing a no-hitter in the fourth when, with one out, Bruce Bochte poked a single to break that up, and then Mike Heath went deep to give Oakland a surprise 2-0 lead.  But Darrell Evans ripped a solo bomb in the fifth and then Kirk Gibson added one of his own in the sixth, but Oakland was still up 3-2 thanks to a RBI double by Tony Phillips in the previous inning.

In the bottom of the seventh Tom Burgmeier replaced Mike Warren and had the bases loaded when Carney Lansford booted a grounder that allowed Detroit to tie the game.  With the bases still loaded Lou Whitaker poked a ball out of the infield to score Evans for the lead.  Evans added an RBI hit in the eighth, which would prove important because Oakland scored an unearned run off Willie Hernandez in the ninth due to a Howard Johnson error.  But the Evans RBI secured victory for Hockey Town USA.

Winning Pitcher - Jack Morris
Losing Pitcher - Bill Caudill
Save - Willie Hernandez
Player of the Game - Darrell Evans, 3-3, BB, HR, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan

June 10, 2016

May 18, 1984 - Working 9 to 5

Game #481 - Philadelphia Phillies, 9 @ San Francisco Giants, 1

It was a funky game for the Phillies, as the Giants never challenged them for the win.  Von Hayes led off both the first and the third inning with triples, and each time Greg Gross was able to plate him for the RBI.  Juan Samuel and Mike Schmidt recorded homers and John Denny tossed another gem, going 7 innings and only giving up four hits, one of which was a Bob Brenly  four-bagger.

Winning Pitcher - John Denny
Losing Pitcher - Bill Laskey
Player of the Game - Denny, 7IP, 4H's, R, 6K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt

Game #482 - Cincinnati Reds, 3 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 5

This was the final game on the May 18th schedule, and it was a good one!

The Reds scored first.  Gary Redus hit a one-out double and then stole third base.  Two hitters later Dave "Cobra" Parker hit a deep fly for an RBI sacrifice.  But in the bottom of the first St. Louis took the lead.  Three straight singles scored Willie McGee and George Hendrick.  A Redus error in the second allowed Lonnie Smith to score after cranking a double, and then the Cards got two more in the third to make it 5-1.

In the top of the fifth the Reds began chipping back.  Redus doubled again, and once again eventually scored on a Parker sacrifice fly.  Cesar Cedeno punched an RBI pinch-hit in the sixth that allowed Ron Oester to cross home and all of a sudden the Cards were only up two!  But Dave Rucker pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, wracking up three K's for the save.

Winning Pitcher - John Stuper
Losing Pitcher - Joe Price
Save - Dave Rucker
Player of the Game - Rucker
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Perez, Ozzie Smith

May 29, 2016

May 18, 1984 - Happy Memorial Day Weekend

Hey, I hope you all are having a great long weekend.  My dad is retired Air Force, so I always get an extra sense of appreciation on Memorial Day.  My family and I are moving houses in the next couple of weeks, so I should be packing instead of Statis Pro-ing, but what's better than three free days of simulated ballgames?

Game #479 - Atlanta Braves, 4 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 1

It was a scoreless game leading into the top of the second when Brad Komminsk ripped a solo blast to give Atlanta the early lead.  Dale Murphy added an RBI single in the third and a Claudell Washington fielder's choice plated Bob Watson in the fourth.  Washington added another solo homer in the sixth and the Braves were triumphant over the Pirates.

Winning Pitcher - Pascual Perez
Losing Pitcher - John Tudor
Save - Steve Bedrosian
Player of the Game - Perez, 7IP, ER, 6H's, 5K's

Game #480 - New York Mets, 9 @ San Diego Padres, 15

Well the Padres offense must have been offended by my recent comments on this site regarding their performance, because they opened up a can of whup-@$$ on the Mets.  Ron Darling gave up three runs in the bottom of the first when six of the first seven batters singled, including a two-RBI hit by Terry Kennedy.  Kennedy plated two more in the fifth, which had the Padres up 5-3 going into the top of the fourth.  But that's when the Mets staged their own comeback.  They tied things up on RBI shots by Keith Hernandez and Hubie Brooks.  Unfortunately for New York, reliever Brent Gaff imploded to the tune of six runs in the bottom half of the inning and the Padres never looked back.

Winning Pitcher - Tim Lollar
Losing Pitcher - Brent Gaff
Player of the Game - Terry Kennedy, 4-4, 2B, 6RBI's, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

May 26, 2016

May 18, 1984 - Shutouts

Game #477 - Houston Astros, 4 @ Chicago Cubs, 0

Bill Doran went absolutely nuts in this game.  In the real 1984 he only hit four homers, but he had two two-run jacks against the hapless Cubs, bringing his Statis Pro total to three with still three-quarters of the season to play.  Nolan Ryan cruised through seven innings of work while striking out five and the Cubs lost their TENTH game in a row.  Woof.

Winning Pitcher - Nolan Ryan
Losing Pitcher - Chuck Rainey
Player of the Game - Bill Doran, 2-5, 2HR's, 4RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Nolan Ryan, Ryne Sandberg

Game #478 - Montreal Expos, 0 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 3

The bases were loaded in a tie game in the bottom of the fifth when Expos starter Steve Rogers plunked Orel Hershiser to score the first run of the game.  That was all they'd actually need as Hershiser went the distance for a shutout, thanks in large part to Mike Marshall throwing out Tim Raines at home plate in the top of the ninth.

Winning Pitcher - Orel Hershiser
Losing Pitcher - Steve Rogers
Player of the Game - Hershiser, CG SHO, 8K's, only 4H's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

May 24, 2016

May 18, 1984 - AL East Continues to Dominate

Game #475 - California Angels, 1 @ New York Yankees, 3

The first place Angels traveled to the Bronx in hopes of furthering their lead over the rest of the AL West.  But New York was ready to defend the house that Ruth built.  In the bottom of the second Butch Wynegar doubled and was brought home by a Roy Smalley single.  Smalley moved to second when outfielder Juan Beniquez bobbled the ball.  That allowed a Tim Foli hit to score Smalley too.  Don Baylor added a RBI double in the third to extend the Yankees lead to 3-0.  Rob Picciolo countered with a solo homer in the top of the seventh, but that was all the offense California could muster because Ron Guidry was filthy.  He pitched into the seventh and struck out eight on his way to another victory on the season.  Jay Howell and Dave Righetti were strong in closing the game out.

Winning Pitcher - Ron Guidry
Losing Pitcher - Ron Romanick
Save - Dave Righetti
Player of the Game - Gator
Hall of Famers in the Game - Reggie Jackson, Rod Carew, Dave Winfield

Game #476 - Chicago White Sox, 6 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 8

This was a fun one!

Doyle Alexander was pitching for Toronto, and he's been the leading candidate for Cy Young since the season started.  Britt Burns had the ball for Chicago, and let's be honest, he's no Doyle Alexander.  Cliff Johnson hit an RBI single in the third to plate Damaso Garcia, who has been hitting everything lately.  He added an RBI in the next inning and all of a sudden Toronto was up 3-0.

By the sixth inning it was 5-0, thanks in part to a Jorge Bell blast.  In the top of the eighth, though, the White Sox had enough.  Three straight hits, including an RBI double by Jerry Hairston, chased Alexander out of the game.  With two on reliever Roy Lee Jackson walked Greg Luzinski to load the bases for Greg Walker.  And that's when Walker went to the deli and ordered a GRAND SALAMI!!!  Game tied, 5-5!!!  The next batter was Ron Kittle.  KITTLE PARKED ONE TOO!!!  Chicago was in the lead, 6-5!

In the bottom of the inning Chicago brought in Juan Agosto, a fine lefty reliever.  But Agosto walked Damaso Garcia and the Lloyd Moseby tripled him home!  Game tied!!!  Jorge Bell was up after that, and the White Sox called in Ron Reed.  It didn't matter, because Toronto rang their Bell for a second time in the game - TWO RUN HOMER!!!  Ron Musselman retired the side in the top of the ninth for the save, though the Blue Jays lost Alfredo Griffin for a second time this season, as he went on the DL for fourteen games.  It looks like Griffin won't be able to play in as many games in Statis Pro as he did in the real 1984.

Winning Pitcher - Jim Acker
Losing Pitcher - Juan Agosto
Save - Ron Musselman
Player of the Game - Jorge Bell, 2-5, 2HR's, 3RBI's

May 21, 2016

May 18, 1984 - Five Up, Five Down

Game #473 - Cleveland Indians, 0 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 5

Don Sutton, he of beautifully permed hair, had the Cleveland batters curled into fits.  (Did I really just type that?  Yes.  Yes I did.)  He tossed a complete game shutout, spreading five hits and a walk, over nine innings.  He also added five strikeouts.  Meanwhile, the Brew Crew knocked Neal Heaton around for five runs.  Robin Yount was 2-4 with two runs scored while Bill Schroeder was 3-3 with three RBI's and a double.

Winning Pitcher - Don Sutton
Losing Pitcher - Neal Heaton
Player of the Game - Sutton
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount, Don Sutton

Game #474 - Boston Red Sox, 5 @ Minnesota Twins, 6

The Boston Red Sox put up the first two runs of the game when Mike Easler tagged John Butcher with a two run bomb.  Tom Brunansky countered in the bottom half of the first with an RBI double that plated Tim Teufel.  It stayed 2-1 until the third inning, that's when Minnesota scored three, including an RBI double from Mickey Hatcher.

In the top of the fifth Easler again came to the rescue, this time roping a triple that scored Dwight Evans.  Easler then crossed home on a Jim Rice single.  That meant the score was tied at four, but in the top of the sixth Jackie Gutierrez squeezed home Tony Armas.  With Boston now in the lead, Mickey Hatcher once again came to the rescue.  Brunansky had walked, and the Hatcher pulled a "clutch hitting" FAC and doubled him home.  That knotted it back up.

It was still tied until the bottom of the eighth.  Jim Eisenreich singled for the third time and then stole second base.  Randy Bush came in as a pinch hitter and grounded a ball to Gutierrez, but a wild throw led to his second error of the game (and 15th of the season!) and Eisenreich became the winning run!

Winning Pitcher - Ron Davis
Losing Pitcher - Mark Clear
Save - Mike Walters
Player of the Game - Mickey Hatcher, 2-3, 2 2B's, 2RBI's, intentional walk
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Dennis Eckersley, Kirby Puckett

May 17, 2016

May 18, 1984 - The Real 1984 AL Division Winners Win

Game #471 - Oakland A's, 1 @ Detroit Tigers, 6

Oakland actually scored first in this game, when Mike Davis went big fly out of the nine hole to open the game up for the A's.  Unfortunately for Oakland, that would be all that they managed.  Chet Lemon had a solo homer in the sixth and Kirk Gibson plated three with one of his own in the seventh.

Winning Pitcher - Juan Berenguer
Losing Pitcher - Steve McCatty
Player of the Game - Aurelio Lopez, 2IP, 2k's

Game #472 - Texas Rangers, 3 @ Kansas City Royals, 4

Kansas City didn't hesitate to take the lead, plating two in the first when Jorge Orta singled home Pat Sheridan and Steve Balboni scored Daryl Motley with a sacrifice fly.  They added another run in the fourth when Willie Wilson singled home Frank White.  But the Rangers came storming back in the fifth.  Gary Ward crushed a three-run bomb off Bud Black and suddenly it was a tie game again.  It remained knotted at 3-3 when Onix Concepcion, playing for the first time off the disabled list that he'd been on since the second game of the season, poked a single with the bases loaded to record the eventual game-winning RBI.

Winning Pitcher - Bud Black
Losing Pitcher - Dickie Noles
Save - Dan Quisenberry
Player of the Game - Onix Concepcion