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April 11, 2015

May 11, 1984 - Teeny Boppers

Game #403 - Philadelphia Phillies, 15 @ San Diego Padres, 3

400 games into this Statis Pro season, and I'm still conflicted on when to yank a starting pitcher who is getting shelled in the first inning.  I pulled Eric Show after two outs and seven hitters because he had already yielded four runs.  A fifth crossed the plate when Floyd Chiffer inherited a runner on third.  The Phillies added a bookend to the massive scoring in the ninth inning, when they scored six more runs.  Four of those came courtesy of a Len Matuszek grand slam.

Winning Pitcher - Shane Rawley
Losing Pitcher - Eric Show
Player of the Game - Len Matuszek, 3-4, 2B, Grand Slam, HBP, 3R's, 4RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt, Tony Gwynn

Game #404 - Montreal Expos, 13 @ San Francisco Giants, 4

...and continuing the theme with early inning struggles...Giants starter Jeff Robinson was already losing 1-0 when five runners scored in the third.  The Giants bullpen was already taxed from their last loss, so I let him go back out there for the fifth.  He allowed two more runs and then loaded the bases before I finally sent him to the showers.  The Expos had a field day, none more so than Gary Carter.  He was perfect at the plate and scored three runs while driving in five.

Winning Pitcher - Charlie Lea
Losing Pitcher - Jeff Robinson
Player of the Game - Carter, 4-4, 2B, HR, 3R's, 5RBI's, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

April 4, 2015

May 11, 1984 - The East Is Least

Game #401 - Chicago Cubs, 3 @ Houston Astros, 5

Mike Scott got off to a rough start when he surrendered a lead off homer run to Ryne Sandberg in the top of the first.  But Houston chipped back and took the lead by the fifth inning.  Ron Cey brought the Cubbies back within one when he launched a two run blast of his own, but Dave Smith pitched a great two innings of relief, striking out four Chicago hitters in that span.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Scott
Losing Pitcher - Steve Trout
Save - Bill Dawley
Player of the Game - Dave Smith
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

Game #402 - New York Mets, 1 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 2

In the bottom of the first Steve Sax singled off Ron Darling.  He then stole second base.  Two hitters and outs later, Mike Marshall doubled him home to give L.A. the quick 1-0 lead.

Darling helped his own cause in the bottom of the third by reaching first on a hit.  He moved to third on a line drive by Mookie Wilson, and then scored on a Kelvin Chapman ground out to tie the game.  The game stayed tied until the bottom of the sixth.  Ken Landreaux singled and move to third on two separate ground outs.  That's when Sax recorded his second hit to plate Landreaux for the lead.

Meanwhile, Fernando Valenzuela was dealing.  His only real trouble occurred in...the top of the ninth!  I had channeled my inner-Tommy Lasorda and was committed to Fernandomania finishing the game.  Hubie Brooks led off with a hit, but George Foster grounded into a double play.  Ron Gardenhire was up next, and he doubled!  Mike Fitzgerald stepped up and walked, putting two on with two outs in a one run game.  Wally Backman pinch hit in the nine hole, but Valenzuela got him to strike out for the complete game victory!

Winning Pitcher - Fernando Valenzuela
Losing Pitcher - Ron Darling
Player of the Game - Valenzuela, CG, ER, 9K's

March 8, 2015

May 11, 1984 - 400


Game #400 - St. Louis Cardinals, 10 @ Cincinnati Reds, 2

Howdy friends!  If you can't tell by now, I just played my 400th Statis Pro game for this 1984 season!  It's taken just over three years to get here, but nonetheless, we're here!  As always, thanks for taking time to read these silly posts.

This game actually started off quite suspenseful.  There were goose eggs on the scoreboard through the first four innings as Danny Cox and Jay Tibbs were holding their opposing hitters in check.  But in the top of the fifth Cox squeezed home Tom Herr and then Ozzie Smith hit a 2-RBI single to give the Red Birds a 3-0 lead.  They never looked back as Cox pitched eight innings while only giving up one run.

Winning Pitcher - Danny Cox
Losing Pitcher - Jay Tibbs
Player of the Game - Cox, his third straight POTG
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Tony Perez

February 26, 2015

May 11, 1984 - Change in Pitch

Game #399 - Pittsburgh Pirates, 4 @ Atlanta Braves, 1

I did something in this game I don't recall doing before in this Statis Pro season:  I didn't hit the pitcher in the ninth slot in the batting order.  I didn't even hit him in the eighth slot!  That's right, starter Rick Rhoden got penciled into the seven-hole.

Rhoden hit over .300 in the real 1984 and his hitting card looks a lot better than Dale Berra and Doug Frobel's, so I figured, what the heck.

Rick might have been distracted by the change in routine, because his first inning was a bit rocky.  Bob Horner doubled and then scored on a Claudell Washington double.  Dale Murphy struck out for the second out of the bottom of the first but Chris Chambliss singled.  Washington rounded third and was heading for home but Frobel gunned him down to prevent the second run from scoring.

Johnny Ray, meanwhile, had Rhoden's back.  He knocked a two run homer in the second and doubled home another run in the fifth.  Lee Lacy added a solo shot in the eighth to secure the win.  How did Rhoden do batting seventh?  He was 1-3 with a double!

Winning Pitcher - Rick Rhoden
Losing Pitcher - Rick Mahler
Save - Kent Tekulve
Player of the Game - Johnny Ray, 2-5, 2B, HR, 3RBI's

February 23, 2015

May 11, 1984 - Rain and Pain

Before I forget - there's a new poll to the right of this story!

Game #397 - Minnesota Twins, 8 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 3 (rained out after 5 innings)

The Twins jumped all over Bob McClure in the first inning.  Kent Hrbek hit a two run homer with just one out, driving home Mickey Hatcher.  Hatcher was on base after a fluke single caused Charlie Moore and Robin Yount to collide.  Moore will be on the shelf for 11 games.  The Brewers are so depleted with injuries I don't even have a position player to call up to the active roster.  Dave Engle doubled home two as well to give the Twins a 4-0 lead after one inning.  Hatcher hit a two run jack of his own in the second inning, and the only thing that could cool off the Minnesota bats was the unexpected downpour that ended the game after five innings.

Winning Pitcher - Frank Viola
Losing Pitcher - Bob McClure
Player of the Game - Hatcher, 2-3, HR, 2RBI's, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett, Robin Yount

Game #398 - Seattle Mariners, 11 @ New York Yankees, 4

Here was Phil Niekro's first inning:

Jack Perconte, ground out.  Phil Bradley, hit by pitch.  Alvin Davis, walk.  Ken Phelps, hit by pitch.  Dave Henderson, walk, Bradley scores.  Al Cowens, fly out.  Larry Milbourne, single, two score.  Spike Owen, double, one scores.  Bob Kearney, home run, three more score.  Niekro lifted.

The old knuckler wasn't knuckling.

Winning Pitcher - Matt Young
Losing Pitcher - Phil Niekro
Player of the Game - Dave Henderson, 3-4, 2HR's, 4 RBI's, 3R's, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield, Phil Niekro

February 21, 2015

May 11, 1984 - Leftied Behind

Game #395 - California Angels, 4 @ Detroit Tigers, 11

This was the first game in a big series between the barely-second place Tigers in the AL East and the first place Angels in the West.  Mike Witt was on the mound for California, facing off against Milt Wilcox for Detroit.

The Angels struck first, in the first.  A Fred Lynn sacrifice fly plated Rod Carew and an RBI single by Reggie Jackson scored Bobby Grich.  The Tigers cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning.  Chet Lemon ripped a two-out triple to send Kirk Gibson all the way around the bases.

In the next inning Mike Witt really got into a jam.  With the bases loaded and two outs, and the game now tied at two apiece, leftie Kirk Gibson went yard for a grand salami!  It's his second grand slam of the season, tying Jody Davis for the Statis Pro MLB lead.  Witt was still in the game two innings later when Lemon went deep off him again, this one scoring two runs.  It was a bad day for Mr. Witt...  The Tigers did lose Tom Brookens to injury for 16 games.  He was in as a mid-game sub for Lou Whitaker.

Winning Pitcher - Milt Wilcox
Losing Pitcher - Mike Witt
Player of the Game - Kirk Gibson, 3-4, grand slam, 5RBI's, 3R's, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

Game #396 - Boston Red Sox, 9 @ Kansas City Royals, 3

This game started off all K.C.  A Jackie Gutierrez error (he already has 10 on the season!) led to three runs in the bottom of the first off BoSox starter Bruce Hurst.  Rich Gedman homered in the top of the second to get Boston on the board, but it was a pitcher's duel after that until the seventh inning.  That's when rookie Bret Saberhagen gave up a three run blast to leftie Bill Buckner.  The Red Sox scored four more runs in the top of the ninth too to really put the game out of reach for the floundering Royals.

Winning Pitcher - Bruce Hurst
Losing Pitcher - Bret Saberhagen
Save - Charlie Mitchell
Player of the Game - Bill Buckner, 2-4, HR, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Jim Rice

February 13, 2015

May 11, 1984 - Clutch Homers

Game #393 - Oakland A's, 4 @ Baltimore Orioles, 5

The O's were hosting Texas after being swept by the Blue Jays and were looking to rebound.  It was a battle through the first five innings because neither team could score off starters Ray Burris and Scott McGregor.  The A's scored first in the top of the sixth, though, when Dwayne Murphy went yard to give Oakland a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom half of the inning Wayne Gross did what he's been doing all season:  hitting home runs.  This one was of the Earl Weaver variety, scoring three for the Orioles.  Steve Kiefer made a crucial error in the seventh that led to two more runs for Baltimore and a victory.

Winning Pitcher - Sammy Stewart
Losing Pitcher - Ray Burris
Save - Tippy Martinez
Player of the Game - Stewart, 2IP, K
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

Game #394 - Texas Rangers, 2 @ Chicago White Sox, 1

This was one of those games you hate to see either starter get tagged for a loss.  Charlie Hough went eight solid innings for the Rangers, yielding only one run, a homer to Ron Kittle, while striking out five and only walking one batter.  Floyd Bannister was just as good, pitching a complete game with seven K's and just two walks.  He surrendered a homer as well, to Larry Parrish, but with a runner on board.  That was the difference and all the Rangers needed for the victory.

Winning Pitcher - Charlie Hough
Losing Pitcher - Floyd Bannister
Save - Dave Schmidt
Player of the Game - the ol' knuckler

February 4, 2015

May 10, 1984 - Dramarama

Game #391 - San Francisco Giants, 2 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 3

Mike Krukow gave up three doubles in a row in the bottom of the first, which gave the Pirates an early 2-0 lead.  The Giants were able to tie the game, though, by the fourth inning.  The score stayed knotted until the bottom of the eighth.  Tony Pena lead things off by singling.  He stole second base on a failed hit and run with Bill Madlock at the plate.  Madlock then doubled to give the Pirates the go-ahead run.  Madlock was 3-4 for the day, which he badly needed.  He has been ice cold this Statis Pro season.

Winning Pitcher - Cecilio Guante
Losing Pitcher - Frank Williams
Player of the Game - Mad Dog

Game #392 - San Diego Padres, 1 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 2 (12 innings)

The languishing Padres were in town against the smoking-hot Cardinals.  Lonnie Smith gave the cards an early lead when he knocked home Andy VanSlyke in the bottom of the second.  But the Padres took the lead after an  unlikely home run from Alan Wiggins and an RBI hit from Carmelo Martinez.

The Padres had a 3-2 lead in the seventh but lost it when St. Louis tied the game on a Ken Oberkfell RBI.  The next four innings were scoreless, pushing the match to the 12th inning.  Dave Rucker, pitching his third inning of relief, gave up a homer to pinch hitter Kurt Bevacqua.  All the Padres had to do was record three outs for the win.  New reliever Dave Dravecky took the mound and disaster ensued.  Chris Speier singled, Willie McGee walked, and David Green singled to load the bases.  Tom Herr then ripped a two-RBI single for the walk off win!!!

Winning Pitcher - Dave Rucker
Losing Pitcher - Dave Dravecky
Player of the Game - Tom Herr
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage, Ozzie Smith

January 31, 2015

May 10, 1984 - That's Why You Play the Game!

Cincinnati Reds, 9 @ Montreal Expos, 8

Jeff Russell was opposing Bill Gullickson at the start of this game, so the pitching match up definitely seemed to favor the Expos.  THAT'S WHY YOU PLAY THE GAME!

The Reds jumped all over Gullickson in the second inning, scoring four runs.  Gullickson walked three that inning and gave up three hits, including a 2-RBI double to Wayne Krenchicki.  Gullickson got tagged for three more runs in the fifth, even though it was reliever Andy McGaffigan that gave up two of them on a bases loaded walk to Eddie Milner and a single to Duane Walker.

The Expos were down 9-4 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs when Montreal legend Andre Dawson kick started a furious rally with a solo homer.  Reliever Keefe Cato gave up a total of four runs before Ted Power got the save when Tim Raines grounded out to first to end the game.

Winning Pitcher - Tom Hume
Losing Pitcher - Bill Gullickson
Save - Ted Power
Player of the Game - Duane Walker, 2-3, 2B, 2RBI's, 3BB's, SB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Perez, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

Atlanta Braves, 5 @ New York Mets, 3

Craig McMurtry, who lost 17 games in the real 1984 season, faced rookie sensation Dwight Gooden in this battle.  The scales definitely tip in favor of New York with that match up.  THAT'S WHY YOU PLAY THE GAME!

The score was all zeroes in the top of the third inning with two outs.  Gooden had already struck out five batters when Gerald Perry singled.  That brought up Bob Horner, who took a Gooden fastball deep into the cheap seats for a 2-0 Braves lead.  The Mets tied things up in the bottom of the fourth when George Foster, playing his first game since recovering from an injury, launched a two run bomb of his own to tie things up.

There were two outs in the top of the fifth when Perry once again proved to be a nemesis for Gooden, this time doubling.  Horner singled home Perry and later crossed home plate himself when Claudell Washington hit another home run off Gooden.  Despite "Dr. K's" eleven strikeouts in the game, he was the losing pitcher.

Winning Pitcher - Craig McMurtry
Losing Pitcher - Dwight Gooden
Save - Steve Bedrosian
Player of the Game - Bob Horner, 2-5, HR, 3RBI's, 2R's

January 25, 2015

May 10, 1984 - NL West 2, NL East 0

Game #387 - Los Angeles Dodgers, 4 @ Chicago Cubs, 2

The score was tied one each in the top of the sixth when Cubs starter Rick Reuschel ran into trouble.  Steve Sax knocked in two with a double, and later scored on a Steve Yeager single. Chicago picked up one more run in the seventh but L.A. held on for the win.

Winning Pitcher - Rick Honeycutt
Losing Pitcher - Rick Reuschel
Save - Burt Hooton
Player of the Game - Honeycutt, 8IP, 4H's, 4K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

Game #388 - Philadelphia Phillies, 2 @ Houston Astros, 3 (10 innings)

Wouldn't you know it, Joe Niekro flirted with another no-hitter.  He had gone 6.2 innings before giving up his first hit, to Joe Lefebvre.  That hit also plated Len Matuszek, who had walked to start the inning.  Glenn Wilson then scored Lefebvre on a two-out single.  Just like that Niekro lost the lead.  Houston picked up a run in the bottom half of the inning when Mark Bailey stroked a hard double to score Ray Knight.

Fast forward to the bottom of the ninth - the Phillies still had a 2-1 lead.  With one out Larry Andersen gave up a hit to Kevin Bass.  Bass moved to second on a failed hit and run by Terry Puhl, with Puhl out at first.  One out from victory, Bailey was again at bat.  He knocked a single, and Bass went flying around third and scored, beating the throw from the outfield to tie the game and send things to extra innings!

In the bottom of the tenth Bill Campbell was on the mound.  With one out he gave up a surprise triple to Phil Garner.  Jose Cruz was up next, and squeaked an infield hit to plate Garner - Houston wins on the walk-off!!!

Winning Pitcher - Joe Sambito
Losing Pitcher - Bill Campbell
Player of the Game - Mark Bailey, 2-4, 2B, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt

January 19, 2015

May 10, 1984 - Just Three Games in the AL

This was a bit random on the MLB scheduler's part, but there were only three American League games on May 10th back in 1984, so here are the last two...

Game #385 - Texas Rangers, 1 @ Chicago White Sox, 9

I did something I hadn't done this season in Statis Pro - I made a defensive replacement in the middle of the inning, after an error was made.  The culprit?  Jeff Kunkel.  His crime?  It was his third error in just five innings.  I brought in Wayne Tolleson to teach Kunkel a lesson.  I'm the one who got schooled, though, because Tolleson made an error five batters later!

Tom Seaver had his first great game of the year, going the distance and scattering five hits and two walks.  I would have made him "Player of the Game," but Ron Kittle had different plans.  He went yard twice, totaling five RBI's and three runs.  Rangers catcher Donnie Scott took a nasty foul tip off his hand and will miss the next 30 games.  Texas can't catch a break this season...

Winning Pitcher - Tom Seaver
Losing Pitcher - Dave Stewart
Player of the Game - Ron Kittle
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tom Seaver

Game #386 - Cleveland Indians, 6 @ New York Yankees, 4

Neither starter made it past the fourth inning, as both Rick Sutcliffe and Dennis Rasmussen each surrendered four runs.  It's no wonder Cleveland dumped Sutcliffe in the early going of the real 1984 - they must have been furious when he turned into a Cy Young pitcher in Chicago.  Both bullpens shined in this one, but it was the Cleveland trio of Tom Waddell, Mike Jeffcoat, and Ernie Camacho who were the brightest.  In five combined innings no runners reached base!  Brook Jacoby had the winning hit, plating two with a double in the seventh inning.

Winning Pitcher - Tom Waddell
Losing Pitcher - Clay Christianse
Save - Ernie Camacho
Player of the Game - Mike Jeffcoat, 2IP, 2K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield