February 1, 2016

May 16, 1984 - Back At It

Game #451 - California Angels, 12 @ Baltimore Orioles, 7

Neither starter, Mike Witt or Scott McGregor, were particularly good in this game.  They both surrendered two runs in the first inning.  The Orioles were actually up 4-2 after three, but that's when the Angels exploded for six runs.  Three of those came off a Bobby Grich home run, which was already his second of the game.

The Orioles chipped back against the California lead, getting within one run before the Angels tagged reliever Sammy Stewart for four more.  That assault included a Juan Beniquez three-run blast.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Witt
Losing Pitcher - Mark Brown
Player of the Game - Bobby Grich, 3-5, 2HR's, 2B, 5RBI's, 3R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Reggie Jackson, Rod Carew, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

Game #452 - Kansas City Royals, 3 @ Chicago White Sox, 2

Back to back doubles by Darryl Motley and Hal McRae positioned KC with an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first.  Pat Sheridan walked in the second, stole second base, and then trotted home on a Greg Pryor double to extend the lead to 2.  The Royals picked up another run in the fifth when John Wathan tripled and scored on a Motley single.

Meanwhile, Bret Saberhagen was cruising in just his second start of the season.  The only batter who gave him fits was Harold Baines.  Baines launched a solo homer in the fourth and a triple in the sixth.  He scored on a Greg Walker single after that.  Dan Quisenberry relieved Saberhagen in the eighth and pitched two perfect innings for the victory.

Winning Pitcher - Bret Saberhagen
Losing Pitcher - Floyd Bannister
Save - Dan Quisenberry
Player of the Game - Saberhagen, 7IP, 2R's, 2K's, 5H's, BB

After the game Onix Concepcion was activated from the DL.  He finished his thirty game recovery, and hasn't played since the second game of the season...which was back in 2012!

January 24, 2016

May 15, 1984 - Five Alive

Anybody else drink this garbage when they were a kid?

Game #449 - New York Mets, 5 @ San Francisco Giants, 0

New York flew from one coast to the other to play in this one, and showed no effects of jet lag.  The scored two in the top of the first on a Keith Hernandez RBI single and a run scoring when Darryl Strawberry hit into his first of two double plays.  In the seventh inning George Foster had two ducks on the pond with two outs when he took relief pitcher Bill Lacey yard for the three run jack.  Meanwhile, "El Sid" Fernandez went the distance, spreading nine hits across the game while whiffing eleven Giants.

Winning Pitcher - Sid Fernandez
Losing Pitcher - Mike Krukow
Player of the Game - Fernandez, CG SHO, 11K's

Game #450 - Atlanta Braves, 4 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 5

That's right - game number four hundred and fifty.  Another milestone reached!  And wouldn't you know it, it was a very exciting game...

Ozzie Smith squeezed home Andy Van Slyke in the bottom of the second to score the first run of the game. St. Louis added two more in the third on an RBI double by Van Slyke followed by a Tom Herr single.  The Braves finally got on the board in the top of the fifth when Juaquin Andujar let loose a wild pitch that plated Rafael Ramirez.

The Cards still had a 3-1 lead in the top of the seventh with Andujar cruising.  But Glenn Hubbard ripped a double to lead things off.  Trevino moved Hubbard to third when he poked a single.  Pinch-hitter Albert Hall replaced Rick Camp and had an RBI hit to score Hubbard!  Andujar got lifted for Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter, but Sutter surrendered an RBI single to Gerald Perry that tied the game.  Randy Johnson (not the pitcher, the obscure backup third sacker for the '84 Braves) then squeezed home Hall to give Atlanta the lead, 4-3!

Fast forward to the bottom of the ninth with the same score.  Atlanta brought in their ace closer, Steve Bedrosian, to finish off St. Louis.  With one out Darrell Porter singled, though.  Tito Landrum stepped in to hit for Sutter...and smoked a game-tying triple!  The next batter was Lonnie Smith, and Bedrosian beaned him!  Now there were runners on the corners with only one out and Ken Oberkfell at the dish.  I channeled my inner Whitey Herzog and ordered the hit and run...and Oberkfell singled home Landrum for the walk-off win!!!

Winning Pitcher - Bruce Sutter
Losing Pitcher - Steve Bedrosian
Player of the Game - Tito Landrum, pinch-hitting a game tying triple and later scoring the game winning run
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter

January 22, 2016

May 15, 1984 - East Coast Storming

I hope all you loyal readers on the east coast are bundled up and ready for the snow -  hang in there!

Game #447 - Houston Astros, 3 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 5

Enos Cabell was a one-man wrecking machine for Houston in this one.  He ripped a triple for two RBI's in the first and added an RBI double in the seventh.  In fact, he was only a home run short of the cycle, that elusive hitting feat which still hasn't happened in this Statis Pro season.

Cabell aside, the Pirates had their own ammo.  They were sparked by a Phil Garner error in the fourth which allowed them to send ten batters to the plate and to chase away starter Joe Niekro.  The previously hot Astros have run into a nemesis dressed in the yellow and black...

Winning Pitcher - Larry McWilliams
Losing Pitcher - Joe Niekro
Save - Kent Tekulve
Player of the Game - Doug Frobel, 3-4, 2R's, RBI

Game #448 - Montreal Expos, 7 @ San Diego Padres, 3

For the life of me I can't figure out how the real 1984 Padres made it to the World Series.  Their Statis Pro team has played TERRIBLY.  It was more of the same in this one.  The Expos already had a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth when Andre Dawson stepped up with the bases chalked.  He went big fly for the grand slam off Andy Hawkins!  Montreal continues their steady climb up the standings in the NL East...

Winning Pitcher - Bill Gullickson
Losing Pitcher - Andy Hawkins
Player of the Game - Andre Dawson, 3-5, grand slam, 4RBI's, 2b
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Tony Gwynn

January 2, 2016

May 15, 1984 - Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, blog readers and Statis Pro players.  I actually got these two games in on January 1st, making it a fun way to ring in the next 365 days...

Game #445 - Chicago Cubs, 0 @Cincinnati Reds, 8

This game was a blowout by the sixth inning, but in the midst of the carnage Mario Soto was the runaway star of the game, turning in one of the most impressive games of the Statis Pro season.  His complete game shutout paired well with his day at the plate.  Soto went 2-3 with a double and three RBI's!

Winning Pitcher - Mario Soto
Losing Pitcher - Rick Reuschel
Player of the Game - Soto, CG SHO, 10K's, 2-3, 2B, 3RBI's, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

Game #446 - Philadelphia Phillies, 9 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 7 (10 innings)

This game was a real back-and-forth battle!  It started with LA scoring two in the bottom of the first off Jerry Koosman.  Dave Anderson and Pedro Guerrero hit back to back RBI singles to score the runners from second base.  In the top of the second Juan Samuel hit a solo homer, followed by a two run bomb from Mike Schmidt in the third and a three run jack courtesy of Ozzie Virgil in the fourth!

The Dodgers kept chipping back, though, including a pinch hit home run by German Rivera in the seventh and a game tying sacrifice fly by Steve Sax (scoring Bob Bailor) to tie things up in the eighth.  For the top of the ninth I had Tommy Lasorda trot out the infamous Tom Niedenfuer to pitch to the Phillies.  Loyal blog readers will remember my father's unflappable distrust of the Dodger closer, though he kept Philadelphia from scoring that inning.  But, in the top of the tenth, the combustible version of Niedenfuer took the mound! After back to back singles from Joe Lefebvre and Ivan DeJesus, Niedenfuer struck out Len Matuszek and Von Hayes.  But Garry Maddox pulled a "clutch hitting" card and nailed a bases clearing double to give the Phillies a permanent lead!

Winning Pitcher - Larry Andersen
Losing Pitcher - Tom Niedenfuer
Save - Al Holland
Player of the Game - Garry Maddox, game-winning double, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt  

December 30, 2015

RIP - Outfielders

Three outfielders I really enjoy playing with in this season of Statis Pro have recently passed away...

Carmillo Castillo - November 15, 2015
Eddie Milner - November 2, 2015
Dave Henderson - December 27, 2015

Henderson's death is particularly sad, in that he was a favorite of mine in my youth with his infectious smile and ability to rise to the occasion in key situations.  He's also oddly linked to the first player (I think) to die from the 1984 season; Donnie Moore.  "Hendu" is having a monster year in Statis Pro, now making his success bittersweet...

December 28, 2015

May 15, 1984 - Eighth Inning Comebacks

Game #443 - Toronto Blue Jays, 3 @ Minnesota Twins, 5

The Blue Jays entered this contest riding a six game win streak, so Minnesota knew it had its work cut out for them.

Ernie Whitt started the scoring by blasting a solo homer in the top of the third off starter Ken Schrom.  But the Twins scored two of their own in the bottom half of the inning.  Jim Clancy got himself into a bases loaded jam when Kirby Puckett roped a single to plate Dave Engle and Jim Eisenreich.

Whitt picked up another RBI in the seventh, where he tied the game on a base knock that scored Damaso Garcia.  Toronto took the lead in the top of the eighth when Rance Mulliniks laced a triple that let George Bell cross home plate.  This Blue Jays team has more triples than any other team this season!

It wasn't looking good for the Twins, because Clancy was cruising when he started the bottom of the eighth.  With one out, though, Mickey Hatcher and Kent Hrbek had back to back singles, bringing big Tom Brunansky to the plate.  Toronto brought in reliever Roy Lee Jackson, but Brunansky crushed a three run bomb to take the lead for good!

Winning Pitcher - Rick Lysander
Losing Pitcher - Jim Clancy
Save - Mike Walters
Player of the Game - Brunansky, HR, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett

Game #444 - Oakland A's, 3 @ New York Yankees, 4

In the top of the first Rickey Henderson singled, stole second, went to third base on a sacrifice fly, and scored on a Carney Lansford single.  But in the bottom of the inning New York tied it back up with a Omar Moreno triple that brought Ken Griffey home.  The Yankees grabbed another run in the second off a Tim Foli double.

In the top of the fifth Steve Keifer tried to bunt his way on base, but reached second on Don Mattingly's first error of the season.  Rickey Henderson drove him home with a single, and then scored himself after another Carney Lansford RBI, giving Oakland the lead.  In the bottom of the sixth, though, the Yankees got an unexpected power boost from light hitting shortstop Bobby Meachem, who cranked a solo shot over the left field fence to tie things up, 3-3.

The score remained knotted until the bottom of the eighth.  With the bases loaded and two outs, Ken Griffey ripped a single off Keith Atherton.  Steve Kemp scored but Rickey Henderson threw out Roy Smalley at home to end the inning.  Despite two batters reaching base in the top of the ninth, Dave Righetti recorded the save for the Bronx Bombers.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Armstrong
Losing Pitcher - Chris Codiroli
Save - Dave Righetti
Player of the Game - Armstrong, 1 2/3 IP in relief, 2K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Dave Winfield

December 19, 2015

May 15, 1984 - Ho Ho Ho

Merry Christmas, friends!  I apologize for the lack of posts as of late, 'tis the season of busyness, family, etc.  My dad comes into town this week for the holiday, so maybe we'll get to play a couple of games during that time.  I hope your Christmas is a good one, on to the games...

Game #441 - Seattle Mariners, 6 @ Detroit Tigers, 5

Lance Parrish hit a bases loaded single in the bottom of the first to put Detroit up 2-0 for a quick lead.  But Ken Phelps hit a solo homer in the second and Phil Bradley scored in the third to knot things up again at 2-2.  By the ninth inning the Mariners were leading by four runs when the Tigers attempted an epic comeback.  Reliever David Beard walked two batters before Alan Trammell crushed a three run home run to bring them within one.  Put Paul Mirabella jumped in and struck out Kirk Gibson to end the game in favor of Seattle.

Winning Pitcher - Jim Beattie
Losing Pitcher - Al Lopez
Save - Paul Mirabella
Player of the Game - Jim Beattie, 8IP, 2R's, 3K's

Game #442 - Texas Rangers, 8 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 3

The injury-ravaged Brew Crew were forced to start four lefties in their lineup against southpaw Frank Tanana, and the results weren't good.  Texas had a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth when a rain delay (Z card!) interrupted the game for 81 minutes.  I decided to let both starters continue pitching, but Jamie Cocanower was tagged for four runs in the top of the fourth, so maybe that wasn't the best call?

Winning Pitcher - Frank Tanana
Losing Pitcher - Jamie Cocanower
Player of the Game - Wayne Tolleson, 4-4, 2RBI's, R, 2SB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount

November 26, 2015

May 15, 1984 - Creased

All the 1985 Topps cards I feature on this blog are from my very first set I received as a kid.  I love these cards, and played with them all the time in my youth.  These two cards to the right show the dangers inherent with frequent contact.  I still remember the moment on our living room floor when I knelt down, only to discover too late that Tom Terrific was a casualty to my clumsiness.  I was pretty tickled to see two of my worst conditioned cards get displayed for the same post...

Game #439 - Kansas City Royals, 1 @ Chicago White Sox, 6

There were two main themes in this game:  home runs and pitching.  On the offensive side, the Pale Hose launched four homers.  The first came in the bottom of the second, when Ron Kittle went big fly with the bases empty.  Vance Law belted one of his own in the fourth.  In the sixth inning scrappy Rudy Law, not known for his power, crushed a two run blast.  And finally, in the bottom of the eighth, Ron Kittle provided his own encore with his second solo shot.

Tom Seaver, meanwhile, was as terrific as his namesake.  He went the distance by only allowing four hits and two walks.  The lone run he surrendered came in the fourth, when Frank White tripled home Jorge Orta.

Winning Pitcher - Tom Seaver
Losing Pitcher - Frank Wills
Player of the Game - Tom Seaver, CG W, 3K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tom Seaver

Game #440 - Boston Red Sox, 3 @ Cleveland Indians, 6

The Indians started things off strongly by scoring two runs in the bottom of the first, assisted by stolen bases from Brett Butler and Julio Franco and an error at first base by - you guessed it - Bill Buckner.  Boston tied things up in the fourth, though, with a sacrifice fly from Rich Gedman and an RBI single from Buckner.  Cleveland pulled away for good in the sixth when they posted four more runs, aided in part by a Gedman passed ball.

Winning Pitcher - Rick Sutcliffe
Losing Pitcher - Al Nipper
Save - Ernie Camacho
Player of the Game - Brett Butler, 2-4, 2R's, SB, RBI, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

November 25, 2015

May 15, 1984 - Junior Comes Through

Game #438 - California Angels, 3 @ Baltimore Orioles, 4

You know what I like about Thanksgiving breaks?  More time for Statis Pro!!!  Even better, I got to play with my favorite team...

Storm Davis allowed two runners in the top of the first inning but escaped the jam without allowing a run.  Geoff Zahn wasn't so lucky.  He gave up a lead off homer to Gary Roenicke and two batters later Cal Ripken Jr. parked a two run bomb of his own.

The Angels did score two runs in the third, though.  The bases were loaded and Gary Pettis, who is hitting so far above his talent level this season I can't make heads or tails of it, roped a single to plate Bobby Grich and Fred Lynn.

The Orioles never relinquished their lead as Tom Underwood pitched a perfect ninth to save the day for Baltimore.

Winning Pitcher - Storm Davis
Losing Pitcher - Geoff Zahn
Save - Tom Underwood
Player of the Game - Cal Ripken Jr., 2-4, HR, 2B, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, Cal Ripken Jr., Eddie Murray

November 22, 2015

May 14, 1984 - Balls

Game #437 - Montreal Expos, 2 @ San Diego Padres, 5

The very first baseball autobiography I ever read was Graig Nettles' Balls.  That book was hilarious, and was seen as a big middle finger aimed at George Steinbrenner, which is how Nettles found himself out of New York and joining the Padres.

Nettles was no laughing matter in this game.  In the bottom of the first inning, with the Padres already up one, he lined a double that scored Tony Gwynn.  In the bottom of the fifth he was the hero again, because the Expos had just tied the game at two apiece.  Nettles ripped another double to plate Gwynn again as well as Alan Wiggins.  For an encore, Graig lined a single in the seventh that scored - guess who - Tony Gwynn.  That was pretty much it in this one, San Diego won 5-2.

Winning Pitcher - Mark Thurmond
Losing Pitcher - David Palmer
Save - Craig Lefferts
Player of the Game - Graig Nettles, 3-3, 2 2B's, 4RBI's, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

November 17, 2015

May 14, 1984 - Keystone State Success

Game #435 - Philadelphia Phillies, 3 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 0

We had a good pitching match-up for this game, as future Hall of Famer Steve Carlton faced Alejandro Pena, who was pretty filthy in the real 1984.

The Phillies scored first in the top of the second inning.  Joe Lefebvre was plated by an Ivan DeJesus double.  Lefebvre scored again in the fifth, this time courtesy of Len Matuszek.  And their final run came in the ninth, when rookie Juan Samuel launched a solo homer.

When Philadelphia was on the field it was all Steve Carlton.  Despite surrendering eleven hits and three walks, he fanned eight Dodgers and went the distance for a complete game shutout.

Winning Pitcher - Steve Carlton
Losing Pitcher - Alejandro Pena
Player of the Game - Joe Lefebvre, 4-4, 2 doubles, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton

Game #436 - Houston Astros, 1 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 4

The Pirates have been hot as of late, and of course there's no better team in the NL West than the Astros, so this game was bound to be exciting.  It was a pitcher's duel through the first five innings, as both Bob Knepper and John Candelaria were hanging goose eggs on the scoreboard.

Houston drew first blood, though, when Bill Doran scored on a Phil Garner single in the sixth.  The Pirates answered back in a big way, though.  Jim Morrison rocked a three-run home run in the bottom half of the inning, scoring Tony Pena and Jason Thompson along with himself.  Johnny Ray added a solo shot in the seventh while Kent Tekulve and Rod Scurry preserved the victory over the last two innings.

Winning Pitcher - John Candelaria
Losing Pitcher - Bob Knepper
Save - Rod Scurry
Player of the Game - Jim Morrison, 2-4, HR, 3RBI's