May 19, 2018

June 8, 1984 - I Spit My Last Breath At Thee

Game #711 - Minnesota Twins, 7 @ Chicago White Sox, 6

In the top of the first inning a Scooter Fletcher error on a sharp grounder by Mickey Hatcher allowed Kirby Puckett to score the first run of the game.  The Twins added two more runs in the top of the second on a Tim Teufel sacrifice fly and a Tom Brunansky single.  Greg Luzinski knocked home Greg Walker in the bottom half of the inning to leave Minnesota up 3-1 after two.

The Twins scored once again in the third.  Teufel plated Dave Engle and Dan Meier on a two-out single to extend their lead to 5-1.  In the bottom of the fifth Vance Law took Ken Schrom deep to give Chicago their second run on the day.

By the bottom of the ninth the Twins were up 7-4 with Rick Lysander trying to end it.  But Jerry Dybzinski, in the game as a defensive replacement, hit an unexpected homer to bring the White Sox within a run of tying the game.  Alas, Ron Davis replaced Lysander to record the final out.

Winning Pitcher - Ken Schrom
Losing Pitcher - Britt Burns
Save - Ron Davis
Player of the Game - Time Teufel, 3-4, SF, 4RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett, Carlton Fisk

Game #712 - Seattle Mariners, 9 @ Cleveland Indians, 11

Mark Langston was cruising through his first two innings of work, but with two outs in the third, Brett Butler hit a solo homer that just cleared the fence.  Julio Franco then walked and scored two batters later on an Andre Thornton single.

By the bottom of the fifth Cleveland was up 3-0 when their offense erupted.  They scored eight runs in the inning, including triples by Carmen Castillo (with the bases loaded) and George Vukovich (with one on).  After that the team formerly known as the Spiders had one seemed to be an insurmountable 11-0 lead...

...but Seattle started chipping back!  Al Cowens had one of his three double of the game in the sixth, scoring Alvin Davis.  In the seventh Bob Kearney launched a solo homer for Seattle's second run.  In the eighth Ken Phelps blasted a three-run job and suddenly it was just 11-5.  In the top of the ninth reliever Roy Smith got abused by the Mariners.  Alvin Davis ripped his third double of the game to plate Jack Perconte.  Steve Henderson followed that with a 2-RBI triple to make it 11-8.  Smith got yanked and one out later Mike Jeffcoat gave up an RBI double to Al Cowens.  But Larry Milbourne and Barry Bonnell made the last two outs of the game, as Cleveland nearly squandered their eleven run lead.

Winning Pitcher - Rick Sutcliffe
Losing Pitcher - Mark Langston
Save - Mike Jeffcoat
Player of the Game - Carmen Castillo, 2-5, 3B, 3RBI, R

May 17, 2018

June 8, 1984 - Two, Four, 6-8, Who Do We Appreciate?

Game #709 - Detroit Tigers, 3 @ Baltimore Orioles, 7

Storm Davis ran into his own storm in the top of the second inning.  Chet Lemon led off with a solo homer and then he gave up four straight singles.  Two more runs plated in part from an Al Bumbry error, giving the Tigers an early 3-0 lead.

Dan Petry, meanwhile, was on cruise control until the bottom of the seventh.  He gave up five total runs on a bizarre combination of singles, walks, and a passed ball.  Cal Ripken even chipped in with a sacrifice fly to score Bumbry.  The O's would add two more in the eighth to put one in the win column.

Winning Pitcher - Storm Davis
Losing Pitcher - Dan Petry
Player of the Game - Davis, 7.2IP, 5Hs, 5Ks, ER
Hall of Famers in the Game - Alan Trammell, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

Game #710 - Milwaukee Brewers, 8 @ Boston Red Sox, 6

This game was monumental for me because it was Mark Brouhard's first game back after being injured in the very first game of the season.  That was over six years ago!  He didn't do much in his return, though, going 0 for 3 with two whiffs.

The Red Sox launched four solo homers off starter Moose Haas.  Not all at once, though Tony Armas and Rich Gedman went back to back in the second inning.  In the top of the seventh Boston had a 6-4 lead when pinch-hitter Rick Manning plated Jim Sundberg and Robin Yount to tie the game.  Sundberg slapped a double in the eighth to give them the go-ahead run off Bob Stanley.  Meanwhile, Rick Waits, Tom Tellmann and Rollie Fingers blanked Boston over the final three innings to give the Brew Crew a victory.

Winning Pitcher - Tom Tellmann
Losing Pitcher - Bob Stanley
Save - Rollie Fingers
Player of the Game - Ed Romero, 5-5, 2B, 3B, R, 2RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount, Rollie Fingers, Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

April 28, 2018

June 7, 1984 - The Crazy 88's

Game #607 - Cincinnati Reds, 5 @ San Diego Padres, 8

The Reds carried a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth with all runs unearned thanks to errors by Dave Dravecky and Graig Nettles.  But the Padres put up three runs thanks to an RBI double by Terry Kennedy, a sacrifice fly by Gary Templeton, and an RBI single by Alan Wiggins. 

They further extended the league with two runs apiece in the sixth and seventh.  Wayne Krenchicki added a solo homer in the seventh and a RBI double in the eighth for the Reds, but it wasn't enough to overcome the San Diego lead.

Winning Pitcher - Dave Dravecky
Losing Pitcher - Jeff Russell
Save - Goose Gossage
Player of the Game - Alan Wiggins, 2-4, 2R's, RBI, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Perez, Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

Game #608 - Houston Astros, 7 @ San Francisco Giants, 8

Jack Clark got the party started in the bottom of the first with a solo homer off Mike Scott.  The Astros came raging back in the second, though.  Craig Reynolds knocked in Denny Walling and then Bill Doran plated Phil Garner and Reynolds to give Houston a 3-1 lead.

It didn't last long.

Mike Scott surrendered four unearned runs after a two-out error by Garner.  It stayed 5-3 in favor of the Giants until the fifth inning.  Mike Krukow fell apart and allowed four runs to score.  Reliever Greg Minton gave up two hits that tagged Krukow's ERA.  But the Giants tied the game in the bottom half of the inning with two bases loaded walks.

It was still tied at 7-7 when Bill Dawley toed the rubber for Houston in the bottom of the eighth.  Dawley has been one of the very best relievers in the league this season, but Bob Brenly didn't get the memo.  He took Dawley DEEP for a solo blast to break the tie!  Gary Lavelle retired the side in the top of the ninth to save the game.

Winning Pitcher - Frank Williams
Losing Pitcher - Bill Dawley
Save - Gary Lavelle
Player of the Game - Bob Brenly, 3-4, HR, 2RBI, BB

April 22, 2018

June 7, 1984 - Midwest Maestros

Game #705 - Texas Rangers, 0 @ Minnesota Twins, 2

It had been a few games since two pitchers managed to go the distance in the same game, but that's exactly what happened here.  Mike Mason of the Rangers and Ed Hodge of the Twins were the unlikely dueling pitcher heroes of the game.  Tim Laudner and Kirby Puckett managed RBI singles in the second and that would account for all the runs in the game.  Mason scattered eleven hits (four of those in the second inning) and added six strikeouts.  But it wasn't enough to overcome Hodge, who was making his first start of the season after exhausting all of his relief appearances.  He only permitted four hits and three walks while he blanked Texas over nine innings.

Winning Pitcher - Ed Hodge
Losing Pitcher - Mike Mason
Player of the Game - Hodge, CG SHO
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett

Game #706 - Chicago Cubs, 7 @ Montreal Expos, 2

It was a scoreless game until the top of the third when Ryne Sandberg cranked a one-out double to plate Bob Dernier.  Leon "Bull" Durham was the next batter and took a David Palmer fastball all the way into the right field bleachers.

Montreal chipped away at that 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth.  With Tim Raines standing on second and two outs, Tim Wallach found the gap to triple Raines home.  Wallach trotted home when the next batter, Mike Stenhouse, singled off Dennis Eckersley.  Eck calmed down after that and actually pitched through the eighth inning as the Cubs pulled away later in the game.

Winning Pitcher - Dennis Eckersley
Losing Pitcher - David Palmer
Player of the Game - Leon Durham, 2-4, 2B, HR, 3RBI, 2Rs, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg, Dennis Eckersley, Tim Raines, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter

April 17, 2018

June 7, 1984 - Battles for Second Place

Game #703 - Seattle Mariners, 5 @ Kansas City Royals, 8

The charging Kansas City Royals continued their march up the AL West standings, starting the game in third place with the Mariners just a game ahead of them.  Ed VandeBerg got into a heap of trouble in the bottom of the second as his own fielding error, along with another glove blunder from right fielder Dave Henderson, allowed four Royals to cross home plate.  KC posted another run in the third and then chased VandeBerg out of the game in the fourth after RBI hits from Darryl Motley and Steve Balboni.

In the top of the seventh the Royals saw their 8-0 lead come into trouble.  Bud Black surrendered a walk and three straight hits before getting pulled in favor of Danny Jackson.  The Mariners scored three that inning and then two more in the eighth, and suddenly they only had a three run lead.  But Dan Quisenberry came in for the ninth and got Henderson, Ken Phelps, and Barr Bonnell to all fly out quietly for a Royals win.  They're now tied for second with the M's.

Winning Pitcher - Bud Black
Losing Pitcher - Ed VandeBerg
Save - Dan Quisenberry
Player of the Game - Darryl Motley, 4-5, 2 2Bs, 2Rs, RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett

Game #704 - Atlanta Braves, 5 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 3

Atlanta entered the game just a game and a half behind the Dodgers for second place in the NL West.  They scored first in the top of the first with an RBI from (not that) Randy Johnson that plated Claudell Washington.  Bob Welch settled down after that, striking out seven Braves until Washington launched a two-run homer in the fifth to give Atlanta a 3-0 lead.

In the bottom of the sixth a Dale Murphy error allowed Bob Welch to score from first.  Welch was on first because of a Craig McMurtry fielding gaff.  Mike Scioscia lined out to Rafael Ramirez with R.J. Reynolds on first, but the liner injured Ramirez and now he'll be out for the next ten games.  That brought up Pedro Guerrero, who is stone cold this Statis Pro season despite having a good 1984.  He finally showed life by roping a triple to plate Reynolds and reduce the Atlanta lead to one run.

The Braves managed two more runs to L.A.'s additional run in the eighth, and Donnie Moore locked it down in the bottom of the ninth to give Atlanta the win.  They're now just a half game back of the Dodgers.

Winning Pitcher - Craig McMurtry
Losing Pitcher - Bob Welch
Save - Donnie Moore
Player of the Game - McMurtry, 6IP, ER, 3Hs, 4Ks

April 15, 2018

June 7, 1984 - Out of Leftfield

Game #701 - California Angels, 4 @ Chicago White Sox, 2 (10 innings)

Mike Witt and Floyd Bannister were the dueling starters in this match-up and both looked good.  The first run of the game didn't cross home plate until the top of the fourth.  Brian Downing reached  on a fielding error by Vance Law.  Downing moved to third on a two-out double by Juan Beniquez, and then scored on a Rob Wilfong single.  Beniquez also tried to score but got gunned down at home by Ron Kittle.

And that was the only run of the game until the bottom of the ninth!  Witt was still on the mound, trying to complete the shutout.  But he walked Greg Luzinski with one out.  Mike Squires came on to pinch-run and then Rudy Law hit an RBI double to tie the game!  Witt left the game after that and Luis Sanchez got the final two outs to send the game into extra innings. 

The White Sox bullpen was a bit depleted, so Salome Barojas was charged to keep the game tied.  He immediately walked Bob Boone but induced a double play from pinch-hitter Rod Carew.  But then Ron Jackson walked, Gary Pettis singled and Brian Downing...HOMERED!  Three-run blast!  Greg Walker launched his own solo shot in the bottom of the tenth but it wasn't enough to overcome the Angels' left fielder.

Winning Pitcher - Luis Sanchez
Losing Pitcher - Salome Barojas
Player of the Game - Brian Downing, 2-5, HR, 2Rs, 3RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Reggie Jackson, Rod Carew, Carlton Fisk

Game #702 - Toronto Blue Jays, 3 @ Detroit Tigers, 4

This was the last of a four game series against the two best teams in Statis Pro.  The Blue Jays had a 2-1 series lead, so Detroit was desperate to dismiss Toronto with a loss.

Both teams had studs on the mound; Dave Stieb and Jack Morris.  Morris was the stronger pitcher through the first three innings as Stieb had to work out of several jams.  The wheels finally fell off in the bottom of the fourth.  Dave Bergman singled and scored on a Howard Johnson double.  HoJo crossed home plate on a Marty Castillo triple, his fourth of the season.  Whitaker then knocked Castillo in on an RBI single.  Stieb would load the bases before getting Chet Lemon to ground into a double play but that's as far as Stieb would pitch on the day.

Detroit held a 3-1 lead in the top of the seventh before Ernie Whitt launched a ball into the rightfield bleachers to tie the game at 3-3.  It stayed tied heading into the bottom of the ninth.  Alan Trammell was first up, and ended up on second after a disastrous error by Garth Iorg.  That brought up Kirk Gibson, facing fellow lefty Bryan Clark.  Gibby ripped a walk-off double, though, to win the game!!!  The Tiger leftfielder was the hero!!!

Winning Pitcher - Willie Hernandez
Losing Pitcher - Bryan Clark
Player of the Game - Kirk Gibson, 3-4, BB, 2B, GWRBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Alan Trammell, Jack Morris

April 12, 2018

June 7, 1984 - The 700 Club

Game #700 - Milwaukee Brewers, 0 @ Boston Red Sox, 12

I can't believe it, but we've reached 700 games played in this Statis Pro season.  It took a little over six years to get here.  The closer to the all-star break we get, the more momentum I feel like I'm gaining.  It also means the season is approximately one-third complete.  The thought of this taking another twelve years, though, is quite daunting...

Speaking of daunting...the Boston Red Sox offense!  Nobody scored until the bottom of the fourth.  That's when the Red Sox scored three runs off a homers from Rich Gedman and Bill Buckner.  They added SIX more runs in the fifth, including Gedman's second fence-clearing of the game.  Meanwhile, Oil Can Boyd pitched a complete game shutout. 

Winning Pitcher - Oil Can Boyd
Losing Pitcher - Mike Caldwell
Player of the Game - Boyd, CG SHO, 5K's, 4H's, 2BB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount, Wade Boggs, Jim Rice