November 30, 2012

April 22, 1984 - The Arm Surgery Guy

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

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

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

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

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

November 23, 2012

April 22, 1984 - Willie Walk-Off

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

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

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

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

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

November 21, 2012

April 22, 1984 - Gobble Gobble

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 20, 2012

April 22, 1984 - Joe Morgan Defies Logic

Oakland Athletics, 11 @ Boston Red Sox, 9

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

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

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

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

Happy Trails - Jim Dorsey

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

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

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

November 19, 2012

April 22, 1984 - O's Cruz to Victory

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 14, 2012

Week In Review: April 15-21

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

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

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

The Phenomenal Phive:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 12, 2012

April 21, 1984 - Expos Sweep the Twin Bill

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

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

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

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

And they weren't done!

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

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

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

November 6, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

November 5, 2012

April 21, 1984 - Sixto None The Richer

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

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

Today it backfired.

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

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

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

November 4, 2012

Rest In Peace, Pascual Perez

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

November 3, 2012

April 21, 1984 - Dodgers Survive Padres

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

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

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

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

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