September 30, 2016

May 20th, 1984 - 500!!!

Practically speaking, it's really no different than game #499 or #501 - but our Statis Pro season has hit a new milestone.  That's right.  Five-hundred games of the season are in the books, meaning we're roughly a quarter of the way through the games.  I still struggle with the internal debate of whether this is awesome or completely ridiculous.  Probably both!

Thanks to all of you who stop by and read these posts, check the stats and standings, and vote in the polls (speaking of which - there's a new one!).  All three of my daughters are playing soccer now, which doesn't leave me as much time to play as I'd like.  I'm still chugging along, though!

If you would like to know more about a particular team or player, submit a future lineup, or make another kind of request, just let me know in the comments section!

Game #500 - Boston Red Sox, 5 @ Minnesota Twins, 2

Ken Schrom got a raw deal.  He pitched seven strong innings for the Twinkies, only allowing two runs in the fourth when Bill Buckner batted home Tony Armas and Marty Barrett.  But his bullpen allowed three more to score in the last two innings, making Ron Washington's two-run blast in the eighth off Al Nipper irrelevant.

Winning Pitcher - Al Nipper
Losing Pitcher - Ken Schrom
Save - Steve Crawford
Player of the Game - Nipper, 7 2/3IP, 5H's, 2R's, 2K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Kirby Puckett

September 25, 2016

May 20, 1984 - Where there's a Willard, there's a way...

Game #499 - Cleveland Indians, 12 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 4

Rick Sutcliffe and Jamie Cocanower opposed each other in this one, and neither was very good coming out of the gate.  In the top of the first Brett Butler was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on an Andre Thornton double.  Mike Hargrove then batted home Thornton with a two-out single.  In the bottom of the frame the Brewers actually took the lead on a three-run homer by backup catcher Bill Schroeder, who has played about a dozen games in a row because Jim Sundberg and Charlie Moore are still injured for the Brewers!

But in the top of the second Cocanower would exit the game without recording his fourth out.  The Tribe sent 12 batters to the plate, capped off by a three-run bomb from catcher Jerry Willard, giving Cleveland nine runs on the inning.  Meanwhile, Rick Sutcliffe settled down and went eight innings for the victory.

Winning Pitcher - Rick Sutcliffe
Losing Pitcher - Jamie Cocanower
Player of the Game - Jerry Willard, 2-4, HR, 3RBI, 2R's, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount, Rollie Fingers

My next game will be the 500th on the season!  Stay tuned for that...

September 16, 2016

May 20, 1984 - A Tale of Two Games

It was the best of games,
It was the worst of games...

Game #497 - Oakland A's, 17 @ Detroit Tigers, 4

I've mentioned it before, but blowouts are not fun to play in Statis Pro.  Once you have a ten run lead you're pretty much begging for outs from the Fast Action Cards so you can move to data entry on the ol' Excel stat sheets.  This game was 7-1 heading into the eighth when Oakland posted TEN RUNS on the inning.  It took three pitchers to record three outs.  That's not good.

When the game was still somewhat close Mike Heath was a big contributor.  He walked in the second and scored on a Tony Phillips home run.  In the fourth he added his own two-run jack and the A's would never let up in this one.

Winning Pitcher - Curt Young
Losing Pitcher - Dan Petry
Player of the Game - Mike Heath
Hall of Famers in this Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan

Game #498 - Texas Rangers, 1 @ Kansas City Royals, 3

Now this is the kind of Statis Pro game that is a lot of fun!  Starters Frank Tanana and Mark Gubicza were posting goose eggs through four innings.  But in the top of the fifth Marv Foley went deep for a solo homer.  That was all of the offense until the bottom of the eighth.  Greg Pryor, John Wathan, and Willie Wilson all singled to load the bases.  Daryl Motley then walked to tie the game!  With one out and the bases still loaded, Steve "bye-bye" Balboni roped a two-run double for the game winning RBIs!

Winning Pitcher - Dan Quisenberry
Losing Pitcher - Frank Tanana
Player of the Game - Balboni

September 14, 2016

May 20, 1984 - Orlando Magic

Game #496 - Seattle Mariners, 6 @ Baltimore Orioles, 1

Sometimes in a game of Statis Pro, you just have to be the right guy at the right time.  Sometimes, that guy is Orlando Mercado.

In the fifth inning, with runners on the corners, Mercado poked a single to score Barry Bonnell.  One out later Steve Henderson singled home Spike Owen to give the Mariners a 2-1 lead.

In the sixth inning, the bases were loaded when Mercado was again at the plate.  This time, Mike Flanagan plunked him to bring home Bonnell!

In the top of the eighth, Spike Owen hit his fourth triple on the season with one out.  Mercado laid down a perfect suicide squeeze to plate Owen, but reliever Mark Brown committed an error and Mercado reached first base as an added bonus.  Bonnell added a two run blast in the ninth and that's all the trident-M's would need to carry the day.

Winning Pitcher - Jim Beattie
Losing Pitcher - Mike Flanagan
Save - Edwin Nunez
Player of the Game - Orlando Mercado, RBI hit, RBI hit by pitch, RBI squeeze
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

September 12, 2016

Week in Review - May 13 thru May 19

Egads!  I haven't written a "Week in Review" since 2014...and that's because I forgot the review for the week of May 6-12!  I need to pick up the pace of my games played or I won't finish this until I'm in my sixties...

The Phenomenal Phive

1.  Toronto Blue Jays (28-10)  The Blue Birds have maintained their lead in the super-competitive AL East despite the Tigers closing the gap between first and second place.  George Bell continues to rake and Damaso Garcia is a league leader in hits and batting average.  Meanwhile, Doyle Alexander is the leading Cy Young candidate.

2.  St. Louis Cardinals (29-11)  The Cards have certainly outperformed their expected offensive output, led by Ken Oberkfell and Ozzie Smith, but their balanced starting rotation and the lethal Bruce Sutter are distancing themselves from the rest of the pack.

3.  Houston Astros (27-11)  If you thought Jose Cruz was the best hitting outfielder on his team you would be wrong.  If you thought he was second best you might still be wrong!  Terry Puhl and Jerry Mumphrey are absolutely torrid right now.  Nolan Ryan is tied with Dwight Gooden for the league lead in strikeouts and the Houston bullpen is as deep as they are talented.

4.  Detroit Tigers (25-11)  Lurking in the jungle are Kirk Gibson, Lance Parrish, and the rest of the Detroit crew.  While the Blue Jays are hitting above their heads right now, Detroit is performing right about where they should be, which leads me to believe they'll soon overtake the enemy north of the border.  Willie Hernandez has four wins out of the bullpen.

5.  New York Yankees (25-12)  I'm not sure how the Bronx Bombers continue to dominate, but they're still hanging tough.  And they just got Willie Randolph back from the disabled list, which will only make them more deadly.  Some of their bench players are too good to stay at their current levels, but Don Baylor is due for some more home runs off the FAC cards.

Useless Stats

  • God bless him, Ken Phelps has just enough plate appearances to overtake Joe Morgan as the OPS leader in the AL!  He also leads in slugging percentage and is second in on-base percentage.
  • The worst pitcher's ERA among qualified starters in the National League is Charlie Hudson of the Phillies, who clocks in with an 8.04.  Putrid!
  • The worst WHIP in the AL?  Mike Moore of the Mariners and his 2.24.  His saving grace is his strikeout total, as he's in the top five right now.  He's also tied for the lead in passed balls (2).
  • Steve Lake, the backup catcher for the Cubs, has six errors in eight games.  That's not good.  Mike Schmidt and Ivan DeJesus, the left side of the Philadelphia infield, are first and second in errors.  That can't be helping Charlie Hudson's confidence.
  • Brian Downing has played more games at this point of the season than anyone else in the AL.  He's appeared in all 41 contests for California, the only Angel to do so.

September 9, 2016

May 19, 1984 - Eight is Enough

Game #495 - Cincinnati Reds, 1 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 8

Frank Pastore was the starting pitcher for the Reds, and I'm not exaggerating when I say he's been the worst starter in either league in this Statis Pro season.  He came into the game with an 11+ ERA, which is especially hard to do given how probabilities work in Statis Pro.  So imagine my surprise when he got through the first four innings without surrendering a run!  But in the fifth everything fell apart, as the Cardinals scored four times, two of those runs coming from a bases-loaded double by Ken Oberkfell.  St. Louis would tack on four more in the seventh, including a pinch-hit homer by Tito Landrum that scored two.  Kurt Kepshire continued his stellar season by going six strong innings and only giving up one run in the first.

Winning Pitcher - Kurt Kepshire
Losing Pitcher - Frank Pastore
Player of the Game - Ken Oberkfell, 3-4, 2B, 2RBI, R, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith

September 7, 2016

May 19, 1984 - Three Is All The Diffference

Lefferts kinda got the shaft on this scan...
Game #493 - New York Mets, 1 @ San Diego Padres, 3

It was Walt Terrell opposing Mark Thurmond in this one, and the Mets got on the board first in the second inning when Terrell helped his own cause by hitting a two-out single to score Hubie Brooks.  The Padres answered back in the third when Thurmond singled and then Alan Wiggins hit a home run.  That homer matched Wiggins' total for the real 1984 season.  I've noticed a flaw with players' hitting cards.  If they have a low home run total over a full season its hard to accurately account for it unless you solely rely on clutch hitting situations.  For my season it's even worse with triples, as they seem to be a bit inflated at only the quarter point of the season.  Speaking of which...

Terry Kennedy tripled on his clutch-hitting rating to plate Steve Garvey, and that would be the grand total for the offense on both teams.  Craig Lefferts retired six of seven batters over the last two innings, including four strikeouts.

Winning Pitcher - Mark Thurmond
Losing Pitcher - Walt Terrell
Save - Craig Lefferts
Player of the Game - Lefferts
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn

Game #494 - Philadelphia Phillies, 10 @ San Francisco Giants, 7

Here's everything you need to know about this one:

The Giants knocked in seven runs.  So did Ozzie Virgil.

That's right, Virgil was "en fuego."  In the top of the fourth he cleared the bases with a 3-RBI double, and then walloped a grand slam in the sixth.  I don't know for sure, but those 7 RBI are probably the highest single player total on the season.

Winning Pitcher - Bill Campbell
Losing Pitcher - Frank Williams
Save - Larry Andersen
Player of the Game - Virgil.  Duh.
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt

August 31, 2016

May 19, 1984 - Three Up, Three Down

First things first:  This is an ugly scan job.  I acknowledge that and accept full responsibility.  I also accept the fact I am being lazy and won't be bothered to try again.  Thank you for your understanding.

Game #491 - Montreal Expos, 3 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 2 

It's funny to think about now, but the Expos started out this Statis Pro Season in dead last, but have crawled there way back to the middle of the pack in the NL East.  They were in LA for their second game for this one, and Andre Dawson went big fly in the top of the second.  Greg Brock answered back with his own solo shot in the bottom half of the inning and the score was knotted 1-1.

In the bottom of the third Dave Palmer was in a jam, having loaded the bases when Brock was back up and poked a single to plate Dave Anderson.  But he K-ed Steve Sax after that to end the threat.  Montreal tied things up again thanks to an RBI single from Bryan Little in the fourth.

Palmer and Bob Welch continued their fine pitching performances until the seventh.  Welch gave up a PALMER!  Pitcher home run!!!  That would be the difference for the Expos.

Winning Pitcher - Dave Palmer
Losing Pitcher - Bob Welch
Save - Greg Harris
Player of the Game - Palmer, 7 1/3IP, 5K's, HR
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

Game #492 - Atlanta Braves, 3 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 4 (eleven innings)

Len Barker was on the bump for the Braves while the Pirates countered with Jose DeLeon.  Both starters were fine through the first four innings.  But in the top of the fifth Gerald Perry went yard to make it 1-0.  The score stayed that way until the bottom of the eighth.  With two outs Tony Pena doubled.  Marvelle Wynn was next and singled him home to tie things up!  The Braves struck back in the top of the ninth, though.  Kent Tekulve, working his second inning of relief, gave up a solo homer to pinch hitter Bob Watson!

In the bottom of the ninth Donnie Moore was trying to close things down for Atlanta.  But Lee Mazzilli came in and singled off Moore to start things off.  Two outs later, Johnny Ray brought Mazzilli in - back to a tie game!!!

Fast forward to the bottom of the tenth.  Moore was still on the mound.  Tony Pena reached on a single and then Wynne lined a double.  Pena tried to test the outfield but got gunned down at home plate!  With that the game pushed forward into the eleventh.  Third baseman Randy Johnson led things off with a HOME RUN!!! Cecilio Guante retired the next three but the damage was seemingly done.  Except...

Mazzilli, now batting against Gene Garber, singled for the second at-bat in a row!  He moved to third when pinch hitter Milt May doubled!  With runners on second and third and no outs recorded, lead-off hitter Lee Lacy stepped to the plate.  The result?  BASES CLEARING DOUBLE!  WALK-OFF HIT FOR LACY!!  PIRATES WIN!!!

Winning Pitcher - Cecilio Guante
Losing Pitcher - Gene Garber
Player of the Game - Lacy of course! 

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