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April 13, 2017

May 27, 1984 - Murph

Game #572 - St. Louis Cardinals, 4 @ Atlanta Braves, 8

In the top of the first Lonnie Smith walked, stole second base, went to third on an Ozzie Smith sacrifice, and then scored on a sac fly by Willie McGee.  Cardinals baseball!!  But in the bottom of the first Gerald Perry and Glenn Hubbard drew back to back walks and, two batters later, Dale Murphy went big-fly to give the Braves a 3-1 lead.

Atlanta got three more runs in the fourth thanks in part to RBI singles from Rafael Ramirez and Alex Trevino.  Rick Camp lasted six innings and scattered five walks along with two hits to get the victory for the Braves.

Winning Pitcher - Rick Camp
Losing Pitcher - Danny Cox
Player of the Game - Dale Murphy, 2-4, HR, 3RBI, SB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith

April 9, 2017

Week in Review: May 20 - May 26, 1984

Dan Driessen is in the top five for NL OPS
This is our first "Week in Review" since September 2016, meaning it took seven months to finish the week.  That honestly feels like a pretty good pace, one playing day a month.  At that rate I could finish two weeks in the same calendar year.

The Phenomenal Phive:

  1. Houston Astros, 32-12, .727 win%  Just about everything is going the right way for the Astros.  Their starting pitching delivers, the bullpen is the best in the National League, and their platoons on offense are clicking.  I need to start playing Ray Knight more in anticipation of his trade later in the season to the Mets, so that could dampen the run scoring.
  2. Toronto Blue Jays, 31-13, .705 win %  There isn't a better outfield in the league right now than the Blue Jays.  Dave Collins, Jorge Bell, and Lloyd Moseby are murdering the ball, and Jesse Barfield is coming off the DL this coming week.  That's bad news for the AL East.
  3. St. Louis Cardinals, 32-14, .696 win%  The Cardinals continue to distance themselves from the rest of the NL East.  Bruce Sutter now leads the league in saves (10) and has been nearly unhittable.
  4. Detroit Tigers, 28-14, .667 win%  Detroit Rock City continues to keep the pressure on Toronto.  Kirk Gibson leads the multi-pronged offensive attack as Howard Johnson has enjoyed increased playing time with Tom Brookens' injury.
  5. New York Yankees, 27-16, .628 win%  The Bronx Bombers are still performing above their true talent level.  They got a nice pick-me-up when Willie Randolph came off the DL, and Dave Winfield's bat is sizzling right now.
Useless Stats:

  • Brett Butler leads the AL in caught stealing with eight, twice as many as the runner in second place.  Tim Raines leads the NL with six, though he's successfully nabbed 22 bags.
  • Lloyd Moseby has been plunked seven times so far this season, good for tops in the AL.  Dave Anderson of the Dodgers leads the senior circuit with four.
  • Kent Hrbek has grounded into 15 double plays.  Mike Marshall leads the NL with 11.
  • Ricky Horton is the only pitcher in the National League with a save and at least one game started.
  • Dave Stieb and Doyle Alexander of the Blue Jays lead the American League with four complete games pitched.

April 7, 2017

May 26, 1984 - Last Game of the Week

Game #571 - Cleveland Indians, 4 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 10

Rick Sutcliffe and Luis Leal were in a race for worst pitching performance in the last game of the week.  In the bottom of the first Cliff Johnson launched a three run homer as the Blue Jays totaled four in the inning.  In the top of the second Indians catcher Jerry Willard deposited a Leal pitch over the right field wall for three RBI of his own, bringing the Indians within a run of tying it up.

In the third, though, Willie Upshaw took the game over.  With Jorge Bell and Cliff Johnson on base, he ripped a bases-clearing triple.  In the seventh he added a three-run homer off George Frazier and Toronto ended the game with one in the win column.

Winning Pitcher - Luis Leal
Losing Pitcher - Rick Sutcliffe
Player of the Game - Willie Upshaw, 2-3, BB, 3B, HR, 5RBI


April 1, 2017

May 26, 1984 - Great Eight

Game #569 - Detroit Tigers, 8 @ Seattle Mariners, 0

Glen Abbott started for Detroit, and even though he wasn't much of a pitcher in the real 1984, he held the Mariners scoreless through five innings.  That's when Willie Hernandez came on for three innings of relief brilliance.

Kirk Gibson, Darrell Evans, and Howard Johnson all homered for Detroit.

Winning Pitcher - Glen Abbott
Losing Pitcher - Jim Beattie
Player of the Game - Hernandez, 3IP, 0R, 4K's

Game #570 - Chicago White Sox, 8 @ Texas Rangers, 5

The Pale Hose had a huge inning in the first.  Harold Baines and Tom Paciorek both launched two-run homers.  They were up to an 8-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth when Hall of Famer starter Tom Seaver allowed a three-run pinch hit homer to Tracy Jones to end his bid for a complete game.

Winning Pitcher - Tom Seaver
Losing Pitcher - Mike Mason
Save - Juan Agosto
Player of the Game - Paciorek, 3-3, HR, 3RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tom Seaver

March 25, 2017

May 26, 1984 - Lansford and Lezcano Lauded

Game #567 - New York Yankees, 6 @ Oakland A's, 14

Headed into the bottom of the fifth the Yankees actually held a slim 3-2 lead.  But Joe Cowley allowed four runs in the inning, including a two-run bomb from Carney Lansford.  But Lansford wasn't done.  He added a solo homer in the seventh for his second of the game, followed directly by a moonshot from Dwayne Murphy.  Mike Heath had three hits in the game, and all three were RBI doubles.  Every Oakland starter had a hit except Joe Morgan.

Curt Young gutted out seven innings, giving up 12 hits and 4 walks, but only three runs.

Winning Pitcher - Curt Young
Losing Pitcher - Joe Cowley
Player of the Game - Carney Lansford, 4-5, 2B, 2HR's, 4RBI, 3R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield, Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan

Game #568 - San Diego Padres, 2 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 6

The Phillies scored all six of their runs in the bottom of the first.  Andy Hawkins allowed the first five batters to reach base, including two-run homers by Sixto Lezcano and Joe Lefebvre.  Hawkins hung in until the sixth inning to give the Padres bullpen a breather and didn't allow another run, but the Padres anemic offense couldn't dig out of the first inning hole.

Winning Pitcher - Shane Rawley
Losing Pitcher - Andy Hawkins
Player of the Game - Sixto Lezcano, 3-4, 2B, HR, 2RBI, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Mike Schmidt

March 11, 2017

May 26, 1984 - Netsix

Game #565 - Los Angeles Dodgers, 6 @ New York Mets, 0

Walt Terrell tried to keep it close for the Mets with a 2-0 deficit after a home run to Greg Brock in the third, but got pulled in the seventh when Alejandro Pena reached on error and got tripled home by Steve Sax (and then walked the next two batters to load the bases).  But reliever Jesse Orosco gave up back to back singles to Mike Marshall and Candy Maldonado to plate four total runs in the inning.  Meanwhile, Alejandro Pena has quietly been the most lethal pitcher on the season, leading the league in WHIP and keeping the Mets off balance for a complete game shutout.

Winning Pitcher - Alejandro Pena
Losing Pitcher - Walt Terrell
Player of the Game - Pena

Game #566 - San Francisco Giants, 5 @ Montreal Expos, 6

The Giants had a 3-0 lead after five innings thanks in part to Mike Krukow's stellar pitching and a two-run bomb by John Rabb.  But the wheels fell of for Krukow in the sixth.  Ten batters came to the plate, and Krukow and Scott Garrelts allowed five runs to score.  Pete Rose added an RBI single in the seventh, which was a good thing because Jeff Leonard cranked a two-run homer too in the eighth to bring the Giants within one of victory.  Alas, that's as close as they would get.

Winning Pitcher - David Palmer
Losing Pitcher - Mike Krukow
Save - Greg Harris
Player of the Game - Tim Raines, 3-3, 2B, 2R's, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tim Raines, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter

March 9, 2017

May 26, 1984 - Dramatic Outcomes

Game #563 - Pittsburgh Pirates, 3 @ Houston Astros, 4 (10 innings)

Bob Knepper gave up a lead-off double in the first to Lee Lacy, who eventually scored on a Jason Thompson sacrifice fly.  But he settled down after that, going six innings only giving up that run.

The Astros took the lead in the fourth.  Jose Cruz was on base after a single when Jerry Mumphrey cranked a long fly to right field.  Brian Harper crashed into the wall trying to track it down, resulting in a triple for Mumphrey.  He then scored on a Denny Walling single, which made it 2-1 Houston.  Harper is injured now for 67 games - a record length of time for this Statis Pro season.

In the top of the ninth the Pirates were down to their last three batters.  With one out Lee Mazzilli dug in against Dave Smith...and hit a HOMER!  TIE GAME!  The Astros couldn't answer in the bottom of the ninth so it was on to free baseball.

Lacy led off the tenth with a single and booked it to third on a Tony Pena double.  Frank DiPino intentionally walked Jason Thompson to load the bases but make it a force out at any base.  Jim Morrison hit a deep ground out to the first base side which allowed Lacy to score and to give the Pirates a one run lead going into the bottom of the tenth.  But the game wasn't done!  Cecilio Guante took the mound for the save but yielded a walk to Terry Puhl and a single to Jose Cruz.  He struck out Mumphrey but Enos Cabell SMOKED a DOUBLE to CLEAR THE BASES FOR THE WALK-OFF WIN!!!

Winning Pitcher - Frank DiPino
Losing Pitcher - Cecilio Guante
Player of the Game - Enos Cabell, 2-5, 2B, 2RBI

Game #564 - Milwaukee Brewers, 3 @ Minnesota Twins, 0

This was a game of pitching dominance.  Frank Viola was filthy for the Twins, going eight innings and giving up only three hits while striking out five, but one of those hits was a Bob Clark homer.  Meanwhile, Jaime Cocanower hurled a no-hitter until the sixth inning, when Tom Brunansky ripped a double with one out.  In the seventh Randy Bush singled with one out when Tim Laudner smacked a double to the noodle-armed Clark in center field.  Bush applied his "OBR A" running and tried to make it all the way home against Clark's "T2" arm rating.  But Clark got it into Jim Sundberg at home and ahead of Bush to keep the Twins off the scoreboard.  Ray Searage got the save but recording five straight outs.

Winning Pitcher - Jaime Cocanower
Losing Pitcher - Frank Viola
Save - Ray Searage
Player of the Game - Bob Clark, 1-3, HR, RBI, Asst.
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount, Kirby Puckett


March 7, 2017

May 26, 1984 - Reds and Eds

Game #561 - Baltimore Orioles, 11 @ California Angels, 7

I know I have said it a hundred times on this blog, but Eddie Murray is my favorite player and the Baltimore Orioles are my favorite team.  I've been lucky in that Eddie has had some big moments this season, and this game might have been his biggest.

A barrage of offense on both sides had the Angels up 7-6 in the top of the eighth.  Don Aase, the best reliever on the California roster, came in to pitch when Curt Kaufman walked Wayne Gross and allowed an error to put two men on.  John Lowenstein pinch-hit for Gary Roenicke and promptly walked, loading the bases with no outs.  And then Aase walked Mike Young to tie the game!  That brought up Cal Ripken, but Aase fanned him for the first out.  Up stepped Eddie Clarence Murray.  The "fast action card" indicated it was a clutch-batting number!  The next number?  34 - square in the middle of Eddie's home run range - GRAND SLAM!!!  The O's hung on to win after that!!!

Winning Pitcher - Tippy Martinez
Losing Pitcher - Curt Kaufman
Save - Sammy Stewart
Player of the Game - Eddie Murray, 2-5, 2B, Grand Slam, 4RBI, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, Reggie Jackson, Rod Carew

Game #562 - Cincinnati Reds, 7 @ Chicago Cubs, 1

The Cubbies were riding a nice three-game win streak in their attempt to climb out of the NL East cellar, but Mario Soto gutted those efforts.  He went eight strong innings, only giving up one run on three hits while whiffing seven.  Lee Smith has been useless out of the pen this year, as he gave up another four runs in the top of the ninth.

Winning Pitcher - Mario Soto
Losing Pitcher - Rick Reuschel
Player of the Game - Soto
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg


March 5, 2017

May 26, 1984 - Schedule Frustrations

Well, I'm a bit grumpy.  There is a certain amount of coordination required to replay an entire baseball season with a tabletop game.  When I started this endeavor I couldn't find the original schedule of intended games for 1984, only the actual results.  That means all games rescheduled in the real season are played on the same date here in Statis Pro fantasy land.

I've used Baseball-Reference's 1984 calendar since day one.  I liked it because you could look at the entire six months on one page, and then click on the day and month from that page for the games I needed to play.  It would open a box that would list the box scores, by league, for that date.

But for these two games, I made a sad discovery.  My bookmarked page no longer exists.  Instead, Baseball Referene has gone with this.  It's a generic search page where I now have to enter the date and season every time.  Worse than that, though, is that the games are no longer divided by league, it's sorted alphabetically by home team, left to right, top to bottom.  I know, I know, "first world problems."  The old style, though, made it easier for me to track which game to play next.  I'm sure this new search function services the rest of the Baseball Reference in a much better way than me, I just wish they could do both styles.  Oh well, on to the games...

Game #559 -  St. Louis Cardinals, 5 @ Atlanta Braves, 4

Lonnie Smith started the game with a single and a stolen base, allowing #3 hitter Willie McGee to single him home for the first run of the game.  That's all the offense either team could muster until the top of the sixth.  With Pascual Perez still on the mound for Atlanta, Ozzie Smith doubled, McGee tripled for his second RBI of the game, and then scored on a Ken Oberkfell double.  But in the bottom half of the inning the Braves came roaring back.  Dave LaPoint had two runners on base when Rafael Ramirez doubled to plate Glenn Hubbard.  Then Alex Trevino singled to bring home Dale Murphy and Ramirez.  Trevino eventually scored too on a Bob Watson single and all of a sudden the Braves went from down three to up one.

In the top of the eighth hard luck reliever Gene Garber took the mound for Atlanta.  But the Cardinals, aided by a Trevino throwing error when Lonnie Smith stole his second base of the game, ended up scoring two runs to swipe victory away from Atlanta.

Winning Pitcher - Neil Allen
Losing Pitcher - Gene Garber
Save - Bruce Sutter
Player of the Game - Willie McGee, 3-4, 3B, 2RBI, 2R's, SB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter

Game #560 - Kansas City Royals, 2 @ Boston Red Sox, 11

This one wasn't pretty...especially with Boston hitting FIVE home runs!  The first came off the bat of Tony Armas...with the bases loaded...in the bottom of the first!  He added a three run shot in the fourth to give him a whopping seven RBI for the game!  Meanwhile, Darryl Motley became the sixth Royals' starter to get injured, crashing into the outfield wall and going on the DL for ten games.

Winning Pitcher - Al Nipper
Losing Pitcher - Mark Gubicza
Player of the Game - Armas, 4-5, 2HR (grand slam), 7RBI, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

February 26, 2017

May 25, 1984 - Supreme Facial Hair

Game #557 - Los Angeles Dodgers, 6 @ New York Mets, 7

It's unusual for a team that hits four home runs in a game to lose, but that's just what L.A. managed to do.  Pedro Guerrero hit a two run bomb in the first, R.J. Reynolds a solo homer in the third, and two more solo shots by Dave Anderson and Greg Brock in the fifth.  The Brock homer was a first in this Statis Pro season - an INSIDE THE PARK home run!  Mookie Wilson crashed into the center field wall and hurt himself for five games while Brock scampered home for the unconventional run.

But by the ninth inning the game was tied, thanks in large part to Mr. George Foster.  He had his own two-run homer in the second, and RBI single in the third, and another RBI, this time a double that plated Darryl Strawberry, in the seventh.

So how did the Mets win in the bottom of the ninth inning?  It was the curse of Tom Niedenfuer once again!  Long time readers of this blog know that Niedenfuer's tendencies for clutch meltdowns are just as true in Statis Pro as they were in real life.  He walked Darryl Strawberry and Hubie Brooks to start the inning.  Foster grounded out but moved the runners up a base.  Niedenfuer intentionally walked Mike Fitzgerald to bring up Jose Oquendo with the bases loaded.  Oquendo laid down the SUICIDE SQUEEZE to score the winning run!

Winning Pitcher - Jesse Orosco
Losing Pitcher - Tom Niedenfuer
Player of the Game - George Foster, 3-5, HR, 2B, 4RBI, R, killer sideburns

Game #558 - San Diego Padres, 8 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 11

Padres starter Tim Lollar got himself into a jam early in the game.  In the bottom of the first he had the bases loaded with Ivan DeJesus up.  He smoked a line drive to the left field corner, where Carmelo Martinez injured himself trying to make the play.  The end result?  A bases clearing double.  San Diego had the game tied back up by the fourth inning, thanks in part to a two-run homer by Luis Salazar.  But the Phillies sent eleven batters to the plate in the fifth inning, scoring six runs.  Four of those came courtesy of an Ozzie Virgil GRAND SLAM, his second on the season.  That was enough to outlast the pesky San Diego offense on the day.

Winning Pitcher - Jerry Koosman
Losing Pitcher - Tim Lollar
Save - Larry Andersen
Player of the Game - Ozzie Virgil, 1-4, Grand Slam, 4RBI, HBP, killer beard
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Mike Schmidt

This was the last game on May 25 - the standings and stats are updated on the right side of the page.  There's a new poll too!

February 21, 2017

May 25, 1984 - One Is The Loneliest Number

Game #555 - Pittsburgh Pirates, 0 @ Houston Astros, 1

This game was scoreless after eight innings of play.  Twice the Astros sent a runner from second to home plate only to be thrown out by Doug Frobel, who was in the game because Johnny Ray and Marvelle Wynn collided in the first and had to leave with injuries.

But in the bottom of the ninth Don Robinson was working his second inning of relief.  Jose Cruz led off with a single.  He then stole second, but Tony Pena overthrew second base, letting Cruz scamper to third with no outs.  Jerry Mumphrey popped out to Denny Gonzalez but Enos Cabell walked.  That brought up Kevin Bass.  He hit a fly ball out to Lee Mazzilli, but it was deep enough to plate Cruz with the winning, and only, run.

Winning Pitcher - Bill Dawley
Losing Pitcher - Don Robinson
Player of the Game - Joe Niekro, 8IP, 4H's, 10K's

Game #556 - San Francisco Giants, 8 @ Montreal Expos, 1

This was a fun game because it was the first time, if I'm not mistaken, we've had a new Hall of Fame player added to this Statis Pro season.  That's right - Tim Raines is now in the Hall of Fame.  Congrats!  Next year's verteran's committee covers the 1970's and 80's, so maybe we'll have more additions to the club.

The Giants took control of this game right out of the gate.  Chili Davis led off with a solo homer, Jeffrey Leonard and Bob Brenly hit back to back doubles, Brad Wellman and Alex Sanchez had RBI singles, and after half an inning of play San Fran was up 4-0 on poor Steve Rogers.  The onslaught continued as Mark Davis pulled his E.R.A. out of the garbage disposal by pitching a complete game, with the only run scored unearned.

Winning Pitcher - Mark Davis
Losing Pitcher - Steve Rogers
Player of the Game - Chili Davis, 4-4, 2HR's, 2RBI, 3R's, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tim Raines, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter