September 28, 2015

May 14, 1984 - Just Another Manic Monday

Game #340 - California Angels, 9 @ Baltimore Orioles, 1

I had to do a double-take when I checked my records, but this game was the first time this season Brian Downing earned "Player of the Game" honors.  I couldn't believe it, because he's had a heck of a season.  Gary Pettis has four for some reason, but Downing is only at one.

I'm getting ahead of myself.

The Angels scored a run in the top of the first when Rick Dempsey allowed a passed ball that plated Fred Lynn.  Mike Flanagan had to strike out the side to get out of the jam without further damage.  Baltimore picked the run back up in the second when Floyd Rayford cranked a solo bomb to tie things up at one apiece.

Tommy John and Flanagan continued their lefty-centric battle into the top of the seventh.  That's when California scored two more runs, including a balk by Flanagan.  Luis Sanchez and Doug Corbett kept the Orioles in check for the remainder of the game, while the Angels offense sent twelve batters to the plate in the top of the ninth, ending the Orioles hopes for a comeback.

Winning Pitcher - Tommy John
Losing Pitcher - Mike Flanagan
Save - Doug Corbett
Player of the Game - Brian Downing, 4-6, 3 doubles, run, RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Reggie Jackson, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

September 26, 2015

RIP - Yogi Berra and Others

It goes without saying these posts are my least favorite.  1984 doesn't feel far enough away to have to face the reality that all things must pass.  I've put this latest update off for over a year, preferring not to dwell on it, but the passing of one Yogi Berra signaled it was time, once again, to honor those we've lost.

I've mentioned numerous times before one of the reasons I was so excited to replay the 1984 season was because of the 1985 Topps set, my first complete set as a kid and the year that featured 1984 as the most recently played campaign on the back of the card.  I can remember being excited to pull out this Yogi Berra manager card, which is no small feat because I typically loathe manager cards.  I was barely ten years old but I knew that Yogi was an all-time great.  I was also tickled to learn his son, Dale, was the shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Yogi managed the Yankees for the entirety of the 1984 season, which was almost unheard of in the decade that George Steinbrenner made a mockery of the position with his constant firings.

While Yogi deserves every single accolade and fond remembrance for his time in baseball, it would be a gross oversight not to mention his bravery.  Yogi enlisted in the Navy during World War II, and was even part of the D-Day invasion.  He served both his country and baseball fans well, there will certainly never be another character like Berra.

While researching this article I was stunned to learn Joaquin Andujar just passed away recently too.  I had somehow missed that in the news cycle.  I have a special place in my heart for Dave Bergman as well, as I lived in Southeast Michigan during much of his career as a Tiger.  Rest in peace to all of them.

Bobby Castillo, 6-30-2014
Tom Veryzer, 7-8-2014
Dave Bergman, 2-2-2015
Gary Woods, 2-19-2015
Joaquin Andujar, 9-8-2015

September 19, 2015

May 13, 1984 - Sunday Wrap Up

Game #429 - Montreal Expos, 3 @ San Francisco Giants, 4

I've mentioned this before, that the Giants are decimated by injuries from "Z" cards right now, but check out this lineup.  There are only three starters from the first game of the season:

1.  Gene Richards - 8
2.  Steve Nicosia - 2
3.  Dusty Baker - 9
4.  Bob Brenly - 3 (playing out of position)
5.  Chris Brown - 5 (playing his first game in Statis Pro)
6.  Joel Youngblood - 7 (playing out of position)
7.  Brad Wellman - 4
8.  Johnnie LeMaster - 6
9.  Mark Davis - 1

In some ways the injuries have been a lot of fun, because it's forcing me to be creative.  Mostly, though, it's kind of sad because the Giants have a good offense when all of their starters are playing.

This rag-tag group took on the Expos for the last game of Sunday, May 13th.  Mark Davis escaped a bases loaded situation in the top of the second, and had the first RBI in the bottom of the inning, squeezing home Chris Brown.  Gene Richards followed with a 2-RBI single next to give San Fran a 3-0 lead.  The Expos tied the game in the top of the fourth, with two runs scoring from a home run by catching backup Bobby Ramos.

In the bottom of the fourth Duane Kiper was batting ninth in a double switch after Davis got lifted in the fourth.  He later scored on a Dusty Baker hit that ended up being the game-winner.  Greg Minton, Frank Williams, and Bob Lacey tossed  5 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.  Lacey retired Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, and Tim Wallach in the top of the ninth to get his first save of the season, so I gave him "player of the game" honors.  Most of you also know I use my 1985 Topps set (shows pics from the 1984 season) for these posts, but Lacey is the rare player who didn't have a card in that set.  Instead, you get a zoomed in shot from his 1985 Fleer card for this post.

I apologize for the lack of posts lately - I have two daughters playing soccer right now, so I'm spending week nights and Saturdays watching futbol instead of flipping Fast Action Cards...  I'll try and get the stats and standings updated this weekend, though.

Winning Pitcher - Greg Minton
Losing Pitcher - Steve Rogers
Save - Bob Lacey
Player of the Game - Lacey, three up, three down
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

September 12, 2015

May 13, 1984 - Deft Left

Game #427 - New York Mets, 5 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 6

This game was strange and fun and exciting for a variety of reasons.  Here's why:

1.  Four of the five Mets runs were scored on solo homers by Keith Hernandez, Hubie Brooks, George Foster, and Darryl Strawberry.

2.  Both starters, Bruce Berenyi and Bob Welch, lasted 6IP while giving up 4 runs with only three counting as earned.

3.  The Mets had a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth when Pedro Guerrero hit an RBI single and Greg Brock launched a three run home run to give the Dodgers the lead, 4-2.  But the Mets tied it in the top of the seventh with two runs of their own.

4.  I've mentioned on this blog a few times before that my father is a huge Dodgers fan but firmly believes Tom Niedenfuer is cursed.  With that in mind, in the top of the ninth, the Dodgers had a slim, one-run lead.  With two outs Niedenfuer proceeded to walk Hernandez and give up a double to Strawberry, who pushed Hernandez to third base.  But Hubie Brooks grounded out to Bill Russell to end the game.

Winning Pitcher - Pat Zachry
Losing Pitcher - Jesse Orosco
Save - Tom Niedenfuer
Player of the Game - Greg Brock, 1-3, HR, 3RBI's

Game #428 - Philadelphia Phillies, 0 @ San Diego Padres, 8

Starter Charles Hudson gave up eight runs in two-thirds of an inning before I finally yanked him, and that would be all the runs scored for the game!  Kevin McReynolds and Carmelo Martinez blasted home runs in that inning, and Tim Lollar scattered nine hits and two walks while striking out nine Phillies for the shutout.  Kevin Gross (5 1/3IP) and Bill Campbell (2IP) deserve a lot of credit for saving the bullpen from Hudson's disastrous start.

Winning Pitcher - Tim Lollar
Losing Pitcher - Charles Hudson
Player of the Game - Lollar, second start in a row winning this honor
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt, Tony Gwynn

September 5, 2015

May 13, 1984 - The Divisional Leaders

Game #425 - St. Louis Cardinals, 11 @ Cincinnati Reds, 2

My apologies for the lack of posts as of late!  August is my busiest month at work, and there were a handful of other events I won't bore you with, but we're back in action!

My dad, who has managed a few games for his favorite team (Dodgers) this season, was back in the dugout for this one.  This time he was managing his second favorite team from his hometown - the Cardinals!  Long story short...he destroyed me.  Frank Pastore gave up twice as many runs as innings pitched and four Cardinals had multi-hit games.

Winning Pitcher - Kurt Kepshire
Losing Pitcher - Frank Pastore
Player of the Game - Willie McGee, 5-5, 2B, 3B, 2R's, 5RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Tony Perez

Game #426 - Chicago Cubs, 1 @ Houston Astros, 2

Even when the Astros aren't hitting they're winning!  Houston only pushed two runs across the plate, but it was enough to win the game.  In the bottom of the first Bill Doran scored from first on a hit and run double from Terry Puhl.  Bobby Dernier scored in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Ron Cey, but in the bottom of the seventh Puhl hit a sacrifice himself to score pinch hitter Phil Garner.

Winning Pitcher - Frank DiPino
Losing Pitcher - Tim Stoddard
Save - Bill Dawley
Player of the Game - Terry Puhl, 1-3, 2B, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

August 8, 2015

May 13, 1984 - CK Won

Game #423 - Seattle Mariners, 8 @ New York Yankees, 6 (10 innings)

This three game series was a real exciting one, with each game providing its own drama!

The Mariners got to Ray Fontenot early in the first, scoring two runs on a Ray Cerone error and an Al Cowens single.  Seattle put four more on the board in the fourth, again courtesy of Al Cowens, who hit a grand salami with the bases juiced!

But the Yankees came roaring back from their 6-0 deficit.  Led by a solo homer from Lou Piniella and a two run bomb by Cerone, things were tied up after eight innings.

In the top of the tenth relieve Bob Shirley began his third inning of relief.  He gave up a lead off single to Cowens.  Two batters later Mariners rookie Alvin Davis went yard for two runs!  Reliever Bob Stoddard retired New York in the bottom half of the inning for the Mariner victory.

Winning Pitcher - Paul Mirabella
Losing Pitcher - Bob Shirley
Save - Bob Stoddard
Player of the Game - Al Cowens, 3-5, grand slam, 5RBI's, stolen base
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield

Game #424 - Pittsburgh Pirates, 4 @ Atlanta Braves, 6

The Braves sent eight hitters to the plate in the bottom of the first against Pirates starter Jose DeLeon.  Though he limited the damage to two runs, it was a rough way to start the game and his "pitcher effectiveness" rating got reduced by two.  Tony Pena hit an RBI single in the top of the fifth to bring Pittsburgh back to within a run, but home runs by Claudell Washington and Brad Komminsk in the bottom of the inning gave Atlanta the lead for good.

Winning Pitcher - Len Barker
Losing Pitcher - Jose DeLeon
Save - Donnie Moore
Player of the Game - Brad Komminsk, 3-4, 2B, HR, 3RBI's

Happy Trails...Bob Horner

This game was a bit of a bummer because it was the last time we'll see Bob Horner for this Statis Pro season.  The blonde slugger broke his wrist in the real 1984 and missed the rest of the season.  It was the second time in two years he suffered that kind of injury.

Let's see how our Horners compared:

Real 1984:  113AB  15R  31H  8DB  3HR  19RBI  .274/.349/.425/.774
Statis 1984:  124AB  17R  33H  6DB  3HR  12RBI  .266/.350/.387/.737

I was usually batting Horner second in the lineup, which I think helps explain a few of his increased at-bats.  But otherwise, the two Horners are pretty close.  Another couple of doubles and Horner would have been as good as his real 1984.  Randy Johnson will get most of the starts at third from here on out.  No, not THAT Randy Johnson, the other guy...

August 2, 2015

Friend Requests - Philadelphia Phillies Analysis

Hello again!  We got a request to go a little more in depth with the Phillies and their 1984 Statis Pro campaign.

Through 31 games the  Phillies are 16-15 which, all things considered, I think is pretty good.  They're currently in second place, though they are 6.5 games back of the Cardinals.  The Expos have been surging and at some point the Cubs will exit the cellar and make a charge.

The Phillies are a fun team to play with because they have a good bench and a lot of players who can cover multiple positions.  They've definitely been impacted by injuries, but as a manager, that's almost helpful because they have more than 25 players worthy of a roster spot.  For instance, Len Matuszek wasn't on my opening day team.  I haven't even gotten to Jeff Stone's insane rookie year yet either...

Some stats...

C  Ozzie Virgil       7HR  16RBI  .243/.304/.505/.808
1B  Len Matuszek  2HR  6RBI   .216/.365/392/.757
2B  Juan Samuel    5HR  14SB    .227/.265/.375/.640
3B  Mike Schmidt  9HR  20RBI   .227/.347/.546/.893
SS  Ivan DeJesus    5DB  2SB     .247/.336/.299/.635
OF Von Hayes      19DB  9SB     .357/.403/.573/.916
OF  Gary Maddox  2HR  5RBI    .253/.273/.360/.633
OF  Glenn Wilson   3DB  6RBI     .186/.250/.286/.536
OF  Joe Lefebvre    4HR  8RBI    .389/.489/.806/1.294
UT  John Wockenfuss 4HR  6RBI  ..222/.333/.611/.944

The injured...

Tim Corcoran  2HR  4RBI   .364/.447/.576/1.023
Sexto Lezcano  2HR  7RBI  .237/.341/.395/.736


Steve Carlton    5.15ERA  2-1  33K's
John Denny       1.62ERA   4-0  21K's
Jerry Koosman  3.20ERA  3-3  39K's
Charlie Hudson  5.40ERA  2-2  20K's
Shane Rawley   2.53ERA   1-1  15K's

Larry Andersen  2.45ERA  4SV
Al Holland          4.82ERA  1-4

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


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