October 16, 2016

May 20, 1984 - Bench Pressed

Game #505 - Atlanta Braves, 4 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 3

Rick Camp and John Candelaria were the starters for this one, and both pitched extremely well.  In fact, the game was scoreless after six innings of play.  But the bases were loaded in the top of the seventh when Brad Komminsk grounded into a force out at secon that plated Dale Murphy.  The Pirates tied it up when they too had the bases loaded and Ron Wotus laid down a suicide-squeeze to score Jim Morrison.  Lee Lacy came in to pinch hit and stumbled into a fielder's choice that allowed Bill Madlock to cross home plate to give the Pirates the lead.

The Braves rallied back in the thanks to a RBI double by Albert Hall.  They scored two more in the ninth thanks in part to a Gerald Perry pinch hit, which they would eventually need because Pittsburgh scored once more in the bottom of the ninth in their failed comeback.

Winning Pitcher - Steve Bedrosian
Losing Pitcher - Don Robinson
Player of the Game - Gerald Perry, 1-1, SB, R

Game # 506 - New York Mets, 7 @ San Diego Padres, 8 (10 innings)

The Padres were enjoying a 2-1 lead when starter Andy Hawkins walked three straight batters to start the sixth.  Hawkins hit the showers but two runs would eventually score.  Greg Booker allowed two more runs in the seventh, thanks in part to a Time Flannery error.  By the time the ninth inning rolled around the Mets were up 7-3, but the Padres weren't done.  A two-run, pinch-hit homer by Bobby Brown got them within two, and four batter later Tony Gwynn roped a line drive to plate two more - tie game!  In the bottom of the tenth Graig Nettles doubled off Tom Gorman and Carmelo Martinez walked.  Steve Garvey flied out softly to left field but Bobby Brown, still in the game, delivered the walk-off single to win the game!!!

Winning Pitcher - Goose Gossage
Losing Pitcher - Tom Gorman
Player of the Game - Bobby Brown, 2-2, HR, 3RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

October 15, 2016

May 20, 1984 - All About that Bass, 'bout that Bass, No Triples

Game #503 - Houston Astros, 5 @ Chicago Cubs, 3 (11 innings)

On paper this didn't look like it would be much of a contest.  Joe Niekro of the Astros has been one of the best pitchers in the NL this season while Rick Reuschel was uncharacteristically bad in the real 1984, but it was the Cubs who would score the first three runs in the game.  In the bottom of the third Ryne Sandberg knocked in Larry Bowa with a single.  In the fifth Gary Mattews, newly off the disabled list, plated Bob Dernier.  And in the sixth, Keith Moreland added a homer to make it 3-0.

Meanwhile, Rick Reuschel was bobbing and weaving through the Houston lineup.  He had induced the double plays to help his cause, but the wheels finally came off in the seventh.  Four straight singles and an RBI ground out made it a tie ball game.  It would stay that way after nine innings, which meant free baseball!

In the top of the ninth there were two outs when Alan Ashby singled off Tim Stoddard.  Up to the plate came Kevin Bass...and he parked it for two!  The Cubs wouldn't counter in the bottom half of the inning and Houston wins AGAIN.

Winning Pitcher - Bill Dawley
Losing Pitcher - Tim Stoddard
Save - Julio Solano
Player of the Game - Kevin Bass, 2-5, HR, 2RBI, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

Game #504 - Montreal Expos, 2 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 0

Starters Bill Gullickson and Alejandro Pena both lasted seven scoreless innings before being pulled for pinch-hitters.  Jeff Reardon and Pat Zachry each tossed a scoreless eighth inning.  In the top of the ninth the infamous Tom Niedenfuer took the mound.  With one out Tim Raines singled.  Terry Francona took a hit and run signal and poked a single, moving Raines to third.  That's when Raines took the game into his own hands.  For only the second time in 500+ Statis Pro games this season...I attempted to steal home with a player!  And sure enough...RAINES DID IT!  Two batters later Tim Wallach TRIPLED to make it 2-0!!!  That's all Gary Lucas would need to record the save.

Winning Pitcher - Jeff Reardon
Losing Pitcher - Tom Niedenfuer
Save - Gary Lucas
Player of the Game - Raines, 1-4, R, HE STOLE FREAKIN' HOME PLATE!
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter

October 6, 2016

May 20th, 1984 - The AL East tightens

Game #501  - California Angels, 0 @ New York Yankees, 2

Geoff Zahn of the Angels and Joe Cowley of the Yankees squared off in this one and both pitchers were straight-dueling!  In the bottom of the second the Yankees drew first blood, though.  Back to back doubles by Don Baylor and Lou Piniella gave them a slim 1-0 lead.

Cowley was mowing down California.  In fact, he didn't give up his first hit until the top of the fourth with two outs.  Fred Lynn singled and then Brian Downing doubled but they were stranded when Reggie Jackson struck out.

In the bottom of the fifth New York scored again.  Butch Wynegar was on third and Willie Randolph on second (his first game back off the DL!) when Dave Winfield singled to plate Wynegar.  That was all the runs that would score for the game as both starters went the distance but Cowley emerged victorious.

Winning Pitcher - Joe Cowley
Losing Pitcher - Geoff Zahn
Player of the Game - Cowley, CG SHO, 10K's, 5H's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield

Game #502 - Chicago White Sox, 6 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 5

With the Yankees winning the pressure was on for Toronto to stay ahead of them in the standings.  They were down 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth, though, when they staged a comeback.  They scored three runs, first on a bases-loaded single by Tony Fernandez and then a two-RBI single by Ernie Whitt.  Dave Collins added a solo homer in the fifth to extend their lead to 4-2.

But in the top of the sixth Greg Luzinski went yard to pull the White Sox within one.  George Bell walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to again give Toronto a two run cushion at 5-3.  But in the top of the seventh reliever Roy Lee Jackson got into a mess of trouble, including a double by pinch-hitter Jerry Hairston to tie the game and then an RBI single by Julio Cruz to put Chicago ahead.  In the bottom of the ninth Lloyd Moseby singled with two outs, bringing George Bell to the plate.  He took Bert Roberge pitch to the warning track in left field, but Harold Baines caught it to end the game!

Winning Pitcher - Juan Agosto
Losing Pitcher - Roy Lee Jackson
Save - Bret Roberge
Player of the Game - Jerry Hairston, PH 2B, 2RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tom Seaver

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!