December 31, 2012

April 23, 1984 - Farewell 2012!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 30, 2012

April 23, 1984 - Padres Heating Up...

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

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

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

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

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

December 28, 2012

April 23, 1984 - Dodgers, Expos FTW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 26, 2012

April 23, 1984 - Bicentennial

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

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

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

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

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

December 25, 2012

April 23, 1984 - Merry Christmas!

Game #199 - Texas Rangers, 3 @ Cleveland Indians

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

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

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

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

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

December 23, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 22, 2012

April 23, 1984 - Pettis-cure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 21, 2012

April 22, 1984 - Rain, Raines Reign

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

This might be my favorite blog title yet.

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

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

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

December 19, 2012

April 22, 1984 - Glad and Sad Tidings

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

Let's start off with the happy...

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

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

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

And now the sad...


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

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

December 8, 2012

April 22, 1984 - Oh My Darling

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

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

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

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

December 5, 2012

April 22, 1984 - Padres Steal a Win

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

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

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

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

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

December 2, 2012

April 22, 1984 - Reynolds Errors Lets Braves Win

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

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

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

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

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