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August 1, 2015

May 13, 1984 - These Go To Eleven

Game #421 - Boston Red Sox, 11 @ Kansas City Royals, 2

Boston had a really fun offense in 1984, and it was on total display in this game.  Mike Easler knocked in two in the first inning to get the ball rolling.  Reid Nichols tripled in the second to plate Gary Allenson.  The Royals grabbed a couple of runs back in the third and fourth to pull within one, but back to back solo homers by Tony Armas and Easler in the sixth put the game out of reach for good.

Winning Pitcher - Dennis Eckersley
Losing Pitcher - Charlie Leibrandt
Player of the Game - Mike Easler, 3-5, 2B, HR, 4RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Dennis Eckersley

Game #422 - Minnesota Twins, 4 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 11

The third game between the AL cellar dwellers!

The game was tied 1-1 in the bottom of the second when the Brew Crew erupted for three runs.  But the Twins answered back with three of their own in the third, which included five straight singles off starter Moose Haas.  In the bottom of the sixth, though, Rick Lysander got tagged for the loss.  With runners on second and third he intentionally walked Robin Yount.  Cecil Cooper hit into a fielder's choice, but the bases stayed loaded.  That's when Bill Schroeder, seeing increased playing time with Jim Sundberg on the DL, CRUSHED a GRAND SLAM!

Winning Pitcher - Ray Searage
Losing Pitcher - Rick Lysander
Player of the Game - Bill Schroeder, 3-5, grand slam, 5RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett, Robin Yount


July 25, 2015

May 13, 1984 - Sunday Fun Day

Game #419 - Texas Rangers, 6 @ Chicago White Sox, 9

By the end of the fourth inning, the White Sox were leading 7-1.  Harold Baines had homered and Vance Law had a clutch, 2-RBI single as starter Danny Darwin was chased from the game early.  The Rangers had a nice four run rally in the fifth, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Pale Hose.

Winning Pitcher - Bert Roberge
Losing Pitcher - Danny Darwin
Player of the Game - Roberge, 2 1/3IP in relief one hit, zero runs

Game #420 - Toronto Blue Jays, 13 @ Cleveland Indians, 4

For the second game in a row, Toronto scored double digits against Cleveland.  Indians starter Neal Heaton deserved better, as the Tribe committed four errors in the game, including two by Brook Jacoby and his E6 fielding rating.  Every Blue Jays starter had at least one hit and one run, as did the two of the three replacements later in the game.  Only Tony Fernandez came up short at the plate.  Slacker.

Winning Pitcher - Doyle Alexander
Losing Pitcher - Neal Heaton
Player of the Game - Alexander, 7IP, 2R's (0 earned) - this is his fifth time winning this honor, which I believe leads Statis Pro right now...

July 22, 2015

Friend Requests - San Diego Padres Analysis

Hello!

I'm doing something new on the blog - I want to create a label for "friend requests".  In the past some of you have asked for stats, input to set a lineup for a future game, etc.  I love that - hearing back from the internet void about an obscure baseball simulation game is good incentive to stay on top of the blog.  So, if you ever want more info on how I'm playing the game, or you want to pick a batting order for your favorite team, I'm down for trying it!  Just leave a comment in a post and I'll try my best.

Joey recently asked for me to share how one of his favorite all-time teams, the '84 Padres, are doing this season.  Despite Garvey's thumbs up here, I haven't had a lot of success with them.  Over 32 games they're just 12-20.  And if I'm being honest, they're one of the least interesting teams to manage.  Outside of benching Graig Nettles against lefties (where you at Luis Salazar fans!?!?), the lineup almost never changes.  Here's how the offense is doing:

C     Terry Kennedy      1HR, 9RBI   .250/.299/.320/.619
1B    Steve Garvey        2HR, 13RBI  .220/.267/.293/.559
2B    Alan Wiggins        3HR, 22SB   .285/.343/.423/.766
3B    Graig Nettles        6HR, 14RBI   .260/.348/.494/.842
SS    Gary Templeton    0HR, 7RBI    .237/.294/.263/.557
LF    Camelo Martinez   3HR, 19RBI  .276/.364/.448/.812
CF   Kevin McReynolds  2HR, 13RBI .310/.333/.419/.752
RF    Tony Gwynn           2HR, 12RBI  .353/.395/.419/.814

32 games is still a small sample size, but Steve Garvey is stone cold right now on offense.  Kennedy and Templeton are hardly better.  Nettles and Wiggins are over their heads and due to come back down to earth, though Wiggins' speed is playing great.

Here's the pitching:

Ed Whitson            3-4   3.97   20k
Eric Show              1-4   6.45   23k
Mark Thurmond     3-2   4.37   13k
Andy Hawkins        1-3   4.29   28k
Tim Lollar               1-2   5.29   28k

Goose Gossage       1-2   3.38   2sv
Craig Lefferts          0-0   0.57    4sv
Dave Dravecky       0-1   3.57    11k

The starting pitching has not lived up to their true talent level.  If the Padres are to turn around and finish first in the NL West like they did in the real 1984 they'll have to be better.  I think that will happen.  But the Astros are going to be hard to catch - they have excellent pitching and a more dynamic offense.  Time will tell!


July 18, 2015

May 13, 1984 - The Insane Seasons of Joe Morgan and Mike Young

Game #418 - Oakland A's, 4 @ Baltimore Orioles, 7

When you play an entire season of Statis Pro, you have to figure there will be statistical outliers.  After 162 games the law of averages should kick in and players should, more or less, reproduce similar stat lines as their real 1984 seasons.  But at this point, when teams have only played 30 games or so, it is reasonable to assume some will be performing well under their abilities and some well above.  I don't know that there are two other players so far above their actual 1984 talent level as Joe Morgan of the A's and Mike Young of the Orioles.

Morgan is of course a Hall of Fame caliber player and one of the best second basemen of all time.  But 1984 was his last season, and he never had any season that resembles his current .460 average and .568/.793/1.361 OPS.  That's over 111 plate appearances.  Similarly, Young is walloping a .400 average with a .486/.661/1.146 OPS in 138 plate appearances.  Naturally, Morgan went 3-5 in this game and Young 3-4 with a double.  They continue to refuse to come back to earth.

Al Bumbry, pictured, had the best game.  He went 4-5 with a double, two runs scored, and a RBI.  Mike Boddicker spread nine hits and two walks over seven innings and Eddie Murray knocked a two run homer to help the Orioles win the game.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Boddicker
Losing Pticher - Mike Warren
Player of the Game - Al Bumbry
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

July 9, 2015

Week in Review - May 6 through May 12

Another week is in the books - this one took close to ten months to complete.  I'll take it, you get the games in when you can!

Phenomenal Phive:

1.  Toronto Blue Jays, 25-7.  Everything continues to be clicking for the blue birds.  They're now ahead of the Tigers and don't look to be slowing down.  Good players like Rance Mulliniks and Dave Collins are playing above their talent level and Lloyd Moseby and George Bell keep raking.

2.  Houston Astros, 24-8.  The Astros are still in orbit, high above the rest of the NL West.  Platoons are working out, the starting pitching is solid, and the bullpen is near unhittable.

3.  St. Louis Cardinals, 24-10.  The red birds continue to hold the NL East on lock-down.

4.  Detroit Tigers, 22-9.  It's hard to believe with a record 13 games over .500 the Tigers are in second place, but them's the breaks.  Kirk Gibson in particular is leading the way.

5.  New York Yankees, 20-11.  Here's my nominee for "most likely to drop off."  Their starters are a bunch of 2-5's and 2-6's.  Mattingly is finally hitting well, though, and Dave Winfield continues to do his things.  Willie Randolph will be off the DL soon too.  Maybe they'll still be in the top five after all!

July 7, 2015

May 12, 1984 - Giants Falling Like Flies

Game #417 - Montreal Expos, 4 @ San Francisco Giants, 1

No team has been snake-bitten by the "Z" fast action card and injury chart than the Giants.  They just got Jeoffrey Leonard back from the DL, where Chili Davis, Manny Trillo, and Al Oliver still reside.  So I'm sure you see where this going.  They received TWO more injuries in this game!  First, Scot Thompson and Leonard collided.  Thompson will be gone for 20 games while Leonard will "only" miss six.  Then, Dan Gladden and Jack Clark crashed into each other too.  Gladden will be out for 30 games and Clark for 14!  Davis is close to moving off the DL, but it will matter little with all the other opening day starters still nursing their boo boos.

Bryn Smith had a good outing, going eight innings and spreading eight hits and three walks while striking out eight.  That's a lot of eights.  Terry Francona earned his first "player of the game" award by roping three doubles.  Montreal continues to climb up the standings while the Giants, well...check the pic.

Winning Pitcher - Bryn Smith
Losing Pitcher - Bill Laskey
Save - Greg Harris
Player of the Game - Francona
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

July 3, 2015

May 12, 1984 - 'Merca

Happy 4th of July weekend everyone!  I hope you get to squeeze in a couple of games of Statis Pro...

Game #415 - New York Mets, 8 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 0

My Dad was in town last week, so once again he was managing his favorite team, the Dodgers.  This started as a very close match, with neither team scoring a run through the first three innings.  But in the top of the fourth Jose Oquendo hit a bases loaded single to plate Hubie Brooks.  One inning later New York scored another run on an RBI hit from Keith Hernandez.  A solo homer by Mike Fitzgerald and a three run bomb by Darryl Strawberry in the next two innings made sure the game was well out of hand as my poor father shook his head while Walt Terrell went the distance for his first shutout of the season.

Winning Pitcher - Walt Terrell
Losing Pitcher - Orel Hershiser
Player of the Game - Terrell, CG SHO, 5H's, 3K's

Game #416 - Philadelphia Phillies, 3 @ San Diego Padres, 2

The Padres jumped out to an early lead against John Denny and the Phillies in the bottom of the first.  Carmelo Martinez roped a triple to plate Tony Gwynn and Alan Wiggins.  In the top of the third Von Hayes doubled home Ivan DeJesus to pull Philadelphia to within one.  In the top of the sixth Hayes did more damage, this time putting one into the outfield seats for two more runs.  In the bottom of the ninth Larry Andersen gave up a single to Steve Garvey.  Garvey went to second on a ground out, and then Martinez hit a single to Von Hayes and Garvey tried for home...but Hayes gunned him down!

Winning Pitcher - John Denny
Losing Pitcher - Ed Whitson
Save - Larry Andersen
Player of the Game - Von Hayes, 2-4, 2B, HR, 3RBI's, outfield assist
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt, Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

June 20, 2015

May 12, 1984 - Cheaper by the Dozens

Game #413 - St. Louis Cardinals, 2 @ Cincinnati Reds, 12

Cardinals pitcher John Stuper got straight SMOKED in the fourth inning.  Eleven Reds came to the plate, including Brad Gulden, who crushed a grand slam as Cincy scored eight runs in the inning.

Winning Pitcher - Joe Price
Losing Pitcher - John Stuper
Player of the Game - Brad Gulden, Grand Slam, 2BB's, Sac Fly, 3R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith

Game #414 - Chicago Cubs, 3 @ Houston Astros, 4 (12 Innings!)

This game was much more suspenseful than the Cardinals/Reds match-up.  Ryne Sandberg led off the game with a single and a stolen base, then Mel Hall knocked him home for the first run.  In the bottom of the fifth, Denny Walling went deep for his first homer on the season to give Houston the lead, 2-1.  Ron Cey matched his third base counterpart by blasting his own two run bomb the next inning, putting the Cubs back in the lead at 3-2.  But Jerry Mumphrey scored Bill Doran on an RBI single in the bottom half of the inning to tie things up.

In the seventh the Cubs suffered a serious blow when a bloop hit by Mark Bailey caused Leon Durham and Gary Matthews to crash into each other for injuries, which will cause them to miss seven and six games respectively.  But neither team could generate offense until the bottom of the twelfth.  Jose Cruz led off with a single and then moved to third on a double by Enos Cabell.  Cruz got nabbed off third, though, when Jody Davis made a diving catch on a little pop up by Denny Walling.  That left two outs and Cabell on second base with Craig Reynolds at the plate.  Dickie Noles gave up a single and Cabell scampered home to win on the walk-off hit in the bottom of the twelfth!!!

Winning Pitcher - Joe Sambito (retired one batter)
Losing Pitcher - Dickie Noles
Player of the Game - Vern Ruhle, 1 2/3 IP of perfect relief
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg, Nolan Ryan

June 12, 2015

May 12, 1984 - Closers Combust!

Game #411 - Seattle Mariners, 11 @ New York Yankees, 10

This game was so exciting I'm going to give you an inning by inning breakdown!

First:
New York jumped all over Seattle starter Ed VandeBerg.  They put up five runs, including a two run blast from Don Mattingly and a solo homer by Roy Smalley.  I thought this would be a blowout.  THAT'S WHY YOU PLAY THE GAME!

Second:
Ron Guidry cruised through the first but gave up back to back singles in the second.  Up stepped Barry Bonnell, who launched one over the left field fence.  All of a sudden it was just a two run lead...

Third:
Did I say Yankees lead?  Because Guidry gavem up four more runs as the Mariners batted around in the third.  Three of those runs?  I bases clearing double by...Bonnell!  He already had six RBI's by the third, how is he not the Player of the Game?  #SUSPENSE

Fourth:
With two outs Tim Foli doubled off VandeBerg.  Then Andre Robertson did too, plating Foli.  That was all for Ed.  Mariners were still out in front, 7-6.

Fifth:
Bob Stoddard was on the mound for Seattle, but he got abused by the potent New York hitters.  The Yankees scored three runs, two on an RBI single by Smalley.  That put New York back in front, 9-7.

Sixth:
Huh.  Nothing really happened in this inning.  Weird.

Seventh:
Alvin Davis, a rookie in 1984, has been tearing it up this season.  He hit a solo home run in the seventh, New York still winning, 9-8.

Eighth:
Jay Howell was pitching for the Yankees, and he hadn't given up a run all season.  But...Al Cowens hit an RBI single to tie the game!  But it doesn't last long!  In the bottom of the inning Tim Foli singles.  He moved to second on a sacrifice by Robertson.  Two batters later, pinch hitter Steve Kemp knocked him in.  New York in the lead again, 10-9.

Ninth:
Jay Howell settled down and got two outs right away.  With only one to go for the win, pinch hitter Ken Phelps singled!  Next up, another pinch hitter:  Dave Henderson.  With the flip of the first FAC card...BD!  Clutch batting!  Next card?  HOME RUN!!!  Seattle out front again!  Ed Nunez retired the Yankees in the bottom of the inning for the win!!!

Winning Pitcher:  Mike Stanton
Losing Pitcher:  Jay Howell
Save:  Ed Nunez
Player of the Game:  Dave Henderson - SECOND GAME IN A ROW!
Hall of Famers in the Game:  Dave Winfield

Game #412 - Pittsburgh Pirates, 6 @ Atlanta Braves, 4

That last game was so long in the recap, I'll skip straight to the good part for this one.  Steve Bedrosian took the mound in the top of the eighth with a 4-2 lead for the Braves.  Like Jay Howell, he had yet to surrender a run.  But he gave up FIVE straight hits and was lifted without recording an out as the Pirates came out of nowhere for the comeback win!

Winning Pitcher:  John Tudor
Losing Pitcher:  Steve Bedrosian
Save:  Kent Tekulve
Player of the Game:  Doug Frobel, started the rally against Bedrosian.


May 29, 2015

May 12, 1984 - Five For Fighting

Game #409 - Boston Red Sox, 0 @ Kansas City Royals, 5

Darryl Motley has been one of the worst starters in Statis Pro so far, but he was a big contributor in this game.  He launched a two run homer in the first to give KC the early lead.  The Royals would tack on three more runs in the seventh thanks in part to a pinch hit home run by Jorge Orta.  Meanwhile, Bud Black dominated the Red Sox hitters while tossing a shutout.

Winning Pitcher - Bud Black
Losing Pitcher - Bob Ojeda
Player of the Game - Black, CG SHO, 5H's, 3K's
Hall of Famers in the Game:  Wade Boggs, Jim Rice


Game #410 - Minnesota Twins, 3 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 5

This was the second game in a series between two of the worst teams in the American League so far.  The Brew Crew scored first in the bottom of the third.  Dion James doubled home Ted Simmons.  Minnesota responded in the fourth.  Tim Teufel hit his first triple of the year, and Gary Gaetti later knocked him in.

A two-out error by Don Sutton in the sixth, his second of the game, led to two more runs for the Twins.  But in the bottom of the seventh, Twins starter John Butcher self-destructed.  He allowed four straight singles before being lifted in favor of Len Whitehouse.  Whitehouse would hit a batter and then give up a bases loaded double to Cecil Cooper to secure the victory for Milwaukee.

Winning Pitcher - Don Sutton
Losing Pitcher - John Butcher
Save - Rollie Fingers
Player of the Game - Cecil Cooper, 2-4, 2B, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett, Don Sutton, Rollie Fingers

May 25, 2015

May 12, 1984 - Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day in the present, not 1984.  My dad served in the Air Force for the first 14 years of my life.  He finished his service by recruiting for the Air Force Academy for years.  I grew up on military bases and have a special place in my heart for this holiday.

Game #407 - Toronto Blue Jays, 15 @ Cleveland Indians, 8

Can I make a small confession?  I screwed up this game.  The Indians batted around in the third inning.  In the top of the fourth, I started at the top of their line up (Brett Butler) instead of the number eight hitter (Jerry Willard), who was supposed to have batted next.  I didn't catch it until I was recording the stats.  I know I should have erased the last six innings and started again, but after 23 combined runs and seven combined relief pitchers, I took the lazy way out.  Theoretically, it should have helped the Indians anyway, and they still lost.  Please don't think less of me!

Winning Pitcher - Bryan Clark
Losing Pitcher - Steve Farr
Player of the Game - Alfredo Griffin, 3-5, HR(!), 5RBI

Game #408 - California Angels, 4 @ Detroit Tigers, 3

With the Blue Jays winning the previous game, the Tigers were under increased pressure to keep pace in the AL East.  Unfortunately, Juan Berenguer didn't have his best stuff.  He gave up a solo homer in the second to Reggie Jackson, and a RBI double to Fred Lynn in the third.  Ruppert Jones of Detroit grounded into a double play in the fourth, but it plated Kirk Gibson in the process, cutting the California lead to one.  But in the top of the sixth Jackson went yard again off Berenguer, and the Tigers couldn't complete a comeback victory.

Winning Pitcher - Ron Romanick
Losing Pitcher - Juan Berenguer
Save - Don Aase
Player of the Game - Reggie Jackson, 2-4, 2HRs, 3RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson