March 31, 2012

April 13, 1984 - Four More

Game #96 - Milwaukee Brewers, 6 @ Kansas City Royals, 2
The Brewers took control of this game early and never gave the Royals a chance.  Jim Sundberg tagged KC starter Larry Gura for a two run homer in the third and added an RBI double in the Brewers three-run sixth inning.  Jamie Cocanower, meanwhile, was giving up a healthy amount of hits and walks to the Royals but Kansas City couldn't plate any of their runners.  Cocanower took a shutout into the ninth until Don Slaught finally scored the first RBI for KC.  The Royals got one more but it was too little, too late.

Winning Pitcher - Jamie Cocanower
Losing Pitcher - Larry Gura
Player of the Game - Sundberg, 2-3, HR, 2B, 3RBI's, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, George Brett

Game #97 - Seattle Mariners, 6 @ Minnesota Twins, 3
Can you believe the Twins actually led this game 3-0 at one point?  Kent Hrbek smoked a two RBI double in the first and a Randy Bush sacrifice fly scored Tim Teufel in the second.  Dave Henderson and Alvin Davis had RBI hits in the third but the Mariners took the lead when Bob Kearney, the light hitting Seattle catcher, cranked a two run homer.  Twins pitcher John Butcher carved up eight strikeouts (hah! get it?  because his name is "butcher".  is it funny if I have to explain it?), but allowed five total runs over six and two-thirds.  Jim Beattie, who had given up those three runs in the first two innings, straightened things out for the Mariners and lasted eight innings for the win.  Minnesota is still winless at 0-8.

Winning Pitcher - Jim Beattie
Losin Pitcher - John Butcher
Save - Mike Stanton
Player of the Game - Beattie, 8IP, 5K's

Game #98 - Chicago White Sox, 3 @ New York Yankees, 4 (10 innings)
I made a slight alteration to the Yankees lineup I had been using and Dave Winfield rewarded my managerial genius with the best player performance of the year!  Previously I had been hitting Winfield at clean-up and Mattingly third.  I switched them around for this game and Winfield crushed a two run homer in the bottom of the first.  The White Sox, though, retook the lead with individual runs in the second, third, and fourth inning thanks to solo home runs from Greg Luzinski and Harold Baines as well as an RBI double from Scott Fletcher.  Yankees starter Dennis Rasmussen calmed down after that, though, and lasted eight innings while striking out an eye-popping twelve Chicago hitters.  Tom Seaver was pitching with the lead in the bottom of the sixth but Dave Winfield hit his second homer of the game, this one a solo shot.  The game stayed knotted into the bottom of the tenth when, with one out, Dave Winfield became the first player on the season to hit three homers in a game.  Walk-off homerun, New York wins!!!!!!!

Winning Pitcher - Jay Howell
Losing Pitcher - Ron Reed
Player of the Game - Winfield, 3HR's, all 4RBI's for the Yankees, walk-off homer
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tom Seaver, Dave Winfield

Game #99 - California Angels, 6 @ Oakland A's, 3
Rod Carew only had three homeruns in the real 1984, so you could imagine my surprise when he started the game in the top of the first with a lead off home run.  It was 5-0 Angels thanks to additional homers from Fred Lynn and Brian Downing after five innings.  Geoff Zahn was cruising along until the sixth when he gave up solo shots to Carney Lansford and Mike Heath.  Heath would add a second homer in the bottom of the ninth, but the Angels secured the victory. 

Winning Pitcher - Geoff Zahn
Losing Pitcher - Larry Sorensen
Save - Doug Corbett
Player of the Game - Rod Carew, 2-4, HR, 2R's, 1BB

In honor of Mr. Carew, how about a homage to his "mad hits":

Beastie Boys - Sure shot by gotnofx

March 30, 2012

April 13, 1984 - Defeated

Before we get started with the review of today's game, I want to give a well earned plug to Play at the Plate.  He let me participate in a "pack war," and though I haven't fared too well in the scoring, it was an honor just to be a part of it.

Game #95 - Detroit Tigers, 5 @ Boston Red Sox, 6
If I'm not mistaken (and I'm too lazy to verify it) this was the home opener for the Red Sox.  I'm sure they would have rather faced someone else besides the undefeated Detroit Tigers.

The score was 1-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth when Tigers starter Milt Wilcox had a meltdown of epic proportions.  Tony Armas and Bill Buckner led things off with back to back solo shots.  Wilcox proceeded to walk Rich Gedman, induce ground outs from Jerry Remy and Jackie Gutierrez, and walk Wade Boggs.  This brought up Dwight Evans with runners on the corners.  He proceeded to bomb Wilcox with a three run homer and the third round-tripper of the inning.

The Tigers started clawing back though, as large jungle cats are apt to do.  It was 6-3 in the eighth with runners on the corner when the scorching-hot Howard Johnson stepped into the batter's box.  But before he could hit, the Red Sox challenged the bat HoJo was using.  The umpire declared it was improperly weighted and called Johnson out.  Not corked, mind you, but "improperly weighted."  The incident cut the Tigers comeback short, and Detroit lost for the first time this season.

Winning Pitcher - Al Nipper
Losing Pitcher - Milt Wilcox
Save - Charlie Mitchell
Player of the Game - Dewey, 2-4, HR, 4RBI's This is his second POG.
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

I'm sorry for the long time between posts - I was out of town for a few days.  Thanks for hanging in there!

March 23, 2012

April 12, 1984 - Start of Divisional Games

These are the last two games of April 12, as it looks like this was another major travel day for most teams.  If I'm not mistaken, though, these last two games were the first ones featuring opposing teams from the same division...

Game #93 - California Angels, 5 @ Oakland Athletics, 6
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third inning when Bill Almon sent a Tommy John pitch over the fence for a home run.  The Angels answered back in the top of the fourth.  Bobby Grich doubled and moved to third when Rickey Henderson bobbled the ball in left field.  Brian Downing then singled home Grich, and Downing scored behind a Juan Beniquez double.  The Angels added runs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth to give them a 5-2 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth the A's made their come back attempt against ace closer Don Aase.  Pinch hitter Mike Davis singled.  Mike Heath struck out, but pinch hitter Bruce Bochte walked to put two men on.  Pinch hitter Gary Hancock dribbled an infield hit to load the bases with one out, and Aase was struggling.  He induced a strikeout from Rickey Henderson, though, to make it two outs.  But 2B Tony Phillips cracked a single to score two runs, making the lead only 5-4!  Aase got yanked and in came Curt Kaufman.  He gave up a bloop single to Carney Lansford to once again load the bases.  Hulking Dave Kingman stepped to the plate.  He tied the game for the A's...on a walk!  Dwayne Murphy struck out but with the game tied it went to extra frames.

Bill Caudill came in and retired the Angels in order in the top of the tenth.  In the bottom half of the inning, Mike Davis once again started a rally by doubling.  Mike Heath hit a sacrifice fly to move Davis to third.  Kaufman got yanked for John Curtis, who walked Bochte to put runners on the corner.  Joe Morgan was also walked.  With the bases loaded Rickey Henderson was up.  So far in the game he had two fielding errors, two strikeouts, and had hit into a double play.  This time, though, he smoked a double for the game winning RBI.  Sweet redemption!

Winning Pitcher - Bill Caudill
Losing Pitcher - John Curtis
Player of the Game - Mike Davis, 2-2 (started the scoring in the 9th and 10th)
Hall of Famers in the Game - Reggie Jackson, Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan

Game #94 Atlanta Braves, 2 @ San Diego Padres, 3
The Braves were riding a four game win streak and the Padres a three game losing streak.  Dale Murphy launched a two run bomb in the first to give Atlanta a quick 2-0 lead.  Steve Garvey knocked in Alan Wiggins in the bottom of the first to put one on the board for San Diego.  The Padres tied the game in the sixth when Carmelo Martinez doubled home Tony Gwynn.  Tim Lollar and Rick Mahler both went seven innings and each surrendered two runs, but despite their stellar pitching, both received no decisions.  (I also batted Rick Mahler in the eight spot for the Braves to try something different.  He had a .296 AVG in the real 1984.  He went 0-2 with a walk.)  In the bottom of the eighth lefty specialist Terry Forster was pitching for Atlanta.  Alan Wiggins walked and moved to third on a Gwynn single.  Garvey hit a sacrifice fly to left that was deep enough to plate Wiggins.  Craig Lefferts gave up two hits in the ninth but held the Braves scoreless for the win and save.

Winning Pitcher - Greg Harris
Losing Pitcher - Terry Forster
Save - Lefferts
Player of the Game - Steve Garvey, 1-3, 2RBI's, Sac Fly
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn

March 22, 2012

April 12, 1984 - Eject! Eject!

Game #91 - Texas Rangers, 3 @ Detroit Tigers, 4
This game got quirky in a hurry.  In the top of the second OF Mickey Rivers got lippy with the home plate umpire, who promptly ejected Rivers for criticizing a called strike.  So mid at-bat Bobby Jones had to come into the game to replace Rivers.  RBI singles in the bottom of the inning from Larry Herndon and Howard Johnson had the Tigers out in front early, 2-0.  An error by Alan Trammell in the top of the third allowed C Donnie Scott to score, but the Tigers would have a 4-2 lead heading into the top of the ninth.  Willie Hernandez came in to relieve Dan Petry, who lasted eight innings with nine strikeouts.  Curt Wilkerson and Alan Bannister both singled, and move to third and second on a wild pitch by Hernandez.  Pinch hitter Billy Sample poked a single of his own that scored Wilkerson, but Bannister was thrown out at home trying to score.  Hernandez got pulled and Aurelio Lopez struck out Gary Ward to end the game.  The Tigers are still undefeated on the season, though this was their closest call.

Winning Pitcher - Dan Petry
Losing Pitcher - Frank Tanana
Save - Aurelio Lopez
Player of the Game - Petry, 8IP, 9K's, 4H's, 2R's

Game #92 - Minnesota Twins, 5 @ New York Yankees, 6
The Twins haven't won yet this season, though they nearly pulled it off in this game.  A sacrifice fly by Kent Hrbek scored Darrell Brown to give them a 1-0 lead after the top of the first, but the Yankees answered back.  Frank Viola loaded the bases and did something I've been anxiously awaiting since I started this Statis Pro season:  he hit Don Baylor with a pitch.  As a kid I LOVED seeing Don Baylor get plunked.  He'd stick his beefy arm out and take one without the slightest grimace of pain.  It scored a run, and then Viola balked to score Lou Piniella too.  Minnesota got another run to tie things up in the second.  In the top of the fifth Tom Brunansky hit a two run homer to give the Twins the lead again, but in the bottom of the inning Don Mattingly squeezed home Toby Harrah and SS Houston Jimenez recorded and error that scored Piniella, tying the game once again.  That's how it stayed until the top of the ninth.  Pinch hitter Randy Bush lined a double to start the inning.  Three batters later Kent Hrbek scored Bush on a single, giving the Twins the lead in the last half of the ninth.  Viola was still on the mound.  Tim Foli hit a single to start things off.  After that Twins catcher Tim Laudner got tossed by the umpire for arguing balls and strikes!  When things settled down, Yankee Rick Cerone was still at bat.  He crushed Viola's pitch into the stands for a WALK OFF HOME RUN.  Yankees Win! Thhhhhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeee Yankees Win!

Winning Pitcher - Mike Armstrong
Losing Pitcher - Frank Viola
Player of the Game - Rick Cerone, GW HR
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield

March 21, 2012

April 11, 1984 - Wrapping Up the Day

Game #88 - Houston Astros, 6 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 2
Juan Samuel hit his league-tying fourth home run of the season as the lead off hitter for the Phillies in the bottom of the first, giving them a quick 1-0 lead.  The Astros answered back in the top of the third.  Bill Doran was on base and Phil Garner singled, but Sixto Lezcano bobbled the ball in right field causing Doran to score the unearned run.  Jerry Mumphrey, who has been swinging a hot bat, then knocked in Garner to make it 2-1.  It was 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth when Mike Schmidt hit his first home run - and RBI - of the season.  But Houston pulled ahead in the seventh when Bob Knepper, the pitcher, hit a lead off home run off of Jerry Koosman.  The Astros scored two more to win the game.

Winning Pitcher - Bob Knepper
Losing Pitcher - Jerry Koosman
Player of the Game - Knepper, 7IP, 2R's, 6K's, 1-3 w/HR
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt

Game #89 - St. Louis Cardinals, 13 @ San Diego Padres, 2
Well, I was wondering when it would happen, and here it is.  The 1985 Topps card for Ken Oberkfell has him on the Braves, who he will end up with by the end of the season.  I could have looked for my 1984 Topps but I took the lazy way out and Google searched instead.  Powder blue!

I have no idea what's got into the Cardinals' offense these past few games.  They're hitting way above what their statistical probabilities would dictate.  The Padres never stood a chance in this one, especially after the six run sixth inning.

Winning Pitcher - Dave LaPoint
Losing Pitcher - Ed Whitson
Player of the Game - Ken Oberkfell, 4-6, 2B, 4RBI's, 1R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Tony Gwynn

Game #90 - Pittsburgh Pirates, 7 @ San Francisco Giants, 1
The Giants are 0-7 on the year.  I manage both teams in a game, but I'm starting to think its my fault.  They have some decent hitters in their lineup, but they can't put anything together.  Their starting pitching is pretty awful, which doesn't help.  Let me know in the comments below if you would like to construct the next batting order - I'm happy to give someone else a shot.

A sacrifice fly by Jason Thompson and an RBI single from the lead singer of The Doors scored Marvelle Wynn and Johnny Ray in the top of the first.  As it turned out that is all the runs they would need.  John Tudor was dominant again in his second start of the season.  The lone Giants run came on an RBI single from Chili Davis.

Winning Pitcher - John Tudor
Losing Pitcher - Bill Laskey
Player of the Game - Jim Morrison, 3-4, 2 2B's, 4RBI's

***April 11th is in the books - the standings and stats have been updated!

March 20, 2012

April 11, 1984 - National League Nail Biters

Game #85 - New York Mets, 1 @ Atlanta Braves, 4
Jose Oquendo knocked in George Foster in the second inning to put the first run on the board, but the Braves answered back in the bottom of the inning when Glenn Hubbard hit a three run homer to give the Braves the lead.  I don't think of Hubbard as a power guy, but he did have nine in the real 1984.  What killed the Mets in this game, though, was the double play.  They hit into six of them! 

Winning Pitcher - Craig McMurtry
Losing Pitcher - Walt Terrell
Save - Steve Bedrosian
Player of the Game - Hubbard, 3-4, HR, 2 2B's, 3RBI's

Game #86 - Montreal Expos, 0 @ Cincinnati Reds, 1
I feel like I've typed this before, but this game had to be the best pitched of the season.  Bryn Smith of the Expos and Joe Price of the Reds were nearly flawless.  Price went eight innings before being pulled for a pinch hitter.  He only allowed two singles - those were the only two Expos to reach base while he was on the mound.  Smith was nearly as good.  But Eddie Milner led off the sixth with an error on Smith.  Smith then walked catcher Brad Gulden.  Price sacrificed Milner and Gulden to third and second.  This brought up OF Duane Walker, who squeezed Milner home for the only run of the game.  Ted Power was pitching in the top of the ninth, and with one out walked Tim Raines.  The Expos called for the hit and run, but OF Jim Wohlford struck out and Gulden threw out Raines at second to end the game.

Winning Pitcher - Joe Price
Losing Pitcher - Bryn Smith (who is 0-2 with a sub-2.00 ERA right now thanks to the Expos offense)
Save - Ted Power
Player of the Game - Price, 8IP, 0R's, 4K's, 0BB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

Game #87 - Chicago Cubs, 3 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 4 (14 innings)
I think I've typed this before too, but this might have been the most exciting game of the season.  The Cubs jumped on Bob Welch in the first with two runs thanks to RBI's from Keith Moreland and Ron Cey.  Mike Marshall hit a solo homer in the fourth to make it 2-1 Cubs, and 3B German Rivera doubled home Ken Landreaux to tie the game in the sixth.  Welch pitched nine innings and had nine strikeouts but the game stayed tied. 

Fast forward to the top of the thirteenth.  Gary Matthews led off for the Cubs, and Sarge blasted a solo shot off Burt Hooton to give the Cubs the extra innings lead.  But in the bottom of the thirteenth, Mike Marshall did the exact same thing!  Score tied again, 3-3, and the game moved to the fourteenth.  The Cubs did nothing, but pinch hitter Candy Maldonado, the last bench player to enter the game for the Dodgers, crushed a pinch hit, home run to win the game for the Dodgers in the bottom of the fourteenth!

Winning Pitcher - Burt Hooton
Losing Pitcher - George Frazier
Player of the Game - Maldonado, GW HR
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

March 18, 2012

April 11, 1984 - Love or Hate the Sox?

Game #84 - Boston Red Sox, 8 @ Seattle Mariners, 7
The 1985 Topps set was a major gift for me as a child.  To this day I receive a new set from my parents each and every Christmas.  I studied the 1985 cards passionately, and was fascinated by the 1984 stats on the card backs.  One team that really stuck out to me was the Red Sox.  They had fearsome sluggers with gaudy numbers.  Evans, Rice, Boggs, Gedman, Armas, my grade school mind they were a juggernaut.  I was an O's fan through and through, but I had a lot of respect for Boston.  That's why I'm surprised to have found myself rooting against them this season.  I'm not sure if its backlash against their obnoxious fan base, the World Series drought ending with a bunch of PED-mashers, or what.  I just know I was bummed to see the Mariners fall short in this replay.

Seattle had an outstanding start to the game.  Mike Moore struck out two Red Sox in the top of the first, and the M's scored four runs in the bottom of the inning.  Three of those came from a Ken Phelps moon shot.  The Red Sox answered back.  Mike Easler knocked in Wade Boggs in the third, and they got four more in the fifth no thanks to an Alvin Davis error and a Bob Kearney passed ball.  Moore was still fanning Boston left and right, though, ending the game with 12 K's in seven innings of work.

The game was tied 5-5 in the eighth when Rich Gedman jacked his own three run homer to give Boston a seemingly comfortable lead.  But the Mariners got two more runs in the eighth to pull within one.  Still trailing in the bottom of the ninth Seattle got runners on the corners with two outs.  But weak hitting, back up catcher Orlando Mercado was up.  Nobody else on the Mariners roster could play catcher, so they had to let him hit.  He grounded out to Marty Barrett and Boston has a four game win streak.

Winning Pitcher - John Henry Johnson
Losing Pitcher - Edwin Nunez
Player of the Game - Rich Gedman
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

March 17, 2012

April 11, 1984 - Insert Snappy Title Here

I struggled to come up with a title that correlated between these three games.  I guess just before midnight isn't the best time for my creative juices...

Game #81 - Kansas City Royals @ Baltimore Orioles
I thought I'd try something new and not reveal the score until the end of the blurb.  Mark Gubicza and Mike Boddicker were baffling the hitters in this game through the first six innings.  Neither team scored a run in that span.  Gubicza actually finished with nine strikeouts total. 

In the top of the seventh Frank White singled but made it to second when CF Al Bumbry booted the ball.  White move to third on a poke from Don Slaught, which brought up pinch hitter Dane Iorg.  Iorg grounded out to first but White score to break the 0-0 tie.  In the bottom of the seventh, though, the Orioles took the lead with RBI singles from John Shelby and Mike Young.  The O's got two more in the bottom of the eighth when Rich Dauer and Rick Dempsey stroked back to back doubles to add two more runs.  The O's beat the Royals, 4-1.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Boddicker
Losing Pitcher - Mark Gubicza
Save - Sammy Stewart
Player of the Game - Ken Singleton, 3-4, 1R (started both rallies in the seventh and eighth)
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

Game #82 - Milwaukee Brewers @ California Angels
With two outs in the bottom of the second, 1B Darryl Sconiers punched a double and later scored on a Ted Simmons error (Simmons has been playing first base with Cecil Cooper on the DL).  The Brewers tied things up when Simmons redeemed himself and batted in Ben Oglivie.  Simmons really must have been feeling guilty, because he had another RBI single in the sixth to give Milwaukee the 2-1 lead.  In the bottom half of the frame Reggie Jackson singled, stole second (!) and on a wild throw from C Bill Schroeder moved to third.  Juan Beniquez squeezed him home to once again tie the game.  Moose Haas, the Brewers starter, had been cruising up to this point, as had Angels starter Ron Romanick (whose name reminds me of this).  I lifted Romanick after seven innings but left Haas in to face the heart of the Angels order in the eighth.  Bad move on my part.  Fred Lynn singled and Doug DeCinces made the California fans go wild with a two run homer.  Angels win, 4-2

Winning Pitcher - Doug Corbett
Losing Pitcher - Moose Haas
Player of the Game - DeCinces, game winning homer
Hall of Famers in the Game - Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Reggie Jackson

Game #83 - Cleveland Indians @ Chicago White Sox
Julio Franco owes Bert Blyleven an apology.  With two outs and a runner on in the bottom of the second, Franco fumbled a sure out grounder from Julio Cruz, and the White Sox went on to score six runs in the inning.  Harold Baines added a grand slam in the third and it was game over for the Indians.  LaMar Hoyt of the White Sox had only allowed one run on an Andre Thornton homer through eight innings, and I thought I'd let him try for the complete game victory.  After surrendering three runs in the ninth, including another Thornton homer, I had to pull him.  8 2/3 innings pitched - close but no cigar.  His ERA won't reflect it, but Hoyt pitched a heck of a game.  White Sox win, 12-5.

Winning Pitcher - Hoyt
Losing Pitcher - Blyleven
Player of the Game - Baines, 3-5, grand slam, 6RBI's, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Bert Blyleven, Carlton Fisk

March 16, 2012

April 10, 1984 - More Wild Games

What are you doing reading this blog?  Shouldn't you be watching the NCAA Tournament? 

Game #78 - Houston Astros, 9 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 5
It hurts to see major stars like Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt struggle in Statis Pro.  Enos Cabell hit a two run homer in the first thanks in part to a Schmidt error.  Schmidt has four on the season, which leads both leagues.  He's also yet to hit a home run (though he's hitting fine otherwise).  Carlton surrendered eleven hits over six innings but avoided the loss because Tug McGraw gave up the eventual winning run. 

Winning Pitcher - Mike LaCoss
Losing Pitcher - Tug McGraw
Player of the Game - Cabell, 4-5, HR, 3RBI's, 3R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton

Game #79 - St. Louis Cardinals, 6 @ San Diego Padres, 5
The Cardinals started beating up Padres starter Eric Show right away as they scored three in the first, two from a double by Andy VanSlyke.  They added another in the second but the Padres tied things up in the bottom of the third when Show led off with a solo homer and Kevin McReynolds added a two run bomb.  The score stayed knotted at 4-4 heading into the bottom of the eighth.  With one out 2B Alan Wiggins singled off of reliever Dave Rucker.  Tony Gwynn did as well, leaving runners on the corner.  The infield was at double play depth when Steve Garvey hit a chopper to second base.  Tom Herr threw out Gwynn at second but Garvey was safe at first and Wiggins scored the go-ahead run, 5-4 Padres. 

The Padres brought in closer Goose Gossage to shut down the Cards in the ninth.  Pinch hitter Tito Landrum popped out to the catcher and George Hendrick struck out, making it two outs.  But Gossage walked VanSlyke, which brought up Lonnie Smith.  If you've been reading the blog, you might know Lonnie has a flair for the dramatic.  He didn't disappoint here - TWO RUN, HOME RUN!  The Padres went from leading by one to trailing by one.  Sutter saved the game in the bottom of the ninth and the Padres must have headed to the locker room in disbelief.  If this were a real game, that is.

Winning Pitcher - Dave Rucker
Losing Pitcher - Goose Gossage
Save - Bruce Sutter
Player of the Game - Lonnie Smith.  He only went 1-5, but he made the one count!  He's also the second player to have two "POTG" honors.
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter, Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

Game #80 - Pittsburgh Pirates, 1 @ San Francisco Giants, 0 (12 innings)
The pitching battle of the year happened in this one.  Through ten innings starters Rick Rhoden and Atlee Hammaker pitched a scoreless game.  At one point Hammaker had retired eighteen batters in a row.  The Pirates finally lifted Rhoden for a pinch hitter in the top of the eleventh, and though they had runners on the corners, Hammaker escaped the jam.  Cecilo Gaunte made quick work of the Giants in the bottom of the eleventh, so we headed to the top of the twelfth.  After eleven innings Hammaker was finally yanked and Giants reliever Bob Lacey got right into trouble.  He walked Jason Thompson and gave up a hit to Tony Pena.  The hit moved Thompson to third, 90 feet away from the first lead for either team.  Bill Madlock flew out to shallow center, stranding Thompson on third.  Dale Berra was up next and attempted the squeeze - success!  Thompson scored!  Gaunte gave up a hit to Bob Brenly in the bottom of the inning but the Giants could do nothing with it.  The Giants have started the season 0-6, this one being their most frustrating loss.

Winning Pitcher - Cecilio Gaunte
Losing Pitcher - Bob Lacey
Player of the Game - I'm giving it Rick Rhoden, who pitched ten shutout innings.  Hammaker deserves some love too, as he went eleven.

***That's it for April 10 - standings and stats have been updated.

March 15, 2012

April 10, 1984 - Two Runs or Less

I have three close games to report!

Game #75 - Boston Red Sox, 4 @ Seattle Mariners, 2
We had a southpaw battle in the Emerald City as Bobby Ojeda faced off against Mark Langston.  Back to back doubles by Dwight Evans and Wade Boggs gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead, but Phil Bradley knocked in Gorman Thomas for a run in the bottom of the second, and catcher Bob Kearney had an RBI single to score Barry Bonnell in the fourth, making it 2-2.  Through the first four innings Langston had recorded seven strikeouts, and I thought he might be heading towards a Statis Pro, season high.  But the harder you throw it, the harder they hit it.  Dwight Evans crushed a solo homer in the fifth and Tony Armas added another homer.  Armas was 1-4 on the day with a homer and three strikeouts, which was pretty much his real 1984 season in a nutshell.  Langston finished with 10 K's but still suffered the loss.

Winning Pitcher - Bobby Ojeda
Losing Pitcher - Mark Langston
Save - Steve Crawford
Player of the Game - Dewey, 2-3, HR, 2B, BB, 1RBI, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

Game #76 - New York Mets, 5 @ Atlanta Braves, 7
The Mets had a 5-1 lead after three innings, largely in part to THREE (!!!) errors by centerfielder Claudell Washington.  The errors all came on hits, too.  He just couldn't get his glove on the ball.  In the fourth, though, the Braves started clawing back.  Gerald Perry knocked in two, and then Atlanta scored three more in the fifth, chasing away Mets starter Ron Darling.  Miraculously, Pascuel Perez got the win with only five innings of work.  He gave up five runs, but only one was earned due to Mr. Washington.  Gene Garber had three solid innings of relief work, limiting the potent Mets lineup to one hit, two walks, and four strikeouts. 

Winning Pitcher - Pascuel Perez
Losing Pitcher - Ron Darling
Save - Terry Forster
Player of the Game - Garber, 3IP, no runs, outstanding beard

Game #77 - Montreal Expos, 6 @ Cincinnati Reds, 7
I hate to bury the lead, but this was one of the most exciting games on the season.  RBI hits from Gary Carter and Tim Wallach gave the Expos a 2-0 lead after one inning.  Dave Concepcion had an RBI double in the third to cut the lead to one, but the Expos got four runs in the fifth off Jeff Russell, including a two run jack from Andre Dawson.  The Reds wouldn't go away, though.  Starter Charlie Lea left one hanging for 1B Dan Driessen, who promptly crushed a two run homer to cut the lead in half, 6-3.  Then in the seventh, with Lea still pitching and two men on, Gary Redus destroyed a pitch for a three run homer and amazingly tied the game, 6-6.  Dan Schatzeder for the Expos and Brad Lesley of the Reds pitched bravely in relief to keep the game tied.  John Franco pitched the eighth and ninth against Montreal and, despite allowing runners in both innings, kept the game scoreless.  Greg Harris came to the mound for the Expos in the bottom of the ninth.  He has a 2-9 pitching rating in Statis Pro, which is the best you can have and certainly makes him the best bullpen arm for Montreal.  He retired the first two batters with no problem.  But with two out, game tied in the bottom of the ninth, Reds outfield Cesar Cedeno took Harris backbackback - GONE!  WALK OFF HOMER!  THE REDS WIN!!!!  The first walk off home run of the Statis Pro season.  I actually yelped out loud when it happened!

Winning Pitcher - John Franco
Losing Pitcher - Greg Harris
Player of the Game - Cedeno!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Pete Rose

March 13, 2012

April 10, 1984 - AL East Still Rolling

Game #72 - Texas Rangers, 7 @ Detroit Tigers, 18
No, that's not a typo.  The Tigers put up 18 runs on the beleaguered Rangers.  They scored 10 of them in the sixth inning alone.  Every Tiger starter had a hit and every Tiger starter had a run, except Alan Trammell.  That's kind of ironic because because he was the lead off hitter.  Or maybe its not ironic - I've been confused about irony since Alanis Morissette wrote a song about it...  The Tigers also blasted six home runs.  Meanwhile Jack Morris had seven solid innings, only giving up two runs.  The Rangers tagged mop-up man Glenn Abbott for five runs in the top of the ninth, including two homers from Alan Bannister and Buddy Bell.

Winning Pitcher - Jack Morris
Losing Pitcher - Joey McLaughlin
Player of the Game - Howard Johnson, 4-5, HR, 2B, 3RBI's, 3R's

Game #73 - Minnesota Twins, 2 @ New York Yankees, 6
The Twins snuck out to a 1-0 lead in the Yankee Stadium season opener thanks to a solo shot from Kent Hrbek.  Hrbek has started the season slowly, maybe he's warming up.  Ken Griffey tied things up in the bottom of the third with double that plated Mike Pagliarulo.  Griffey knocked in another two, again on a double, giving the Yankees a 3-1 lead.  Minnesota inched back on a RBI double from Dave Meier, but the Yankees extended the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth.  Don Baylor knocked in two with a double.  Minnesota stranded a ton of runners - Ron Guidry surrendered seven hits and five walks but the Twins couldn't capitalize.  Part of the problem were Guidry's strikeouts.  The Gator racked up ten K's. 

Winning Pitcher - Ron Guidry
Losing Pitcher - Mike Smithson
Save - Jay Howell
Player of the Game - Ken Griffey, 3-4, 2 2b's, 3RBI's, 1R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield

Game #74 - Toronto Blue Jays, 6 @ Oakland A's, 0 (rained out after 7 innings)
The rain put the A's out of their misery.  They've lost four straight after starting the season 3-0.  Doyle Alexander had his second strong start of the year, going the distance in the shortened game. 

Winning Pitcher - Doyle Alexander
Losing Pitcher - Ray Burris
Player of the Game - Tony Fernandez, 4-4, HR, 3RBI's, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson

***The Tigers, Yankees, and Blue Jays  have stayed hot to start the season and are making the AL East a very tough division so far...

March 11, 2012

April 10, 1984 - To Error is Human

Game #71 - Cleveland Indians, 4 @ Chicago White Sox, 6
Sometimes, things go wrong.  And sometimes, when things go wrong, other things start to go wrong.  The wrongness becomes contagious.  That's my only explanation for today's update.  The Indians and White Sox committed seven total errors today.  It wasn't pretty.  I thought I'd share each of them with you.
  1. Heading into the bottom of the third, the Indians had a slim 1-0 lead.  After starting pitcher Steve Farr walked Jerry Hairston, CF Rudy Law hit a comebacker to Farr he couldn't handle.  E-1.  Hairston would eventually score on a Greg Walker double.
  2. Still in the bottom of the third, but now the Indians are losing 3-1.  Vance Law hit a sharp grounder to 2B Tony Bernazard and it went through Tony's legs.  E-4.  Nobody scores as a result, though, and Farr got out of the inning.
  3. Brook Jacoby smacked one towards White Sox 2B Julio Cruz in the top of the fourth.  Some of the Bernazard stank must have still been on the field, because Cruz couldn't handle it.  E-4.  Jacoby would be stranded when Carmelo Castillo popped out to the catcher.
  4. Top of the fifth, catcher Chris Bando up for the Indians.  He hits a routine grounder to White Sox shortstop Scotty Fletcher.  Fletcher air mails the throw to first, Bando ends up on second.  E-6.  Bando would end up scoring on a sacrifice from Brett Butler.  That's an unearned run for pitcher Britt Burns.
  5. Now in the top of the sixth, DH Andre Thornton hits one back up the middle to pitcher Britt Burns.  Burns isn't ready.  E-1.  Thornton would end up getting thrown out on a Joe Carter lineout.
  6. That brings us to the top of the eighth.  With two outs and Butler standing on third base, Thornton is up.  Perhaps his bat is infecting the ball?  He grounds one to Julio Cruz but Cruz records his second error on the day and Butler scores.  E-4.  Thornton would end up scoring when George Vukovich rips a triple, closing the White Sox lead to 5-4.
  7. Final error of the game.  Mike Fischlin is a late defensive substitution playing third base.  Jerry Hairston hits one hard at him and he boots it.  E-5.  It scores Vance Law to give the White Sox their sixth and final run.
It wasn't a good day to flash the leather, that's for sure.

Winning Pitcher - Britt Burns
Losing Pitcher - Steve Farr
Save - Ron Reed
Player of the Game - Vance Law, 2-4, HR, 2RBI's, 2R's, no errors!
Hall of Famers in the Game - Carlton Fisk

March 10, 2012

April 10, 1984 - Hall of Fame Losing Pitchers

Game #69 - Kansas City Royals, 6 @ Baltimore Orioles, 3
Jim Palmer toed the rubber for the undefeated Baltimore Orioles, and it got ugly early. In the top of the first he gave up a RBI double to Jorge Orta. The very next inning the Royals got two more with RBI singles from Willie Wilson and George Brett. The Orioles finally answered back in the bottom of the second with a pair of RBI's courtesy of Rick Dempsey and Todd Cruz.

Things got funny in the bottom of the fourth. Royals starting pitcher Bud Black objected to the umpire's insinuation that he was going to his mouth too much and had a few choice words for the man in blue. The ump decided it was in Bud's best interest to think about his actions in the clubhouse for the rest of the game. Our second ejection of the year, which, ironically enough, first happened to Rick Dempsey - who was in the batter's box when Black got tossed. Rick Dempsey: harbinger of ejections.

Palmer got tagged for a two run homer when Frank White knocked one out. All in all, Palmer gave up five runs in six innings. Royals reliever Joe Beckwith went four innings in relief of Black, and Quisenberry managed to save things over two to give the Royals a needed victory.

Winning Pitcher - Joe Beckwith
Losing Pitcher - Jim Palmer
Save - Dan Quisenberry
Player of the Game - Willie Wilson, 3-5, 2RBI's, 1R
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer

Game #70 - Milwaukee Brewers, 2 @ California Angels, 8
Don Sutton faced off against Mike Witt and despite both of them having a 2-6 pitcher rating in Statis Pro, Witt had the much better game. The Angels scored first in the bottom of the first when Reggie Jackson hit a single to score Rod Carew. The Brewers tied things up in the second when catcher Jim Sundberg hit a double to bring in Ted Simmons. But Fred Lynn belted a solo shot in the third and the anemic Dick Schofield muscled up a double to score Gary Pettis in the fourth. In the bottom of the seventh Brewers shortstop Ed Romero (Yount was DH-ing) had a costly error that led to a two run homer from Lynn, and that was the end of Sutton's day. Meanwhile, Mike Witt went eight innings and struck out eight. Yount had a solo homer in the eighth, but it did nothing to save the Brewers.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Witt
Losing Pitcher - Don Sutton
Player of the Game - Fred Lynn, 2-4, 2HR's, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Don Sutton, Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

March 9, 2012

April 9, 1984 - Travel Day

We have our first calendar occurrence that ESPN producers must dread - travel day. Only three games happened on April 9, so here they are! (Stats and standings are updated too...)

Game #66 - Toronto Blue Jays, 4 @ Oakland A's, 0
This might have been the fastest game I've played so far. Dave Stieb was doing his usual unheralded awesomeness. He threw a complete game shutout, striking out seven and only allowing four hits, two by Joe Morgan. Rickey Henderson struck out three times in four at bats, which didn't help the A's offense. DH Willie Aikens had a nice 2-RBI double, and Willie Upshaw and Damaso Garcia continued their hot starts with five hits between them.

Winning Pitcher - Dave Stieb
Losing Pitcher - Steve McCatty
Player of the Game - Stieb
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan

Game #67 - Montreal Expos, 7 @ Cincinnati Reds, 4
The Expos came into this game still winless on the season, and things didn't start well for them. In the bottom of the first the bases were loaded thanks to an error by Tim Wallach on a Dave Concepcion bunt. Wayne Krenchicki delivered a single that scored two runs off Bill Gullickson. Gullickson gave up a solo homer to Krenchicki in the fourth to make it 3-0 Reds, and then Krenchicki recorded his fourth RBI when he doubled in Duane Walker.

The Expos struck back in the seventh with back to back doubles by Tim Wallach and SS Derrell Thomas, making it 4-1 Reds. In the eighth the Expos exploded. Terry Francona pinch hit for Gullickson and led of with a double. Mario Soto walked Tim Raines and Pete Rose to load the bases, ending his day. With Gary Carter up next against reliever Ted Power, he hit a weak grounder to Krenchicki, but Krenchicki bobbled it! The hero of the game committed an error, scoring Francona and keeping the bases loaded. Andre Dawson was up next and cranked a double to score two more and tie the game! Wallach popped out and Thomas tried to squeeze home Carter, but they threw him out. With two outs and runners on the corner, little Bryan Little poked an RBI single to give the Expos the lead, and pinch hitter Jim Wohlford added another RBI. Reliever Gary Lucas threw two scoreless for the save. Expos finally win!

Winning Pitcher - Bill Gullickson
Losing Pitcher - Ted Power
Save - Gary Lucas
Player of the Game - hard to choose, but I'll go with the big double by Andre Dawson
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Tony Perez

Game #68 - Chicago Cubs, 6 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 8
This was a fun back and forth battle. The Dodgers jumped to a 2-0 lead after two innings, which could have been even larger had Bill Russell and Fernando Valenzuela not been thrown out at home on separate hits. Jody Davis, who is absolutely on fire right now, hit his second double of the game in the fourth to score the Cubs first run. In the fifth the Cubs took the lead on a two run homer from Ryne Sandberg. But in the bottom of the inning errors by starter Steve Trout and Jody Davis allowed the Dodgers to score four runs on five singles and the errors. Leading 6-3, the Dodgers gave up two more runs in the sixth thanks to a double by OF Henry Cotto. But LA answered back with two more runs on back to back RBI doubles from RJ Reynolds and Pedro Guerrero. The only other run scored by the Cubs was a solo homer from Davis (who was 3-3 on the day with the homer and two doubles).

Winning Pitcher - Fernando Valenzuela
Losing Pitcher - Lee Smith
Save - Tom Niedenfuer
Player of the Game - Pedro Guerrero, 2-5, 3RBI's, 1R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

***This blog is now over a 1,000 page views - thanks for checking in and reading these recaps! As always, let me know in the comments below if you have any suggestions for improvements, etc. I'd love to build up the number of official followers, too. I might run a contest where I'll let a randomly selected follower pick the lineup for the next game of their favorite team. Stay tuned!

March 7, 2012

April 8, 1984 - Rain, Raining RBI's, Drought

Game #63 - Pittsburgh Pirates, 1 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 0
This game had hardly any offense to speak of thanks to the pitching efforts of Jose DeLeon and Orel Hershiser. The score was 0-0 when Tony Pena led off the top of the fifth with a single. He advanced to second on a Bill Madlock ground out and scored thanks to a Dale Berra single. In the top of the sixth, with Marvell Wynne on second and Lee Lacy at bat, the game was rained out due to a "z" play. Since five innings were in the books, the Pirates escaped with a 1-0 win.

Winning Pitcher - Jose DeLeon
Losing Pitcher - Orel Hershiser
Player of the Game - DeLeon, CG SHO, 6K's, 2H's

Game #64 - Chicago Cubs, 12 @ San Diego Padres, 7
This game turned from pitching gem to slug fest like a flip of a switch. Alan Wiggins had a lead off homer in the bottom of the first off of Chuck Rainey to give the Padres a 1-0 lead, and Graig Nettles added another solo homer to make it 2-0 after two. That was all the runs scored through the first six innings as Andy Hawkins was throwing like a bird of prey (pun!). But Hawkins got into trouble in the top of the seventh. With runners on second and third with one out, the Padres intentionally walked Ron Cey to set up the double play, or at least a force out at home. Catcher Jody Davis was at bat for the Cubbies and made San Diego pay - grand slam home run! Suddenly the Cubs had their first lead of the game, 4-2. They added five more runs the next inning, no thanks to Padres reliever Greg Booker. Three of those runs came off another Jody Davis homer! He had seven RBI's in the game. Ryne Sandberg hit yet another home run in the ninth, giving the Cubs a 12-2 lead, but the Padres refused to retire. They scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth, including a second home run from Nettles, but ultimately came up short.

Winning Pitcher - Rich Bordi
Losing Pitcher - Greg Booker
Player of the Game - Jody Davis, 2-4, 2HR's, 7RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg, Tony Gwynn

Game #65 - St. Louis Cardinals, 10 @ San Francisco Giants, 3
San Fran continues their winless streak to start the season, they just can't get anything done. The Cardinals put up eight runs in the second inning, going through 12 batters in the process and chasing away starter Mark Davis before he could even complete two innings. Every starter in the Cardinals lineup, including pitcher Kurt Kepshire, scored a run.

Winning Pitcher - Kurt Kepshire
Losing Pitcher - Mark Davis
Player of the Game - Kephsire, 7IP, 2R's, 4K's, 3H's, 1-3 w/ a 2B and an RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith

***That concludes April 8! I've updated the standings and stat leaders on the right hand side of the page. I've added batting average, OBP, Slugging, OPS, and even WHIP.

March 6, 2012

April 8, 1984 - Thon, But Not Forgotten

Game #62 - New York Mets, 1 @ Houston Astros, 11

Today's match up featured veteran knuckle-baller Joe Niekro against the young "El Sid" Fernandez of the Mets. As things turned out, the old timer showed the whipper-snapper a thing or two.

The Mets actually scored first in the top of the eleventh. Jose Oquendo was on third base with Mookie Wilson up. He hit a grounder to third and Oquendo took off for home. 3B Phil Garner got the throw home in time to tag out Oquendo, but Mookie made it to first. He then stole second and catcher Mark Bailey air mailed his throw into the outfield which allowed Wilson to score. It turned out to be the only run for the Mets. Kevin Bass stroked a two run double in the fourth to give the Astros the 2-1 lead, and it was all downhill after that. Houston put up seven runs in the sixth, including a three run homer from 1B Enos Cabell. Niekro finished the game himself, scattering four hits and four walks.

Winning Pitcher - Joe Niekro
Losing Pitcher - Sid Fernandez
Player of the Game - Niekro, CG win, 3K's, 0ER's

Happy Trails - Dickie Thon
It was during this game in the real 1984 that SS Dickie Thon was horribly beaned in the head. Ironically enough, he was hit by a pitch in this Statis Pro game too. The ball wrecked his vision in one eye and it took him years to recover. To his credit, he did make it back to the big leagues, and even became a starter again, though he was never as good as he had been.

Baseball is full of "what if" stories, and I always wondered what would have happened had Thon not been beaned. Ozzie Smith is regarded now as the best NL shortstop of the 1980's, but I think it could have been Thon had he not been injured. In 1982, playing every day for the first time, he had really started to put things together. In 1983, he was the hands-down best SS in the NL. 1984 was his age 26 year, meaning he was just entering his peak years of productivity. What if...

Real 1984: 3R's, 6H's, 1 Triple, .471 SLG, .353 AVG
Statis Pro: 3R's, 7H's, 3 Triples, .542 SLG, .292 AVG

Thon is done for this Statis Pro season. On the bright side, if you're a Craig Reynolds fan, you're going to see his name a lot more on this blog...

March 5, 2012

April 8, 1984 - NL Arms Race

Game #60 - Montreal Expos, 1 @ Atlanta Braves, 6
The NL Canadians are still winless on the season. Starter David Palmer got bounced around the first three innings before he was finally pulled. He gave up two runs on a Dale Murphy RBI and a Chris Chambliss hit in the first, a Claudell Washington triple in the second, and a three run homer to Glen Hubbard of all people in the third. Expos reliever Dan Schatzeder, though, shut down the Braves after that.

On the flip side Braves pitcher Len Barker was nasty. He held the Expos to four hits through the first eight innings, with the only run he gave up coming in the top of the ninth when Gary Carter went deep. It was a nice redemption for Carter who, on a strange "z" play earlier in the game, had hit a single to right but was thrown out at first by Dale Murphy when he rounded into the field of play instead of towards the stands.

Winning Pitcher - Len Barker
Losing Pitcher - David Palmer
Player of the Game - Barker, CG, 4K's, 1R, 7H's, 0BB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Pete Rose, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

Game #61 - Philadelphia Phillies, 0 @ Cincinnati Reds, 2
This game was a real nail biter. Phillies starter Shane Rawley and Reds starter Jay Tibbs were hanging goose eggs on the scoreboard through the first seven innings of play. Tibbs even struck out the side in the third inning.

In the top of the eighth SS Ivan DeJesus reached on an error by Tibbs. C Bo Diaz bunted him over to second, and the Phillies lifted Rawley for pinch hitter Greg Gross, who dribbled an infield hit to put runners on the corners. But Tibbs got 2B Juan Samuel to ground out to short to end the threat.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Phillies brought in their ace reliever, Larry "there was much more to my career than the Jeff Bagwell trade" Andersen. But Dave Parker led off with a double and moved to third on a Dan Driessen ground out. Andersen struck out 2B Ron Oester to make it two outs with Parker still on third. The Reds used pinch hitter Wayne Krenchicki to face Andersen. He ripped a line drive right back to Andersen but Andersen couldn't handle the tough shot. Parker scampered home to break the tie, 1-0 Reds. The scorekeeper gave Andersen the tough error. Then Andersen walked light hitting C Dann Bilardello. Tim Foley pinched hit for Tibbs next, and poked a single to score Krenchicki (these Reds last names are making my spell check explode). Andersen finally escaped after a Gary Redus fly out, but the damage was done. John Franco retired the Phillies in order in the top of the ninth. The victory went to the red legs.

Winning Pitcher - Jay Tibbs
Losing Pitcher - Larry Andersen
Save - John Franco
Player of the Game - Tibbs, 8IP, 0R's, 6K's, 3H's, 0BB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt, Tony Perez

March 4, 2012

April 8, 1984 - Duel of the Knucklers

Game #59 - New York Yankees, 15 @ Texas Rangers, 2

Today's game is the kind of quirky surprise that makes replaying a season with Statis Pro fun: dueling knuckle ball pitchers! The visiting Yankees had Phil Niekro on the mound, while the Rangers countered with Charlie Hough. I wish I can say I was organized enough to make this match up intentional, but alas, fortune favors the nerds!

As it turns out, this wasn't much of a game for Charlie Hough. His knuckle must have been flat, because he gave up eight runs and didn't make it out of the fifth inning. That's two rough starts in a row for Hough. Maybe once the temperatures warm up in May and June his knuckle ball will start jumping? Bobby Meachem, who only had two home runs in the real 1984, took Hough deep for a three run bomb, and Mattingly added a solo shot in the fourth.

Niekro, however, pitched pretty well. He scattered ten hits and three walks over nine innings for the complete game victory. It was already 8-0 before Curtis Wilkerson batted in Wayne Tolleson for the first Rangers run.

There was a funny "z" play in the game too. Rick Cerone, who came in for Butch Wynegar during the blow out, reached base on a Dickie Noles error. But when the "z" card came up, Cerone was caught too far off first and was tagged out in a run down. That might have been the only thing to put a smile on the fictional Texas fans' faces.

Winning Pitcher - Phil Niekro
Losing Pitcher - Charlie Hough
Player of the Game - Don Mattingly, 5-6, 1HR, 4RBI's, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield, Phil Niekro

March 3, 2012

April 8, 1984 - One Run Victories

Game #57 - Boston Red Sox, 6 @ Oakland A's, 5
The Red Sox started the game with three consecutive doubles, courtesy of Dwight Evans, Wade Boggs, and Jim Rice. I've struggled with the batting order for Boston because they have seven guys who could all be batting third or fourth. I thought I'd lead off with Dewey this time around. Boggs hit another double in the top of the second to bring the Red Sox lead to 4-0. Bruce Hurst pitched out of a lot of jams, only giving up two runs in 6 1/3 innings as the A's left the bases loaded twice without scoring a run. Once Bob Stanley came in, though, the A's made their move. In the bottom of the eighth Tony Phillips knocked in pinch hitter Joe Morgan and Dwayne Murphy followed with a hit of his own. Rickey Henderson scored but Jim Rice threw out Phillips to save a crucial run. In the bottom of the ninth Davey Lopes, who had come in as a pinch runner for Dave Kingman a couple of innings before, hit a lead off solo homer to bring the A's within one of tying. But the A's stranded a runner at first and lost, 6-5.

Winning Pitcher - Bruce Hurst
Losing Pitcher - Keith Atherton (who only gave up one run in 4+ innings of relief work - unfair!)
Save - Charlie Mitchell
Player of the Game - Boggs, 2-3, 2 2b's, 3RBI's, 1R (first player to win POG twice on the season)
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan

Game #58 - Milwaukee Brewers, 1 @ Seattle Mariners, 2
Total pitcher's duel in this one. The Mariners scored a run off Brewer pitcher Bob McClure in the bottom of the second when Spike Owen brought home OF Dave Henderson. Dave Henderson, or "Hendu" as I remember him from his time with the A's, added a solo homer in the fourth to make it 2-0, but that was all the damage McClure allowed in seven and a third. The Brewers didn't score off Salome Barojas until the top of the ninth. With two outs Ben Oglivie walked and Jim Gantner hit a double to cut the lead to one. Barojas got the hook and Edwin Nunez coaxed a pop out from Ted Simmons to end the game.

Winning Pitcher - Salome Barojas
Losing Pitcher - Bob McClure
Save - Edwin Nunez
Player of the Game - Dave Henderson, 2-4, HR, 2B, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Paul Molitor, Robin Yount

March 2, 2012

April 8, 1984 - Lemon Parade, Bando Played On, Dempsey Ejected

Game #54 - Detroit Tigers, 6 @ Chicago White Sox, 4
This was an exciting, back-and-forth game for D-town and the Southside. The Tigers scratched first when Chet Lemon hit a three run jack in the top of the first to give Detroit the early lead. But the White Sox scored single runs in the second, third, and fourth inning to tie things up thanks to a Ron Kittle solo shot, RBI single from Julio "won't you take me on a sea" Cruz (sorry if my Chris Berman reference just made you throw up in your mouth a little) and a Tom Paciorek RBI double. The Tigers retaliated by hitting a two run homer, this time thanks to Lance Parrish, who was DH-ing for the game. But Harold Baines kept Chicago's hopes alive (wasn't that a TV show?) when he produced his own solo home run. With Detroit leading 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh, SS Scott Fletcher walked and went to second on a sacrifice from Cruz. Rudy Law slapped a single to center field and Fletcher raced for home. He met a "sour" fate, though, because Chet Lemon gunned him down to prevent the tie. Lou Whitaker added yet another homer for the Tigers to leave the final score at 6-4.

Winning Pitcher - Dave Rozema (despite giving up 4 runs in 5IP)
Losing Pitcher - Richard Dotson
Save - Willie Hernandez
Player of the Game - Chet Lemon - 2-5, HR, 3RBI's, OF Assist
Hall of Famers in the Game - Carlton Fisk

Game #55 - Cleveland Indians, 10 @ Kansas City Royals, 3
Royals starting pitcher Paul Splittorff gave up 14 hits in 5 and 2/3 innings, which is definitely the most base knocks a pitcher has given up in a single outing this year. Joe Carter added his fourth homer of the year and C Chris Bando served up a grand salami in the top of the ninth to punctuate KC's humiliation. Royals catcher Don Slaught did manage to throw out two Indians trying to steal second, though it didn't change the final outcome much.

Winning Pitcher - Steve Comer
Losing Pitcher - Paul Splittorff
Player of the Game - Chris Bando, 3-5, Grand Slam
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett

Game #56 - Baltimore Orioles, 13 @ Minnesota Twins, 7
Early in the game it looked like the Twinkies would finally get their first win of the season and the O's their first loss. Minnesota scored two runs off Scott McGregor in the bottom of the first. But the O's brutalized pitcher Al Williams in the third inning, as Gary Roenicke hit a three run bomb and Eddie Murray (*swoon*) added a two run homer too. It got worse for the Twins in the sixth. Baltimore added another seven runs. Murray had a two RBI double and 3B Wayne Gross put a ball in the cheap seats to chase off reliever Ron Davis, who surrendered four runs in only a third of an inning.

Things got goofy in the bottom of the sixth. With a 12-2 lead, I drew a "z" card. If you're new to the blog, a "z" card indicates something out of the ordinary is about to happen. In this case, Baltimore catcher Rick Dempsey disagreed with the way the home plate umpire was calling balls and strikes, and was promptly ejected! Rick must be quite the competitor - with a ten run lead he's still protecting his pitcher out there. The Twins had a fun rally in the bottom of the ninth, scoring five runs, but it wasn't nearly enough.

Winning Pitcher - Scott McGregor
Losing Pitcher - Al Williams
Player of the Game - Eddie Murray, 2-5, HR, 2B, 4RBI's, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

Detroit, Cleveland, and Baltimore have continued their torrid start to the season. Who will fade first?

March 1, 2012

April 8, 1984 - Tip of the Cap

Game #53 - Toronto Blue Jays, 1 @ California Angels, 3

The undefeated Blue Jays were hoping to stay perfect on the season, but they had their work cut out for them facing Ken Forsch. To complicate matters, they had Jim Gott on the mound. In Statis Pro, pitchers are given a "pitching rating" that ranges from 2-5 (the worst) to 2-9 (the best). Gott is a 2-5 for 1984.

The game turned out to be a pitcher's duel. Both Gott and Forsch had blanked their opposing hitters through the first five innings. But in the bottom of the sixth the halos finally put runs on the board. After a Fred Lynn single Doug DeCinces hit a four bagger to give them the 2-0 lead, and C Jerry Narron added an RBI double to score 2B Rob Wilfong.

Forsch still had the Blue Jays scoreless heading into the top of the ninth. Damaso Garcia, however, got a rally started with a single. He moved to second on a ground out by Lloyd Moseby, and to third on a single from George Bell. With runners on the corners I went to the bullpen and called in Don Aase to save the game. Willie Upshaw hit a towering, warning track fly out to right field, but was credited with a sacrifice when Garcia scored to cut the lead to two runs. Aase got Rance Mulliniks to pop out to Rod Carew to end the game.

Winning Pitcher - Ken Forsch
Losing Pitcher - Jim Gott
Save - Don Aase
Player of the Game - Forsch, 8 1/3IP, 5K's, 7H's, 1R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson
Happy Trails - time for a new segment! This will be the last we see of Ken Forsch in this Statis Pro season. He only pitched two games in the real 1984 before dislocating his shoulder and missing the rest of the season. He would actually miss all of 1985 too due to elbow spurs and his career would officially end in early 1986 after some unsuccessful appearances. So how did Statis Pro Ken Forsch compare to the real Ken Forsch? Let's look:

Real 1984: 16.1 IP, 1-1, 10K's, 3BB's, 1CG, 2.20ERA
Statis Pro: 17.1 IP, 2-0, 14K's, 2BB's, 1CG, 1.56ERA

It's too bad Forsch got injured, he looked like he was going to have a monster year. Instead, his career basically ended. I'll be putting Bruce Kison into the Angels rotation to fill his spot, but I don't think he'll fill Forsch's shoes.