December 12, 2017

June 3, 1984 - Five-Run Leads

Game #657 - Montreal Expos, 7 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 2

On paper this looked like a tight pitcher's duel, but it didn't quite play out that way.  Charlie Lea was strong but John Tudor stumbled...

In the top of the third inning Mike Ramsey led off with a single and eventually scored on a Tim Raines single.  The bases were juiced for Ramsey in the third and he came through with a 2-RBI base knock to plate Gary Carter and Pete Rose.  Then in the sixth he doubled home Derrell Thomas.  Ramsey only had 3 RBI for the Expos in the real 1984 and equalled that many in just this game.

Winning Pitcher - Charlie Lea
Losing Pitcher - John Tudor
Player of the Game - Mike Ramsey, 3-4, 2B, 3RBI, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tim Raines, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter

Game #658 - Seattle Mariners, 1 @ Texas Rangers, 6

Dave Stewart escaped a couple of jams in the first two innings but got tagged in the top of the third.  Jack Perconte led off the inning with a double and two batters later scored when Alvin Davis did the same.  But after the third inning Stewart was lights-out.  Only two more Mariners reached base the rest of the way!

Meanwhile, the Rangers bats were uncharacteristically hot.  Six different hitters recorded an RBI.  Billy Sample led the way with three hits, including a triple while Marv Foley homered.

Winning Pitcher - Dave Stewart
Losing Pitcher - Mark Langston
Player of the Game - Stewart, CG, 9K's, R, 5H's

December 9, 2017

June 3, 1984 - Hot Corner Heroics

Game #655 - St Louis Cardinals, 9 @ New York Mets, 4

Ken Oberkfell was a fine player in the 80's, a good third sacker who put up consistent stats.  But in this Statis Pro season he's been absolutely bonkers.  He continued his torrid hitting in this game.

In the top of the second Obi-Wan led off the inning with a double and then scored on a George Foster error.  In the top of the fifth he recorded his third hit of the game and scored on an Ozzie Smith single.  He plated Andy VanSlyke in the top of the sixth with his fourth hit of the game.

Like I said, bonkers.

He only has a few games left with the Cardinals, though, before he goes to the Braves.  In the real 1984 he was Bob Horner's replacement in Atlanta.

Winning Pitcher - Kurt Kepshire
Losing Pitcher - Bruce Berenyi
Player of the Game - Oberkfell
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith

Game #656 - Chicago Cubs, 4 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 1

This game featured two fine pitching performances from opposing starters Dennis Eckersley and John Denny.

The first run of the game came in the top of the fourth with two outs.  Denny had only allowed one hit up to that point when Gary Matthews took him deep for a solo homer.  Denny would pitch through the seventh but that was his only charged run.

Eckersley, meanwhile, was doing well too.  He pitched seven innings of shutout ball but got lifted for a pinch-hitter in the top of the eighth.  The Phillies jumped all over reliever Warren Brusstar.  In the bottom of the eighth he walked Mike Schmidt and Ozzie Virgil but got Juan Samuel to ground into a double play.  Schmidt moved to third on that play and then scored on an Ivan DeJesus single, which tied the game.

In the top of the ninth Phillies reliever Al Holland got into a big pickle.  With one out Gary Matthews and Keith Moreland drew back to back walks.  That brought Ron Cey to the plate.  And the Penguin wasn't playing any games.  I mean, he was, he was playing the game of baseball, but you know what I mean.  Al Holland certainly did - because Cey went yard for a three-run bomb!

Winning Pitcher - Warren Brusstar
Losing Pitcher - Al Holland
Save - Lee Smith
Player of the Game - Ron Cey
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg, Dennis Eckersley, Mike Schmidt

November 29, 2017

June 3, 1984 - Unlikely Pitching Heroes

Game #653 - Boston Red Sox, 5 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 0

Mike Brown started 11 games for the Red Sox in 1984 and wasn't very good.  But as I like to say in Statis Pro..."that's why you play the game!!!"

Brown retired the first ten batters he faced, finally surrendering a single to Jim Sundberg in the bottom of the fourth.  He would only give up three more singles the rest of the way and only had to face 30 total batters!!!  It ranks as one of the top pitched games of the year, easily in the top 10.

He had all the runs he needed thanks to a breakout inning in the top of the third.  Moose  Haas gave up an RBI double to Jim Rice and then a three-run homer to Tony Armas.  The Red Sox picked up one more run in the top of the ninth thanks to a Ted Simmons error at third base.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Brown
Losing Pitcher - Moose Haas
Player of the Game - Brown, CG SHO, 2K's, 0BB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Robin  Yount

Game #654 - Kansas City Royals, 3 @ Minnesota Twins, 1

Frank Wills started 5 games for the Royals in 1984 and wasn't very good.  But as I like to say in Statis Pro..."that's why you play the game!!!"

Wills pitched seven shutout innings and only gave up four hits.  Strangely, all four were for extra bases and three of them came off the bat of Ron Washington (two doubles and a triple).  But Wills worked out of every one of those jams without the base runner crossing home plate. 

Strangely, the KC pitcher who struggled on the day was ace reliever Dan Quisenberry.  Quiz hadn't allowed a single run all season but the second batter he faced, Tim Laudner, took him deep for a solo homer.  He gave up two more hits in his two innings pitched but did well enough to record the save.  Onix Concepcion was the star on offense, going three for three with a double, RBI, stolen base and two runs scored.  The win meant the Royals swept the Twins at the Metrodome, going 4-0 and moving to within a game of .500 on the season.

Winning Pitcher - Frank Wills
Losing Pitcher - Ken Schrom
Save - Dan Quisenberry
Player of the Game - Wills, 7IP, 0R's, 5K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett, Kirby Puckett

November 27, 2017

June 3, 1984 - Holy Calamity Scream Insanity

Game #651 - Baltimore Orioles, 10 @ Detroit Tigers, 9 (14 innings!)

Baltimore entered the game without a win in their road trip to Detroit and were desperate to get a "W".  What happened next was pure insanity.

The O's took the lead in the top of the third when Mike Young doubled home John Shelby.  But in the bottom of the third Tom Brookens went yard, continuing his hot hitting since coming off the DL.  Then in the top of the fifth Baltimore tagged Jack Morris for another three runs, including another RBI from Young.

It would stay 4-2 in favor of the Orioles until the bottom of the sixth.  Scott McGregor, who was pitching without his best stuff, gave up a solo homer to Chet Lemon.  But he lasted through seven and handed the ball over to Sammy Stewart, who has not been good this season despite supposed to being their closer.  Sure enough, in the bottom of the ninth with a one run lead, he gave up a sacrifice fly RBI to Darrell Evans that scored pinch-hitter Dave Bergman.  Extra innings!  And by extra, I mean EXTRA...

Tippy Martinez took the mound for the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth inning and was in total control, striking out seven Tigers.  In the top of the 13th the Orioles rewarded his grit by plastering Sid Monge for FOUR runs, including an Earl Weaver-approved three run dong from, you guessed it, Mike Young.  Tippy went back out to the mound in the bottom of the inning to nail down the win.  Until he didn't.  He walked Kirk Gibson, struck out Bergman, but then gave up a two-run homer to Rupert Jones!  That got Martinez removed for Tom Underwood...who gave up a 2-out, 2-run homer to Alan Trammell!  Tie game again!!!

Carl Willis was now on the mound for Detroit because he was the last arm left.  His real life 1984 season was awful and so was his appearance in this game.  He loaded the bases with no outs and then gave up a 2-RBI double to Al Bumbry.  He managed to strand three runners after that but now Detroit had a two run deficit to overcome.  And they almost did!  A Rupert Jones ground out plated Gibson but Howard Johnson lined out to Underwood to end this completely ridiculous game.

Winning Pitcher - Tom Underwood
Losing Pitcher - Carl Willis
Player of the Game - Mike Young, 5-8, 2B, HR, 5RBI, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

Game #652 - Houston Astros, 0 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 3

Phil Garner, who normally has a decent glove, was a total calamity in this game.  He registered THREE ERRORS in the first four innings of the game.  I actually yanked him on principle and trotted Denny Walling out there.

It ultimately didn't matter, because the Astros wasted a decent start by Vern Ruhle.  The reason?  Alejandro Pena.  He clocked  his third shutout of the season, only giving up seven hits while striking out six.  Mike Scioscia had a solo homer while also throwing out Jerry Mumphrey on a failed hit and run in the top of the ninth.  Enos Cabell also got injured for 14 games chasing a foul ball into the stands.

Winning Pitcher - Alejandro Pena
Losing Pitcher - Vern Ruhle
Player of the Game - Pena, CG SHO

November 25, 2017

June 3, 1984 - Almost Perfect

Game #649 - Atlanta Braves, 7 @ Cincinnati Reds, 2

The quest for the season's first no-no is still afoot, and it way Jay Tibbs of the Reds who didn't just flirt with a no-hitter but a perfect game too!

Tibbs was perfect through his first six innings on the mound.  18 Braves up, 18 Braves down.  But Rick Maheler was nearly as good for Atlanta.  He'd only allowed three base runners through the first five innings.  In the bottom of the sixth things changed.  The Reds staged an epic two-out rally.  Eddie Milner singled and then stole second.  Gary Redus doubled him home for the first run of the game.  After that Dan Driessen walked.  Dave Parker was up next and he singled home Redus, 2-0 in favor of the Reds!  Mahler got lifted for Gene Garber, who retired Wayne Krenchicki to end the inning but now Tibbs had a lead to go with his perfect game.

In the top of the seventh Gerald Perry lined out to Krenchicki.  That brought up Glenn Hubbard...who HOMERED!  Perfect game - ruined.  No-hitter - ruined.  Shutout - ruined!  All in one blast!  Claudell Washington singled after that which brought up Dale Murphy.  Murph connected on a LONG BALL, two-run homer!  In just three batters Jay Tibbs went from a perfect game through six and a third to losing the ball game!

The Braves added four more runs in the top of the ninth and Steve Bedrosian pitched the final two innings for the save.

Winning Pitcher - Gene Garber
Losing Pitcher - Jay Tibbs
Save - Steve Bedrosian
Player of the Game - Dale Murphy, 2-4, HR, 2RBI, 2R's

Game #650 - California Angels, 4 @ Cleveland Indians, 3

This was one of those "anything you can do I can do better" games.  In the top of the first the Angels scored a run on a Brian Downing single...and Cleveland matched with a run of their own in the bottom half.  The same thing happened in the second, Rod Carew singled home Doug DeCinces but the Indians tied it up again in their half.

It stayed 2-2 until the top of the eighth.  Mike Jeffcoat was on in relief of Steve Comer but gave up a single to Fred Lynn and then a monster bomb to Downing, giving the Angels a two run lead.  In the bottom of the eighth ace reliever Don Aase was on the mound but he was giving up cheap singles all over the place, including an RBI hit by Tony Bernazard.  He allowed two more runners in the ninth but Cleveland couldn't tie it up.

Winning Pitcher - Jim Slaton
Losing Pitcher - Mike Jeffcoat
Save - Don Aase
Player of the Game - Brian Downing, 3-5, HR, 3RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

November 23, 2017

June 3, 1984 - Gobble Gobble

Game #648 - Oakland A's, 2 @ Chicago White Sox, 4

Through the first three innings starters Steve McCatty and Britt Burns were posting goose eggs.  But in the top of the fourth Dave Kingman was on second and Dwayne Murphy on first when Mike Heath stepped into the batter's box.  He zapped a ball into the gap and plated two on his bases-clearing triple.

It stayed 2-0 in favor of Oakland until the bottom of the fifth.  That's when Rudy Law launched his third home of the year.  Then, in the bottom of the seventh, Law singled and stole second base.  Ron Kittle walked and McCatty got lifted for Keith Atherton.  Scott Fletcher layed down a sacrifice bunt to move Law and Kittle up a base.  Harold Baines was up next and singled home Law.  Tie game!  Up next was Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk, who gripped it and ripped it for a 2-RBI double and the lead!  It was a sad turn of events for McCatty who struck out nine Sox on the day.

Juan Agosto worked the ninth but was pretty shaky.  He loaded the bases but, with two outs, got pinch-hitter Mark Wagener to pop up to Vance Law to end the game.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Winning Pitcher - Brett Roberge
Losing Pitcher - Steve McCatty
Save - Juan Agosto
Player of the Game - Rudy Law, 3-4, HR, RBI, 2R's, SB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Carlton Fisk

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