April 30, 2012

April 17, 1984 - One Run and Done

Game #138 - Montreal Expos, 1 @ New York Mets, 6
Bill Gullickson of the Expos had a tough time with the Mets lineup in this game.  He gave up three runs in the third inning on RBI singles from Wally Backman and Darryl Strawberry.  New York tagged him for two more runs in the fifth when catcher Mike Fitzgerald knocked in Keith Hernandez and Strawberry.

Meanwhile, Ron Darling was quite comfortable.  He didn't give up a hit until the fourth inning and only surrendered five on the day.  Unfortunately for him, the fifth hit was a home run by Gary Carter in the top of the ninth, ruining the shutout.

Winning Pitcher - Ron Darling
Losing Pitcher - Bill Gullickson
Player of the Game - Darling, 8 1/3IP, 5H's, 4BB's, 3K's, 1R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

Game #139 - Philadelphia Phillies, 3 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 1
Steve Carlton had rough luck his first two outings of the year and wasn't facing an easy task with Rick Rhoden taking the mound for Pittsburgh.  But Carlton gave Philly seven solid innings, only surrendering one run on an RBI double to Johnny Ray.  Rhoden pitched eight innings but gave up three runs in the fourth inning.  Greg Gross hit an RBI double and three batters later Juan Samuel parked his fifth home run of the year in the left field bleachers.

Winning Pitcher - Steve Carlton
Losing Pitcher - Rick Rhoden
Save - Larry Andersen
Player of the Game - Carlton, 7IP, 10H's, 3BB's, 1R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton

Game #140 - San Diego Padres, 2 @ San Francisco Giants, 1
This was another pitcher's battle as Eddie Whitson of the Padres and Bill Laskey of the Giants were both throwing strong.  Graig Nettles batted home Steve Garvey in the third, but the Giants tied it up in the same inning when Jack Clark scored Chili Davis with a single.

It stayed tied until the seventh.  With two outs Tony Gwynn recorded his third hit of the day.  He moved to second on a Bob Brenly passed ball.  Garvey then punched a single to plate Gwynn and give San Diego the winning run.

Winning Pitcher - Eddie Whitson
Losing Pitcher - Bill Laskey
Save - Greg Harris
Player of the Game - Whitson, 8IP, 6H's, 3BB's, 1R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn

April 28, 2012

April 17, 1984 - Nieden-FURY

Game #137 - Los Angeles Dodgers, 2 @ Houston Astros, 3

I mentioned in an earlier post that my dad, who introduced me to Statis Pro and is a Brooklyn-born, life-long fan of the Dodgers, has an irrational disgust for Tom Niedenfuer.  His father (my grandfather) used to claim that every time he saw Ralph Branca pitch, something bad happened for the Dodgers - like the shot heard 'round the world.  My dad believes Niedenfuer was his Branca, the Dodgers always suffered misery when my dad watched him pitch.  I can remember as a kid my dad would leave the room if the Dodgers were on TV because he didn't want to jinx their chance at winning.

Anyway, my dad happened to come into town as I was finishing this game up.  It was a tied game, 2-2, heading into the bottom of the ninth after pitchers Bob Welch and Mike LaCoss each performed well for their respective teams.  I announced to my dad that I was bringing in Niedenfuer.  He immediately told me not to.  I told him he was ridiculous, that Niedenfuer was their closer and the best Statis Pro rated pitcher available in the pen.  Here's what happened next:

  • He gives up a lead off single to Bill Doran.  However, he picks Doran off of first for the first out.
  • He gives up a single to Terry Puhl.
  • He gives up a single to Jose Cruz, Puhl moves to second.
  • He bobbles a simple grounder from Enos Cabell, loading the bases with still just one out.
  • He walks Jerry Mumphrey for the game ending, winning run.
I asked my dad if he wanted to manage a team for the next game, but he was so mad at me for bringing in Niedenfuer and Niedenfuer losing the game he refused to play with me. 

Winning Pitcher - Bill Dawley
Losing Pitcher - Tom Niedenfuer
Player of the Game - Jose Cruz, 5-5, HR

April 25, 2012

April 17, 1984 - Davis and Doyle

Game #135 - Oakland A's, 10 @ Seattle Mariners, 1

Mike Moore of the Seattle Mariners just couldn't quiet the Oakland bats this game.  He gave up six runs through five innings, and relievers Paul Mirabella and Dave Beard let the A's score four more.

Joe Morgan continued his torrid start by going 2-4 with a double, homer, and two walks.  He's hitting over .500 on the season and his OBP is over .600!
Mike Davis was clutch with the bat too.  He went 3-5 with a double and a homer too.  Starter Bill Krueger pitched a complete game, scattering seven hits and four walks for the victory.

Winning Pitcher - Bill Krueger
Losing Pitcher - Mike Moore
Player of the Game - Mike Davis
Hall of Famers in the Game - Joe Morgan

Game #136 - Baltimore Orioles, 3 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 4

This was a tightly contested match versus two of the best teams in the AL East right now.  Mike Young hit a triple in the first inning for the Orioles and Eddie Murray drove him home with a single.  (Mike Young and Lloyd Moseby were tied for the league lead in triples starting this game, and both hit one to remain tied)  The Blue Jays answered back in the bottom half of the inning when Willie Upshaw blasted a three run homer off of Mike Boddicker. 

The O's chipped back at the Blue Jays when Murray knocked in two more Oriole base runners in the third, but a Rich Dauer error in the bottom half of the inning led to Damaso Garcia scoring the go-ahead run to give Toronto a 4-3 lead.  Doyle Alexander settle down after that and pitched the complete game victory - his third complete game of the year (one coming in a rain shortened outing).

Winning Pitcher - Doyle Alexander
Losing Pitcher - Mike Boddicker
Player of the Game - Alexander, CG, 6H's, 11K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

April 24, 2012

April 17, 1984 - Teuf Enough

Game #134 - California Angels, 3 @ Minnesota Twins, 7

I had a hard time picking today's title.  I considered "The Teufel Shuffle," maybe because of my fondness for The Goonies.  I thought about "Do the Teufel" in a weak attempt to sound like "Do the Hustle."  But I settled with Teuf Enough.  I hope Tim Teufel wins a few more Player of the Game honors this year, he has a fun last name.

It was a scoreless game in the bottom of the second when Tommy John walked John Castino, bringing up Tim Teufel.  Teufel had a small injury at the start of this Statis Pro season and hadn't hit much since, but he got a hold of a pitch and crushed a two run homer.  John then hit Gary Gaetti with a pitch and Dave Engle doubled him home for the third run of the inning.  Engle eventually scored too on a Kirby Puckett single.

The Angels bats were mostly silent against Twins starter Al Williams.  He had a shutout going until the top of the seventh when Reggie Jackson finally hit his first home run of the season.  The Angels never caught up, though, and the Twins have their second win of the season.

Winning Pitcher - Al Williams
Losing Pitcher - Tommy John
Player of the Game - Teufel, 2-3, HR, 3RBI's, 1BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, Kirby Puckett


April 23, 2012

April 17, 1984 - Hall of Fame Hurlers

Game #132 - Texas Rangers, 2 @ Boston Red Sox, 11

In the real 1984 Dennis Eckersley struggled in his third of a season with Boston, prior to his trade to Chicago, but you sure couldn't tell with this game.

The Rangers did strike first when Pete O'Brien hit a fly out far enough from home plate for Gary Ward to score from third on the tag.  It stayed 1-0 in favor of the Rangers until Frank Tanana ran into issues in the third.  Two Red Sox had already scored when Tony Armas sent one flying over the Green Monster for two more.  Just like that Boston was up 4-1.  It got even uglier in the sixth when Boston plated seven more runs. 

Meanwhile Eckersley cruised into the ninth having only given up four hits.  Gary Ward reached on a Wade Boggs error and moved to third on a Buddy Bell single.  Pete O'Brien hit into a double play to score Ward but Eck eventually struck out Bobby Jones to win the game.

Winning Pitcher - Dennis Eckersley
Losing Pitcher - Frank Tanana
Player of the Game - Eck, CG, 1ER, 6H's, 7K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Dennis Eckersley

Game #133 - Chicago White Sox, 2 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 5

Don Sutton toed the rubber for Milwaukee but was treated unkindly by Ron Kittle in the second inning.  Having walked Greg Luzinski he gave up a two run homer to Kittle.  Funny enough, he struck out the other three batters in the same inning (Greg Walker, Vance Law, Marc Hill). 

The Brew Crew started chipping back in support of their permed, Hall of Fame starting pitcher.  Roy Howell hit an RBI single to score Doug Loman in the third.  A Vance Law error in the fourth gave Milwaukee a 3-2 lead and the Brewers added two more before it was all said and done.

Winning Pitcher - Don Sutton
Losing Pitcher - Richard Dotson
Save - Rollie Fingers
Player of the Game - Sutton, 8IP, 4H's, 8K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Don Sutton, Rollie Fingers

***It was a nice change of pace to have two HOF pitchers perform so well in back to back games!

April 22, 2012

April 16, 1984 - Win this one for the Knepper!

Game #131 - Los Angeles Dodgers, 1 @ Houston Astros, 7

Three starts into the Statis Pro season its easy to see how Bob Knepper earned his All Star card.  He's 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.  Besides Dwight Gooden, there isn't a better pitcher in the National League right now.

He had a slightly rocky start against the Dodgers.  He walked Steve Sax to start the game.  Sax moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Dave Anderson.  Pedro Guerrero then singled him home for the lone LA run in the game.

The Astros first scored in the third inning.  Fernando Valenzuela gave up a single to Phil Garner before Jose Cruz stepped to the plate.  Cruz hit his second homer of the year to give Houston the 2-1 lead.  Valenzuela got into more trouble in the fourth before finally getting yanked after giving up five more runs to Houston. 

Winning Pitcher - Bob Knepper
Losing Pitcher - Fernando Valenzuela
Player of the Game - Knepper, 8IP, 10H's, 3K's, 1R.  This is Knepper's third POG honor, the most in Statis Pro right now.

April 21, 2012

April 16, 1984 - User Error

Game #130 - Oakland A's, 8 @ Seattle Mariners, 11

I screwed up.  The "first" time I completed this game I noticed something as I was tallying the hitting statistics.  There was only one out in the Mariners' half of the second inning.  I had moved on to the top of third with runners on first and third.  I can neither confirm nor deny the cause of distraction was my flipping between the Tigers game on Fox Sports Detroit and the Cubs game on WGN.  So I started the game over from the point I had left off the first time, and thankfully, the same basic outcome still occurred.

Rickey Henderson led off the game in the first with a home run, his first on the year.  This ranks right up there with Don Baylor's first beaning as things I was excited to experience in the Statis Pro season.  Al Cowens had an RBI double in the bottom of the first.  He's been ice cold this season so its nice to see him with a big hit.  The Mariners exploded on A's pitcher Ray Burris in the second when they plated six runs.  Alvin Davis hit his second double of the game in that inning, making him the Statis Pro leader in both leagues for that category.

Mark Langston couldn't get out of the fourth inning as he was predetermined to have "terrible" stuff when he started the game.  Ed Vande Berg let up three more runs to make it a slim 9-7 Mariners lead.  But Bob Stoddard came in for Seattle and pitched a near flawless three innings for the win.  His only mistake was to Dave Kingman, who parked a solo homer to score the A's last run of the day.

Winning Pitcher - Bob Stoddard
Losing Pitcher - Keith Atherton
Save - Mike Stanton
Player of the Game - Stoddard.  I'm developing a crush on these long relievers who save me bullpen moves.
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson

April 16, 1984 - Why, Blogger, Why???

Forgive me for this brief rant.  Why did Blogger have to change their format??  Yes, I'm the cranky guy who resists change and complains every time Facebook switches things up too.  My page is filled with all this dead space, buttons aren't where they're supposed to be, my blog roll is hard to look at.  Blah.

Game #128 - Baltimore Orioles, 5 @ Cleveland Indians, 4
Things didn't look promising for the O's at the start of the game.  Scott McGregor surrendered a three run blast to Carmelo Castillo to give Cleveland a 3-0 lead after one inning of play.  The Orioles fought back, though, using the long ball.  Rick Dempsey hit a solo shot in the second inning.  In the fifth Wayne Gross hit his fifth of the year and Dempsey added a second homer two, this one for two runs.  That gave Baltimore the 4-3 lead. 

In the ninth Cal Ripken tripled off of reliever Mike Jeffcoat and Eddie Murray hit a sacrifice fly for the insurance RBI.  It turned out to be the winning hit because Baltimore closer Sammy Stewart gave up an RBI single to Brett Butler before Pat Tabler eventually flied out to end the game.

Winning Pitcher - Scott McGregor
Losing Pitcher - Mike Jeffcoat
Save - Sammy Stewart
Player of the Game - Dempsey, 3-4, 2HR's, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

Game #129 - California Angels, 10 @ Minnesota Twins, 0
Frank Viola has started three games and has been shelled in each.  In Statis Pro he's a "2-7" pitcher, which is pretty good, especially for a starter.  Luck has not been in his favor.  He gave up five runs to start the game, all on singles.  He pitched seven innings total, giving up three more in the fifth, two of which were attributed to a Gary Gaetti error in left field.  (Gaetti played a few games in left before John Castino was injured for the year in the real 1984). 

For the Angels every starter had at least one hit.  Jerry Narron, who has been filling in for the injured Bob Boone, was 3-4 with three RBI's.  Boone is off the DL now, so Narron will head back to the bench.  California starter Ron Romanick got tossed for being suspected of doctoring the ball.  Reliever John Curtis came in and pitched a nice 6+ innings of shut out ball. 

Winning Pitcher - John Curtis
Losing Pitcher - Frank Viola
Player of the Game - Curtis, 6 1/3IP, 5K's, 0R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett

April 19, 2012

April 15, 1984 - Wrapping up Sunday

Game #125 - San Francisco Giants, 4 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 5 (11 innings)
LA was at risk of dropping three straight to the previously winless Giants.  Atlee Hammaker and Orel Hershiser were dueling toughly through the first three and a half innings when a Pedro Guerrero single and doubles by Mike Marshall and Candy Maldonado made it a 2-0 game.  The Giants recorded three errors in the fifth, including two by Joel Youngblood, which added another run to the lead. 

But in the top of the sixth the Giants came stomping back when Jack Clark jacked a three run homer to tie things up.  Another error by the Giants, this time courtesy of Jeffrey Leonard, helped German Rivera single home Bill Russell for a 4-3 lead.  It stayed that way into the top of the ninth when the Dodgers brought in closer Tom Niedenfuer.  I started giggling because I have many memories of my dad (a Brooklyn born Dodger fan) cursing his name due to his unique ability to struggle in big time situations.  Sure enough, he surrendered a run to tie the game and send it into extra innings.

It was still 4-4 in the bottom of the eleventh when, with two outs, Rivera doubled off of Gary LaVelle.  Steve Yeager was up next and hit a weak infield single to move Rivera to third.  Bob Bailor was up next and the light-hitting utility infielder poked a hit to bring home Rivera for the winning run!

Winning Pitcher - Ken Howell
Losing Pitcher - Gary LaVelle
Player of the Game - German Rivera, 3-5, 2B, RBI, 2R's

Game #126 - Atlanta Braves, 9 @ San Diego Padres, 6
This game was a slugfest.  Claudell Washington, just the second batter of the game, hit a two run homer in the first to start the day against Eric Show.  Dale Murphy added a three run tater in the third to make it 5-0.  In the bottom of the fifth, with the Braves still leading 5-1, Steve Garvey finally showed some offensive life this season and hit a three run homer of his own.  But the Braves answered back in the sixth with four more runs, including another homer from Murphy who now leads everyone in Statis Pro with seven.

Winning Pitcher - Pascuel Perez
Losing Pitcher - Eric Show
Save - Jeff Dedmon
Player of the Game - Washington, 5-5, HR, 2B, 4RBI's, 3R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn

Game #127 - Pittsburgh Pirates, 5 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 9
I have no idea how the Cardinals are putting up these kind of numbers, but they keep scoring runs by the bunches.  They got to Jose DeLeon for four in the first and never lifted their foot off the gas.  Andy Van Slyke and Darrell Porter each had three hits but Ken Oberkfell was the real star, going 5 for 5 on the day. 

Winning Pitcher - Joaquin Andujar
Losing Pitcher - Jose DeLeon
Player of the Game - Obi-Wan, 5-5, 2B, 3B, 3RBI's, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith

April 18, 2012

April 15, 1984 - Super Mario

Game #124 - Cincinnati Reds, 4 @ Houston Astros, 2

You'd be smiling too if you had the kind of game Mario Soto did.  He escaped a jam in the bottom of the first by only allowing one run to score, and that run was unearned due to an Eddie Milner error.  The Reds scored all four of their runs off of Mike Scott in the top of the second.  Catcher Brad Gulden hit a triple to bring home Tom Foley and Milner.  And then Mario put Mike Scott's next pitch into a warp tube that skipped three levels and was spit out into the stands - home run Soto!  (It's been too long since I've played Super Mario Brothers to make better puns than that.  My apologies.)

Winning Pitcher - Mario Soto
Losing Pitcher - Mike Scott
Save - Ted Power
Player of the Game - Soto, 7IP, 1ER, 4K's, HR, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Perez

April 17, 2012

April 15, 1984 - Last Two AL Games

Game #122 - California Angels, 10 @ Oakland A's, 11 (10 innings)

When I get into these high scoring games I'm not sure how much to mention in the recaps because it seems excessive. 

That being said, the Angels took a 3-0 lead in the first off A's starter Steve McCatty thanks to a three run job from Doug DeCinces.  In the second, third, and fourth innings, though, the A's made it a 10-3 game.  Most of those runs came on homers from Tony Phillips, Dave Kingman (twice), Mike Heath, and Dwayne Murphy.  I almost started pulling starters from the A's lineup when the Angels scored four in the fifth to make it a 10-7 game.  Reliever Tim Conroy gave up three more runs in the seventh and all of a sudden it was a tie ball game.  It's not every day you see a team give up a seven run lead.

Luis Sanchez of the Angels held the A's scoreless for 4 1/3 innings of relief work and finally passed the ball to Doug Corbett.  Corbett worked the last two outs of the eighth and all of the ninth only surrendering one hit.  Meanwhile, Bill Caudill relieved Tom Burgmeier in the tenth and retired the top of the Angels lineup.  In the bottom of the tenth Corbett got Rickey Henderson to ground out to second, but the next batter was Joe Morgan.  Morgan crushed a walk off home run for the win!  The A's are now on top of the AL West.

Winning Pitcher - Bill Caudill (who is 3-0 on the season, all in relief)
Losing Pitcher - Doug Corbett
Player of the Game - Morgan, 3-4, walk off homer, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan

Game #123 - Toronto Blue Jays, 4 @ Texas Rangers, 5
Jesse Barfield singled home Willie Upshaw in the second to give Toronto a 1-0 lead, and added three more when a Curtis Wilkerson error and a George Bell home run off Charlie Hough made the score 4-0.  But Texas would answer back!  With two outs in the fifth, Texas scored three runs off Dave Stieb.  Gary Ward hit a solo homer and Pete O'Brien and Larry Parrish added RBI hits.  In the sixth inning pinch hitter Bobby Jones landed a single and two batters later Ward connected on his second dinger of the game to give Texas the 5-4 lead. 

Hough struck out two batters in the eighth before giving up another single to Barfield.  Dave Schmidt came in to close the game as Texas handed Toronto their second loss on the season.

Winning Pitcher - Charlie Hough (1-2)
Losing Pitcher - Dave Stieb (2-1)
Save - Dave Schmidt (3)
Player of the Game - Gary Ward, 3-4, 2HR's, 3RBI's

***The AL standing and stats are updated through April 15!

April 16, 2012

April 15, 1984 - Advanced Pitching

Game #121 - Chicago White Sox, 9 @ New York Yankees, 6 (12 innings)
I did something for the first time in this Statis Pro season.  As I've mentioned in the past, I started playing this game with my dad back in the 80's.  Statis Pro is easy to play once you get the hang of it, but a little difficult to pick up your first couple of times.  As such, my dad and I played the "simple rules" version of the game.  For game #121 I decided to use the advanced pitching options in Statis Pro.  In the basic rules, which I've used all season, a pitcher has a "pitcher reduction" number.  Any time they give up a hit, run, walk, etc, you subtract from that number.  Once their reduction number reaches zero, all outcomes are determined off the hitter's card.  That's when you usually go to your bullpen. 

For the advanced rules, there's a more complex point system that better reflects a pitcher naturally getting tired as a game progresses as well as a pitcher becoming less effective if he starts to get shelled.  The other new variable I used was the "pitcher's stuff."  Rather than using a pitcher's normal pitching rating, advanced play in Statis Pro allows for a pitcher to have "great stuff," "good stuff," "normal stuff," "bad stuff," and "really bad stuff."  It probably all balances out over the course of the season, but adding this wrinkle when playing every game in a year keeps it a lot more interesting.  So Joe Cowley of the Yankees and Floyd Bannister of the White Sox became my guinea pigs in trying the advanced pitching options.

It was a 0-0 game until the top of the third.  That's when the White Sox exploded.  Greg Walker singled home Roy Smalley, and Greg Luzinski doubled home Rudy Law.  Next up was Ron Kittle, and he blasted a three run homer to make it 5-0.  With the advanced pitching rules in effect, Joe Cowley's pitching effectiveness option dropped a rank, which would not have happened with the simplified game play.  The Yankees got three runs back in the bottom half of the inning because Dave Winfield deposited his own three run bomb. 

The Yankees added two more in the fifth to tie the game, and that's how it lasted until the top of the ninth.  Roy Smalley singled and two batters later Carlton Fisk doubled him home to give the White Sox a 6-5 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.  Reliever Brett Roberge retired the first two batters, but back to back singles by Willie Randolph and Lou Piniella and a Dave Winfield double tied the game at 6-6 and sent the contest into extra innings.

There wasn't much action until the top of the 12th.  Carlton Fisk was the first batter, and he jacked a solo homer off of Mike Armstrong to give Chicago the lead.  Reliever Dave Righetti came in but surrendered another two runs to the White Sox.  Jerry Don Gleaton, working  his fourth inning of relief, worked around two singles in the bottom of the inning to give Chicago the victory.

Winning Pitcher - Jerry Don Gleaton
Losing Pitcher - Mike Armstrong
Player of the Game - Carlton Fisk, 2-6, HR, 2B, 2RBI's, 1R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Carlton Fisk, Dave Winfield

I think I'll keep using the advanced pitching options for now.  It is a little harder to use during the game, but I like the nuance it provides.  And how about that Fisk card!?  That has to be his best card ever produced, right?  I think it looks sweet.

April 15, 2012

April 15, 1984 - 1984 and 2012 Converge

Well, it finally happened.  The present calendar year caught up with the 1984 schedule.  Happy April 15th, everyone! 

Game #118 - Baltimore Orioles, 2 @ Cleveland Indians, 4
Baltimore grabbed the early lead in the first when Ken Singleton hit a sacrifice fly to score Gary Roenicke, and Eddie Murray added a solo homer in the third to make it 2-0.  But Storm Davis had a bizarre bottom of the third when he allowed four runs to score.  He finished the game for Baltimore and only allowed two hits after that, but the damage was done.  Neal Heaton, starting for Cleveland, spread twelve hits over 7 2/3 innings for the win. 

Winning Pitcher - Neal Heaton
Losing Pitcher - Storm Davis

Save - Ernie Camacho
Player of the Game - Camacho, 1 1/3IP, 0R's, 1H, Save
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

Game #119 - Milwaukee Brewers, 4 @ Kansas City Royals, 5
The Royals had a 1-0 lead when a UL Washington error in the top of the fifth led to four unearned runs off of Charlie Leibrandt.  Two of those runs came on a Robin Yount double.  Frank White hit a RBI double in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead to 4-2.  Bob McClure had been pitching a great game for Milwaukee, but in the bottom of the seventh it all fell apart.  UL Washington redeemed himself by doubling.  Two batters later White doubled again to bring home Washington.  George Brett walked and Hal McRae doubled home White while advancing Brett to third base.  McClure was finally pulled and reliever Tom Tellmann induced a ground ball to Paul Molitor, but Molitor muffed it, allowing Brett to score the winning run.

Winning Pitcher - Mark Huismann
Losing Pitcher - Bob McClure
Save - Bret Saberhagen
Player of the Game - Frank White, 2-4, 2 2b's, 2RBI's, 1R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, George Brett

Game #120 - Seattle Mariners, 3 @ Minnesota Twins, 1
John Castino knocked home Kent Hrbek in the bottom of the first to give Minnesota the quick lead, but starter Ken Schrom ran into problems in the third.  Phil Bradley singled and stole second, but on the steal Twins catcher Dave Engle threw the ball into center field, allowing Bradley to score.  Alvin Davis then doubled and Al Cowens followed with a two run homer.  Salome Barojas and Ed Nunez held Minnesota scoreless over their last eight innings for the Mariner win.

Winning Pitcher - Salome Barojas
Losing Pitcher - Ken Schrom
Save - Ed Nunez
Player of the Game - Nunez, 2IP, 0R, 1H, 3K's, Save
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett (playing his first game since returning from injury)

April 14, 2012

Week in Review - April 8 thru April 14

The second week of the 1984 season has been re-completed!  I've got some odd and ends to examine, evaluate, and share with all of you loyal readers.  I saw a huge spike in readers this week as my previous "Friday the 13th" entry seemed to generate a lot of hits via Google yesterday.  I guess that goes to show catchy blog titles can trap unsuspecting web surfers inside the diabolical world of table top baseball. BWAHAHAHA!!!

The Standings
The real 1984 and Statis Pro 1984 are pretty similar, but with a few significant differences.  In the AL East the Orioles are 6-1 whereas the real '84 team was only 1-6.  The Orioles offense has been huge, as  has their starting pitching.  They won't be able to sustain that, though.  The real '84 West had much better records than Statis Pro at this point.  The Angels are leading in Statis Pro but had a losing record in 1984. 

On the NL side there is a bit of variance.  I'd say the biggest are San Diego and Atlanta.  The Padres have had a rough go, especially in terms of offense.  The Braves, compared to the real '84 season, are on fire.  Three of their five starting five pitchers rank in the top five in WHIP. 

Not the Player of the Week, but...
I mentioned in the previous "Week in Review" that I wanted to have a player of the week but can't easily track those kind of performances.  I have noticed Fred Lynn has been on a hot streak.  He leads the league in homers with his Angels teammate Brian Downing.  His OPS is blowing up too. 

The George Brett Dilemma
I'm running into a growing problem.  As per the rules of Statis Pro, a player can't exceed the number of games played as he had in the real season of baseball.  Most of a player's missing games are injury related.  Injuries aren't occurring frequently enough to compensate for tough lineup decisions.  Take George Brett for instance.  He only played in 104 games in 1984.  How do I handle that in the Statis Pro world?  Do I play him every day from game #1 through #104, hoping an injury occurs?  Do I rest him every third day and hope he doesn't get injured late in the year?  I've taken different strategies with different players and teams, but its a hard variable to account for.

Jayson Stark-esque Stats
*Willie Randolph has ten strikeouts through the first nine games of the season.  His Statis Pro hitting card doesn't even have a number in the strikeout option.  In the real 1984 he only struck out 42 times in 142 games.  Willie has had some bad luck off the pitching cards, that's for sure.

*Speaking of George Brett, he leads the league in most at bats (33) without a strikeout.  In the NL, Ken Landreaux of the Dodgers has the most at bats (20) without a K. 

*Jim Gantner has the most at bats in the AL without a walk.  He's been up 37 time and hasn't seen four balls yet.  In the NL the leader is Tim Wallach (42), which might help explain the Expos win/loss record.

*The Orioles have two players who believe in going big, or going home.  Wayne Gross is 3 for 20 on the season, and Gary Roenicke is 2 for 9.  Those five hits are all home runs.  Joe Carter of the Indians has six hits on the year with five of them being homers.

*Who's the worst player in Statis Pro right now?  I'd nominate Pete Rose of the Expos.  He's hitting a putrid .086 (3-35).  Somewhere Ty Cobb is laughing.

*One final goofy stat, again courtesy of the Expos.  Reliever Andy McGaffigan was 0 for 8 batting in the real 1984.  He's had to bat twice already in long relief, but Statis Pro Andy is 2 for 2.  That's one hit less than Pete Rose in 33 fewer at bats.

Pitching Rotations
I'm also learning that I'm going to have to start mixing in spot starts from the bullpen instead of adhering to strict five man rotations.  Otherwise, I'm going to get into the last 15-20 games of the season with only relievers starting games and no bullpen left.

Create a Lineup!
Hey, if you're reading this blog with any regularity, I sure appreciate it.  Want to take part in the fun?  I'll let you fill out a starting lineup for your favorite team.  Just let me know which team that is in the comments and I'll give you a chance to pencil in your own starters. 

Begging for 1985 Fleer and Donruss
I'd love to mix in some different baseball cards in the blog updates - let me know if you'd like to donate any old 85 Fleer or Donruss.  I have the complete set for Topps but have virtually nothing in Fleer and Donruss. 

That's all for now.  As always, feel free to hit me up with any questions or suggestions to make the blog more fun. 

April 13, 2012

April 14, 1984 - Pitching Gems

Game #115 - Philadelphia Phillies, 2 @ Montreal Expos, 0
Maybe it's just me, but when I've paid money to enter a ballpark and see a game, I don't appreciate pitching duels.  I want to see some offense!  But when I'm playing Statis Pro, I love a well pitched game by both sides.  It makes things very exciting.  All three games qualified as gems today.

David Palmer of the Expos and John Denny of the Phillies were both tossing the ball with authority.  In the fourth inning Mike Schmidt walked and eventually scored on a Glen Wilson triple.  Kiko Garcia poked a single to score Wilson as well, and that was the sum total of offense for the game.  Palmer was eventually ejected for arguing with the umpire.

Winning Pitcher - John Denny
Losing Pitcher - David Palmer
Player of the Game - Denny, CG SHO, 9H's, 5K's, 0BB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

Atlanta Braves, 2 @ San Diego Padres, 0
Len Barker and Andy Hawkins were the dueling starters for this match.  Gerald Perry hit a lead off single in the first, stole second, and was knocked home by Claudell Washington to score the first run of the game.  Hawkins was lifted after six innings only surrendering that initial run and striking out six Braves.  Barker was even stronger, lasting eight innings of shutout ball and fanning seven.

Winning Pitcher - Len Barker
Losing Pitcher - Andy Hawkins
Save - Terry Forster
Player of the Game - Barker, 8IP, 0R's, 7K's, 3H's, 0BB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

Pittsburgh Pirates, 0 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 1
You can see how this Cardinals team would go on to reach the World Series in 1985.  They have strong pitching and a fast, slap-hitting offense.  St. Louis manufactured their lone, winning run when Lonnie Smith drew a walk in the eighth, stole second base,  move to third on a ground out by Tom Herr, and scored on a sacrifice fly by George Hendrick.  John Candelaria had been lifted for a pinch hitter so reliever Don Robinson gave up the only run of the game. 

Winning Pitcher - Neil Allen
Losing Pitcher - Don Robinson
Save - Dave Von Ohlen
Player of the Game - Ricky Horton, 7IP, 0R's, 3H's, 2BB's, 4K's

***That wraps up April 14!  I'll try and have a new "Week in Review" posted by tomorrow.  Standings and stats are updated on the right side of the page. 

April 12, 2012

April 14, 1984 - They Might Be Giants

Game #114 - San Francisco Giants, 7 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 1

Who knew the cure for the Giants seven game losing streak was Dodger Stadium?  Chili Davis got the partied started right when he hit a lead off home run in the top of the first inning.  Jeff Robinson of the Giants was pitching pretty well on the day before he finally surrendered an RBI single to Mike Scioscia that plated Mike Marshall. 

It stayed 1-1 until the to of the sixth.  Jeffrey Leonard singled and stole second base.  Then two batters later pinch hitter Dusty Baker made his former team pay when he roped a double to score Leonard.   Rick Honeycutt was still pitching for the Dodgers into the eighth when the wheels fell off for good.  The Giants batted through their lineup in the inning and added five more runs to their lead.  In the bottom half of the inning the Dodgers had a rally starting, but Pedro Guerrero was passed on the base path by Mike Marshall, leading Pedro to be ruled out.  You gotta love the crazy Statis Pro "Z" plays!

Winning Pitcher - Jeff Robinson
Losing Pitcher - Rick Honeycutt
Player of the Game - Robinson, 6IP, 5H's, 0BB's, 3K's

April 11, 2012

April 14, 1984 - Surging and Sliding

Game #111 - Toronto Blue Jays, 2 @ Texas Rangers, 1
Dave Stewart of the Rangers pitched a heck of a game.  He gave up two hits and no walks in eight innings of work.  Unfortunately, those two hits were solo home runs to Willie Aikens and Ernie Whitt.  Luis Leal scattered eight hits and three walks for the complete game victory, even though he didn't look nearly as good as Stewart on the day.  The Blue Jays are still flying high with an 8-1 record.

Winning Pitcher - Luis Leal
Losing Pitcher - Dave Stewart
Player of the Game - Leal

Game #112 - New York Mets, 8, @ Chicago Cubs, 2
Darryl Strawberry dropped a three run bomb over the ivy in Chicago and added an RBI single in the second and a solo homer in the eighth to account for five of the eight runs in the game (George Foster had a three run homer as well).  Meanwhile Bruce Berenyi survived seven Cubs hits and three walks for a complete game victory.  His nine strikeouts certainly helped the cause.  Ron Gardenhire got tossed for arguing balls and strikes - I guess he was practicing for his future career as a big league manager!  The Cubs have now lost four straight.

Winning Pitcher - Berenyi
Losing Pitcher - Dick Ruthven
Player of the Game - Strawberry, 3-5, 2HR's, 5RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

Game #113 - Cincinnati Reds, 1 @ Houston Astros, 2
Jose Cruz overran a ball in center that allowed Dave Concepcion to score in the top of the first, but the Astros answered back in the bottom half of the inning when Enos Cabell knocked home Bill Doran.  The score stayed knotted at 1-1 into the fifth when Cabell once again came up with an RBI, this time driving home Terry Puhl.  The Reds had runners on first and third before Houston starter Joe Niekro got pulled.  Frank DiPino and Bill Dawley worked out of the jam to give the Astros yet another win on the season.  They are 8-1 and have a bullpen that will keep them in the front of the standings for the entire season.

Winning Pitcher - Joe Niekro
Losing Pitcher - Jay Tibbs
Save - Bill Dawley
Player of the Game - Dawley, 1 2/3 IP, 0H's, 0BB's, 2K's

April 10, 2012

April 14, 1984 - A Pair of Firsts

Game #109 - Seattle Mariners, 3 @ Minnesota Twins, 8
The Twins win for the first time this season!  In the bottom of the third inning the Twins were trailing 1-0 after a Dave Henderson solo homer, but erupted for four runs, including a two run homer from Kent Krbek.  They batted around the whole lineup in the sixth inning to score four more runs.  Dave Henderson added a second home run, but Mike Smithson of Minnesota spread four hits and five walks across seven-plus innings to give the Twinkies their first taste of victory.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Smithson
Losing Pitcher - Matt Young
Player of the Game - Hrbek, 3-5, HR, 2B, 3RBI's, 2R's

Game #110 - California Angels, 4 @ Oakland A's, 10
I had been waiting for the perfect opportunity to try this, and finally went for it - a player stole home in this game!  Rickey Henderson led off the bottom of the first with a walk and then stole second base.  He moved to third on a ground out by Carney Lansford.  I had envisioned trying this with a team who was in the lead and had a cocky runner on third.  I figured Rickey qualified as the cocky runner, and with it being so early in the game I decided what the heck, let's try it.  Sure enough Rickey got the best of Bruce Kison.  Kison must have been rattled, because Dwayne Murphy hit a home run right after that.  Kison was making his first start of the season, in the rotation in place of the departed Ken Forsch.  He recorded six strikeouts in four innings, but walked seven (!) hitters as well.  Curt Young of the A's worked around seven hits and four walks to get the win.  Fred Lynn and Brian Downing both homered and they share the league lead in that category.  Murphy added a second homer as well.

Winning Pitcher - Curt Young
Losing Pitcher - Bruce Kison
Player of the Game - Murphy, 2-5, 2 HR's, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan

April 6, 2012

April 14, 1984 - Good Friday

Game #107 - Baltimore Orioles, 12 @ Cleveland Indians, 11

What a slug fest!  Rick Sutcliffe couldn't get out of the fourth inning as he surrendered nine Oriole runs.  Five of those came on a three run homer from Mike Young and a two run triple he had his next time at bat.  Eddie Murray added a home run which plated two.

Mike Flanagan wasn't doing any better for Baltimore.  He gave up four home runs through three innings, including three in the third (Pat Tabler, Carmelo Castillo, Chris Bando).  The Brewers would hit six total home runs on the day (accounting for ten of their eleven runs) but the Orioles were able to hold onto the victory. 

Winning Pitcher - Bill Swaggerty
Losing Pitcher - Jamie Easterly
Save - Tom Underwood
Player of the Game - Mike Young, 2-6, 3B, HR, 5RBI's, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

Game #108 - Milwaukee Brewers, 5 @ Kansas City Royals, 3 (11 innings)
Another extra inning game!  We've had a bunch of those over the past few games.  Bud Black and Mike Caldwell were pitching in a 1-1 game heading into the bottom of the sixth.  Caldwell walked Darryl Motley and Steve Balboni made him pay by depositing a baseball into the KC water fountains.  In the top of the eighth Black allowed a couple of hits, leading me to bring Dan Quisenberry into the game to face Robin Yount.  But Yount doubled, tying the game at 3-3 with Quisenberry blowing the save.  Rollie Fingers came into the game in the bottom of the eighth and lasted three innings total.  In the top of the eleventh Quisenberry was finally pulled and Joe Beckwith relieved.  It wasn't pretty.  He allowed five singles and two runs.  Ray Searage closed out the game for Milwaukee, though Kansas City did make things interesting by putting two batters on the bases before John Wathan flied out to end it.

Winning Pitcher - Rollie Fingers
Losing Pitcher - Joe Beckwith
Save - Ray Searage
Player of the Game - Fingers, 3IP, 0R's, 0H's, 1BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Rollie Fingers

April 5, 2012

April 13, 1984 - Ending the Day with Dramatics

Game #105 - Atlanta Braves, 6 @ San Diego Padres, 10
This was a funky kind of game.  Dale Murphy had a solo tater in the first to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead, but that was the only scoring until the bottom of the eighth.  Donnie Moore had already relieved Rick Camp in the sixth but fell apart as he allowed six straight batters to reach base.  He got pulled for Gene Garber, but Garber didn't do much better.  When the dust had settled the Padres scored eight runs in the inning, sending 13 batters to the plate.  Padres starter Mark Thurmond was removed for a pinch hitter during the scoring barrage and mop up man Luis DeLeon came into the game.  All he did was surrender back to back to back solo homers to Chris Chambliss, Glenn Hubbard, and Brad Komminsk.  The Padres scored 10 total runs in the game without a homer but the Braves managed three in a row - and still lost.  Like I said, funky game.

Winning Pitcher - Mark Thurmond
Losing Pitcher - Gene Garber
Player of the Game - Thurmond, 7IP, 1R, 6H's, 3K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn

Game #106 - Pittsburgh Pirates, 2 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 3 (10 innings)
What a fun coincidence - the real Cardinals won their season opener last night against Miami and the Statis Pro Cards won in suspenseful style.

Johnny Ray doubled home Marvell Wynne in the first for a 1-0 Pirates lead, but the Cards got a run back on an RBI from Chris Speier (who was giving Ozzie Smith a day off).  It stayed 1-1 until the sixth when Jason Thompson doubled home Lee Lacy.  That ended up being the last hit of the game for Pittsburgh, who only manage four on the game but made them count for two runs.  Tito Landrum knocked his own double in the seventh to tie the game at 2-2.  Larry McWilliams for the Pirates and Danny Cox for the Cardinals both pitched well but each got stuck with a no decision.

Reliever Cecilio Guante had runners on the corners in the bottom of the ninth, but Rod Scurry came in and forced the game into extra innings.  In the bottom of the tenth, with Scurry still on the mound, George Hendrick came up with two outs.  He cranked a solo home run for the walk off win!  Lonnie Smith must be wearing off on him.  St. Louis wins their fourth straight!

Winning Pitcher - Bruce Sutter
Losing Pitcher - Rod Scurry
Player of the Game - George Hendrick, GW Walk-Off Home Run
Hall of Famers in the Game - Bruce Sutter

April 3, 2012

April 13, 1984 - Toilet Expos-ed

My folks are in town this week and my dad helped me fix one of the toilets in the house.  I am sad to admit I know very little when it comes to easy home repairs.  I'm not mechanically inclined.  Growing up I was more interested in my baseball cards than I was hanging out with my father when he was tinkering around the house.  I think that's one of the cool things about getting older, though.  Your dad is still your dad, and I appreciated his help tonight.  Also, I got to work the Montreal game into the title of this post. 

Game #104 - Philadelphia Phillies, 7 @ Montreal Expos, 6
Both teams have been in the crapper so far this season.  Montreal has only won once and the Phillies were riding a three game losing streak.  It was a scoreless game in the bottom of the third when Gary Carter splashed a homer for two runs and an Expos lead off starting pitcher Charles Hudson.  That was all the damage Hudson allowed, though, through six innings. 

Tim Corcoran flushed a solo shot in the fourth for Philly, and they got two more runs on hits from Corcoran again and SS Ivan DeJesus in the sixth.  The Phillies had a 5-2 lead in the eighth when pinch hitter Luis Aguayo plopped a double to score Gary Maddox and Von Hayes.  This ended up being the game winning hit because Montreal scored four runs in the eighth and ninth for a near comeback victory.  But Larry Andersen struck out Bryan Little causing the Expos to circle the bowl. 

Winning Pitcher - Charles Hudson
Losing Pitcher - Bob James
Save - Larry Andersen
Player of the Game - Corcoran was 3-3, but I've got to go with Aguayo.
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

April 2, 2012

April 13, 1984 - Friday the 13th

I can't believe I just noticed this was a "Friday the 13th" back in 1984.  It was certainly a horror show for some teams in today's games...

Game #101 - New York Mets, 2 @ Chicago Cubs, 0
If you ask the Cubs, they would swear Dwight Gooden was wearing a hockey mask out there.  He pitched his second complete game shutout of the year, fanning a Statis Pro record thirteen batters.  He only allowed four hits and two walks.  Dennis Eckersley was nearly as good for the Cubs, but walked two batters with the bases loaded in the seventh.  I think I'm going to remove him from the active roster since in the real 1984 he was still on the Red Sox at this point of the season.

Winning Pitcher - Dwight Gooden
Losing Pitcher - Dennis Eckersley
Player of the Game - Gooden
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg, Dennis Eckersley

Game #102 - Cincinnati Reds, 1 @ Houston Astros, 10
The Reds will be having nightmares about this game for some time.  Houston scored all ten of their runs in the first three innings while Nolan Ryan had a shutout into the ninth before the Reds scored their lone run of the game.  Bill Scherrer pitched a nice six innings of relief for the Reds.  Houston catcher Mark Bailey took a nasty foul ball off the bat of Ron Oester and is injured for the next 20 games - another victim of the 13th!

Winning Pitcher - Nolan Ryan
Losing Pitcher - Frank Pastore
Player of the Game - Denny Walling, 3-5, 2 2B's, 4RBI's, 1R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Nolan Ryan

Game #103 - San Francisco Giants, 8 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 5
The Giants were in their own 0-7 horror movie to start the season but finally came back to life against their dreaded foe the Dodgers.  They scored three quick runs on Alejandro Pena in the first, including a two run homer from Jack Clark.  But the Dodgers took the lead in the seventh when they scored five runs off of Giants starter Mike Krukow, with the biggest hit being a grand slam from pinch hitter Franklin Stubbs.  But San Fran score three in the eighth off reliever Jerry Reuss.  The RBI's came from back to back homers by Bob Brenly and Joel Youngblood.

Winning Pitcher - Frank Williams
Losing Pitcher - Jerry Reuss
Save - Gary LaVelle
Player of the Game - Joel Youngblood, 2-3, HR, 2RBI's, sac fly

It's probably just a coincidence that a guy with the last name "Youngblood" was a player of the game on Friday the 13th.  *nervous gulp*

April 1, 2012

April 13, 1984 - Ahead By A Century

Game #100 - Toronto Blue Jays, 5 @ Texas Rangers, 4 (eleven innings)
Here we are at the 100th game played in the Statis Pro season!  There will be thousands played when its all said and done, but that's no reason not to celebrate a nice, even, round number.  The Rangers and Blue Jays made sure it would be an exciting game to boot.

Jim Clancy of the Jays and Danny Darwin of Texas were posting goose eggs until the bottom of the sixth.  Larry Parrish knocked a double to bring in Gary Ward and Mickey Rivers followed that up with a sacrifice bunt to plate Pete O'Brien.  The Rangers got two more runs in the eighth to make it 4-0 heading into the top of the ninth.  That's when the wheels fell off.

Darwin was still pitching, trying for the shutout.  Willie Upshaw and Willie Aikens had back to back singles.  Rance Mulliniks was up and gapped a triple to score the Willies and make it a 4-2 game with no outs and a man on third.  Darwin got yanked after that and close Dave Schmidt came in to close it out.  But Ernie Whitt knocked in Mulliniks to make it 4-3, and Alfredo Griffin followed up with a nice hit-n-run single to move pinch runner Garth Iorg to third.  Schmidt got Dave Collins to pop out to Ned Yost on the suicide squeeze attempt, but with one out Damaso Garcia hit a chopping ground out to second that was good enough to score Iorg and tie the game.

Ron Musselman came in for Toronto in the bottom of the ninth and retired the Rangers in order.  Schmidt walked the lead off man in the tenth but escaped with three straight outs.  With two outs in the bottom of the tenth Larry Parrish and Mickey Rivers reached third and first respectively, but Billy Sample grounded out to end the rally.

The top of the eleventh saw the winning run score.  Buck Martinez singled, Griffin batted him to third, Dave Collins once again fouled out on a squeeze attempt, and Damaso grounded out to second again with Martinez scoring.  Musselman had runners on the corners in the bottom of the eleventh but got Buddy Bell to ground out and end the game.  Quite a comeback for Toronto!  The Rangers have now lost four straight.

Winning Pitcher - Ron Musselman
Losing Pitcher - Dave Schmidt
Player of the Game - Musselman, 3IP, zero runs.  The card above is the only image of Musselman I can find on the internet.

In honor of our 100th game and the extra-inning victory by Toronto, how about a song from my favorite Canadian band?