November 21, 2017

Week in Review: May 27 through June 2

Ron Kittle leads the A.L. in homers (19) and whiffs (60).
The last "Week in Review" posted on April 9, 2017.  That means we went another seven months or so to complete a week of play.  That was the same pace as last time, so that's good.  I feel like I've been playing more frequently as of late.  I've been ignoring my two baseball card blogs as a result.  I also picked up coaching my daughter's soccer team, so I'm surprised the pace hasn't slowed down.

The Phenomenal Phive:

1.  Toronto Blue Jays, 35-15, .700 win%.  The Blue Jays continue to hold off the Tigers for the top of the AL East.  Dave Stieb and Doyle Alexander are the best pair of starting pitchers in the game and the Toronto offense still rips triples more than any other club out there.  An injury to Tony Fernandez will be hard to ignore as he's out for 30 games.

2.  Houston Astros, 34-16, .680 win%.  The Astros continue to throttle the rest of the NL West and even had the advantage over the Cardinals in their head to head play this last week.  Their offense continues to hit above their true talent level, including Terry Puhl, Bill Doran, and Jerry Mumphrey.  But their key to success continues to be a lights-out bullpen led by Bill Dawley.

3.  St. Louis Cardinals, 36-17, .679 win%.  The Red Birds are still playing great baseball, which is a good thing considering the real 1984 division champs, the Chicago Cubs, have ripped off a lot of wins in the past two weeks.  Bruce Sutter is nearly unhittable while numerous Cardinals are grabbing hits in bunches.  Tom Herr had a great week and has snuck into the top five in a couple of different offensive categories.

4.  Detroit Tigers, 32-16, .667 win%.  The Roar of 84 are still playing dominant baseball, even though they're stuck in second place behind the Blue Jays.  Kirk Gibson is in the running for league MVP and Trammell and Whitaker continue to be a potent top of the lineup.

5.  Boston Red Sox, 29-20, .592 win%.  Tony Armas continues his climb up the home run leader board and is now just one (18 total) behind Ron Kittle for the league lead.  Wade Boggs and Dwight Evans are dominating in the top of the batting order and rookie Roger Clemens made his debut this past week.  But it's Oil Can Boyd who is leading the rotation, with a top five ERA and WHIP in the American League.

Useless Stats:

  • Eddie Murray leads the AL in intentional walks with 4.  Darryl Strawberry leads the NL with 6.
  • Jack Perconte of the Mariners has the most plate appearances in the AL at 242.  Tim Raines has logged the most in the NL with 233.
  • Who has the most plate appearances without a walk in each league?  In the AL it's Jeff Kunkel of Texas, who has come to the plate 64 times without a free pass.  In the NL a pitcher leads the way.  Mario Soto of the Reds has batted 32 times with no base on balls.
  • Who has the most plate appearances with a single digit strikeout total?  In the AL it's Pete O'Brien of the Rangers.  In a 120 PA's he's only whiffed 8 times.  For the NL it's Bryan Little of the Expos.  He has 146 PA's and just 9 K's.
  • What about most plate appearances without a strike out?  In the AL the leader is Donnie Hill of the A's.  The part time infielder has 16 times at the plate without a K.  The NL leader is the injured Brian Harper of the Pirates.  He's totaled 32 PA's and has yet to get wrung up.  Considering he's on the DL for two more months his lead seems safe.
  • Mike Mason of the Rangers leads the AL with 2 balks.  In the NL it's Rick Mahler of the Braves.  He has 3.
  • Who has registered the most losses so far?  In the AL it's yet another Ranger...Charlie Hough with 8.  In the NL three pitchers have 8 too - Bill Laskey and Jeff Robinson of the Giants and Walt Terrell of the Mets.
  • Don Sutton, Ken Schrom, and Scotty McGregor lead the AL with two pick-offs on the season.  Chuck Rainey of the Cubs leads the NL with 2 as well.
As always, thanks for checking in!  If you have any requests or want to set a lineup, just let me know in the comments below!  I also updated the stat tabs - you can see all player hitting and pitching data through June 2nd.

November 19, 2017

June 2, 1984 - Blue Jays End the Week on a Win

Game #647 - New York Yankees, 2 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 6

The Yankees staged a two-out rally in the top of the first when Steve Kemp singled and later scored on a Don Baylor hit.  Butch Wynegar walked after that to load the bases for Mike Pagliarulo.  Pags lined out to Tony Fernandez to end the inning, but he tagged the ball so hard that Fernandez injured his hand and will be out for the next 30 games!  It's a good thing Alfredo Griffin is almost off the DL...

The Blue Jays came roaring back in the bottom of the second.  Willie Upshaw and Rance Mulliniks (in for the injured Fernandez) smoked back to back triples as the Blue Jays plated three in the inning.  They picked up three more in the third, including a two-run bomb from Jesse Barfield who is playing his first game since coming off the disabled list.  After a rocky first inning Dave Stieb lasted eight innings, scattering ten hits and two walks (and a Don Baylor hit by pitch).

Winning Pitcher - Dave Stieb
Losing Pitcher - Dennis Rasmussen
Player of the Game - Stieb

November 17, 2017

June 2, 1984 - Never In Doubt

Game #645 - San Diego Padres, 15 @ San Francisco Giants, 3

When it rains, it pours.

Mike Krukow got destroyed and didn't make it past the second inning in this one.  The Padres scored three runs in the first and three more in the second.  Krukow only recorded four outs but managed to give up five singles and four walks.  Four Giants pitched on the day and they all got tagged for at least two runs each.

Andy Hawkins had his best game of the year for San Diego, going seven innings and only allowing three runs.

Winning Pitcher - Andy Hawkins
Losing Pitcher - Mike Krukow
Player of the Game - Kevin McReynolds, 3-5, HR, 5RBI, 2R's,BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn

Game #646 - Seattle Mariners, 1 @ Texas Rangers, 5

The Rangers actually looked like a competent ball club in this one, which hasn't been the case for them most of the season.  RBI singles by Curtis Wilkerson in the second and Pete O'Brien in the third gave them an early 2-0 lead.  Starter Mike Mason pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the sixth, only allowing a run on a Steve Henderson sacrifice fly.  Wilkerson had his second RBI of the game in the bottom of the sixth as Texas pulled away.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Mason
Losing Pitcher - Ed VandeBerg
Save - Dave Schmidt
Player of the Game - Mason, 7.1 IP, 5K's, R

November 10, 2017

June 2, 1984 - 2 Skinnee J's

Game #643 - Chicago Cubs, 10 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 8

After high scoring games like this one I never know how many details to go into because a simple recap can turn into a book chapter.  The top of the third is the best place to start.  Phillies starter Marty Bystrom ended up surrendering eight runs, and three of those were because I was too stubborn to lift him knowing he was due up first in the bottom half of the inning.  Errors by Bystrom and Ivan DeJesus didn't help matters.

It was 8-2 until the bottom of the seventh.  Steve Trout worked in and out of jams for the first six innings before George Frazier was brought on to register the last nine outs.  But Sixto Lezcano went deep on a two-run bomb and then, after Frazier was lifted, Tim Stoddard gave up a hit to Greg Gross that plated the two remaing inherited runners from Frazier and all of a sudden it was just a two run lead for the Cubbies.

Chicago got much needed insurance in the top of the ninth.  After Ron Cey walked Jody Davis went deeeeeeep to give the Cubs a four run lead.  With three outs to go Lee Smith toed the rubber but, with one out, gave up  two singles, a walk, and then a Luis Aguyao double and all of a sudden the Phillies looked like they could tie this game with one swing.  But Smith got  yanked and Rich Bordi got two quick outs to earn the save.

Winning Pitcher - Steve Trout
Losing Pitcher - Marty Bystrom
Save - Rich Bordi
Player of the Game - Jody Davis, 2-5, HR, 3RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg, Mike Schmidt

Game #644 - Montreal Expos, 2 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 3 (12 innings)

Rich Rhoden was uncharacteristically hittable in the first, giving up three singles, and including an RBI shot by Tim Wallach that plated Andre Dawson.  In the top of the third Tim Raines walked, stole second, move to third on an infield single, and scored on a ground out from Gary Carter to give Montreal a 2-0 lead.

Pittsburgh tied things up in the bottom of the fifth.  Bill Gullickson gave up and RBI double to Lee Lacy that scored Rhoden and then Johnny Ray drove home Marvelle Wynne on a single to knot the game.

And then it was a lot of goose eggs.  Dan Schatzeder went three innings of scoreless relief for the Expos and Cecilio Guante did the same for the Pirates.  Fast forward to the bottom of the 12th.  After two scoreless innings from Jeff Reardon Montreal handed the ball to Greg Harris.  Harris walked Lee Mazzilli, but Mazzilli was out at second on a fielder's choice that left Lacy on first.  Lacy stole second on a busted hit and run and then moved to third on a Johnny Ray ground out.  With two down Jason Thompson stepped up and poked a blooper into right field to score Lacy on the walk-off!

Winning Pitcher - Kent Tekulve
Losing Pitcher - Greg Harris
Player of the Game - Jason Thompson, GWRBI in the bottom of the 12th
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tim Raines, Andrew Dawson, Gary Carter

November 9, 2017

June 2, 1984 - The Kings of I-70

Game #641 - Kansas City Royals, 5 @ Minnesota Twins, 4

On paper this looked like an easy match-up, but it was anything but for the Royals.  They had staff ace Bud Black on the mound against a sub-par Pete Filson.  Don Slaught took Filson deep for a two run blast in the second.  KC  tacked on another run in the fourth on an RBI hit by Greg Pryor.

But in the bottom of the fourth Black fell apart, surrendering four runs and getting lifted from the game.  Two of those scores were compliments of a Kent Hrbek triple. 

The Royals tied the game on a passed ball that scored Willie Wilson in the fifth.  And then in the sixth Onix Concepcion scored on a Don Slaught double, his third RBI of the day and the eventual game-winner.

Winning Pitcher - Bret Saberhagen
Losing Pitcher - Pete Filson
Save - Mark Huismann
Player of the Game - Don Slaught, 2-3, HR, 2b, BB, 3RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett, Kirby Puckett

Game #642 - St. Louis Cardinals, 2 @ New York Mets, 0

This was another one I would have bet money on only to lose it.  Dwight Gooden was up against Bob Forsch, and there were nearly four runs of difference between their ERA's in the real 1984.  Gooden lived up to his reputation, going eight strong and striking out nine along the way.  But Forsch kept the Mets bats guessing.  In the bottom of the eighth he allowed a lead-off single to Ron Hodges and then a walk to Rusty Staub.  At that point Forsch got lifted for Bruce Sutter, who worked out of the jam when Keith Hernandez grounded into his second double play of the game.

Doug Sisk came on in the top of the ninth and the Cards played their custom small-ball offense.  David Green walked and moved to third on a hit-and-run by Ken Oberkfell.  Tom Herr came up next and squeezed Green home!  Two batters later Oberkfell scored on a single by Tito Landrum and with that Gooden's gem was flushed down the drain.

Winning Pitcher - Bruce Sutter
Losing Pitcher - Doug Sisk
Player of the Game - Tom Herr, 2-3, RBI sacrifice bunt
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter

November 4, 2017

June 2, 1984 - Shutout and a Near No-No!

Game #639 - Houston Astros, 1 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 0

Bill Doran led off the top of the first with a triple.  Terry Puhl was next to the plate and easily singled him home.  He moved to second on a sacrifice fly by Jerry Mumphrey and third on an infield single from Jose Cruz but got stranded there after Bob Welch retired Denny Walling and Craig Reynolds.

And that was it.

That was the only stinking run of the ball game!

Astros starter Mike Scott went eight strong, striking out six and only allowing five hits.  Dave Smith worked the ninth and the heart of the Dodgers order for the save.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Scott
Losing Pitcher - Bob Welch
Save - Dave Smith
Player of the Game - Mike Scott

Game #640 - Boston Red Sox, 10 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 2

If you're a new reader to this Statis Pro Blog (I doubt you are, I think there are only a dozen of you who check in regularly!), you know I'm obsessed with seeing a cylce or a no-hitter this season.  So far...nada!  But, this game NEARLY provided both!

In the top of the first Jim Rice doubled and later scored on a Mike Easler single.  In the fourth he blasted a three-run homer!  And then in the seventh he poked a single...he was only missing the triple!  Alas, in the top of the ninth he flied out to Rick Manning.

Meanwhile...Oil Can Boyd was tossing a no-hitter!  Through the first six innings he had faced the minimum number of batters, with Robin Yount the only base runner when he walked in the second (Ben Oglivie immediately grounded into a double play).  So in the top of the seventh Dion James popped out to Rich Gedman, back in the lineup after a stint on the DL.  Then Jim Sundberg flew out to Rice.  With two outs and the no-hitter still intact, Cecil Cooper hit a bouncer to Mike Easler...who miffed the play!  Cooper reached on the Easler error.  And that brought up Hall of Famer Robin Yount.  And what did Yount do...?  HOME.  RUN.  With two outs in the seventh Yount ruined the no-no with a donger!  That's cold-blooded, Robin!

Winning Pitcher - Oil Can Boyd
Losing Pitcher - Mike Caldwell
Player of the Game - Jim Rice, 4-5, 2b, HR, 4RBI, 3Rs, nice mustache
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Robin Yount

October 30, 2017

June 2, 1984 - Cornerstones

Game #637 - California Angels, 2 @ Cleveland Indians, 1

Rod Carew, leading off for the visiting Angels, surprised everybody in the stadium when he went yard in his first at-bat of the game.  But Rick Sutcliffe settled down after that, tossing one of his best games of the season for Cleveland (I'm chomping at the bit to get him pitching in Chicago...).  He allowed only four more hits until the top of the eighth.  After back to back singles by Dick Schofield and Carew he was replaced by Ernie Camacho.  Camacho got Brian Downing to line out to Julio Franco, who quickly stepped on second to double off Schofield.  But Fred Lynn plated Carew on a scorching double to center field. 

With a 2-0 lead Mike Witt pitched into the ninth but was replaced by Doug Corbett after Chris Bando zapped a pinch-hit homer over the fence.  Corbett retired the last two outs to record the save.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Witt
Losing Pitcher - Rick Sutcliffe
Save - Doug Corbett
Player of the Game - Rod Carew, 3-4, HR, 2Rs
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

Game #638 - Baltimore Orioles, 2 @ Detroit Tigers, 4

Mike Young, the most improbable star of this Statis Pro season, continued his torrid production by blasting a solo homer in the first.  Tom Brookens answered back in the bottom of the third with one of his own to knot the game at one apiece.

The teams traded runs again in the seventh.  Al Bumbry doubled home Gary Roenicke in the top half but Brookens singled home Larry Herndon to tie things  up once again.

Storm Davis, who pitched the whole game for Baltimore, got into a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the eighth.  With one out up guessed it.  TOM BROOKENS.  He punched a single that plated two, giving him all four RBI on the day for a Detroit win.

Winning Pitcher - Aurelio Lopez
Losing Pitcher - Storm Davis
Player of the Game - Tom Brookens, 3-3, HR, BB, 4RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

October 28, 2017

June 2, 1984 - Burris, Driessen Lead the Way

Game #635 - Oakland A's, 3 @ Chicago White Sox, 0

Floyd Bannister of the White Sox somehow allowed three singles to start the game against the A's, but no Oakland players scored.  Rickey Henderson was thrown out at home on a Tony Phillips single and Dave Kingman grounded into a double play. 

Bannister finally allowed a run in the fifth when Bill Almon was driven home by a Phillips double.  Kingman singled home Henderson in the tenth just after Bannister was lifted for Ron Reed and that gave the A's a 2-0 lead.  Bruce Bochte crossed home in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Henderson.

That's all Ray Burris needed.  He pitched into the ninth but gave up a single to Greg Walker and a walk to Ron Kittle when the manager pulled him for their ace reliever Bill Caudill.  Caudill induced a double play grounder from Mike Squires and Rudy Law was retired for the final out of the game.  This was Carlton Fisk's first game back from injury but he had a quiet day.

Winning Pitcher - Ray Burris
Losing Pitcher - Floyd Bannister
Save - Bill Caudill
Player of the Game - Burris, 8IP, 0R's, 4K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Carlton Fisk

Game #636 - Atlanta Braves, 6 @ Cincinnati Reds, 7

After a scoreless first inning Brad Komminsk and Tim Foley exchanged solo homers in the second to make it a 1-1 game.  The Reds added a second run in the bottom of the second when Dave Parker walked with two outs.  He attempted to steal second and would have been out but Glen Hubbard dropped the throw.  Dave Concepcion then singled home Parker to give the Reds the lead.

The Braves came roaring back in the top of the fifth.  With starter Jeff Russell due up in the bottom half of the inning, the manager left him in too long as Atlanta scored three runs, generated in part by doubles from Chris Chambliss, Randy Johnson, and Rafael Ramirez.  But the Reds scrambled back! 

In the bottom half of the inning Craig McMurtry got shelled.  With the bases loaded he walked Duane Walker to plate the first run.  Then Dan Driessen stepped up.  The smooth hitting lefy went BIG FLY...GRAND SALAMI!!!  The Braves tacked on runs in the sixth and ninth innings but it wasn't enough to overcome Cincy.  The Reds are 3-1 against the Braves over the last four days.

Winning Pitcher - Jeff Russell
Losing Pitcher - Craig McMurtry
Save - John Franco
Player of the Game - Dan Driessen, 2-4, GS, 4RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Perez

October 26, 2017

June 1, 1984 - Wrapping Up the First of the Month

Game #633 - Seattle Mariners, 7 @ Texas Rangers, 4

The Rangers were holding onto a 4-2 lead going into the top of the fifth when Charlie Hough's knuckler got destroyed by the Mariners.  Back to back doubles by Jack Perconte and Spike Owen and an eventual bases-clearing triple by Larry Milbourne gave Seattle a five-run inning.

Jim Beattie didn't have his best day but Mike Stanton and Ed Nunez contributed three scoreless innings of relief to seal the deal.

Winning Pitcher - Jim Beattie
Losing Pitcher - Charlie Hough
Save - Edwin Nunez
Player of the Game - Jack Perconte, 3-5, 2 2b's, 2R's, SB

Game #634 - New York Yankees, 0 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 6

This game proved to be a disaster for the Yankees outfield.  Omar Moreno and Dave Winfield collided on a Tony Fernandez double.  Winfield is out for the next 12 games and Moreno will be out for 20.  Luis Leal took advantage of the catastrophe and scattered six hits and four walks for a complete game shutout. 

Winning Pitcher - Luis Leal
Losing Pitcher - Joe Cowley
Player of the Game - Leal, CG SHO, K
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield

October 8, 2017

June 1, 1984 - More NL Action

Game #631 - Montreal Expos, 3 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 4

Talk about a fun game - both starters went eight strong innings and neither got the decision!

In the top of the second inning Gary Carter ripped a ball over the fence to give Montreal a 1-0 lead.  That was good all the way until the bottom of the sixth, when Expos starter David Palmer gave up a triple to Lee Lacy and then a double to Johnny Ray. 

It was still a tie game in the top of the eighth when, with two runners on, Pirates starter Larry McWilliams collided with third sacker Jim Morrison.  Morrison got the worst of it and is now on the 30 game DL.  McWilliams worked out of the jam to hand the ball to Don Robinson.  Robinson, one of the unluckiest pitchers in Statis Pro, once again imploded.  He gave up two runs in to the top of the ninth and it could have been worse but Lacy gunned down Tim Raines at the plate.

In the bottom of the ninth Jeff Reardon came in to save the game.  With two outs Denny Gonzalez, in the game for the injured Jim Morrison, zipped a double down the line and then scored when Miguel Dilone bobbled Tony Pena's single.  Pena was on first with two down and still trailing Montreal by one run.  Marvelle Wynne was up next and he legged out an infield single to put two Pirates on!  Lee Mazzilli came in to pinch hit for Dale Berra but hit weakly to shortstop Derrick Thomas.  But Thomas air-mailed the ball to first and both runners scored on the error!  A walk-off E6 for the Pirates!!!

Winning Pitcher - Don Robinson
Losing Pitcher - Jeff Reardon
Player of the Game - Larry McWilliams, 8IP, 1R, 6K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tim Raines, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter

Game #632 - San Diego Padres, 5 @ San Francisco Giants, 1

Giants starter Mark Davis was well on his way to the best start of his frustrating season, pitching five scoreless innings heading into the top of the sixth with a slim 1-0 lead.  But with one down Tony Gwynn doubled, though he was thrown out at home on a subsequent single by Carmelo Martinez.  But McReynolds came up next and blasted a homer to make it 2-1 in favor of the Padres.  McReynolds struck again in the eighth, this time with a 2-RBI triple.  McReynolds was only a double short of the cycle.  We still haven't seen a cycle on the season and it's driving me crazy.

Winning Pitcher - Eddie Whitson
Losing Pitcher - Mark Davis
Player of the Game - Kevin McReynolds, 3-4, 3B, HR, 4RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

October 4, 2017

June 1, 1984 - A Reckoning Is Coming

I can't help but think, many years from now, when we're in the home stretch of the regular season, the Cardinals will be fading, struggling to hold onto first place, while the surging Cubs will be beating down the door right at the wire.  I look forward to it...

Game #629 - St. Louis Cardinals, 9 @ New York Mets, 3

Walt Terrell had a decent enough season in the real 1984, but so far in Statis Pro he's been fairly awful.  That was the case again in this game.  Already trailing 1-0 in the top of the third, Terrell got destroyed by the Cardinals offense.  Tom Herr ripped his first home run of the season for 3 RBI and the Red Birds plated four more in the inning.

Danny Cox toed the rubber for St. Louis and had a solid six innings of work, only allowing one run to score.  Reliever Ricky Horton gave up a two-run homer to Keith Hernandez but still got a save since he went three innings after Cox.

Winning Pitcher - Danny Cox
Losing Pitcher - Walt Terrell
Save - Ricky Horton
Player of the Game - Tom Herr, 3-5, 2B, HR, 3RBI, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith

Game #630 - Chicago Cubs, 6 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 5

It sure looked like Chicago's five game win streak was coming to an end early in the contest.  Von Hayes led off the bottom of the first with a single, stolen base, and then a run on the RBI knock by Tim Corcoran.  Corcoran plated another run in the fourth to give the Phillies a 5-0 lead.

And that's when the Cubs turned into Bears.

In the top of the fifth Ryne Sandberg homered to cut the lead to four.  Steve Carlton was still cruising until the top of the seventh.  Four straight Cubs recorded hits, including an RBI single by Gary Mattews.  Carlton got lifted and in came the late Tug McGraw.  With two runners on, Steve Lake came in as a pinch hitter for reliever Dickie Noles.  What did Lake do?  HOME RUN!!!  The Cubs came out of nowhere and  then somehow had a one run lead, their first of the game.  Tim Stoddard ad Warren Brusstar pitched a scoreless final three innings to give Chicago the improbable win!

Winning Pitcher - Dickie Noles
Losing Pitcher - Tug McGraw
Save - Warren Brusstar
Player of the Game - Steve Lake, GW 3-Run Homer
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg, Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton