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December 31, 2012

April 23, 1984 - Farewell 2012!

Game #204 - Chicago Cubs, 2 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 5

Ooh, rivalry game!  If I'm not mistaken, this is the first match up of the season between dreaded rivals Chicago and St. Louis.

The Cubs got started in a hurry.  Bob Dernier led off the first with a double and tried to score on a Ryne Sandberg single to right field, but George Hendrick came up firing and gunned down Dernier at the plate.  Two batters later, though, Leon "Bull" Durham smacked his first home run of the season to give the Windy City the early 2-0 lead.

The score stayed that way until the bottom of the fourth.  That's when Lonnie Smith hit a two bagger to plate Andy Van Slyke and Darrell Porter singled home Smith to tie things up.  Lonnie has come up with a lot of clutch hits in Statis Pro this season.

Chicago's starter, Chuck Rainey, ran out of luck in the sixth.  He loaded the bases before finally getting yanked for reliever Tim Stoddard.  Stoddard got the next two Cardinals out, but Ozzie Smith hit a ringing double to clear the bases and give the Cardinals the eventual win.  Stoddard struck out six over three innings of relief, but the Cubs were shut down by Bruce Sutter.

Winning Pitcher - Danny Cox
Losing Pitcher - Chuck Rainey
Save - Bruce Sutter
Player of the Game - Ozzie Smith, 2-4, 2B, 3RBI's, Walk, probably a back flip in the top of the first.
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg, Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter

On a personal note, I want to thank anyone/everyone who stops by and reads this blog.  As a token of gratitude, let me know if you'd like to create a lineup for your favorite team in a future game!  Be safe tonight and here's to a prosperous 2013!

December 30, 2012

April 23, 1984 - Padres Heating Up...

Game #203 - San Francisco Giants, 3 @ San Diego Padres, 6

If I'm not scanning my own 1985 Topps cards, I'm stealing images like this off the internet.  Do I need to cite where I'm lifting them from?  I'm not sure what is appropriate for an obscure blog like this.  If one of you reading this would like to give me the Donruss and/or Fleer set to add to my personal inventory, I'd be obliged.

Luis Salazar and Terry Kennedy each had RBI hits in the second off of Randy Lerch to give the Padres an early lead.  Chili Davis managed to bring home Manny Trillo in the third.  Besides a Bob Brenly homer in the seventh, that's all the damage the Giants could muster against Ed Whitson over seven innings.

The Padres picked up three more runs in the sixth, two of them coming from a Gary Templeton double.  Templeton added a sacrifice fly in the eighth for his third RBI of the day.  San Diego is now just a game below .500 and looking more like the NL Champions from the real 1984.

Winning Pitcher - Ed Whitson
Losing Pitcher - Randy Lerch
Save - Goose Gossage
Player of the Game - Kevin McReynolds, 3-4, 2 2B's, 3R's, 1 RBI, threw out Manny Trillo at third to end the game.
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

December 28, 2012

April 23, 1984 - Dodgers, Expos FTW

Game #201 - Houston Astros, 2 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 4

This game had the makings of an expert pitcher's duel, as Nolan Ryan and Alejandro Pena were facing each other. 

Things were scoreless heading into the bottom of the third, but Steve Sax led off with a double.  Pedro Guerrero ended up singling him home for the first run.  Two batters later Mike Scioscia hit an unexpected three run blast to give the Dodgers a four to nothing lead.  You could practically see the smoke coming out of imaginary Nolan Ryan's ears.  Nolan ended up with eight strikeouts through seven innings, but the Astros never got close enough to win the game.

Winning Pitcher - Alejandro Pena
Losing Pitcher - Nolan Ryan
Player of the Game - Scioscia, 2-4, HR, 3RBI's, caught Denny Walling trying to steal second
Hall of Famers in the Game - Nolan Ryan

Game #202 - New York Mets, 3 @ Montreal Expos, 4

There's no hotter team in Statis Pro right now than the Montreal Expos.  They started the game with a five game win streak and had Charlie Lea toeing the rubber.  The Mets had Walt Terrell on the mound.

The Mets scored first with a two out rally in the second.  George Foster hit a single and Jose Oquendo batted him home with a clutch double.  The Expos answered in the bottom of the inning when Tim Wallach went deep for the second time this season.  Gary Carter knocked in Miguel Dilone in the sixth to give Montreal the 2-1 lead.

The Mets erupted in the seventh, though.  Lea had retired 13 straight batters before Keith Hernandez reached on an error.  He was thrown out at home by Dilone two batters later, but the Mets still plated two to take a 3-2 lead.  In the bottom of the eighth the Expos struck back.  Reliever Brent Gaff gave up a pinch hit single to Pete Rose.  Dilone brought him home on a single, and Terry Francona then hit a single to score Dilone for the game winning RBI.  That's six straight for Montreal!

Winning Pitcher - Greg Harris
Losing Pitcher - Brent Gaff
Save - Andy McGaffigan
Player of the Game - Dilone, 3-4, 2R's, RBI, threw out Hernandez at the plate
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

December 26, 2012

April 23, 1984 - Bicentennial

Game #200 - Seattle Mariners, 5 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 2

Happy Boxing Day!  But more importantly, I've hit a new milestone in this Statis Pro season - 200 games played!  And wouldn't you know it, Mark Langston did something in today's game that hadn't happened yet (I think)...

Langston loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the first and looked like he was about to get creamed, but he managed to strike out Lloyd Moseby to avoid the catastrophe.  I had dropped Moseby down in the lineup to minimize the leftie v. leftie batting disadvantage.  So much for that - Moseby struck out three times in the game.

In the top of the fourth Seattle was leading 1-0 when Ken Phelps and Al Chambers hit back to back solo homers to extend their lead.  In the bottom half of the fourth Langston struck out the side.  He would last eight innings and struck out eleven Blue Jays when all was said and done.  I don't think anyone had exceeded 10 before Langston's 11 K's.  Catcher Bob Kearney was two for three and also threw out three Blue Jays trying to steal.

Winning Pitcher - Mark Langston
Losing Pitcher - Jim Clancy
Save - Edwin Nunez
Player of the Game - Langston, 8IP, 2ER's, 11K's

December 25, 2012

April 23, 1984 - Merry Christmas!

Game #199 - Texas Rangers, 3 @ Cleveland Indians

The Rangers sure gift wrapped this game for the Indians...

Let's play a game where I'll obviously try to trick you.  Which pitcher listed below would you assume won today's game?

PITCHER A:  Complete Game, 4 Hits, 3 Walks
PITCHER B:  6IP, 8 Hits, 3 Walks

Pitcher B was Rick Sutcliffe, who actually notched the victory, as the Rangers had five different innings where they stranded a runner on third.  Pitcher A was Danny Darwin, who gave up six unearned runs thanks to four Texas errors.  Only three different Indians even had a hit!

Winning Pitcher - Rick Sutcliffe
Losing Pitcher - Danny Darwin
Save - Mike Jeffcoat
Player of the Game - Jeffcoat, save.

December 23, 2012

April 23, 1984 - Pale Hose > The O's

Game #198 - Baltimore Orioles, 4 @ Chicago White Sox, 5

Would you believe there were eight total double plays in this game?  I hope you would believe me.  I have no reason to lie about it.  Chicago hit into five and the Orioles had three of their own.

Jim Palmer was making his third and final start of the Statis Pro season (he still has to log two relief appearances) and it didn't go well.  He couldn't get out of the second inning when the South Side team put up three runs, including a two RBI triple from Scooter Fletcher.  Bill Swaggerty relieved for three inning and was doing well until he gave up back to back solo homers to Harold Baines and Ron Kittle.

The Orioles actually hung tight through the game, and had runners on first and third with two outs in the ninth when my favorite player EVER, Mr. Eddie Murray, stepped up to save the day.  Except he didn't.  He grounded out...to the catcher.  I try to stay impartial during the season, but that one stung.

Winning Pitcher - Richard Dotson
Losing Pitcher - Jim Palmer
Save - Ron Reed
Player of the Game - Harold Baines, 3-4, 3B, HR
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Carlton Fisk

December 22, 2012

April 23, 1984 - Pettis-cure

California Angels, 7 @ Boston Red Sox, 6 (Extra Innings)

This was a very good game I had to speed through to finish because the pizza guy came early.  Priorities!

Geoff Zahn got into trouble early in the first, walking Wade Boggs and Jim Rice before Tony Armas pulled a double to score both of them.  Mike Easler got a single after that but Fred Lynn threw Armas out at the plate. 

The Angels scored their first run in the fourth.  Gary Pettis singled and moved to second on a ground out by Bob Boone.  As he tried to steal third the throw went wild and Pettis ran across home plate.

California finally knocked Bruce Hurst out of the game when Bobby Grich went deep for a two run shot.  That gave the Angels a 6-2 lead.  Boston pulled within two in the bottom of the inning when little-used Reid Nichols hit his own two run homer.  That was the last inning for Zahn, who had a very unusual game in that he struck out six  and walked seven.  His Statis-Pro card has very short ranges for both outcomes.

Luis Sanchez was trying to close out the game in the bottom of the ninth, but Boston rallied, which I didn't appreciate because the pizza was starting to get cold.  With two outs and a runner on first Jim Rice put one over the Green Monster to tie up the game and send it to extra innings!  But in the top of the tenth Gary Pettis hit his third (!) home run of the season, giving the Angels the eventual win.  Pettis only had two homers the entire 1984 season but has three already in Statis-Pro.

Winning Pitcher - Luis Sanchez
Losing Pitcher - Charlie Mitchell
Save - Doug Corbett
Player of the Game - Gary Pettis, 3-5, 3B, HR, 3R's, SB, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

December 21, 2012

April 22, 1984 - Rain, Raines Reign

 
Game #196 - Montreal Expos, 4 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 1 (rained out)

This might be my favorite blog title yet.

Tim Raines led off the game with a walk and a stolen base, then moved to third on a sacrifice fly from Gary Carter.  Andre Dawson doubled him home and the Expos had a 1-0 lead.  The Cardinals tied things up in the bottom of the inning when George Hendrick singled home Tom Herr.

St. Louis starter Dave LaPoint had more issues in the second.  A Doug Flynn RBI ground out scored a second run for Montreal.  The Expos loaded the bases for Gary Carter, who hit a two RBI single.  The game stayed pretty quiet after that until the bottom of the seventh.  Ozzie Smith had just stolen second when the rain clouds came in and preserved the Expos victory.  They've now won three in row, all against the Cards. 

Winning Pitcher - Bill Gullickson
Losing Pitcher - Dave LaPoint
Player of the Game - Tim Raines, 2-3, BB, 2R's, SB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Ozzie Smith

December 19, 2012

April 22, 1984 - Glad and Sad Tidings

Game #195 - Cincinnati Reds, 4 @ San Francisco Giants, 3

Let's start off with the happy...

Merry Christmas!  I haven't been able to post recently as we've had my family in town the past week.  I'm off work all next week and I hope to punch out some more games during the break.

Dave Parker enjoyed the holiday season by crushing a three run homer in the top of the first off Bill Laskey to give the Reds the early lead.  Cincinnati starter Jay Tibbs had the Giants off balance and off the scoreboard until the seventh when they finally plated two runs.  Ted Power gave up a run in relief in the ninth, but that's as close as San Fran would get in the nail-biting loss.

Winning Pitcher - Jay Tibbs
Losing Pitcher - Bill Laskey
Save - Ted Power
Player of the Game - Parker, 2-4, HR, 3RBI's, Stolen Base

And now the sad...

REST IN PEACE - FRANK PASTORE

Sad news for fans of 1984 and/or the Reds.  Former pitcher Frank Pastore passed away this week from complications related to a motor cycle accident last month.  Turns out Pastore had been a Christian radio talk show host over the past few years and evenly eerily referenced the thought of dying on his bike on his last broadcast.  A pretty good summary of his passing can be found here.

My prayers and condolences to his family and fans...

December 8, 2012

April 22, 1984 - Oh My Darling

Game #194 - New York Mets, 8 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 5

There's a certain let down while playing this Statis Pro season when the visiting team scores a bunch of runs in the top half of the first inning.  It takes most of the excitement out of the next 8 1/2 innings.  That was the case with this game.  Mookie Wilson led off for the Mets but Mike Schmidt booted a sure ground out to open the flood gates.  Five unearned runs later Steve Carlton was lifted after recording just two outs.  It's Schmidt's 6th error in 14 games.  Oomph.

Ron Darling was pretty darn spectacular until the seventh.  He was tossing a shutout until he let Bo Diaz and Von Hayes reach base.  Sexto Lezcano, in the game because Tim Corcoran ran into the wall in left field and injured himself for 20 games, flexed his muscles and put one over the fence for three runs.  Reliever Ed Lynch would give up another two runs in the eighth, but it wasn't enough as the Mets won to take two of three from the Phillies.

Winning Pitcher - Ron Darling
Losing Pitcher - Al Holland
Save - Ed Lynch
Player of the Game - Darling, 7IP, 8K's, 2-2 at the plate
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton

December 5, 2012

April 22, 1984 - Padres Steal a Win

Game #193 - San Diego Padres, 2 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 1

There was a lot symmetry to this game.  Each team had five hits.  Each starter recorded three strikeouts.  Neither team had an extra-base hit.  Both starters (Bob Welch, Eric Show) had one syllable last names.  Ok, that one was a stretch...

Show and Welch were both in the zone, though.  The game was scoreless until the fourth.  Tony Gwynn singled and stole second, allowing Kevin McReynolds' single two batters later to count for an RBI.  The Dodgers finally tied it up in the sixth when Steve Sax singled, stole a base too, and got knocked in by Pedro Guerrero.  Pedro got picked off first by Terry Kennedy, though. 

Tim Flannery pinch hit for Show in the eighth and got a single.  Alan Wiggins hit into the fielder's choice after that.  Standing on first, he took off for second.  Catcher Mike Scioscia's throw was late and off the mark.  The resulting error plated Wiggins to give the Padres the lead.  Dave Dravecky retired two batters in the bottom of the inning before getting tossed by the umpire for arguing balls and strikes.  Greg Harris wrapped things up for the save, preserving the win.

Winning Pitcher - Eric Show
Losing Pitcher - Bob Welch
Save - Greg Harris
Player of the Game - Show, 7IP, 5H's, 0BB's, 3K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn

December 2, 2012

April 22, 1984 - Reynolds Errors Lets Braves Win

Game #192 - Houston Astros, 6 @ Atlanta Braves, 7

Craig Reynolds must be feeling awful tonight.  I mean the fake, Statis Pro Reynolds.  I'm sure the real Craig is doing just fine.  But Statis Pro Craig made two errors in the game, the last one being the game winner for the Braves.

Houston was up 2-0 after the top of the third, thanks to a triple and double by Terry Puhl.  The former led to the first run and the latter knocked in the second.  Puhl ended the game just a homer shy of the cycle.  (I'm excited for the first Statis Pro cycle, no-hitter, four homer game...)  Jerry Mumphrey added a three run tater in the fifth and Houston was up 6-3 with four innings to go.

An Atlanta rally in the seventh tied things up at six.  Dave Smith was pitching for Houston in the bottom of the eighth when Bruce Benedict singled with one out.  Brad Komminsk grounded out to first but advanced Benedict to second.  Albert Hall grounded to Reynolds...who overthrew first and allowed Benedict to score!  Terry Forster pitched the ninth for the save.  Atlanta stays in first after taking two of three against Houston.

Winning Pitcher - Donnie Moore
Losing Pitcher - Dave Smith
Save - Terry Forster
Player of the Game - Bruce Benedict, 2-4, HR, 2R's, 2RBI's

November 30, 2012

April 22, 1984 - The Arm Surgery Guy

Game #191 - California Angels, 2 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 1

California came into this game looking to avoid a sweep in Canada, but the outlook wasn't promising.  Toronto was starting Doyle Alexander, who has simply dominated this year, and the Angels were sending Tommy John to the mound.  Statis Pro considers John a "2-5" rated pitcher, meaning he's below average. 

The Halos struck first, though.  Brian Downing started the second inning with a single and would advance to second on a ground out by Reggie Jackson.  With two outs Gary Pettis punched a single to score Downing.

The Angels added a second run in the fourth.  In the bottom of the sixth Toronto threatened.  Back to back singles by Dave Collins and Damaso Garcia had Tommy John in trouble.  He used his lefty vs. lefty match-up effectively, striking out Lloyd Moseby.  With two outs I lifted John for reliever Doug Corbett, who got George Bell to fly out and end the inning.  Corbett did give up a run in the eighth, but Don Aase finished things up with his third save of the year while Doyle Alexander went the distance in a losing effort.  It's his fourth complete game in four starts this year, though one of those was a rain shortened game...

Winning Pitcher - Tommy John
Losing Pitcher - Doyle Alexander
Save - Don Aase
Player of the Game - John, 5 2/3IP, 0R's, 2K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

November 23, 2012

April 22, 1984 - Willie Walk-Off

Game #190 - Texas Rangers, 3 @ New York Yankees, 4

This game started as a leftie vs. leftie battle with Frank Tanana facing Dennis Rasmussen.  The Yankees drew first blood when catcher Butch Wynegar drove home Don Baylor in the second.  Billy Sample reached on a Dave Winfield error in the fifth and Curt Wilkerson ended up with an RBI on a single two batters later. 

The Yankees retook the lead in the sixth when Lou Piniella smoked a triple to plate Winfield.  Leading 2-1 in the top of the eighth, reliever Mike Armstrong had runners on second and third when outfielder George Wright hit a clutch single to give Texas the go-ahead run.

Dave Schmidt came in for the bottom of the ninth to close out the game for the Rangers.  Pinch hitter grounded out to short, leaving Texas two outs from the win.  But Steve Kemp and Wynegar both singled, and then Schmidt walked pinch hitter Ken Griffey to load the bases.  Up stepped Willie Randolph...who hit a walk-off, game winning double!!!  Yankees win!!!

Winning Pitcher - Jay Howell
Losing Pitcher - Dave Schmidt
Player of the Game - Randolph, game winning double
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield

November 21, 2012

April 22, 1984 - Gobble Gobble

Game #189 - Chicago White Sox, 7 @ Detroit Tigers, 8

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I'm thankful for Statis Pro, baseball cards, and the internet.  And of course, I'm thankful for anyone reading this silliness.

Harold Baines blasted a two run homer in the top of the first to give Chicago the lead.  The Tigers answered back in the bottom of the second with three runs, including an RBI triple by Kirk Gibson and an RBI double from Tom Brookens.  Ron Kittle wasn't having any of that, though, and put up another two run jack for the Sox to retake the lead.

It stayed 4-3 in favor of Chicago until the bottom of the seventh.  Things imploded for the pale hose.  Darrell Evans led off with a solo homer, and a few batters later Chet Lemon cranked a three run job.  By the end of the inning Detroit was leading 8-4.  Aurelio Lopez had a dicey eighth but struck out his final two batters in the ninth to earn the save.

Winning Pitcher - Doug Bair
Losing Pitcher - Salome Barojas
Save - Aurelio Lopez
Player of the Game - Bair.  He pitched an inning and a third without allowing a runner to reach base.
Hall of Famers in the Game - Carlton Fisk

I was going to set up a new poll for the site - any suggestions for a topic?  Leave a comment below...and let me know what you're thankful for this year!

November 20, 2012

April 22, 1984 - Joe Morgan Defies Logic

Oakland Athletics, 11 @ Boston Red Sox, 9

I swear I'm not using the title of this post to make a crack at Mr. Morgan's expense.

Joe Morgan came to bat five times in this game.  He walked four times and hit a home run.  His OBP is over .600 and his OPS is cartoonish.  We're seventeen games into the season and his luck with "play action cards" seems to be divinely influenced.  At some point his stats have to start dropping down to normal levels...right?

The A's were up 8-2 heading into the bottom of the fourth.  Four of those runs were generated when Carney Lansford hit a grand salami.  But the Red Sox scored three in the fourth and three more in the fifth to actually tie this game up.  In the top of the sixth Mike Davis led off with a solo homer and two batters later Morgan contributed his homer, which also plated Rickey Henderson.  After that it was relatively smooth sailing for Oakland, who crept back to a game over .500 on the season.

Winning Pitcher - Tim Conroy
Losing Pitcher - Jim Dorsey
Save - Tom Burgmeier
Player of the Game - Carney Lansford, 4-5, 2B, HR, 3R's, 5RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan, Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Dennis Eckersley

Happy Trails - Jim Dorsey

Jim was one of the more obscure players in the real 1984, only playing two games at the big league level.  To be honest, I'm not even sure why I had him start the season on the team - he looks like a classic September call up.  How did he do in Statis Pro?

Real 1984: 10.13 ERA, 2.2IP, 2BB's, 4K's, 3.00WHIP, 0-0 record
Statis Pro 84: 11.57ERA, 2.1IP, 3BB's, 3K's, 3.00WHIP, 0-1 record

Dorsey played four games in 1980 for the Angels and was part of the trade that brough Fred Lynn to California, but those two games in 1984 were the first time Dorsey made it back to the big show since 1980.  He appeared in two more games for Boston in 1985, but that was the last Dorsey would ever pitch in the majors.  8 games over three seasons and six years...but he made it, and I think that's pretty cool.

November 19, 2012

April 22, 1984 - O's Cruz to Victory

Game #187 - Minnesota Twins, 2 @ Baltimore Orioles, 3

Check out that head of hair!  It's a thing of beauty!  How did he get it all under his ball cap?

There was a good pitcher's duel in Baltimore.  Mike Boddicker of the Orioles and Ken Schrom of the Twins were slinging it pretty good.  The Twins got the bases loaded in the third but only scored one run when John Lowenstein threw out Dave Engle at home and Mickey Hatcher hit into a double play. 

The Orioles answered back in the sixth when Cal Ripken put one into the cheap seats to tie things up.  But Tom Brunansky led off the seventh with his own solo homer to put Minnesota back out in front.

In the bottom of the eighth the Twins had their best bullpen arm, Len Whitehouse, on the mound.  Gary Roenicke and Cal Ripken each walked, and Eddie Murray grounded out deep in the hole at first but advanced the runners to second and third.  That's when Todd Cruz, pinch hitting for Wayne Gross, delivered the improbable two-RBI single that turned out to be the deciding runs of the game!  Cruz was a .215ish hitter in the real 1984 but is at .500 so far this season.  Unreal.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Boddicker
Losing Pitcher - Len Whitehouse
Save - Sammy Stewart
Player of the Game - Todd Cruz, PH single, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

November 14, 2012

Week In Review: April 15-21


When I started playing this Statis Pro week, I was unemployed, living in Michigan, with a pregnant wife carrying my third child.

When I finished it, I was employed in a great new job for five months (and counting), living in Texas, and with an almost-five-month-old who has her daddy's red hair.

A lot can happen in a week of Statis Pro Baseball.

The Phenomenal Phive:

I thought I'd try a new angle to these weeks in review with my own power rankings.

#1.  Toronto Blue Jays (12-3) - Their starting pitchers are silencing bats and going deep into games, which helps them avoid their biggest weakness, their bullpen.  Their offense is on a major tear, led by speedy second baseman Damaso Garcia and underrated first sacker Willie Upshaw.  Jorge Bell's afro ain't hurting either.

#2.  Houston Astros (11-4) - Paced by the big three of Ryan/Knepper/Niekro, Houston is screaming out of the gates.  They haven't missed a beat since losing Dickie Thon.  Jose Cruz is swinging a hot bat and role players like Denny Walling and Terry Puhl have the Astros looking like the best team in the NL.

#3.  Boston Red Sox (11-3) - I think I've started Dwight Evans at three different spots in the Boston line-up, and he's hit the snot out of the ball in each one.  Their pitching staff has really only been mediocre thus far, but the offense is so potent it hasn't mattered. 

#4.  New York Yankees (10-3) - Three AL East teams in the top five, and that's not even counting Baltimore or Detroit, who have also been excellent.  Steve Kemp is smoking hits right now as New York keeps coming out ahead in ball games.

#5.  Atlanta Braves (10-4) - Dale Murphy and the Atlanta starting pitchers are carrying the team right now.  Gerald Perry of all people leads the league in walks as well.  Things keep going the Braves' way, but I can't help but think their luck is due to turn.

I don't have enough time to poor over the stat sheets for interesting tidbits, but thanks for keeping up with the blog.  Three weeks are done, May is around the corner...

November 12, 2012

April 21, 1984 - Expos Sweep the Twin Bill

Game #185 - Montreal Expos, 10 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 3

Montreal has been terrible this year, but this day could go down in the Statis Pro season as their major turning point.

The Expos and Cardinals had traded blows through the first four innings to make it a 3-3 game.  Tim Raines walked to lead off the fifth, and two outs later, Andre Dawson punished Jaquin Andujar with a two run job to give the Expos the lead.  They wound up adding five more runs in the eighth to pad their stats.

Winning Pitcher - Steve Rogers
Losing Pitcher - Andujar
Player of the Game - Tim Raines, 3-4, 3R's, HR, 3RBI's, BB, SB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

And they weren't done!

Game #186 - Montreal Expos, 10 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 4

Congrats to the St. Louis Cardinals, who had the ugliest inning of the year...in the top of the first!  Ken Oberkfell committed two errors, starter Ricky Horton could only record one out before being lifted, and the Cards ended up trailing 9-0 before one of their batters ever stepped to the plate.  Every Expos starter, including pitcher David Palmer, scored a run. 

Winning Pitcher - David Palmer
Losing Pitcher - Ricky Horton
Player of the Game - Derrel Thomas, 2-5, 2B, 3RBI's, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter (playing first base), Ozzie Smith

November 6, 2012

April 21, 1984 - Rain, Rain, Come and Stay

Game #184 - Cincinnati Reds, 0 @ San Francisco Giants, 1 (Rained Out)

The Bay Area team used their home field advantage to the fullest today.  With a slim 1-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh, the heavens opened and the rains poured.  Once again, a crazy Statis Pro "Z" card made for an unusual end to the game.

Mario Soto took the hard luck loss, despite striking out seven and collecting two hits.  The lone Giants run came on a Bob Brenly double that plated Jeffrey Leonard. 

Winning Pitcher - Atlee Hammaker
Losing Pitcher - Mario Soto
Player of the Game - Hammaker, CG SHO, 8K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Perez

November 5, 2012

April 21, 1984 - Sixto None The Richer

Game #183 - New York Mets, 1 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 3

I'm not a big Mets fan, but from a Statis Pro perspective, they can be a fun team to play with.  There are big hitters, fast runners, strong pitching, and an excellent bullpen.  It's a team that's oriented towards aggression, and that's how I've tried to use them.

Today it backfired.

Bert Berenyi was pitching a heck of a game.  Through seven innings he had only surrendered one run, a solo homer in the first to Garry Maddox.  Phillies pitcher Charlie Hudson wasn't nearly as good (eleven hits and four walks through six and a third), but had only permitted one run too.  This was largely due to two caught stealing attempts (Wally Backman and Jose Oquendo) as well as two Mets thrown out at home plate (Darryl Strawberry and Oquendo again). 

Those blunders and the two double plays New York hit into had the game knotted heading into the bottom of the eighth.  That's when Sixto Lezcano (one of the all-time great baseball names) pinch hit for reliever Tug McGraw.  HOME RUN!  Philly pulled ahead and won the game, despite a ninth inning rally by the Mets that left the bases loaded.

Winning Pitcher - Tug McGraw
Losing Pitcher - Bert Berenyi
Save - Don Carman
Player of the Game - Sixto Lezcano
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt


November 4, 2012

Rest In Peace, Pascual Perez

Terrible, terrible news I just heard today.  Pascual Perez was murdered in his home this past week.  My prayers and thoughts to his friends and family...

November 3, 2012

April 21, 1984 - Dodgers Survive Padres

Game #182 - San Diego Padres, 11 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 14

This game fell out of the ugly tree, and hit every branch on the way down.

The Padres leaped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first when Mike Scioscia's throwing error on an Alan Wiggins bunt-for-a-hit attempt allowed every San Diego starter to bat in the inning.  A two-RBI single by 1B Greg Brock cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second.

Padres' starter Andy Hawkins imploded in the bottom of the fourth.  LA scored five runs in the inning, giving them a 7-4 lead they'd never relinquish.  They led 14-5 after seventh, but a Brock error in the eighth resulted in San Diego scoring an improbable six more runs.  Closer Tom Niedenfuer, though, slammed the door in the ninth and put the game out of its misery.

Winning Pitcher - Fernando Valenzuela
Losing Pitcher - Andy Hawkins
Save - Tom Niedenfuer
Player of the Game - Tom Niedenfuer, 1IP, Save, K
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Rich Gossage

October 31, 2012

April 21, 1984 - Cubs Win With a Walk-Off Error!

Game #181 - Pittsburgh Pirates, 2 @ Chicago Cubs, 3 (10 Innings)

Since I've last posted the 2012 MLB season came to a close, with the Giants sweeping the Tigers (and keeping the Tigers winless in a World Series since...1984!).  It occurred to me that I started this Statis Pro endeavor before the 2012 season had begun.  I'm just about to finish the third week of the Statis Pro season.  Over the course of a real-time season, I almost completed three weeks of games. 

I think this will literally take the rest of my life to finish!

OK, on to the game.  The Pirates took the lead in the second when Tony Pena blasted a solo shot to make it 1-0.  They added a run in the second when Dick Ruthven walked Pena with the bases loaded. 

Ruthven pulled out of the tailspin and lasted seven innings for the Cubs.  Meanwhile, Keith Moreland knocked a single to score RF Gary Matthews, who had reached base on a Jim Morrison error.  John Candelaria kept pitching into the eighth when Matthews crushed his own homer to tie the game. 

Lee Smith worked the eighth, ninth, and tenth innings without permitting a run.  In the bottom of the tenth pinch hitter Leon Durham led off with a single.  One out later Bob Dernier roped a double to left field...but Lee Mazzilli booted the ball!  This allowed Durham, who was on third after the double, to score for the win!  Chicago is back to a .500 record on the season.

Winning Pitcher - Lee Smith
Losing Pitcher - Cecilio Gaunte
Player of the Game - Lee Smith, 3IP, 0R's, 5K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

October 29, 2012

April 21, 1984 - Knepper, Cruz Keep the Astros Rolling

Game #180 - Houston Astros, 10 @ Atlanta Braves, 4

Our first Diamond King!  I wish I actually owned this set, instead of lifting it off the internet.  One day!

The Astros took a half game lead over the Braves with their win in this game.  The Astros started tagging Braves' starter Rick Camp with runs through the first four innings.  It didn't help Atlanta's chances when Albert Hall committed two errors in the outfield and Bob Horner added another at third. 

The Braves started coming back in the seventh, making it a 5-3 Houston lead, but the Astros added five more runs in the eighth to make it a route.  Three of those runs came from a home run by Jerry Mumphrey.  Knepper lasted seven innings for his league-leading fourth win and Jose Cruz earned his third "player of the game" honors on the year.

Winning Pitcher - Bob Knepper
Losing Pitcher - Pete Falcone
Player of the Game - Jose Cruz, 2-4, 3R's, 2B, RBI, SB

October 24, 2012

April 21, 1984 - Blue Jays Improve to 12-3

Game #179 - California Angels, 0 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 6

Everything is going Toronto's way.

I threw out reliever Jim Acker for the rare spot start today (he only started three games in the real 1984).  He's a Statis Pro 2-5 rating, meaning he's not super reliable.  But if this card teaches us anything, it's that a steely glare and a little luck will get you far in the 1984 do-over.

Acker tossed a shutout, with the Angels stranding 9 runners throughout the game.  Jorge Bell (as it was spelled back in the day) went two for four with a homer, double, and 4 RBI's.  Moseby added his own two run blast.




Winning Pitcher - Jim Acker
Losing Pitcher - Ron Romanick
Player of the Game - Acker, CG SHO, 4K's, awesome 'stache
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

October 22, 2012

April 21, 1984 - Yankee Scrub?

Game #178 - Texas Rangers, 1 @ New York Yankees, 4

I came across this article while trying to find a jpeg of Steve Kemp.  The author created an "All Scrub" team of the 1980's Yankees, and Kemp made the starting lineup.  The Statis Pro Steve Kemp hasn't gotten the memo yet that he's supposed to stink.  In this game he earned his second "player of the game" honors on the year by going 3 for 4, including a two run homer in the first.  He's now hitting .475 in 40 at bats this season!

Rangers pitcher Dickie Noles had a weird game.  He's normally a "2-5" rated pitcher, which in Statis Pro is below average.  I'm playing the rule stipulation that you flip a "Fast Action Card" at the start of the game to determine if the pitchers have great, good, average, bad, or terrible "stuff."  Sure enough, Noles was assigned terrible stuff, meaning his rating dropped to "2-3".  The other rule with this stipulation is that you can't change pitchers unless his pitcher rating drops even lower.  The crazy thing, though, was that Noles pitched a complete game loss, only giving up 4 runs over eight innings! 

The Rangers couldn't put anything together against Yankee starter Ray Fontenot.  He went into the eighth inning before finally giving up a RBI single to Billy Sample.  Larry Parrish hit two doubles to give him 11 on the season, but Texas couldn't do much besides that.  The Rangers have now lost five games in a row.

Winning Pitcher - Ray Fontenot
Losing Pitcher - Dickie Noles
Save - Dave Righetti
Player of the Game - Steve Kemp
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield

October 21, 2012

April 21, 1984 - Shalom, Salome

Game #177 - Seattle Mariners, 6 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 1

I've decided to make a more concerted effort to ensure a player is only appearing on one team at a time.  As such, I made this Salome's last appearance for the Mariners until the All-Star Break (he's currently in the White Sox bullpen).

Boy did he make it count!

Barojas went eight innings, scattering five hits and a walk while striking out three.  In his three starts for Seattle this season he's 3-0.  That accounts for half of the Mariners' wins.  I have a feeling they're going to miss him...

(And a big shout out to the Kingdome, which is featured in this pic.  I lived in the Seattle area for three years as a kid and saw a bunch of games here - I loved it despite all the flack it usually gets...)

Winning Pitcher - Salome Barojas
Losing Pitcher - Mike Caldwell
Player of the Game - Barojas
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount

October 17, 2012

April 21, 1984 - Rain Delayed

Game #176 - Chicago White Sox, 5 @ Detroit Tigers, 8

Tonight in the real 2012 season the Yankees/Tigers game was rained out.  The Tigers are one win away from going to the World Series and having the chance to do something they haven't accomplished since 1984...

...win a World Series.

As much as I love Eddie Murray and my Baltimore Orioles, I kind of hope this Statis Pro season duplicates what the real Tigers achieved.  I think the 84 Tigers are one of the most iconic and memorable World Series winners ever.  Great hitters, great pitchers, clutch wins, huge personalities - this team had it all.

(It blows my mind there are no 1984 Tigers in the Hall of Fame.  They certainly come close with players like Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Darrell Evans, Jack Morris...  I'm not saying these guys should be in the Hall, just that it's surprising no one is...)

In this game the White Sox jumped to an early 3-0 lead, due somewhat to errors by Larry Herndon and SS Doug Baker.  Chicago was still leading 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth when pitcher Floyd Bannister gave up three consecutive hits to Lou Whitaker, Chet Lemon, and Lance Parrish.  That brought Kirk Gibson to the plate.  You would think Bannister had the leftie on leftie advantage, but alas, Gibson squashed that.  One grand slam later and the Tigers took the lead and never surrendered it.

Winning Pitcher - Juan Berenguer
Losing Pitcher - Bert Roberge
Save - Willie Hernandez
Player of the Game - Gibson, 1-3, Grand Slam, BB, SB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Carlton Fisk

October 14, 2012

April 21, 1984 - The HEAT is ON

Game #175 - Kansas City Royals, 0 @ Cleveland Indians, 2

Neal Heaton just blew my mind.

After his dominant pitching performance in today's game, I cracked open my 85 Topps set to find his card - but he didn't have one.  I've had sets in the past that have been missing a card or two, but a quick Google search yielded no proof of its existence.  Why did Topps pass on Heaton?  He led Cleveland in games started in 1984.  Was it another contract dispute between a baseball card company and a player?  A gross oversight?  Another slight to the city of Cleveland?  Why, Neal, Why???

Heaton went the distance in this game, scattering nine hits and two walks without surrendering a run.  The Royals helped him out by hitting into five double plays.  That's two straight 2-0 victories by the Indians over the Royals.  Ouch KC, time to wake up your bats!

Winning Pitcher - Neal Heaton
Losing  Pitcher - Larry Gura
Player of the Game - Heaton, CG SHO, 2K's

I need to get serious about buying the 1985 Donruss and Fleer sets for this blog.  In the meantime, enjoy some cheesey, vintage 80's music in honor of Neal.


October 11, 2012

April 21, 1984 - Carbonite Armas

 
Game #174 - Oakland A's, 2 @ Boston Red Sox, 10

Our four month old daughter is still crib-sleeping in our bedroom, where my computer and scanner are, and I was too afraid scanning my Tony Armas card might wake the baby.  So I lazily looked for a Google image I could use instead.

I'm so glad I did!

I have no idea who produced this but it is SWEET!  If you're a fan of the real 1984 season you would love to get your hands on the metallic version of the AL home run champion doing his best Han Solo circa Empire Strikes Back impersonation.

Speaking of home runs...Tony hit two today.  That brings him to eight on the year.  Sox pitcher Al Nipper escaped a two run first inning to pitch eight on the day.  I also realized the Red Sox have won nine straight games.  You don't easily get a sense for those kind of things when you play every game with every team.

Winning Pitcher - Al Nipper
Losing Pitcher - Steve McCatty
Player of the Game - Armas, 2-5, 2HR's, 4RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

October 6, 2012

April 21, 1984 - Twins on a Roll?

Game # 173 - Minnesota Twins, 11 @ Baltimore Orioles, 5

Skinny Kirby Puckett!  As a kid it was kind of funny to track Kirby's weight gain each year with my new Topps set (I used to do the same with Tony Gwynn).  Baseball is funny in that it might be the hardest sport to play but still one of the most accepting in terms of varying body types.

Now that I'm in the back half of my 30's and my metabolism is nowhere near what it used to be, I have more empathy for what Kirby and Tony went through.

The Twins started the year with nine straight losses but they've split their last six games.  Perhaps they're righting the ship?  Frank Viola had a couple of rough innings but managed to go seven deep while giving up four runs. 

The score was actually tied heading into the sixth when Tom Brunansky brutalized a pitch for a grand slam.  Tim Teufel added a homer as well, but Kirby had the best day for Minnesota.  He collected four hits and also recorded two outfield assists, both times when John Shelby was trying to take an extra base.

Winning Pitcher - Frank Viola
Losing Pitcher - Dennis Martinez
Player of the Game - Puckett; 4-6, 2B, R, 2RBI's, 2 OF Asst's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

October 2, 2012

April 20, 1984 - Giant Comeback

Game #172 - Cincinnati Reds, 6 @ San Francisco Giants, 8

It's been a few games since I've thought I made an error as manager, but this one certainly broke that streak.

The Reds jumped out to a huge lead, they were up 6-1 after six innings.  In the top of the seventh I allowed starting pitcher Frank Pastore, who was truly awful in the real 1984 but dealing well this day, to bat for himself and pitch into the seventh.  Chili Davis led off the seventh with a homer and Al Oliver and Jeoffrey Leonard followed that with two hits of their own before Pastore was finally yanked too late.  Error #1 for me. 

My second mistake came in the next inning.  The Reds were only leading now 6-5.  Their pitcher was due to hit in the ninth, so I wanted to save their best reliever, Ted Power, for the bottom of the ninth.  This meant I used scrubs Brad Lesley and Bill Scherrer to try and preserve the lead, which they didn't manage to do.  Before I knew it the Giants were up 8-6 and Power never got into the game.  Sorry Reds fans, that one is on me.

Winning Pitcher - Greg Minton
Losing Pitcher - Brad Lesley
Save - Frank Williams
Player of the Game - Chili Davis, 4-5, HR, 2RBI's, 2R's
 

September 30, 2012

April 20, 1984 - Strawberry in Season

Game #171 - New York Mets, 8 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 6

Darryl Strawberry had five at-bats in this game.  In the first inning he knocked a two-out double to score Keith Hernandez.  In the third he reached on an error by Mike Schmidt.  In the fifth Shane Rawley managed to strike him out.  In the eighth he hit a solo home run.  And in the ninth he capped off his day with an RBI single that scored Mookie Wilson.  Strawberry is the hottest player in the National League since the season started.  And I always thought this was one of the best looking cards in the 1985 Topps set.

Dwight Gooden finally gave up his first two runs on of the season in his third start.  They came courtesy of solo homers from Ozzie Virgil and Tim Corcoran.  Innings-eater Wes Gardner let the Phillies back into the ball game when he surrendered three runs in a third of an inning, but the Mets hung on to win the game.

Winning Pitcher - Dwight Gooden
Losing Pitcher - Shane Rawley
Save - Doug Sisk
Player of the Game - Strawberry, 3-5, 2B, HR, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt

September 27, 2012

April 20, 1984 - Grandpa FTW! (100th Post)

Game #170 - San Diego Padres, 3 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 8

If you read this blog with any frequency you might recall my father is a huge Dodgers fan.  He was in town this past week and as it so happened LA was the next game on the schedule.  For the first time this season I wasn't managing against myself - I was playing with another human.  And he happened to have a Dodger shirt with him, go figure...

Orel Hershiser escaped a first inning jam with runners on the corners, but Mark Thurmond couldn't do the same in his half of the inning.  He gave up four runs, five hits, and a walk in a mere 1/3 of an inning before getting yanked, and that's all my dad needed to cruise to victory.

Bill Russell went four for four and his double play partner Steve Sax went two for four with two runs scored.  Hershiser pitched seven innings and got three strikeouts on the day too, but Mike Marshall was the biggest star.  He went two for four with a double and a homer to bring the Dodgers to an 8-7 record on the season.

Grandpa was pleased...until his newest granddaughter spit up all over his Dodgers shirt...

Winning Pitcher - Orel Hershiser
Losing Pitcher - Mark Thurmond
Player of the Game - Marshall, 2-4, HR, 2B, 2R's, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn

September 21, 2012

April 20, 1984 - Ray Gun

Game #169 - Pittsburgh Pirates, 7 @ Chicago Cubs, 4

I feel like every time I feature a new player on this blog I'm going on and on about how they were one of my favorite players as a kid.  Maybe they're all my favorites?  Johnny Ray is another one I have lots of love for. 

I played second base for most of my little league career.  I was the scrappy kid who couldn't hit worth a lick but caught most everything hit at him.  I dreamed of being a Johnny Ray type player - good contact, not a ton of power but dependable with the stick.

Pittsburgh got a good game out of Ray today.  Trouble started brewing for Chicago in the first.  Lee Lacy hit a two-out triple and Jason Thompson brought him home with a RBI single.  The Cubs answered back in the bottom of the first with two runs of their own.  Ray tied things up in the third with a solo homer and Bill Madlock added another bomb in the fourth to give the Pirates the lead. 

Chicago got the lead back in the fourth when pitcher Rich Bordi had an RBI single to score Ron Cey (Bordi had zero RBI's in the real 1984) and Pirates pitcher Larry McWilliams walked Gary Matthews with the bases loaded.  He struck out Leon Durham to get out of the jam, one of his ten K's on the day.  Ray tied things up in the fifth with an RBI hit and a third solo homer from Pittsburgh, this time by Doug Frobel, gave the Pirates the lead for good.

Winning Pitcher - Larry McWilliams
Losing Pitcher - Rich Bordi
Save - Kent Tekulve
Player of the Game - Johnny Ray, 3-5, HR, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

September 7, 2012

April 20, 1984 - Something Similar Going on Here...

Check out today's two players of the game.  It's practically the same card!

I haven't logged multiple games in the same post in months, so enjoy the double dose.

Game #167 - California Angels, 9 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 11

This was a long, strange game.  In the bottom of the first George Bell supposedly beat out a grounder up the first base line, but Angels starter Mike Witt, catcher Bob Boone, and first baseman Rod Carew were so enraged by what they considered a bad call that all three were ejected!  You've got to love Statis Pro and crazy "Z" plays like this.  The Angels had to use four relievers just to finish this game after the early exit of Witt.

Dave Stieb was cruising through the first five innings of the game, but then another "Z" play happened:  rain delay.  I actually pulled out my history book of baseball stadiums to verify Toronto wasn't in a dome in 1984.  I pulled Stieb after the rain delay and Jimmy Key proceeded to surrender seven runs over two innings.  Lucky for the Blue Jays they had built an insurmountable lead.  Fred Lynn was 3 for 5 in the losing effort, with a triple and two homers. 

Winning Pitcher - Dave Stieb
Losing Pitcher - Bruce Kison
Save - Roy Lee Jackson
Player of the Game - Willie Upshaw, 3-5, 2B, HR, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

Game #168 - Houston Astros, 3 @ Atlanta Braves, 4
On paper this looked like a pitcher's duel, as Joe Niekro and Rick Mahler have both been aces in the early going of this Statis Pro season, but both gave up three runs before getting pulled.  Mahler made it through six innings, but with all the runners the Astros stranded the damage should have been worse.  Niekro was grooving until he reached the eighth.  A Claudell Washington walk, Dale Murphy single, and Bob Horner homer (for his first RBI's of the season - after a twelve game drought) had the game tied and both pitchers facing a no decision.  It stayed that way until the bottom of the ninth.  There were two outs and Astros ace reliever Bill Dawley on the mound.  Gerald Perry dug into the batter's box and hit a...WALK-OFF HOMER!!!  BRAVES WIN!!!

Winning Pitcher - Donnie Moore
Losing Pitcher - Bill Dawley
Player of the Game - Gerald Perry, 2-4, BB, Game Winning Home Run

August 28, 2012

April 20, 1984 - Gator

Game #166 - Texas Rangers, 2 @ New York Yankees, 8

Ron Guidry was a dominant pitcher in his day, just a few injuries short of a Hall of Fame career.  1984 was not one of his better seasons, but Statis Pro Guidry hasn't gotten that message.  Despite having a "2-5" pitching rating, sub par in Statis Pro, he has been a ragin' Cajun.

Things didn't begin well for Guidry.  Buddy Bell hit an RBI sacrifice fly and Pete O'Brien added an RBI double to give Texas the early 2-0 lead.  But Charlie Hough gave it away in the bottom of the first.  With the bases loaded he walked three batters.  Steve Kemp, the hottest AL hitter not named Joe Morgan, added a solo homer later as the Yankees rolled.

Winning Pitcher - Ron Guidry
Losing Pitcher - Charlie Hough
Player of the Game - Guidry, 8IP, 6H's, 3K's, 2R's

August 27, 2012

April 20, 1984 - More Moore, Less Molitor

Game #165 - Seattle Mariners, 2 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 10

Question:  In the real 1984, how many home runs did Charlie Moore hit?

Answer:  Two.

Question:  In the Statis Pro 1984 season, how many home runs did Charlie Moore hit today?
Answer:  Two.

With a warm up jacket like that, I'm surprised he didn't hit 20.

The Brewers jumped all over Seattle starter Matt Young with a three run homer in the first from catcher Bill Krueger.  They added three more on a homer by Moore in the second.  Moore added another jack in the sixth to chase away Young for good, though the Mariner pitcher did have seven strikeouts on the day.

Winning Pitcher - Jamie Cocanower
Losing Pitcher - Matt Young
Player of the Game - Charlie Moore, 2-4, 2HR's, 4RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Paul Molitor, Robin Yount

Happy Trails - Paul Molitor
Today's game was also the last to feature future Hall of Famer member Paul Molitor.  If I'm not mistaken he had a gruesome elbow injury that caused him to miss most of the season.  How did 1984 Molitor compare to Statis Pro Molitor?

Real 1984:  3R's, 10H's, 1 2B, 6RBI's, 1SB, .239SLG, 2W's, 8K's, .217AVG
Statis Pro:   4R's, 13H's, 3 2B, 3RBI's, 0SB, .281SLG, 1W, 11K's, .228AVG

My Statis Pro Molitor had 11 more at-bats, I'm not sure how I got such a difference between the two over 13 games...

August 18, 2012

April 20, 1984 - I fought the Law...

Game #164 - Chicago White Sox, 11 @ Detroit Tigers, 4

...and Vance Law won!

I feel bad - I completed this game over a week ago but am only now getting around to posting.  This was the busiest week of the year for me professionally, not to mention one of my daughter's and my wife have a birthday last Sunday/this Sunday.  Priorities!

As a kid I was a minor fan of Vance Law.  Maybe it was the glasses, maybe it was the fact his dad played ball too - I've always dug MLB lineage.  He looks more like a junior high science teacher than professional athlete. 

Law's two run homer in the first capped off a quick 3-0 lead for the south side.  Detroit responded in their half of the inning when Chet Lemon doubled home Trammell and Kirk Gibson.  Chicago pulled ahead though, as they managed a whopping six home runs in the game.  Vance had a second one, as did his non-biological brother Rudy, Greg Walker, Ron Kittle, and Greg Luzinski.  Tom Seaver didn't have his best stuff but he did manage to strikeout six Tigers.  Lance Parrish was the lone bright spot for Detroit.  He clubbed two homers of his own.

Winning Pitcher - Tom Seaver
Losing Pitcher - Milt Wilcox
Player of the Game - Vance Law, 3-5, 2B, 2HR's, 3R's, 4RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tom Seaver

August 13, 2012

April 20, 1984 - Royal Pain

Game #163 - Kansas City Royals, 0 @ Cleveland Indians, 2

There are guys in this Statis Pro league I've started rooting for without any real reason why, and Bert Blyleven is one of them.  Maybe I joined his band wagon because of his delayed enshrinement into the Hall of Fame.  Maybe it was Chris Berman's classic "Bert Be Home Blyleven" nickname, I don't know.  But Bert had a heck of a game today.

Blyleven pitched a complete game shutout.  He limited KC to three hits (two by George Brett) and just one walk.  Meanwhile, his battery mate Chris Bando hit two solo homers to provide all the offense Cleveland needed.

It looks like the picture taken in this card was Cleveland's old Municipal Stadium.  I went to one game there, and it is by far the worst stadium I ever sat in.  The seats were so small and crowded your knees ran into the next row, not to mention they didn't even face towards the action.  What's your least favorite ballpark?

Winning Pitcher - Blyleven
Losing Pitcher - Bud Black
Player of the Game - Blyleven
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett, Bert Blyleven

August 5, 2012

April 20, 1984 - A Complete Major League Season

Game #162 - Oakland A's, 1 @ Boston Red Sox, 9

I just finished the 162nd game of season.  If I had stuck to one team and played their season only, it would have wrapped up.  That feels like an accomplishment.  Does that mean I'm 1/13th through with the season?

In any event, it wasn't much of a game for Oakland.  Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd was on the mound and didn't have his best stuff, but somehow he went eight innings and only gave up one run.  Tony Phillips managed to go 4 for 4, but the rest of the lineup only scrapped together three more hits.

The Boston offense was well balanced.  Every player recorded a hit, including three solo homers from Marty Barrett, Dwight Evans, and Tony Armas.  The four A's pitchers did induce eleven strikeouts but that was the only highlight for their game.

Winning Pitcher - Dennis Boyd
Losing Pitcher - Curt Young
Player of the Game - Boyd, 8IP, 1R, 5K's, picked off Rickey Henderson
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan, Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

July 29, 2012

April 20, 1984 - Four Twenty

Game #161 - Minnesota Twins, 2 @ Baltimore Orioles, 8

I chose the title of this post to see how many potheads will boost the number of page views for my blog.  I saw the same thing happen when I stumbled into using "Friday the 13th."

Anyway, onto the game...  The Twins started things off the right way when Tom Brunansky hit a solo homer in the top of the second and DH Randy Bush doubled home Gary Gaetti to give them a 2-0 lead.  Gary Roenicke cut that in half with his own solo homer in the third. 

Things stayed quiet until the bottom of the sixth.  Mike Smithson had been cruising along but loaded the bases with two outs.  Floyd Rayford, one of my all-time favorite Orioles, punched a double to score Eddie Murray and Wayne Gross.  (Lowenstein was held up at third.  When Puckett, Brunansky, and Mickey Hatcher are all playing the outfield for Minnesota, they have three "T5" rated arms, which is the strongest arm rating in Statis Pro.  I don't think any other outfield in 1984 can boast that.) 

Smithson pitched through the seventh having only allowed the three runs, but it was enough for the loss.  Len Whitehouse got torched for five runs in 2/3of an inning in the eighth, putting the game out of reach. 

Winning Pitcher - Storm Davis
Losing Pitcher - Mike Smithson
Player of the Game - Floyd Rayford, 2-4, 2 doubles, 3RBI's, threw out Kirby Puckett trying to steal
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

July 28, 2012

April 19, 1984 - You're not just good, you're Gulden



Game #160 - Cincinnati Reds, 6 @ San Francisco Giants, 5

San Fran jumped all over Reds starter Joe Price in the bottom of the first.  Despite striking out the first two Giants batters, Bob Brenly connected on a two run homer to give the Bay Area a quick lead.  The Reds battled back in the fourth, led by a Wayne Krenchicki two run jack and a RBI double from Brad Gulden.  The Reds extended their lead to 5-2 when Krenchicki hit yet another two run dinger.  Krenchicki is on fire so far this Statis Pro season.

The Giants tied things up in the fifth, though, when Dusty Baker and Steve Nicoscia contributed three RBI's.  It stayed knotted 5-5 until the top of the fifth.  Brad Gulden cranked a solo home run to give the Reds the lead and eventually the ball game.

Winning Pitcher - Bob Owchinko
Losing Pitcher - Bob Lacey
Save - John Franco
Player of the Game - Gulden, 2-5, 2b, HR, 2RBI's

That's the last game for April 19 - I'll get the stats and standings updated this weekend!

July 23, 2012

April 19, 1984 - Biggest Inning of the Year

Game #159 - Montreal Expos, 12 @ New York Mets, 5

I finally got my scanner working again!  The last few posts I was copying off the internet, but Jim Wohlford represents a return to my collection...

The Mets jumped out to a 5-0 lead when Bryn Smith gave up RBI doubles to Keith Hernandez and George Foster in the first and a Mookie Wilson double in the third.  Miguel Dilone pinch hit for Smith in the sixth, and that's when the wheels fell off for Sid Fernandez and the Mets.  "El Sid" gave up a hit to Dilone and walked three straight Expos after that before finally getting lifted.  Brent Gaff came in for relief and got two quick outs with the bases loaded, but gave up another four hits and a walk.  That's when Jim Wohlford took Wes Gardner deep for a grand slam home run.  When all was said and done, the Expos scored ten runs in the inning, which I'm pretty sure is a record for this Statis Pro League.

Winning Pitcher - Bryn Smith
Losing Pitcher - Sid Fernandez
Player of the Game - Wohlford, 2-3, Grand Slam, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

July 19, 2012

April 19, 1984 - Who is Kevin McReynolds?

Game #158 - San Diego Padres, 4 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 1 (Extra Innings)

My rapid growth in learning all 26 MLB teams and a good chunk of their rosters came from my first baseball card set, 1985 Topps.  I would divide the cards by team, create starting lineups and pitching rotations, all that kind of stuff.  I distinctly remember not understanding why the Padres didn't seem to have a third outfielder with significant playing time outside of Tony Gwynn and Carmelo Martinez.  This trend continued for a couple more years until I received a set with McReynolds on the Mets.  I was dumb founded!  Who was this guy?  When I looked at the back of his card and saw all those stellar seasons on the Padres my jaw dropped.  (This seems funny in retrospect, given our 24 hour a day Sportscenter coverage and unlimited access to the internet - but hey, it was the 80's!)  I found out a while later, maybe through a Beckett Baseball Card guide or something, that McReynolds refused to sign the Topps contract because he didn't think it was enough.  Can you imagine not allowing yourself to appear on a baseball card?  Doesn't that have to be the best moment of your career - seeing your first card?  Just to add context, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez are two more recent examples of guys who turned down Topps.  I suppose that's their economic right, but c'mon man, we want your card!  Anyway, I've always held a grudge against McReynolds since.

Lefties Tim Lollar and Rick Honeycutt were holding their respective lineups in check.  The game was tied 1-1 in the top of the ninth.  Despite a lead off double by pinch hitter Tim Flannery the Padres didn't score.  In the bottom of the ninth Goose Gossage got himself into a major jam.  He had the bases loaded with no outs, but retired Steve Sax, Bill Russell, and Pedro Guerrero to send the game into extra frames.  Dodger reliever Pat Zachry got two quick outs in the tenth, but got into his own bases loaded situation.  Unfortunately for LA, he plunked Flannery for the go ahead run, and Terry Kennedy added a two run single after that. 

Winning Pitcher - Goose Gossage
Losing Pitcher - Pat Zachry
Save - Greg Booker
Player of the Game - Kevin McReynolds, 2-5, R, RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

Dodgers SS Dave Anderson got injured for 9 games, and Steve Garvey suffered a minor ding and will have to miss his next game.