July 29, 2012

April 20, 1984 - Four Twenty

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 28, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 23, 2012

April 19, 1984 - Biggest Inning of the Year

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

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

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

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

July 19, 2012

April 19, 1984 - Who is Kevin McReynolds?

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

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

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

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

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

July 15, 2012

April 19, 1984 - Quintessential Lee Smith?

Game #157 - St. Louis Cardinals, 4 @ Chicago Cubs, 6

I've always had mixed emotions when it comes to Lee Smith.  I generally liked him as a player when I was a kid.  He looked big and imposing, he had those big saves totals every year...  When the Orioles picked him up in the 90's I was pumped - with reservations.  As the boyhood geek who poured over the backs of baseball cards I knew Smith racked up the saves, but that he also did so with some higher ERA's than the average closer.  I remember an All Star game in the 90's when he represented the O's and got pounded for at least one homer (I'm too lazy to look that up).  Anyway, I've wanted to support his Hall of Fame case, but deep down I know he shouldn't be there.

This game, to me, encapsulated my own personal Lee Smith impressions and memories.  The Cubs were leading 6-3 heading into the top of the ninth.  I haven't used Lee Smith to "close" a game yet for a couple of reasons.  First, in this season of Statis Pro, he's only rated a "2-6", which is about as average as you can be for a pitcher.  Warren Brusstar is also in the bullpen for Chicago but has a "2-7" rating, making him the more effective pitcher.  For me, part of replaying a season knowing retroactively who was good and who was less good gives me the opportunity to do things differently than Jim Frey would have.  But Lee Smith also pitched a ton of games for the Cubs that year, so I need to use him fairly frequently or I risk blowing out the bullpen. 

So Smith started off the ninth inning by walking Ozzie Smith.  The Wizard stole second base and, while doing so, catcher Steve Lake overthrew second base allowing Ozzie to score (Lake was in the game because Jody Davis got ejected arguing a "fair or foul" call).  One batter faced and the Cardinals were already a run closer!  Darrell Porter was up next, and stroked a double.  Now the tying run was at the plate!  Pinch hitter Tito Landrum grounded out to second which moved Porter to third.  But Smith got George Hendrick to line out to third and Willie McGee to line out to second to end the game.  Lee got the save, but it wasn't a pretty inning. 

Winning Pitcher - Scott Sanderson
Losing Pitcher - Danny Cox
Save - Lee Smith
Player of the Game - Ryne Sandberg, 2-4, 2B, 3B, 2R's, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Ryne Sandberg

What do you all think - is Lee Smith a Hall of Famer?

July 12, 2012

April 19, 1984 - Dream Weaver

Game #156 - Baltimore Orioles, 15 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 8

Earl Weaver wasn't the O's manager in 1984, but he would have been proud of the Baltimore offensive output.  Weaver was a big fan of the three run homer, and the Orioles hit three(!) of them in this game.  Those are the kind of efforts that must have given Earl sweet dreams...

Baltimore went through twelve hitters to start the game and had chased away Blue Jays pitcher Luis Leal after only recording one out.  Cal Ripken smashed the first three run bomb in that inning and helped give the O's a 7-0 lead.  But Toronto came roaring back.  They scored two in the first inning and three more in the second to close the gap, 7-5.  In the top of the third, though, Eddie Murray knocked his own three run homer to extend the Baltimore lead for good.

Every Baltimore batter scored at least one run in the game except catcher Rick Dempsey.  Wayne Gross hit the third and final three run jack but Mike Young, who has been insanely hot to start this Statis Pro season, added a solo job too.  John Lowenstein made six trips to the plate and never recorded an out, including three walks.  The Blue Jays didn't allow Mike Flanagan to escape the second but Tippy Martinez gutted out three and third innings to earn the win.

On the Toronto side of the diamond Dave Collins played first base in this game to rest Willie Upshaw, and went 4 for 5 and scored four runs.  Lloyd Moseby hit another triple to extend his AL lead in that category and Kelly Gruber, on the active roster to replace injured Alfredo Griffin, made his MLB debut and actually hit a solo homer.

Winning Pitcher - Tippy Martinez
Losing Pitcher  - Luis Leal
Player of the Game - Eddie Murray, 2-3, 2b, HR, 3R's, 3RBI's, 2BB's, 1 sac fly
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

July 10, 2012

April 19, 1984 - It's Getting Hoyt in Here

Game #155 - Chicago White Sox, 4 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 1

Forgive me for the silly Nelly reference to start things off, I couldn't help myself.

Chicago has had a rough start to the season but they had their mojo working in today's game.  Facing Moose Haas, they scored their first run of the game in third when Scott Fletcher doubled in Jerry Hairston.  Haas gave up three hits and a walk in the fourth, but only surrendered one more run as a result.  Vance Law added a two run jack in the sixth to complete the White Sox run production.

LaMarr Hoyt fared better than Moose.  ("LaMarr," "Moose," - pitcher's first names were awesome back in 1984...)  He went eight strong innings giving up only one run, an RBI single from Dion James that plated Rick Manning.  Ron Reed gave up a double to Ben Oglivie in the ninth but big O was left stranded.

Winning Pitcher - LaMarr Hoyt
Losing Pitcher - Moose Haas
Save - Ron Reed
Player of the Game - Hoyt, 8IP, 1R, 4H's, 2K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Carlton Fisk, Robin Yount, Paul Molitor

July 9, 2012

April 19, 1984 - Petry Putrid

Game #154 - Kansas City Royals, 9 @ Detroit Tigers, 1

The Royals are quietly climbing up the standings in the AL East.  Their most recent Motown visit was a good one.  KC scored three in the first, including a Jorge Orta two run homer, and added another three in the second.  When Tigers starter Dan Petry gave up solo shots to UL Washington and George Brett he was finally pulled.

On the flip side, Mark Gubicza was totally in the zone.  He scattered four hits and five walks over a complete game.  The lone Detroit run came in the ninth.  Kirk Gibson led off with a triple.  Two batters later Lance Parris hit a sacrifice fly that plated Gibson.  Rupert Jones struck out to end it for the Tigers.  (Don Slaught sustained a minor injury in the 9th as well, and will miss the next two games).

Winning Pitcher - Mark Gubicza
Losing Pitcher - Dan Petry
Player of the Game - Gubicza, CG, 7K's, 1ER
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett

July 7, 2012

April 19, 1984 - Life

Game #153 - Texas Rangers, 6 @ Boston Red Sox, 9

In the last month or so my family and I have moved, I started a new job, and late in the night on June 22 we welcomed our third daughter to the world!  Can you believe I haven't been posting regularly? 

Maybe it was more than coincidence that the Rangers were part of the first game I played in our new digs, as we now live in Texas and the local Fox Sports channel shows the 2012 team almost every night. 

The Rangers had a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth.  Dave Stewart had been mowing down the Red Sox.  But Mike Easler walked, Jim Rice doubled, and then Curt Wilkerson made a costly error that allowed the next batter, Rich Gedman, to crush a three run homer.  Boston tied the game the next inning on a Dwight Evans triple that plated Wade Boggs.  Jim Tobik came in to relieve but gave up four runs in the eighth to allow Boston the massive come from behind victory.  These are the mid-80's Rangers teams I remember!

Winning Pitcher - Steve Crawford
Losing Pitcher - Jim Tobik
Player of the Game - Rick Miller, pinch hit RBI single to score the go-ahead run in the eighth
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice