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December 18, 2013

April 28, 1984 - L,L Cool Jay

Game #255 - Cleveland Indians, 7 @ Detroit Tigers, 8

This game was embarrassing for me, because I made two errors as the "manager," one for each team.

The first mistake came after Broderick Perkins laced a pinch-hit single in the seventh.  He's not a good runner, and he was going to have to be replaced by the speedier Junior Noboa anyway because he had substituted for starting second baseman Mike Fischlin.  Two batters later, Julio Franco roped a single and Perkins tried to score from second.  Kirk Gibson came up throwing and nailed Perkins.  Noboa would have been safe.  It killed the Indians' rally after they had tied the game in the seventh.

The second mistake came in the top of the ninth.  I had left Howard Johnson, an "E7" rated fielder (that's terrible), at third base instead of getting a replacement glove.  Sure enough, HoJo booted a grounder allowing the Indians to tie the game again.  In the bottom of the ninth, though, Lou Whitaker plated the game winning run on a single to win the game.

Winning Pitcher - Willie Hernandez
Losing Pitcher - Mike Jeffcoat
Player of the Game - Lou Whitaker, 3-5, R, 3RBI's, BB

Game #256 - Toronto Blue Jays, 13 @ Kansas City Royals, 3

The Blue Jays keep nipping at the heals of the Tigers for the best record in Statis Pro.  This game was never close.  Larry Gura never made it out of the second inning and ten different Blue Jays scored a run.  Jim Clancy made an unusually strong start, going eight innings and scattering eight hits and two walks.

Winning Pitcher - Jim Clancy
Losing Pitcher - Larry Gura
Player of the Game - Lloyd Moseby, 2-4, 2HR's, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett

December 8, 2013

April 28, 1984 - Left of the Dial

A good two games for left handed pitchers!

Game #253 - Seattle Mariners, 2 @ California Angels, 10

Mark Langston got straight jacked in this game.  He couldn't escape the second inning and gave up six runs in the process.  That included Brian Downing's league leading two-run homer.  Meanwhile, Geoff Zahn scattered six hits to handcuff the Seattle offense.

Winning Pitcher - Geoff Zahn
Losing Pitcher - Mark Langston
Player of the Game - Zahn, 8IP, 6H's, 2R's, 2K's


Game #254 - Boston Red Sox, 3 @ Chicago White Sox, 2

This game was pretty ugly, as the Red Sox grounded into four double plays and the White Sox hit into two of their own.  Tony Armas started the scoring when his solo homer went over the wall in the second inning.  A Carlton Fisk passed ball from Richard Dotson set up two more Boston runs in the sixth.  Fisk made up for the gaff in the bottom of the eighth, knocking a home run that plated two.  But Charlie Mitchell shut down the Southside in the bottom of the ninth, including a strikeout of Ron Kittle to end the game.  It's the fifth loss in a row for Chicago.

Winning Pitcher - Bruce Hurst
Losing Pitcher - Richard Dotson
Save - Charlie Mitchell
Player of the Game - Hurst, 8IP, 7H's, 2R's, 6K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Carlton Fisk


December 2, 2013

April 28, 1984 - Ranger Danger


 Game #252 - Texas Rangers, 4 @ Baltimore Orioles, 1

I've mentioned before that the 1985 Topps set was my first as a kid, and that pouring over the backs of these cards is one of the reasons I fell in love with the 1984 season.  Ten year old me and present day me would have both bet all the money in our wallets (surprisingly, still a small amount all these years later) that Jeff Kunkel would never get player of the game status in this recreation.  I thought he was the weakest player included in the set!

Oh to be proven wrong!

The Rangers tagged Bill Swaggerty for three runs in the second inning, one of those RBI's coming from Jeff Kunkel.  Kunkel would score an insurance run in the ninth too.  He even stole a base in the fourth inning!  Danny Darwin scattered seven hits over seven innings, thanks in part to three double plays the Orioles hit into.

Winning Pitcher - Danny Darwin
Losing Pitcher - Bill Swaggerty
Save - Dave Schmidt
Player of the Game - Jeff Kunkel, 3-4, 2R's, RBI, SB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

November 30, 2013

April 27, 1984 - SoCal

Game #251 - Los Angeles Dodgers, 4 @ San Diego Padres, 2

Bob Welch gave up his first hit of the day in the bottom of the second when Graig Nettles took Welch deep for a solo homer.  LA responded by scoring two in the top of third, thanks in part to a Gary Templeton error.  Later Greg Brock added a solo home run of his own to help the Dodgers secure the victory.

Winning Pitcher - Bob Welch
Losing Pitcher - Eric Show
Save - Tom Niedenfuer
Player of the Game - Welch, 7IP, 2ER's, 3H's, 3K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn

November 3, 2013

April 27, 1984 - #250

Game #250

Chicago Cubs, 1 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 4

This game was scoreless heading into the bottom of the fourth inning.  Cubs starter Rich Bordi had yet to give up a hit.  But Jason Thompson and Tony Pena had back to back singles, and Lizard King Jim Morrison cranked a three run homer to break the game open for the Pirates.

Larry McWilliams was far from perfect, as he gave up four hits and six walks over seven innings, but he held Chicago to one run.  The Cubs shot themselves in the foot by grounding into four double plays. 

Winning Pitcher - Larry McWilliams
Losing Pitcher - Rich Bordi
Save - Rod Scurry
Player of the Game - Jim Morrison, three run homer
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

October 26, 2013

April 27th, 1984 - I'm Keith Hernandez

Game #249 - Philadelphia Phillies, 2 @ New York Mets, 3

It's always exciting to play the Statis Pro games with Dwight Gooden starting.  The strikeout range on his pitching card is insane.  If I were to bet on which player from 1984 would be most likely to toss a no-hitter, I'd place it on Gooden.

That being said, Doctor K got into some early inning trouble.  In the top of the second Mike Schmidt and Len Matuszek each dropped solo homers over the outfield wall to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead.  Miraculously, Gooden has only given up four runs on the season, but they've all been on solo home runs. 

The Mets answered back in the bottom of the fifth.  Mookie Wilson singled and stole second with one out.  Wally Backman singled to plate Mookie, and then Keith Hernandez doubled to score Backman.  Hernandez would later be driven in by George Foster to give the Mets the lead, and what would eventually become, the game.

Winning Pitcher - Dwight Gooden
Losing Pitcher - Charles Hudson
Save - Jesse Orosco
Player of the Game - Keith Hernandez, 2-3, 2B, R, RBI, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt

October 20, 2013

April 27, 1984 - Knepper Rolling, Dawson Waking Up

Game #247 - Atlanta Braves, 5 @ Houston Astros, 8

Atlanta scored three runs in the ninth off mop-up man Vern Ruhle to make this game appear closer than it really was.

Bob Knepper continues to dominate in the early going of Statis Pro.  He went eight strong innings only giving up two runs while striking out four.  He picked up his fourth "Player of the Game" honors as well.  The first player to reach five will receive a special honor - stay tuned! 

Winning Pitcher - Knepper
Losing Pitcher - Rick Camp
Save - Dave Smith
Player of the Game - Knepper


Game #248 - St. Louis Cardinals, 7 @ Montreal Expos, 9

Montreal continues it's steady climb out of the cellar!  Andre Dawson has been in a brutal slump to start the year.  Perhaps this game will be his wake up call.  He crushed a two run jack in the bottom of the first off Kurt Kepshire to give the Expos the early lead.  He added an RBI double in the fifth when Montreal sent ten batters to the plate.

The Cardinals made a late game surge.  Down 9-0, they scored a combined seven runs in the seventh and eighth innings.  Steve Rogers had been cruising through six innings of shutout ball when Lonnie Smith roped a bases loaded triple to send Rogers to the showers.  Greg Harris locked things down for the Expos in the ninth to preserve the win.

Winning Pitcher - Steve Rogers
Losing Pitcher - Kurt Kepshire
Save - Greg Harris
Player of the Game - Andre Dawson
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

October 7, 2013

April 27, 1984 - Victories for the Bay...at a Cost...

Game #245 - Minnesota Twins, 4 @ Oakland A's, 5

The A's put two on the board first thanks to a homer with a man on for Dwayne Murphy.  The Twins answered in kind at the top half of the inning when Tom Brunansky also went deep.  A Mickey Hatcher error in left field, though, allowed the A's to make it a 4-2 lead and they never looked back.  Donnie Hill, just called up to the team after Rickey Henderson went on the DL, and with Tony Phillips ailing as well, didn't make it past the third inning because a Lenny Faedo line drive put him on the DL for 24 games.

Winning Pitcher - Steve McCatty
Losing Pitcher - Pete Filson
Save - Bill Caudill
Player of the Game - McCatty, not pretty, but only allowed four hits through six and a third.
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett, Joe Morgan

Game #246 - San Francisco Giants, 11 @ Cincinnati Reds, 2

The Giants have won three of their last five and seem to finally be coming to life.  They plated four in the first inning alone.  Atlee Hammaker was masterful, going eight innings.  But gruesome injuries were the story of the game for both teams.  Ron Oester and Gary Redus collided on a play in the field, with Oester down for six games and Redus for eleven.  In the bottom of the ninth the Giants suffered an even worse fate.  Al Oliver and Jeffrey Leonard also ran into each other on a play.  Leonard is out for ten games, but Oliver is out for a whopping thirty.  San Fran won the battle, but they may have lost the war.

Winning Pitcher - Hammaker
Losing Pitcher - Frank Pastore
Player of the Game - Hammaker, 8IP, 3H's, 0 earned runs
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Perez

October 5, 2013

April 27, 1984 - AL East Remains Dominant

Game #243 - Toronto Blue Jays, 9 @ Kansas City Royals, 4

George Brett committed a costly error in the first inning that allowed Jorge Bell to double home an unearned run off Mark Gubicza.  In the top of the second Bell made Gubicza pay again, swatting a two run homer and ending his pitching day before escaping the second.  Tony Fernandez continued his hot hitting while playing for the injured Alfredo Griffin by going four for four, including a triple. 

Winning Pitcher - Doyle Alexander
Losing Pitcher - Mark Gubicza
Player of the Game - Bell (second game in a row)
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett

Game #244 - Milwaukee Brewers, 1 @ New York Yankees, 8

Ray Fontenot, the starting pitcher for New York, managed to spread eight hits and two walks over eight innings pitched while only allowing Randy Ready to score on a Robin Yount single.  The Brewers helped him out by hitting into three double plays, including two by Cecil Cooper.  Everyone but Omar Moreno managed to collect at least one hit in the Yankee line-up.  Ken Griffey led the way by going three for four with a double, two runs scored, and three RBI's.  Willie Randolph scored three times thanks to two hits and two walks on the day as well.  The Yankees and Blue Jays continue to nip at the heals of Detroit for the top spot in the AL East!

Winning Pitcher - Ray Fontenot
Losing Pitcher - Jamie Cocanower
Player of the Game - Griffey
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount, Dave Winfield

September 18, 2013

April 27, 1984 - Scrubs

Game #241 - Boston Red Sox, 7 @ Chicago White Sox, 2

Battle of the Sox!

This one was never close for Chicago.  Spot starter Tom Brennan surrendered six hits and six walks in under five innings of play.  Strangely, Boston didn't have any extra base hits on the afternoon, but were aided by all the free passes and two errors in the fifth inning that led to five runs.

Winning Pitcher - Dennis Eckersley
Losing Pitcher - Tom Brennan
Player of the Game - Rick Miller, 2-4, R, W, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Dennis Eckersley

Game #242 - Cleveland Indians, 4 @ Detroit Tigers, 5

This was a very fun game!

Mike Fischlin led off the top of the third with a triple.  A Tom Brookens error allowed Fischlin to score and an eventual RBI single by George Vukovich gave Cleveland a nice 2-0 lead.

With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Detroit hit three straight singles before Marty Castillo plated two runs with a triple.  The Tigers score four runs total in the inning to give them the new lead at 4-2.  Detroit added another run in the fifth but Pat Tabler of the Indians smoked a two run homer off Roger Mason, narrowing the Tigers' lead to 5-4

In the bottom of the eighth Larry Herndon tried to score on a Brookens single for an insurance run but Brett Butler threw him out at home plate to end the rally.  In the top of the ninth Cleveland had one out with pinch runner Otis Nixon standing on second after a risky stolen base.  Julio Franco singled to left field but Kirk Gibson managed to throw out Nixon and prevent the Indians from tying the game.

Winning Pitcher - Roger Mason
Losing Pitcher - Neal Heaton
Save - Aurelio Lopez
Player of the Game - Castillo, 2-4, 2B, 3B, R, 2RBI's, threw out Butler trying to steal second

September 13, 2013

April 27, 1984 - Eight is Enough

Game #239 - Texas Rangers, 0 @ Baltimore Orioles, 8

The Rangers were shorthanded in this game as Gary Ward and Curtis Wilkerson were both injured.  The short bench and weak bats could not overcome Mike Boddicker, who was simply dealing.  He tossed a shutout while only surrendering three hits and two walks.  At one point he retired 15 straight Rangers.  Todd Cruz went three for four for the O's, including a two run homer.

Winning Pitcher - Boddicker
Losing Pitcher - Frank Tanana
Player of the Game - Boddicker
Hall of Famers in the Game - Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken

Game #240 - Seattle Mariners, 5 @ California Angels, 8

The Angels sent 10 batters to the plate in the second inning, scoring a total of six runs.  Doug DeCinces homered and Fred Lynn smoked a bases-clearing double.  Tommy John scattered eleven hits and two walks over eight innings while only allowing two runs.  Jim Slaton came in for the ninth to mop up the victory but surrendered three runs and almost let Seattle back into the game. 

Winning Pitcher - Tommy John
Losing Pitcher - Roy Thomas
Player of the Game - Fred Lynn, 2-5, 2B, R, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew and Reggie Jackson

August 30, 2013

April 26, 1984 - Second to None

Game #237 - Cincinnati Reds, 6 @ Atlanta Braves, 4

Ron Oester had a slow start to this Statis Pro season but he raised his batting average significantly after going 4 for 5 with three RBI's.  Dave Parker added a solo homer too.  Dale Murphy accounted for all four runs by the Braves, hitting a three run tater in the first and a solo shot in the sixth, but that's all Atlanta could muster.

Winning Pitcher - Mario Soto
Losing Pitcher - Rick Mahler
Save - Ted Power
Player of the Game - Ron Oester

Game #238 - Los Angeles Dodgers, 1, @ San Diego Padres, 4

Oester wasn't the only second basemen doing damage.  In the bottom of the first Steve Sax mishandled a throw from the first baseman on a bunt attempt by Alan Wiggins.  Having reached on the error Wiggins stole second, moved to third on a sacrifice, and scored a run on a Kevin McReynolds single.  He also manage two more hits and an additional stolen base.  Meanwhile, the Dodgers injury bug took another bite out of the team.  Mike Scioscia is out for 20 games after a bad foul tip.  Great news for Steve Yeager fans, bad that represents a significant downgrade for LA.

Winning Pitcher - Andy Hawkins
Losing Pitcher - Fernando Valenzuela
Save - Craig Lefferts
Player of the Game - Alan Wiggins
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn

August 17, 2013

April 26, 1984 - Has It Really Been Over Two Months?

Detroit Tigers, 10 @ Texas Rangers, 7

Lou Whitaker hit a gran slam and the Tigers slugged their way back from two different deficits to remain the hottest team in Statis Pro.

Winning Pitcher - Juan Berenguer
Losing Pitcher - Charlie Hough
Save - Willie Hernandez
Player of the Game - Whitaker, 3-6, 2B, Grand Slam, 4RBI's, 3 Runs

Oakland A's, 5 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 11

Crazy game in which Oakland gave up a three run lead and Rickey Henderson got injured for ten games.  Oakland committed three errors in the sixth inning to allow Toronto to pull ahead for good.

Winning Pitcher - Bryan Clark
Losing Pitcher - Curt Young
Player of the Game - Jorge Bell, 3-5, HR, 2B, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan

June 6, 2013

April 26, 1984 - Buy a Vowel

Game #234 - New York Yankees, 1 @ Minnesota Twins, 4

I remember watching a Twins game on TV as a kid and the camera panned to the crowd during a Kent Hrbek at-bat.  A Twins fan held a sign that lovingly said, "Kent, buy a vowel!"

Lefties Ron Guidry and Frank Viola were trading goose eggs through the first three and a half innings.  Guidry even struck out four of the first five Twins he faced.  But in the bottom of the fourth Tim Teufel doubled home Kent Hrbek.  Minnesota maintained a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the eighth when Hrbek launched a major two-run homer against tough leftie reliever Dave Righetti.  Suddenly Minnesota, the worst team in the AL this season, has won two games against the Bronx Bombers.

Winning Pitcher - Frank Viola
Losing Pitcher - Ron Guidry
Save - Len Whitehouse
Player of the Game - Hrbek, 2-3, HR, 2RBI's, 2R's, on HBP
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield, Kirby Puckett

June 2, 2013

April 26, 1984 - Yount Trips Angels

Game #233 - California Angels, 2 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 3

I don't look forward to games with the Brewers.  Their 1984 team was pretty weak.  Outside of Robin Yount and Rollie Fingers, there weren't a ton of standout seasons.  Every time I put their lineup down, I feel like I'm cobbling together has-beens and never-were's. 

All that being said, the Brew Crew gave an exciting game.  The game was scoreless until the top of the fourth.  Doug DeCinces led off with a solo homer, and a Reggie Jackson ground out eventually scored Daryl Sconiers. 

The game stayed that way until the bottom of the fifth, when Milwaukee staged a magnificent two out rally.  Ted Simmons singled and the Dion James and Jim Sundberg were issued back to back walks.  With the bases loaded Angels' starter Ron Romanick faced Robin Yount.  Yount managed to rip the ball for a bases-clearing triple.  Tom Tellmann and Rollie Fingers preserved the win for Moose Haas, and Milwaukee got just their sixth win on the season.

Winning Pitcher - Moose Haas
Losing Pitcher - Ron Romanick
Save - Rollie Fingers
Player of the Game - Robin Yount, 1-3, 3B, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Reggie Jackson, Rod Carew, Robin Yount, Rollie Fingers

June 1, 2013

April 26, 1984 - Orioles Victorious


Game #232 - Baltimore Orioles, 6 @ Kansas City Royals, 4

Things didn't start well for Baltimore.  Orioles starter Scott McGregor got shelled for three runs in the first inning, including a big two-RBI double from Greg Pryor.  The O's tied things up in the third when Mike Young, the hottest hitter in the American League right now, jacked a three run homer.

The Orioles took the lead for good when Eddie Murray, my favorite player of all time, thumped a two RBI double that scored Todd Cruz and Gary Roenicke.  Murray had already recorded a single and triple, and finished a home run shy of the cycle (he was walked in his last at bat).  This game was also the last start of the year for Paul Splittorff.  He has some bullpen appearances to make before he will exit for the remainder of this Statis Pro season.

Winning Pitcher - Scott McGregor
Losing Pitcher - Paul Splittorff
Save - Sammy Stewart
Player of the Game - Murray, 3-3, 2B, 3B, BB, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

May 30, 2013

April 26, 1984 - White Sux

Game #231 - Chicago White Sox, 6 @ Cleveland Indians, 9

The White Sox had a funny inning in the fifth.  They hit for the cycle, in order of smallest hit to biggest.  With one out Julio Cruz singled.  Lead-off man Jerry Hairston then doubled to plate Cruz.  Vance Law grounded out but Harold Baines tripled to score Hairston.  Next up was Carlton Fisk, and he homered for two RBI's and completion of the cycle!  It gave Chicago the lead but they couldn't make it stick as Cleveland chased away starter Floyd Bannister in the seventh and reliever Ron Reed was gouged for two more runs in the eighth (unearned thanks to a Scott Fletcher error).

Winning Pitcher - Jamie Easterly
Losing Pitcher - Floyd Bannister
Save - Ernie Camacho
Player of the Game - Easterly, 3IP, no runs, good bit of relief after a shaky start from Blyleven.
Hall of Famers in the Game - Carlton Fisk, Bert Blyleven

May 28, 2013

April 26, 1984 - Mariners Fend Off Boston

Game #230 - Seattle Mariners, 6 vs. Boston Red Sox, 4

Every time Seattle scored first, the Red Sox tied things up.  It started in the fourth and fifth, when Seattle plated their first two runs.  But Dwight Evans and Tony Armas responded with RBI singles to knot it 2-2.  In the sixth Ken Phelps busted a solo homer but backup catcher Gary Allenson tied things up when he brought home Ed Jurak.

The score was eventually 4-4 in the top of the eighth when Seattle torched reliever Bob Stanley for two runs.  Edwin Nunez got out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the inning and put Boston to bed for good in the ninth.

Winning Pitcher - Matt Young
Losing Pitcher - Bob Stanley
Save - Edwin Nunez
Player of the Game - Jack Perconte, 2-4, 2 doubles, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

May 25, 2013

April 25, 1984 - Cardinals Keep Abusing Cubs

Game #229 - Chicago Cubs, 2 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 4

For the second game in a row, the Cardinals have Chicago's number.  It all started in the bottom of the first.  Ozzie Smith cranked a triple and Tom Herr managed to hit a sacrifice fly to score the Wizard. 

The Cubs tied the game in the top of the fourth, but Andy Van Slyke knocked in Willie McGee in the bottom half of the the same inning to keep St. Louis ahead.  George Hendrick added a two run homer in the sixth to put the Cardinals out front for good.

Chicago threatened in the top half of the ninth, when Bruce Sutter gave up his first run of the season.  He got out of a jam by getting Keith Moreland to ground into a double play and Jody Davis to strike out.

Winning Pitcher - Joaquin Andujar
Losing Pitcher - Scott Sanderson
Save - Bruce Sutter
Player of the Game - Andujar, 8IP, 1R, 3K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg, Ozzie Smith

May 19, 2013

April 25, 1984 - Four Score

Game # 228 - San Francisco Giants, 2 @ San Diego Padres, 4

I tend to have a lot of big first innings in Statis Pro.  I'm not sure if that's a flaw in the game, a coincidence, or just a biased impression.  But the Padres fell right in line with the theory.  Alan Wiggins lead off the bottom of the first and singled and then ended up on second after stealing the base.  Tony Gwynn poked a single but Wiggins stopped at third.  Garvey struck out but Kevin McReynolds roped a double to plate Wiggins.  Giants pitcher Jeff Robinson walked Carmelo Martinez to load the bases with still only one out.  He then walked Graig Nettles for another run scored, struck out Gary Templeton, and once again scored another run for San Diego when he walked Terry Kennedy.  Padres pitcher Mark Thurmond squeaked an infield single for the fourth RBI of the inning.  That would be all the runs San Diego would need because Thurmond went eight innings of stellar pitching to earn his second player of the game honors of the season.

Winning Pitcher - Mark Thurmond
Losing Pitcher - Jeff Robinson
Save - Goose Gossage
Player of the Game - Thurmond, 8IP, 2R's, 4K's, 2-3, RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

May 6, 2013

April 25, 1984 - Remember Me?

Howdy friends!

I apologize for the many weeks of not posting.  Life has been crazy with work and family obligations, just one of those seasons of life.  Statis Pro games require a certain degree of solitude to play and that just hasn't happened for me recently.  I've got two games on ice from over a month ago, and even though they were both exciting, the details aren't fresh enough in my mind to give you a good summary.  I'll just stick to the final results - my apologies to Keith Hernandez an John Denny, who both deserve better.

I've also got a second blog that's worth a look:

http://1988topps.blogspot.com/

If you're a fan of over-produced late 1980's baseball cards it should be a good time for you.

Game #226 - New York Mets, 6 @ Montreal Expos, 5

Winning Pitcher - Sid Fernandez
Losing Pitcher - Bryn Smith
Save - Doug Sisk
Player of the Game - Keith Hernandez, 2-5, HR, 2B, 2R's, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

Game #227- Pittsburgh Pirates, 0 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 1

Winning Pitcher - John Denny
Losing Pitcher - John Tudor
Player of the Game - Denny, CG SHO, 5H's, 3K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt

April 8, 2013

April 25, 1984 - Dodgers Comeback for Win

Game #225 - Houston Astros, 3 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 4

What should have been a pitcher's duel between Joe Niekro and Orel Hershisher was instead a sloppy affair for both starters.  Niekro gave up seven hits and five walks while Hershisher surrendered 9 while also walking five. 

The game was tied 1-1 in the top of the sixth when Craig Reynolds smoked a two RBI triple to give Houston the lead.  Niekro was still pitching in the seventh when he got himself into a bases loaded jam.  Denny Walling misplayed a German Rivera grounder to allow two runs to score.  Steve Sax added another unearned run when he singled to give LA the lead for good.

Winning Pitcher - Orel Hershiser
Losing Pitcher - Joe Niekro
Save - Burt Hooton
Player of the Game - Steve Sax, 2-3, R, BB, SB, RBI
 

March 23, 2013

April 25, 1984 - Bedrock

Game #224 - Cincinnati Reds, 4 @ Atlanta Braves, 5

I don't think you can look any more 1984 than Steve Bedrosian does in this baseball card.

Dan Driessen of the Reds scored the first run of the game with a solo blast in the top of the second off of Pascual Perez.  Perez got pay pack in the bottom of the inning, though, by rocking a two RBI triple. 

The Braves were up 4-2 in the top of the eighth when the Reds tied things up.  A Rafael Ramirez error allowed Driessen and Ron Oester to cross home plate.  But in the bottom of the eighth Ramirez rectified his mistake by leading off with a triple.  Dale Murphy promptly singled him home, and Atlanta pulled out the victory.

Winning Pitcher - Terry Forster
Losing Pitcher - John Franco
Save - Steve Bedrosian
Player of the Game - Bedrosian, 1 IP, 1K

March 4, 2013

April 25, 1984 - Joe Morgan is on crack.

Game #223 - Oakland Athletics, 2 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 6

Joe Morgan is not literally on crack.  But in this season of Statis Pro, he is on figurative crack.

Morgan went two for four this game, stroking two doubles.  His average is over .500 and and his OPS is well above 1.500.  Each game I play with the A's, I keep waiting for Joe to cool off.  His luck in "fast action cards" is impossibly good right now.

The other AL second bagger playing out of their mind right now is Damaso Garcia.  He's at .400 for the season and was a key cog in this game's Toronto victory.  Garcia went 2 for four with a double and 2 RBI's.  He also stole a base!

Dave Stieb got the victory for Toronto.  He walked an uncharacteristic four batters but only surrendered two runs and seven Oakland hits.  Jimmy Key was dicey in the ninth, loading the bases with the tying run at the plate, but he struck out Dwayne Murphy and Dave Kingman to escape the jam.

Winning Pitcher - Dave Stieb
Losing Pitcher - Larry Sorenson
Save - Jimmy Key
Player of the Game - Damaso Garcia
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan

March 3, 2013

RIP - Mario Ramirez


Rest in Peace Mario Ramirez.  He passed away in his native Puerto Rico in February.

February 19, 2013

April 25, 1984 - Texas on an Eight Game Slide

Game #222 - Detroit Tigers, 4 @ Texas Rangers, 2

Texas is just 3-15 on the season, worst in the American League.

Detroit is 12-4, which tops the AL.  A tale of two teams it would seem...

Lance Parrish put the first run on the board in the top of the second with a solo homer off of Dave Stewart.  Detroit scored a second run in the fourth when Kirk Gibson tripled and Chet Lemon doubled him home.  A Jeff Kunkel error in the seventh allowed two more Tigers to score.

The Rangers had their chances throughout the game but stranded a ton of runners.  Detroit starter Milt Wilcox surrendered eight hits and six walks but Texas only managed two runs.  Dave Stewart gutted out eight innings with only the two earned runs, but had nothing to show for it thanks to the struggling Rangers offense.

Winning Pitcher - Milt Wilcox
Losing Pitcher - Dave Stewart
Save - Dave Rozema
Player of the Game - Lance Parrish, 1-3, HR, BB, threw out to Rangers trying to steal, icy glare

February 18, 2013

April 25, 1984 - Twins Crawl Out of the Cellar

Game #221 - New York Yankees, 2 @ Minnesota Twins, 6

This Mike Smithson card always cracked me up as a kid.  The sweaty neck and armpits.  The comical moustache.  The random spring training background...priceless.

But Smithson was no joke in this game.  He kept the Yankees in check.  The Twins were on the board first when Tim Teufel knocked home Kirby Puckett in the bottom of the first.  In the top of the second New York tied it up with a Butch Wynegar sacrifice fly that had Don Mattingly trotting home.

The Yankees got blown out in the bottom of the second, though.  Phil Niekro couldn't get his knuckler past the Twins' hitters.  Kent Hrbek cranked a three run job, and Tom Brunansky followed that with his own solo homer.  The New York bullpen kept Minnesota scoreless after that, but Smithson pitched an important complete game a day after a double header.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Smithson
Losing Pitcher - Phil Niekro
Player of the Game - Smithson, CG, 3K's, 2R's, 6H's, 0BB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield, Phil Niekro, Kirby Puckett

February 16, 2013

April 25, 1984 - Bruce Almighty

Game #220 - California Angels, 5 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 0

Besides having a bad hair day (cheap shot), Don Sutton had a bad pitching day.  You know you're in trouble when lightweights like Rob Wilfong and Dick Schofield can smoke a triple and a homer back to back to plate three runs.  Bob Boone added a two-RBI double in the eighth after Sutton was pulled.

Winning Pitcher - Bruce Kison
Losing Pitcher - Don Sutton
Player of the Game - Kison, 6 2/3IP, 7K's, 0R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, Robin Yount, Don Sutton

February 10, 2013

April 25, 1984 - Black Out

Game #219 - Baltimore Orioles, 0 @ Kansas City Royals, 3

The last game the Orioles played was the Mike Flanagan one hit shutout.  This time, the O's were almost on the receiving end of a hitless pitching gem...

Gary Roenicke led off the game with a U.L. Washington error, but Bud Black got Mike Young to ground into a double play.  He walked Dempsey in the third, but Baltimore was still without a hit heading into the sixth inning.

In the sixth Black retired the first two hitters with ease, but walked Roenicke.  Young walked too, and all of a sudden there were two runners on with Cal Ripken at the plate.  He ended up poking a single to break up the no-no (for Statis Pro players, the hit came as a result of a leftie pitcher/rightie hitter advantage - dirty way to lose the no hitter).  The single didn't score Roenicke, bringing up Eddie Murray with the bases juiced.  Black struck out Murray, though, to escape the jam.  Murray ended up striking out three times on the day.

The Royals' hitters did enough to tag Storm Davis with the loss.  Dane Iorg hit a solo homer and Pat Sheridan and Jorge Orta each recorded an RBI for the Kansas City win.  Black went the distance for the dominant shutout.

Winning Pitcher - Bud Black
Losing Pitcher - Storm Davis
Player of the Game - Black, CG SHO, 3H's, 8K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, George Brett

February 4, 2013

April 25, 1984 - Seaver Trounced, Indians Roll

Game #218 - Chicago White Sox, 6 @ Cleveland Indians, 11

Mr. Castillo, is your name "Carmelo" or "Carmen"?  Your history of baseball cards list both.  How strange...

Whatever his name, he tagged Tom Seaver for a three run homer in the bottom of the first.  The hit allowed the Indians to take an early 4-0 lead after an inning of play.  Seaver has not looked good this season and Cleveland didn't help his stat line. 

The Indians hit three homers, including Castillo's, while the White Sox had four of their own, including two by Greg Walker and three in the eighth inning.  The other big highlight was a triple player ejection.  Catcher Jerry Willard hit a slow roller up the first base line that the umpire called fair.  Walker, Carlton Fisk, and Dan Spillner argued to the point of being removed.

Winning Pitcher - Steve Farr
Losing Pitcher - Tom Seaver
Player of the Game - Carmelo/Carmen Castillo, 2-5, HR, 2R's, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Carlton Fisk, Tom Seaver

February 2, 2013

April 25, 1984 - Mariners Sink in Boston Harbor

Game #217 - Seattle Mariners, 4 @ Boston Red Sox, 6

Seattle was riding a three game winning streak, while the Red Sox were sliding for the past three games.  Jim Beattie tried to keep the good times rolling for the Mariners, while Boston rested their hopes on Oil Can Boyd.

Boston scored first in the bottom of the first when catcher Rich Gedman knocked home Dwight Evans.  A Boyd error in the fourth tied the game for Seattle, and the Mariners took the lead in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Alvin Davis that scored Jack Perconte.

The Red Sox, though, plated two runs in the sixth and seventh respectively.  With that one run leaded, Gedman padded things for Boston with a solo homer off reliever Paul Mirabella.  Beattie had eight strikeouts, but got hung with the loss.  Seattle threatened in the top of the ninth, scoring two runs on an RBI double by the hot-hitting Dave Henderson, but Mark Clear finally finished them off for the save.

Winning Pitcher - Oil Can Boyd
Losing Pitcher - Jim Beattie
Save - Mark Clear
Player of the Game - Gedman, 2-4, HR, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

Happy anniversary to my parents - Groundhog's Day forty years ago!  (I think).

January 31, 2013

April 24, 1984 - You say Nieto, Check You Libido...

Game #216 - Chicago Cubs, 5 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 8

...and roll to the plate like a powder blue Guido! 
Tom walks twice to get the pitcher sweating
and it's two more hits that Tom be getting.
The Cubs are stinkin', runs are leakin'
St. Louis has won two and now they're streakin'.
Ozzie hit two doubles with the swing of his bat
and the fans are feeling firm because his beard is black.
McGee is jumpin', Lonnie's bumpin'
Ralph Citarella pitched a little somethin'
The Cards proved that they can't lose
They know what to do, they bust a move!

Winning Pitcher - Ralph Citarella
Losing Pitcher - Lee Smith
Save - Ricky Horton
Player of the Game - Tom Nieto, 2-2, HR, 2B, 3RBI's, 2BB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg, Ozzie Smith




January 29, 2013

April 24, 1984 - Haiku

Game #215 - San Francisco Giants, 9 @ San Diego Padres, 8

Lollar pitched poorly

Krukow stunk it up as well

Backup catcher clutch.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Krukow
Losing Pitcher - Luis DeLeon
Save - Gary LaVelle
Player of the Game - Steve Nicosia,3-5, 2 doubles, 2R's, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn

(I'll let you decide if this post was brilliant or lazy)

January 27, 2013

April 24, 1984 - Ravishing Rick Rhoden

Game #214 - Pittsburgh Pirates, 3 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 1

Question:  Is Rick Rhoden better known as a ball player or a pro-am golfer?

This was round one of the battle of Pennsylvania, and the Phillies drew first blood.  A Von Hayes single, stolen base, and Rhoden balk had him on third, and Mike Schmidt hit a deep fly ball for the sacrifice fly.

Jerry Koosman was well in control until the top of the seventh.  Brian Harper hit a dink single, but Dale Berra jacked a two run homer to give Pittsburgh the sudden lead.  Larry Andersen surrendered an insurance run in the ninth that mattered little because Rhoden went the distance, shutting down the Phillies the rest of the way.


Winning Pitcher - Rick Rhoden
Losing Pitcher - Jerry Koosman (7IP and only two runs - tough loss)
Player of the Game - Rhoden, CG, six K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt

January 25, 2013

April 24, 1984 - Astros Walk Home in 12

Game #213 - Houston Astros, 7 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 6 (12 Innings)

A good nail biter with this game!

The Astros had a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Rick Honeycutt let things get out of hand.  Honeycutt, despite having a sub 3.00 ERA in 1984 and being rated "2-7" in Statis Pro, has been rocked all season long.  Houston pitcher Mike LaCoss poked a single, and Jerry Mumphrey and Phil Garner also reached to load the bases for Jose Cruz.  Despite the leftie vs. leftie advantage, Jose smashed a grand slam to give the Astros a 5-0 lead.  Honeycutt only lasted another inning.

The Dodgers mounted a comeback in the bottom of the fourth.  Pinch hitter Candy Maldonado hit a RBI single, and an outfield error by Cruz led to four runs being scored in total.  In the bottom of the fifth LA took the lead when Greg Brock bonked a two-run homer, making it 6-5 in favor of the Dodgers.

Things stayed the same until the top of the eighth.  Jerry Reuss was on in relief but gave up back to back doubles to Ray Knight and Jim Pankovits.  The score was tied!  An uneventful 9th inning had both teams headed to extra-innings.

Tom Niedenfuer was pitching his second inning in the top of the 10th when he hit Kevin Bass with a pitch with two outs.  A Niedenfuer error had runners on the corners after the next batter, but he managed to get Pankovits to line out to end the threat.  Bill Russell lined a single off of reliever Dave Smith to start the bottom half of the inning.  The next two batters lined out right back at Smith, but the the third hitter, Candy Maldonado, roped a double to center!  Russell got on his horse, determined to score from first, but Jose Cruz rifled a throw to nail him at the plate.  On to the 11th!

Niedenfuer was now working his third inning of relief.  Lead off hitter Harry Spilman singled and moved to second on a walk by Mumphrey.  Craig Reynolds popped up to the catcher for the first out, and Cruz struck out to make it two outs.  Enos Cabell stepped up next and launched a single to center field.  Spilman was off, heading for home plate, but Candy Maldonado recorded his own assist and caught Spilman before he scored.  Astros reliever Julio Solano worked out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the bottom of the inning to push it to the twelfth!

(Any game past eleven innings is a nightmare for me, because it exceeds the box score worksheet I use...)

Pat Zachry was now pitching for the Dodgers, working on short rest.  The fatigue must have gotten to him, because he ended up with the bases loaded with two outs.  Then something kind of anti-climactic happened:  Zachry walked Mumphrey to score the winning run.  It was Mumph's fourth (!) walk of the game.  Solano got a 1-2-3 bottom of the twelfth to preserve the win.

Winning Pitcher - Julio Solano
Losing Pitcher - Pat Zachry
Player of the Game - Joe Sambito.  The Houston bullpen worked 7 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.  Sambito, Smith and Solano all have 0.00 ERA's on the season so far.  Sambito went 2 1/3, allowing zero runners and striking out one, including coming in and getting R.J. Reynolds to ground out with the bases loaded.

January 23, 2013

April 24, 1984 - 1st Birthday for the Blog!

Game #212 - Cincinnati Reds, 9 @ Atlanta Braves, 4

Well, I can't believe it, but today is the one year anniversary of starting this Statis Pro season/blog.

Happy birthday!

I'm tickled that anybody even stops by and reads this, so thank you for that!

On to the game...Bob Horner and Chris Chambliss had RBI singles each in the bottom of the first off Reds starter Jeff Russell to give Atlanta a quick lead.  Cincinnati came roaring back in the top of the second, though.  Tim Foley hit a sacrifice fly to score Cesar Cedeno and catcher Brad Gulden poked a single to plate Dan Driessen.  Braves starter Craig McMurtry continued to struggle in the third and gave up two more runs.

The Reds had their biggest inning in the fifth.  The bases were loaded when lead off hitter Eddie Milner came to bat.  GRAND SALAMI!  The Braves scored two more runs off Russell in the eighth, thanks to a 2-RBI double from Dale Murphy, but the Reds stayed in control for the win.  The victory brings Cincy to over .500 on the season as the NL West continues to be a tough division.

Winning Pitcher - Jeff Russell
Losing Pitcher - Craig McMurtry
Player of the Game - Eddie Milner, 2-4, Grand Slam, 4RBI's, 2R's, SB, BB


January 21, 2013

April 24, 1984 - kenphelpskenphelpskenphelps

Game #211 - Seattle Mariners, 9 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 6

The man.

The MYTH.

THE LEGEND!

KEN PHELPS!!!

More on Ken in a second...

Toronto starter Luis Leal had one of those days in this game.  Barry Bonnell and Alvin Davis had both singled in the first when Al Cowens, whose bat has been frigid this Statis Pro season, stepped to the plate.  In honor of Earl Weaver, he dumped one over the left field fence to plate three.

Toronto responded in the second.  They chased Mariners' starter Mike Moore after recording only four outs.  Jesse Barfield had his own three run homer but Damaso Garcia grounded into a double play with the bases loaded to keep the game tied at 3-3.

Seattle put up two more runs in the fourth to retake the lead, but the Blue Jays answered in the sixth.  Relievers Ed Vande Berg and Mike Stanton allowed all nine hitters to come to bat in the inning, including Stanton hitting Garcia with a pitch with the bases loaded.  When the dust settled Toronto was in the lead, 6-5.

In the top of the seventh there was a bit of a rumble outside of the stadium, as if a folk lore of epic proportions had arrived, riding a blue ox.  Leal was still toiling at this point, and with one out gave up a double to Alvin Davis.  Cowens popped out to the shortstop, making it two outs with Davis still on second.  That's when a hulking, red-headed Hercules dug in at the plate.  Luis Leal trembled.  The hitter's thick, luxurious mustache winked at the pitcher and beckoned him to throw the ball.  Unable to control himself, Leal left one hanging over the plate, and the mighty Ken Phelps, god of OPS, delivered one of his three expected outcomes - HOME RUN.  The Mariners took the lead for what turned out to be the rest of the game.  (Phelps also walked twice and struck out twice.  He must be Adam Dunn's biological father, right?)

Seattle has now won three in a row while Toronto has lost three and their lead in the AL East.  There are few things more enjoyable in this Statis Pro season then penciling in Ken Phelps in the starting lineup.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Stanton
Losing Pitcher - Luis Leal
Save - Edwin Nunez
Player of the Game - Ken Phelps, 1-3, HR, 2RBI's, 2BB's

January 19, 2013

Rest In Peace - Earl Weaver

A scan of my personal Statis Pro box.
You'll have to forgive me, as I know this isn't technically a loss from 1984, but I have a heavy heart today.

Earl Weaver passed away.

I received my copy of Statis Pro Baseball during the Christmas of 1985 (or maybe 1986?).  I was overwhelmed and excited.  I was 10/11 years old and had been devouring Topps baseball card sets, but as I opened the box to this wonderful game, it was full of white perforated sheets corresponding to the names of every MLB player from the 1985 season.  The player cards were full of strange numbers and letters that made little sense to me.  My dad spent a few hours reading the rules and learning how to play the game.  As he did so, I worked at punching out the hundreds of player cards.  I still remember the enormous mess all those cards left - our dining room table covered with slivers of white cardstock.

The cover to this edition of Statis Pro featured many stars (and Carney Lansford) of the mid 80's.  George Brett, Steve Garvey, Reggie Jackson, Dwight Gooden, Pete Rose...and Earl Weaver.  The painting is tremendous, if not a little odd since the real team logos were missing.  I knew nothing of the MLBPA, copyright infringements, etc.  But I did know that my favorite team's manager was in the upper left corner, clipboard in hand.  The first game my dad and I played were his Dodgers vs. my Orioles, and you better believe I thought I was Earl Weaver.  To be honest, I still feel like I'm Earl with every Statis Pro game I play.  I like the high OBP guys, the three run homers, and don't care for the steal.  That's Earl Weaver baseball.

I was at Eddie Murray's Hall of Fame induction back in 2003, and it was fun to see the large applause Earl received as he took the stage - the O's fans there to cheer Eddie made sure all of the HOF Orioles got love.  My final picture below is an Earl Weaver autograph I picked up at a card show in Adrian, MI, back in the early 90's.  If I remember correctly it was only $5 - I thought I was ripping the guy off.  I hope it's as authentic as the man himself.  My thoughts and prayers for Earl's family, fans, and the Baltimore Orioles community.


January 15, 2013

April 24, 1984 - Monarchy Trumps Democracy

Game #210 - Kansas City Royals, 12 @ New York Yankees, 1

I feel like more than one time in this Statis Pro season when I have a blowout, the losing team scores the first run, and then proceeds to be decimated.  That was the case in this game.  In the bottom of the first Ken Griffey had singled off Charlie Liebrandt, and then Dave Winfield doubled, moving Griffey to third.  Don Mattingly was up next, and his single scored Griffey but Pat Sheridan threw out Winfield at home to help Liebrandt escape the inning.

Frank White hit a sac fly in the fourth to tie the game, and the Royals put up two more runs each in the fifth and sixth.  New York starter Joe Cowley was done after that.  Kansas City scored six more runs in the ninth to exploit the mop-up men in the Yankees' bullpen.  KC managed to claw their way closer to .500 on the season while the Yankees' loss drops them to a tie for first with Detroit.

Winning Pitcher - Charlie Liebrandt
Losing Pitcher - Joe Cowley
Player of the Game - Dane Iorg, 2-4, 2 2B's, 4RBI's, R, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett, Dave Winfield

January 14, 2013

April 24, 1984 - A's Win Again

Game #209 - Oakland A's, 7 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 6
 
You kind of know heading into a Statis Pro game where the starting pitchers are both rated "2-5" that it's going to be a slog for both teams.  Bill Krueger and Bob McClure didn't disappoint, as both had no qualms about surrendering runs.  It was 5-3 in favor of the A's after just two innings.
Rickey Henderson hit a two run homer in the sixth to bring the total of runs for Oakland to seven.  In the bottom of the seventh Robin Yount hit his second homer of the game to cut the lead to two.  The Athletics brought in their best closer, Bill Caudill, to shut things down in the ninth but Milwaukee made things interesting.  Pinchhitters Roy Howell and Rick Manning both singled.  Dion James flied out to right, but Cecil Cooper hit a single to close the lead to one run.  Caudill got Robin Yount to strike out, but Ben Oglivie walked to load the bases.  Alas, Bobby Clark popped out to Jim Essian to end the threat and the game.
 
Winning Pitcher - Bill Krueger
Losing Pitcher - Bob McClure
Save - Bill Caudill
Player of the Game - Carney Lansford, 1-2, 2B, 3RBI's, 3BB's, 1R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Robin Yount
 
 
***Anybody else running a blog on Blogger having difficulties with the image functions the past few days?

January 12, 2013

April 24, 1984 - Tiger Style

Game #207 - (Game 1) Minnesota Twins, 7 @ Detroit Tigers, 9 (12 innings)

So much for pitching to the score!  Jack Morris got ripped by the Twins, giving up eleven hits and six runs without getting an out in the fourth.  Not a good week for Jack all the way around...

Minnesota was in a commanding lead through six innings, leading the Tigers 7-1.  In the bottom of the seventh, though, Detroit erupted.  Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammell, and Chet Lemon all hit doubles and the Tigers scored five runs, to make the game 7-6.  With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Kirk Gibson (who had homered in the first) tied the game with an RBI single.  Nobody scored in the ninth, so it was time for extra innings!

The tenth and eleventh innings were pretty uneventful.  In the bottom of the twelfth Twins reliever Rick Lysander walked Dave Bergman, but Lou Whitaker hit into a double play.  Now with two outs, Alan Trammell doubled to keep the inning alive - it was his third double in the game.  That brought up Kirk Gibson who...

...HIT A WALK-OFF, TWO RUN BLAST!!!

Winning Pitcher - Willie Hernandez
Losing Pitcher - Rick Lysander
Player of the Game - Kirk Gibson, 3-6, 2HR's, 4RBI's, 3R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett

Game #208 - (Game 2) Minnesota Twins, 0 @ Detroit Tigers, 7

The Twins were looking for a less humiliating outing after their unexpected, six run collapse in the first game of this doubleheader.  The moral dejection must have been too much to overcome, because they stunk up the second game.

Marty Castillo tripled in the bottom of the third, and Lou Whitaker knocked him home with a single.  A pickoff error by pitcher Al Williams put Sweet Lou on second.  Larry Herndon, the next batter, reached on a Lenny Faedo error that plated Whitaker.  Ruppert Jones would later add an RBI and the Tigers had a 3-0 lead.  Darrell Evans and Castillo added solo homers later in the game and the Tigers put seven runs on the board total.

Dan Petry was in complete control, resting a Tigers' bullpen that had logged nine innings of work in the first game of the day.  He went the distance, mowing down Twins for a complete game shutout.  It was a great rebound game for Petry, who was shelled in his last outing.  With their two wins the Tigers are right in the thick of the first place hunt for the AL East!

Winning Pitcher - Dan Petry
Losing Pitcher - Al Williams
Player of the Game - Petry, CG SHO, 5K's, 6H's, 0BB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett


January 2, 2013

April 24, 1984 - Flanagan Tosses One-Hit Shutout

Game #206 - Baltimore Orioles, 1 @ Chicago White Sox, 0

Very early in this Statis Pro endeavor I started to wonder:  will I ever see a no hitter, or even a perfect game?  At the start of each game I reserve a little piece of excitement until the first walk or hit happens.  Every now and then it will last three, even four innings.  Nothing had happened yet like this game.

Through the first two innings, both pitchers, Mike Flanagan and LaMarr Hoyt, were perfect.  In the top of the third Rick Dempsey poked a single off the pitcher card, ending Hoyt's bid.  But Flanagan kept mowing down Chicago hitters.  He was perfect through three.

In the bottom of the fourth it was more of the same, he even recorded his first strike out, getting the number three hitter, Harold Baines, to whiff.  Kittle, Walker, and Vance Law also went down silently in the fifth.  Was this it?  Was I seeing a Statis Pro perfect game?  What was equally amazing was that Hoyt had only given up the Dempsey hit and a walk himself.  There was nothing but goose eggs on the scoreboard.

In the top of the sixth, the Orioles finally got something done on offense.  With two outs, Mike Young singled.  That brought up Cal Ripken.  He managed to crank his second triple of the season to score Young.  Eddie Murray grounded out to third to end the surge.

Now I was heading into the bottom of the sixth, and my stomach had actual knots.  I can't imagine what real major leaguers are feeling when their guy on the mound is approaching history.  Here I am sitting at my kitchen table about to have a panic attack over an imaginary game - I just can't imagine the pressure the pros experience.  Anyway, Tom Paciorek was up first and grounded out to the pitcher.  Marc Hill, in the game because Carlton Fisk was being rested, grounded out to Murray.  Two outs in the sixth, perfect game intact!  That left the number nine hitter, Julio Cruz, in the batter's box.  He's easily the weakest hitter in the lineup.  So what does Flanagan do?  Walks him!!!  Perfect game ruined!!!  But alas, the no-hitter was still in play.

The next batter in the lineup was the lead off man, Scott Fletcher.  Now I'm stuck in a moral dilemma.  The Orioles are not only my favorite team, but I'm dying to see ANYBODY in this Statis Pro season toss a no-no.  There's a runner on first and Scott Fletcher is an above average hit and run specialist in Statis Pro.  Opting for the hit and run bypasses the normal "fast action card" process and goes directly to a corresponding chart.  The White Sox are only trailing by one, and Flanagan is absolutely dominant, so I tried to make the most objective decision possible:  go for the hit and run.  The card turned and Fletcher got the hit, moving Cruz to third.  The no-hitter is history.  Rudy Law flew out to end the inning.  I was pretty crushed - I scoped out the cards that would have popped up had I not attempted the hit and run and Fletcher would have been out.  That's not to say the White Sox wouldn't have scored four runs the next inning, but I'll always wonder...

As it turns out, that's the only hit Chicago would get on the day.  In the eighth Vance Law reached on a Ripken error and Paciorek walked, but those were the last threats the Orioles would face.  Hoyt went the distance too and only gave up four hits and struck out seven O's.  That's a pretty tough loss for him.  Still, Mike Flanagan pitched an honest-to-goodness one-hit shutout, and this was by far my favorite game of the Statis Pro season!

Winning Pitcher - Mike Flanagan
Losing Pitcher - LaMarr Hoyt
Player of the Game - Flanagan, complete game shutout, one hit, 3K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

January 1, 2013

April 24, 1984 - 13K's to Ring in 2013

Game #205 - California Angels, 10 @ Boston Red Sox, 4

My wife fell asleep with our six month old at 7PM last night, giving me New Year's Eve to knock out a couple of Statis Pro games.  They resulted in two of the most dominant pitching performances of the season.  I'll feature game #2 tomorrow (you'll want to read the recap - trust me) but for the first post of 2013 let's take a look at the Angels vs. Red Sox!

Mike Witt looks a bit smug in this baseball card.  You might too if you pulled off what he did against the Red Sox.  It was the perfect storm of a team that strikes out a lot with a pitcher who has a wide strikeout range on his Statis Pro card.

Doug DeCinces had already knocked in Bobby Grich in the top of the first when Witt took the mound.  He walked lead off man Wade Boggs, which is never a good sign.  However, he ended up striking out the side to get out of the jam.  The score was 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth.  Witt had already racked up 7K's when he again walked the lead off hitter, this time Dwight Evans.  A Doug Decinces error ended up scoring Evans, but Witt chalked up two more strike outs to bring his total to nine. 

At the same time, Red Sox starter Bob Ojeda was whiffing the Angels at a pretty good clip.  But California crushed him in the seventh.  Ojeda struck out eight total Angels on the day, but gave up 8 earned runs, 14 hits, and 4 walks in the process.  Witt lasted eight innings and had a final tally of 13 strike outs.  That was a pretty convenient way to bring in 2013!

Winning Pitcher - Mike Witt
Losing Pitcher - Bob Ojeda
Player of the Game - Witt, 8IP, 13K's (Statis Pro record to date), 0 earned runs
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

As I mentioned earlier, please check back tomorrow, I'll be recapping the most exciting game of the season...