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.




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...


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...