August 23, 2018
I've had this happen more than once this Statis Pro season, but the absolute worst case scenario in a doubleheader is when your starting pitcher bombs and gets yanked early.
That's what happened to Baltimore.
Rookie Ken Dixon was called up to make a spot start at the top of the twin bill. The Tigers sent up eleven batters to the plate and clobbered Dixon to the tune of eight runs before he could record the third out of the inning. The finishing blow came from Darrell Evans, who blasted a GRAND SALAMI!
Mark Brown came on in relief for what would be his final appearance of the season. Mercifully he survived a terrible first inning of work (four more runs) before going the distance in a remarkable 7.1 innings of relief. That might be the longest relief stint of the year - I wish I had tracked that somehow.
Winning Pitcher - Randy O'Neal
Losing Pitcher - Ken Dixon
Player of the Game - Darrell Evans, 2-5, GS, 4RBI, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Alan Trammell, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray
Happy Trails...Mark Brown
Well, I've got myself into a real pickle with the Baltimore bullpen. I've run a six man pen for the season but, in retrospect, the real 1984 Orioles must have only ever had five guys available for relief because with Mark Brown now done for the year, I only have ONE Baltimore pitcher left in the minors...and that's Ken Dixon, who started the game today and only has one game (another start) left to play! On top of that, Bill Swaggerty is quickly approaching his final few games from the pen, plus another five starts to mix in. There's still 103 games to go for the Orioles, and I'm betting the last half of it will be with a four-man pen!!! I might have to force the starters into some ill-advised complete games...
So how did the real Mark Brown do compared to the Statis Pro Mark Brown? Let's take a look:
The Real 1984: 1-2, 3.91ERA, 10K's, 4.07FIP, 1.26WHIP
Statis Pro 1984: 1-2, 4.13ERA, 20K's, 4.52FIP, 1.33WHIP
That's a pretty remarkable similarity, minus the K%. Statis Pro Mark Brown got more K's but was slightly less effective overall - I'm guessing it's not statistically significant though.
What's worse than having to pitch two games of a doubleheader when the first starter didn't make it past the second inning...?
How about a rain delay!
The storm clouds were hovering over the start of game two. Baltimore got out front early in the bottom of the second when Todd Cruz of all people blasted a two-run homer. Detroit cut that lead in half thanks to an Alan Trammell double in the top of the fifth inning. But in the bottom half of the same frame Eddie Murray dialed up an Earl Weaver special - a three-run homer - to put Baltimore up by four! The Orioles got four more runs in the sixth inning, thanks in large part to Cal Ripken Jr., who also plated three on a home run!
Dennins Martinez, meanwhile, was cruising into the top of the seventh when the rain finally came down. It was nearly an hour delay so El Presidente hit the showers and Bill Swaggerty finished the affair. Baltimore ended up winning three of four against the Tigers in the series.
Winning Pitcher - Dennis Martinez
Losing Pitcher - Milt Wilcox
Player of the Game - Eddie Murray, 2-3, 2B, HR, 3RBI, 2R, 2BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Alan Trammell, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray
August 19, 2018
Bob Ojeda had a nightmare start to the game. After loading the bases in the top of the first by plunking Bobby Clark, Mark Brouhard dropped the hammer. Grand slam! The Red Sox wouldn't go down quietly, though. Tony Armas picked up an RBI single in the first and then Jackie Gutierrez tripled home two teammates in the seconding inning before crossing home plate on an RBI hit by Wade Boggs.
In the top of the fourth, though, two more Brewers scored thanks to consecutive errors by Gutierrez and Boggs. The Brewers tagged on three more insurance runs in the top of the ninth and the game was beyond reach for Boston.
Winning Pitcher - Jamie Cocanower
Losing Pitcher - Bob Ojeda
Player of the Game - Mark Brouhard, 2-5, 2B, Grand Slam, 5RBI, 2Rs
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount, Wade Boggs, Jim Rice
August 15, 2018
My Dad told terrible knock-knock jokes all the time when we were kids, and now that my kids are old enough to understand them, he recently dug this one back out of the vault for their amusement:
Dwayne the bathtub, I'm dwownin'!!!
Like I said, it's not very funny. And the Texas Rangers didn't think Dwayne Murphy was very funny when he launched consecutive two-run homers in the first and second innings of this game. By the end of the first two innings Oakland was way out in front with a 7-0 lead. Steve McCatty cruised in and out of trouble for eight innings of work on only three earned runs. The final score looks closer than it was because Larry Sorensen gave up four runs in mop-up duty, including a pinch-hit home run by Bobby Jones.
Winning Pitcher - Steve McCatty
Losing Pitcher - Danny Darwin
Player of the Game - Dwayne Murphy, 4-6, 2HRs, 4RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan
July 24, 2018
You wouldn't think the last place Giants would be much of a struggle for the first place Astros, but San Fran has given Houston all they can handle on their West Coast road trip.
The Astros jumped all over starter Bill Laskey in the top of the first, plating three runs on a 2-RBI single from Craig Reynolds and then another RBI knock off the bat of Ray Knight. The Giants fought back in the bottom of the third. Vern Ruhle, making a rare start, gave up a lead-off solo homer to Jeff Leonard and, two batters later, an RBI double to Al Oliver.
In the bottom of the seventh Ruhle was still in the game but had two runners on base. That's when Joel Youngblood roped a double that scored Oliver, but as Bob Brenly made his way towards towards home too, he got thrown out at the plate to keep the game tied.
By the top of the ninth the score was still tied and the Giants had their best reliever, Gary LaVelle, on the mound. But a walk, single, and sacrifice fly from Kevin Bass gave them the lead! Bill Dawley tossed a perfect bottom of the ninth to save the game for Houston, 4-3.
Winning Pitcher - Mike Scott
Losing Pitcher - Gary LaVelle
Save - Bill Dawley
Player of the Game - Dawley, IP, SV
Happy Trails...Alejandro Sanchez
This marked the last game of the season for Alejandro Sanchez. He appeared in 11 games in the real 1984. He's the classic September call-up type of player, but the vast number of injuries to the San Francisco roster caused him to log all of his time in the first third of the season. How did he do?
The Real 1984: .195/.195/.244/.439 .049ISO, .195wOBA, -3.8wRAA, 2SB, 3Rs, 2RBI
Statis Pro 1984: .303/.324/.303/.627 .000ISO, .288wOBA, -0.8wRAA, 2SB, 1R, 1RBI
Sanchez went 2-4 in this game, which gave him a nice little bump in his final numbers. Overall, though, he still recorded a negative wRAA. But compared to the quality of his teammates who aren't currently injured, he more than held his own.
The Cubs tagged Joaquin Andujar and the Cardinals with an unlikely run in the top of the first. Gary Matthews walked with one out and then Ryne Sandberg hit into what looked like a sure double-play but managed to beat the throw at first. He then stole second base and scampered home on a Leon Durham single.
Meanwhile, Jody Davis was doing his best to assist starter Chuck Rainey, who was bending on the mound but not breaking. Twice Davis threw out a would be base-stealer; Lonnie Smith in the bottom of the first (only his second caught stealing of the season) and Willie McGee in the sixth.
Chicago still had a precarious 1-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh. Tom Herr led off with a single but Ozzie Smith and Mark Salas both struck out to bring up Andujar. Andujar had only given up three hits in the game so lifting him seemed risky. The manager allowed him to hit and a "clutch batting" came up on the FAC. That's normally a blank stat line on a pitcher's hitting card, but Joaquin had two homers on the season in the real 1984. Sure enough...the next FAC resulted in a two-run bomb!!! Andujar closed out the final two innings for a complete-game win in which he accounted for all of the St. Louis offense!
Winning Pitcher - Joaquin Andujar
Losing Pitcher - Chuck Rainey
Player of the Game - Andujar, CG stud with a long-ball to boot
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg, Ozzie Smith
July 21, 2018
John Candelaria and Jerry Koosman faced off in this Keystone battle. It was scoreless until the third inning when both Lee Lacy and Sixto Lezcano hit solo homer for their respective teams to keep the game tied.
In the top of the fifth Lacy added his second bomb of the day, this time with Amos Otis on base, to give the Pirates a 3-1 lead. But the Phillies knotted it up again in the sixth when Juan Samuel cranked a two-run homer too.
The game was still tied until the top of the eighth. Back to back hits from Lee Mazzilli and Lacy put a runner in scoring position for Johnny Ray. Ray singled and Mazilli scored the decisive run.
Winning Pitcher - John Candelaria
Losing Pitcher - Bill Campbell
Save - Rod Scurry
Player of the Game - Lee Lacy, 3-4, 2HRs, 3RBI, 2Rs
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt
The Padres loaded the bases in the bottom of the first but only managed one run on a Terry Kennedy walk. Steve Garvey had an RBI ground-out in the third to make it a 2-0 lead, and then Mark Thurmond helped his own cause with a sacrifice fly that scored Luis Salazar.
The Reds came charging back in the sixth, though. They scored two runs, including an RBI knock by Nick Esasky. They were still trailing by one run in the seventh when Thurmond was lifted with two outs and a runner on second in favor of ace reliever Goose Gossage. The Reds countered with pinch-hitter Duane Walker. Walker doubled, scoring Dave Concepcion to tie the game! Then Dan Driessen singled home Walker to give Cincy the lead! Ted Power, Bob Owchinko, and John Franco held the Padres scoreless over the final three games to earn the win.
Winning Pitcher - Joe Price
Losing Pitcher - Goose Gossage
Save - John Franco
Player of the Game - Duane Walker, 1-2, 2B, RBI, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Perez, Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage
July 7, 2018
In game one the Expos got out to an early lead in the first inning when Gary Carter ripped a two-run double to plate Bryan Little and Tim Raines. In the bottom of the third the Expos struck again, this time on a two-run bomb from Andre Dawson.
Meanwhile, Expos starter Charlie Lea was mowing Mets down until the seventh. That's when Hubie Brooks singled and then Darryl Strawberry went yard to cut the lead in half. But Dan Schatzeder pitched a perfect two innings of relief to earn the save.
Winning Pitcher - Charlie Lea
Losing Pitcher - Bruce Bereny
Save - Dan Schatzeder
Player of the Game - Gary Carter, 1-3, 2B, 2RBI, BB, Asst
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tim Raines, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter
Both teams called up spot starters to the active roster for the second game. The Expos penciled in Joe Hesketh and the Mets added Mike Torrez. Both pitchers were strong through the first four innings as both teams were scoreless. But in the top of the fifth Montreal ran into a wood chipper. Tim Wallach and Mike Ramsey each committed fielding errors while George Foster and Jerry Martin both landed two-run homers for a mammoth seven run inning. The Expos were never close again after that.
Winning Pitcher - Mike Torrez
Losing Pitcher - Joe Hesketh
Player of the Game - George Foster, 3-5, 2B, HR, 3RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tim Raines, Gary Carter
July 4, 2018
Back to back RBI singles by Claudell Washington and Brad Komminsk in the top of the first gave Atlanta a quick 2-0 lead against the Dodgers. But in the bottom of the second the L.A. offense would respond in the exact same way. Steve Sax and starting pitcher Rick Honeycutt were the culprits this time, tying the game at two apiece.
And that was all the offense there was until the eighth inning! Still tied at two, reliever Gene Garber was in his second inning of work when Ken Landreaux zapped a solo homer to give the Dodgers a lead heading into the top of the ninth! Pat Zachry was trying to record the final three outs but lead-off hitter Komminsk jacked his own homer to tie the game! The Braves would record another three runs, including a 2-RBI double by Gerald Perry. It was a stunning loss for the Dodgers.
Winning Pitcher - Gene Garber
Losing Pitcher - Pat Zachry
Save - Donnie Moore
Player of the Game - Brad Komminsk, 3-4, HR, 2RBI.
It looked like the first place Blue Jays were going to run away with the game when they plated four in the top of the second inning. They batted around with RBI singles from Garth Iorg, Dave Collins, Jorge Bell, and Jesse Barfield.
But the Yankees came charging back in the bottom of the third. Donnie Baseball blasted a three-run job to bring the Bronx within a run of the lead. Barfield responded in the fourth with his second RBI of the game, extending the Toronto lead to 5-3. But the Yankees tagged starter Jim Clancy with five straight singles in the bottom of the fifth, and then Ken Griffey ripped a double off reliever Jimmy Key to help the Yankees post five runs in the inning. Mattingly added a solo homer in the eighth for a bit of insurance.
Winning Pitcher - Ray Fontenot
Losing Pitcher - Jim Clancy
Save - Bob Shirley
Player of the Game - Don Mattingly, 3-5, 2HRs, 4RBI, 3Rs