December 28, 2014

May 9, 1984 - Late Game Heroics

Merry Christmas everyone!  I apologize I haven't had more posts over the holidays.  This is a time of year I usually get a lot of Statis Pro in, but we've been hosting family from out of town.  I hope your holidays have treated you kindly, and that you get to enjoy the break as much as I have!

Game #379 - Los Angeles Dodgers, 3 @ Chicago Cubs, 2

Larry Bowa has been uncharacteristically good with the stick in this Statis Pro season, and he continued his hot hitting in the bottom of the third.  He doubled off of Alejandro Pena and later scored on a Bob Dernier single.  The Dodgers answered back in the top of the fourth.  With one out, Dave Anderson ruined Rich Bordi's no-hitter with a surprise solo homer.

The score stay tied 1-1 until the bottom of the sixth.  Ryne Sandberg singled and then swiped second base off of Steve Yeager.  Gary Matthews was up next and singled him home to give Chicago the lead.  Once again, the Dodgers responded in the next inning.  Yeager hit a sacrifice fly that plated Greg Brock to keep the score tied.

Tim Stoddard was pitching in the top of the ninth when German Rivera doubled with one out.  Ken Landreaux singled to move Rivera to third.  Stoddard walked Bob Bailor to load the bases, and then walked RJ Reynolds to plate the winning run!

Winning Pitcher - Ken Howell
Losing Pitcher - Tim Stoddard
Save - Tom Niedenfuer
Player of the Game - Howell, 2IP, 0H's, 3K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

Game #380 - Philadelphia Phillies, 6 @ Houston Astros, 9

I thought this would be a fun pitching match-up between all-star lefties, as Steve Carlton toed the rubber for the Phillies and Bob Knepper was on the mound for the Astros.  Neither made it past the third inning!  Knepper gave up five runs in 2 and 2/3 innings, including homers to John Wockenfuss and Mike Schmidt.  Carlton saw eight hitters come to the plate in the first, which included a Jose Cruz home run.

The score was tied 5-5 in the top of the seventh when Ozzie Virgil crushed a solo shot to give the Phillies the lead, but Enos Cabell answered back with a homer of his own in the bottom of the inning.  The score was still 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth when
Al Holland had two runners on and was facing Bill Doran. Doran hit an unexpected three run blast to give Houston the lead and eventual victory!

Winning Pitcher - Dave Smith
Losing Pitcher - Al Holland
Save - Bill Dawley
Player of the Game - Bill Doran, game winning home run
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton

December 20, 2014

May 9, 1984 - (AL) Westward, Ho!

Game #377 - Seattle Mariners, 8 @ Oakland A's, 3

Chris Codiroli had a nightmare start to the game in this one.  Jack Perconte and Phil Bradley both singled, and then Alvin Davis crushed a home run to plate all three.  It didn't get any better for Codiroli, because he gave up a solo homer to Gorman Thomas in the fourth, followed by another three run bomb by Ken Phelps.

Winning Pitcher - Jim Beattie
Losing Pitcher - Chris Codiroli
Player of the Game - Alvin Davis, 2-2, HR, 3RBI's, 3BB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson and Joe Morgan

Game #378 - Boston Red Sox, 3 @ Texas Rangers, 4

Speaking of three run homers...  In the top of the third Tony Armas deposited a ball over the outfield fence to score three off of Frank Tanana and give Boston a 3-0 lead.  But the Rangers scraped two from Al Nipper in the fourth inning.  Wayne Tolleson singled home Bobby Jones and Ned Yost hit a sacrifice fly to score Billy Sample.  The Rangers tied the game in the seventh when Mickey Rivers reached on a Jackie Gutierrez error.  Two batters later Buddy Bell doubled him home. 

The score was still tied heading into the bottom of ninth.  George Wright was brought in to pinch-hit for Yost and singled off of Steve Crawford.  Crawford struck out Rivers for the first out of the inning, but Gary Ward singled too to move Wright to second.  Bell then grounded out to third, but both runners advanced, leaving Wright 90 feet from home plate.  That's when Larry Parrish knocked him home - WALK-OFF SINGLE!!!

Winning Pitcher - Odell Jones
Losing Pitcher - Steve Crawford
Player of the Game - Larry Parrish, walk-off hero.
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs and Jim Rice. 

December 13, 2014

May 9, 1984 - American League Excitement

Game #375 - Detroit Tigers, 3 @ Kansas City Royals, 4 (11 innings)

The Tigers put the first three runs of the game on the board, all off of Royals starter Mark Gubicza.  The first came in the second inning when Chet Lemon went deep for a solo homer.  Dave Bergman knocked in two in the fourth with a single. 

Dan Petry, meanwhile, was in cruise control until the bottom of the seventh.  Hal McRae hit a lead off single and then Steve "bye bye" Balboni went yard to pull K.C. within one.  With two outs in the same inning pinch-hitter Dane Iorg singled home Frank White to tie the game and force Petry to the showers.

Dan Quisenberry and Willie Hernandez, the two best relievers in the American League, each subbed for two innings without letting a run cross the plate.  In the bottom of the eleventh Aurelio Lopez was working his second inning of relief and had two outs recorded.  But Frank White came up and hit a home run to win the game!  WALK OFF!!!

Winning Pitcher - Joe Beckwith
Losing Pitcher - Aurelio Lopez
Player of the Game - Frank White, 2-4, HR, 2B, BB

Game #376 - Cleveland Indians, 9 @ New York Yankees, 4

The Inidans jumped on Yankees starter Joe Cowley early and often in this one.  Brett Butler led off the game with a single, stolen base, and run scored thanks to a Julio Franco double.  They tagged Cowley for three more runs in the fourth, though two of those runs were unearned due to a Omar Moreno error in center field.  But the Yankees kept pace scoring single runs in the second, third, fourth, and sixth innings.  Three of those runs were due to errors by Cleveland, making five total errors during the contest.

The score was tied 4-4 in the top of the ninth with Dave Righetti relieving for New York.  Tony Bernazard reached base because of a Butch Wynegar error and later scored on a Julio Franco single.  That was followed by five straight Indians reaching base.  Righetti got yanked (pun intended!) having only gotten one batter out, as Cleveland pounded the Bronx for the win.

Winning Pitcher - Bert Blyleven
Losing Pitcher - Dave Righetti
Player of the Game - Franco, 2-5, 2B, 2RBI's, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Bert Blyleven, Dave Winfield

December 10, 2014

May 9, 1984 - Trouble on the Base Paths

Game #372 - Minnesota Twins, 1 @ California Angels, 3

Twins starter Ken Schrom stumbled out of the gate.  He gave up a two-run double to Gary Pettis in the first that scored Bobby Grich and Brian Downing.  He worked out of some other jams in the second and third, but was able to pick off both Dick Schofield and Reggie Jackson.

Meanwhile, Geoff Zahn was absolutely baffling the Minnesota hitters.  They didn't record their first hit until the top of the fifth inning.  Zahn went 8 2/3 innings before getting himself into a dangerous jam with runners on the corner.  That's when Don Aase came in to secure the victory for California.

Winning Pitcher - Geoff Zahn
Losing Pitcher - Ken Schrom
Save - Don Aase
Player of the Game - Zah, 8 2/3IP, R, 7H's, K
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett, Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

Game #373 - Milwaukee Brewers, 8 @ Chicago White Sox, 5

The Brewers hit into FIVE double plays in this game, but still managed to put up big innings for an easy victory.  They scored six of their seven runs in the sixth and seventh innings, which happened to be when Robin Yount went deep, twice.  Each team had a runner caught stealing as well.

Winning Pitcher - Jamie Cocanower
Losing Pitcher - Salome Barojas
Player of the Game - Robin Yount, 3-4, 2HR's, 4RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount

Happy Trails...  Tom Brennan

Tom didn't pitch a lot of games for Chicago in 1984, just four actually.  Let's look at how they compared:

Real 1984: 6.2IP, 4.05 ERA, 0-1, 1.65 WHIP, 3K's
Statis Pro:  8.2IP, 4.15 ERA, 0-1, 1.96 WHIP, 3K's

As you can see, both seasons were quite similar.  That's kind of amazing considering how small a sample size there was to work with.

That's all for now!  I've got a new poll posted - feel free to vote!!!

December 5, 2014

May 9, 1984 - Battle of the Birds

Game #371 - Toronto Blue Jays, 6 @ Baltimore Orioles, 1

This was game one in a double-header, and it featured each club's best pitchers:  Doyle Alexander and Mike Boddicker.  Unfortunately for the O's, Boddicker didn't have his best stuff.  He gave up two runs in the second inning, with one of those reaching base from an error of his own making.  But he really got into trouble in the sixth.  Toronto send nine batters to the plate and scored four runs.  A Rich Dauer error opened the flood gates this time.

On the flip side Doyle Alexander continued his dominant start to the season by silencing the Baltimore Orioles over eight innings.  The only run to score was Wayne Gross, who hit yet another home run.  (I'm worried Gross' HR rating on his card is too high.  He did knock 22 HR's in 340 AB's in 1984, but he's already halfway to that total in just 30 games...)

Winning Pitcher - Doyle Alexander
Losing Pitcher - Mike Boddicker
Player of the Game - Alexander, 8IP, 5H's, 3K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray

Game #372 - Toronto Blue Jays, 13 @ Baltimore Orioles, 3

This game was actually pretty exciting until it wasn't.  The Blue Jays had a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh when the Orioles but two runs on the board with RBI hits from Al Bumbry and Mike Young.  But in the top of the eighth the Orioles bullpen had what has probably been the worst inning of the Statis Pro Season.  The Blue Jays scored TEN runs.  They sent fifteen hitters up to bat.  The ringleader was Lloyd Moseby, who started the destruction by crushing a grand slam for the first four runs.  Sammy Stewart, Baltimore's best reliever, gave up five runs without recording an out.  Bill Swaggerty followed and fared little better, giving up five runs but notching two outs.  Dennis Martinez finally got the Orioles out of the woods, but not before losing their pride...

Winning Pitcher - Ron Musselman
Losing Pitcher - Sammy Stewart
Player of the Game - Lloyd Moseby, 2-5, grand slam, 5RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray

One interesting thing happened in the second game.  Cal Ripken got tossed from the game for arguing with the umpire on a Z card.  If I'm not mistaken, Ripken played every inning of baseball in 1984.  I slid Lenn Sakata over to short for the rest of the game, but I think I violated the laws of reality from the 1984 season...

November 30, 2014

May 8, 1984 - Thanksgiving Day Rumble

Game #380 - Los Angeles Dodgers, 2 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 8

As I mentioned in my last post my folks were in town for Turkey Day, and as it so happened, my dad's two favorite teams were playing next in this Statis Pro season.  He was born in Brooklyn while the Dodgers were still there, and so that's always been his favorite team, but when he was a young kid his family moved to St. Louis.  That made the Cards his second favorite.  My dad is the one who bought me this game as a kid, so it was fun to be back together playing again.

My dad took control of the Dodgers and made a couple of interesting lineup decisions, including batting Ken Landreaux in the third spot.  I quickly figured out why he did it:  Landreaux has a "hit and run" rating of 2, and my dad loves to use the hit and run.  When my dad bought this game for me it came with the 1985 season, and most of our games consisted of his Dodgers versus my Orioles.  For some reason Landreaux had a lot of timely hits in those games and those negative memories are still burned in my brain!

Bob Welch was pitching for the Dodgers and kept working in and out of jams.  The lead-off hitter got on base the first five innings in a row, and each one of them stole second base off a battered Steve Yeager.  All told the Cardinals stole six bases during the game, which is definitely the most I've ever stolen in a single game this season.  St. Louis put two runs on the board in the second with RBI singles from Darrell Porter and Ozzie Smith, but that was the only real damage done in the first seven innings.

The Dodgers offense was much worse, as Kurt Kepshire was pitching a career game through the first five innings.  Not a single Dodger had reached base with the exception of a Ken Landreaux (of course) walk.  But with two outs in the sixth and the no-hitter still intact Steve Sax reached on an error.  My dad then used Bill Russell's hit and run rating of 1 to push Sax to third on the first hit of the game.  Kepshire retired the next hitter to keep L.A. scoreless.

In the top of the eighth Kepshire put two Dodgers on the bases and was finally pulled for Bruce Sutter.  But Sutter gave up an RBI single to Bill Russell and an RBI ground out to Landreaux to tie the game.  That made it a 2-2 game going into the bottom of the eighth.

I'm not going to go into all the details, but the Cardinal offense exploded in the bottom of the inning.  Jerry Reuss and Burt Hooton gave up a combined six runs.  What went from an exciting game between father and son turned into a route.  It always feels good beating your old man in a game!

Winning Pitcher - Bruce Sutter
Losing Pitcher - Jerry Reuss
Player of the Game - Ozzie Smith, 2-3, 3RBI's, 2BB's, R, 2SB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter

November 27, 2014

May 8, 1984 - Hayes-ed and Confused

Atlanta Braves, 6 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 9

This game was wild and woolly, so let's jump right in!  In the top of the first Gerald Perry was standing on second base with two outs when Dale Murphy stroked a single into left field.  Perry went flying for home but Greg Gross, he of T3 arm rating, came up firing and actually caught Perry out at the plate.  Perry would get thrown out at home in the sixth inning too, it wasn't a good day for his base running.

In the top of the second Rafael Ramirez hit a two-run single to plate Claudell Washington and Glenn Hubbard, but the Phillies answered back in the bottom half of the inning.  Mike Schmidt, fresh off missing two games due to injury, crushed a solo shot to bring Philadelphia back within one.

The Braves kept Phillies starter Charles Hudson on the ropes, though, and scored three runs over the next two innings, including a two-run homer by Bob Horner, just his second on the season.  But the relentless Phillies tied things up in the bottom of the fourth when they plated four runs, including a three-run tater by Joe Lefebvre!  The back and forth scoring was punctuated in the top of the fifth when Claudell Washington hit a solo homer off lefty specialest Don Carman.  So much for the leftie-leftie advantage.

The scoring stopped as Steve Bedrosian of the Braves and Bill Campbell of the Phillies each pitched three innings of scoreless ball.  Bedrosian got lifted for a pinch hitter in the top of the ninth, so Donnie Moore came out to save the one run lead in the bottom of the ninth.  Lefebvre promptly scorched a double as the lead-off hitter.  John Wockenfuss pinch-hit for pitcher Larry Andersen, who threw two scoreless innings himself, and walked.  That put runners on first and second with no outs.

Luis Aguayo replaced Kiko Garcia in the batter's box and popped a single to plate Lefebvre and tie the game!  With two runners on and still no outs, the top of the Phillies order was now coming up.  That brought Von Hayes to the plate.  Donnie Moore (because of course Donnie Moore) grooved one to Hayes, and Hayes launched it for a WALK-OFF, THREE-RUN HOMER!!!  PHILLIES WIN!!!

Winning Pitcher - Larry Andersen
Losing Pitcher - Donnie Moore
Player of the Game - Von Hayes, 3-5, walk-off HR, SB, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!  I certainly appreciate your continued interest in this blog.  My dad is in town and his favortie team, the Dodgers, happen to be up next on the schedule, so we'll be playing today during our mutual turkey comas.  God bless!

November 22, 2014

May 8, 1984 - Double Trouble

Game #367 - Boston Red Sox, 0 @ Texas Rangers, 5

The Rangers have been the worst team in Statis Pro this season, and it's not really close.  So it was crazy to see a 0-0 game through four and a half innings.  It was in the bottom of the fifth when the Rangers jumped on a Wade Boggs error for three runs off Dennis Eckersley.  Gary Ward drove in two of those runs.  They put two more on the board in the next inning with Gary Ward again contributing an RBI, this time off a double. 

***Fun fact:  I once saw Gary Ward in the Detroit Metro Airport.  He was wearing a track suit.***

On the hill Danny Darwin was keeping Boston in check.  He made it to the seventh before the bullpen finished things off.

Winning Pitcher - Danny Darwin
Losing Pitcher - Dennis Eckersley
Player of the Game - Gary Ward, 3-4, 2 2B's, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Dennis Eckersley

Game #368 - San Francisco Giants, 6 @ Chicago Cubs, 4

I just mentioned the Rangers were the worst team in Statis Pro, but if there's a second place it's the Giants.  Their pitching is pretty poor, but the bigger issue has been the crazy amount of injuries they've suffered.  They started things nicely in the first, though, when Jack Clark blasted a two-run homer for the quick lead.  But starter Mark Davis got into a heap of trouble when he gave up four runs in the bottom of the second, including a Ron Cey two-run bomb.  That was Cey's first homer of the season, which is crazy because he hit 25 in 1984.  The Giants got within one run after the third, though, this time on a Bob Brenly solo shot. 

It stayed 4-3 in favor of the Cubs until the top of the eighth.  With Lee Smith on the hill, he gave up a Jack Clark triple and then an RBI single to Brenly to tie the game.  With Smith still pitching in the ninth he gave up a lead-off homer to Johnnie LeMaster and another one to John Rabb two batters later.  That's all Gary Lavelle would need to shut the door on the come-from-behind victory!

Winning Pitcher - Frank Williams
Losing Pitcher - Lee Smith
Save - Gary Lavelle
Player of the Game - Greg Minton, 4 1/3IP (relief), 0R's, 1K
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

November 19, 2014

May 8, 1984 - Flair for the Dramatic

Game #365 - Detroit Tigers, 7 @ Kansas City Royals, 2 (11 innings)

The two games in today's post were nail-biters, so let's jump right in!

Jack Morris of the Tigers was facing southpaw Charlie Liebrandt of the Royals, and I wasn't necessarily expecting a pitcher's duel.  The game was tied 0-0 in the top of the fourth, though, when Lou Whitaker rocked a double to start the inning.  Chet Lemon hit a sacrifice fly to move Whitaker to third and, one out later, Kirk Gibson hit a single to plate Sweet Lou and give the Tigers the lead.

It was still 1-0 heading into the eighth when Lance Parrish hit a single that scored Alan Trammell.  With the comfortable two-run lead, Jack Morris was looking to complete the shutout.  With two outs in the bottom of the ninth he was almost there, but DH Jorge Orta hit a single to keep the game alive for Kansas City.  That's when Frank White stepped up.  All he did was HIT A TWO RUN HOMER TO TIE THE GAME!!!  Just like that it was all tied up.  A disgusted Jack Morris struck out Dane Iorg before heading to free baseball.

Neither team did much in the tenth, but Detroit changed things in a hurry in the top of the 11th.  Larry Gura was toeing the rubber for his third inning of relief but walked Tom Brookens to lead things off.  It was all down hill after that.  Trammell tripled home Brookens, Whitaker doubled home Trammell, and a few batters later pinch hitter Darrell Evans launched a three run blast to cement the win.

Winning Pitcher - Doug Bair
Losing Pitcher - Larry Gura
Player of the Game - Alan Trammell, 2-5, 3B, RBI, 2R's

Game #366 - Seattle Mariners, 11 @ Oakland A's, 12

Mike Moore of the Mariners has been getting abused all season by teams, despite being a league leader in strike outs.  That was the case again in this game.  He gave up eight runs in four innings and his ERA is currently north of 8.00. 

Fast-forward to the ninth and Oakland has a 12-6 lead.  Larry Sorensen was pitching but quickly loaded the bases when Barry Bonnell stepped to the plate.  He must like lunch meats, because he produced a GRAND SALAMI!  All of a sudden the Mariners were only two runs down!!!

Oakland countered by brining in their best reliever, Bill Caudill.  The first hitter he faced, Spike Owen, went for the cheap shot and bunted for a base hit.  That's when pinch hitter Ken Phelps came into the game and single too.  With runners on first and second Phil Bradley dug in.  He too poked a hit into the outfield, and Owen scored to bring Seattle within one!  Unfortunately for the Mariners, the runs dried up.  Jack Perconte grounded out and so did Dave Henderson to end the game.

Winning Pitcher - Curt Young
Losing Pitcher - Mike Moore
Save - Bill Caudill
Player of the Game - Dave Kingman, 3-3, 2HR's, 2B, 6RBI's, 2BB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson (back from injury!), Joe Morgan

November 16, 2014

May 8, 1984 - So You Had A Bad Day

Game #363 - Minnesota Twins, 2 @ California Angels, 4

The good news for Doug DeCinces is that his team won.  The bad news is he might have had the worst game of the Statis Pro season.  He was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts and grounded into a double play.  He committed an error that caused the only run Tommy John would commit, and to top things off, he got injured for 10 games.

Winning Pitcher - Tommy John
Losing Pitcher - Mike Smithson
Save - Doug Corbett
Player of the Game - Tommy John, 7IP, 8H's, 1K, 1 unearned run
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett, Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

Game #364 - Milwaukee Brewers, 4 @ Chicago White Sox, 6

The Brewers had a big 3-run inning in the fourth, Bill Schroeder hit a solo homer and Charlie Moore doubled home Jim Gantner.  But Moose Haas couldn't keep the ball in the park.  Harold Baines, Marc Hill, and Ron Kittle all went deep for the Pale Hose and they pulled out a 6-4 victory.

Winning Pitcher - Bert Roberge
Losing Pitcher - Moose Haas
Save - Ron Reed
Player of the Game - Roberge, 2 2/3IP in relief, 0R's, win
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount

November 11, 2014

May 7, 1984 - Call It A Day

Atlanta Braves, 2 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 3

Rick Mahler and John Denny were dueling in this game, and it figured to be a good battle because they are two of the better pitchers in the NL.  However, the match-up didn't last long because Mahler got ejected in the bottom of third arguing balls and strikes with the umpire.  That put the already taxed Atlanta bullpen in overdrive.  Jeff Dedmon was tremendous, going 3 and 2/3 innings without surrendering a run and striking out four.  He handed the ball to Pete Falcone, but the Phillies tagged him for two runs and the loss in the game.  To make matters worse, the Braves lost catcher Bruce Bennedict to injury for 16 games.

Winning Pitcher - Al Holland
Losing Pitcher - Pete Falcone
Player of the Game - Garry Maddox, 3-4, 2B, 2RBI's

Los Angeles Dodgers, 4 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 1

Andy Stuper got his first action of the season for St. Louis.  He was weaving in and out of trouble throughout the game without giving up a run, but the Dodgers plated Steve Sax on a David Green error at first base in the sixth.  That tied the game at one apiece.  In the top of the seventh, though, Pedro Guerrero and Mike Marshall hit back to back solo shots to give L.A. the victory.

Winning Pitcher - Orel Hershiser
Losing Pitcher - Andy Stuper
Save - Tom Niedenfuer
Player of the Game - Hershiser, 7IP, 5H's, 4K's, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter

November 4, 2014

May 7, 1984 - NL East On The Rise

Houston Astros, 2 @ Montreal Expos, 8

Nolan Ryan started the game for Houston, but he didn't have his best stuff.  He struck out the side in the first, but also gave up a run on a wild pitch with the bases loaded.  Errors by himself and Denny Walling didn't help the Astros either.  Meanwhile, Montreal had a balanced attack and took advantage of 9 Houston walks.  Andre Dawson had four of those free passes.

Winning Pitcher - Steve Rogers
Losing Pitcher - Nolan Ryan
Player of the Game - Miguel Dilone, 3-5, 2B, RBI, SB, 3R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Nolan Ryan, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

Cincinnati Reds, 3 @ New York Mets, 4

Dave Parker cracked an RBI double for the Reds in the top of the first, but New Yor roared back in the bottom half of the inning.  Wally Backman stole second base with two outs and Darryl Strawberry batting.  Straw doubled him home, and then scored on an RBI single by Hubie Brooks, who was fresh off the injured lsit.  Brooks eventually scored too on a error by Tom Foley. 

The Reds tied the game in the top of the second, though, because Duane Walker hit a two run homer that made it 3-3.  The scored remained that way until the bottom of the fourth when light-hitting Ron Gardenhire poked a home run over the left field fence.  Jesse Orosco pitched two innings of relief and escaped a two-on, no-out jam when Dan Bilardello lined out to Backman who then caught Eddie Milner too far off second base. 

Winning Pitcher - Brent Berenyi
Losing Pitcher - Joe Price
Save - Jesse Orosco
Player of the Game - Orosco, 2IP, 2K's, save
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Perez

November 2, 2014

May 7, 1984 - Three Is Not The Magic Number

Game #357 - Seattle Mariners, 3 @ Oakland A's, 7 (rained out in the bottom of the 8th)

Things started well for Seattle.  They scored two runs in the top of the first, largely due to a Mike Heath outfield error.

(If I could start this season over, I would record errors by position in my spreadsheet instead of by total.  For folks like Mike Heath, it's hard to tell what errors occurred when he is playing outfield verses catcher, etc.)

But Heath made up for his blunder with an RBI single in the second inning and a second RBI later in the game.  The Oakland onslaught was steady until the bottom of the eighth.  Reliever Roy Thomas had loaded the bases when the heavens opened up and the rains came, putting Seattle out of their misery.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Warren
Losing Pitcher - Mark Langston
Player of the Game - Warren, 7IP, 8H's, 2 ER's, 8K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Joe Morgan

Game #358 - San Francisco Giants, 3 @ Chicago Cubs 13

The blowouts aren't fun to play.  Once the floodgates open, you just want the game to end.  I can see why real world managers cringe in these situations, because they wreak havoc on your bullpen.  That was the case with this one.  Bill Laskey got shelled early and often, unable to escape the third inning.  In that span both Leon Durham and Jody Davis jacked homers.  The Cubs weren't done in that department, though.  Gary Matthews added two more of his own!  Meanwhile, starter Scott Sanderson was in cruise control.  He scattered eight hits over seven innings and struck out eight as well.

Winning Pitcher - Scott Sanderson
Losing Pitcher - Bill Laskey
Player of the Game - Sarge, 2-3, 2HR's, 5RBI's, BB, SAC
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

October 26, 2014

May 7, 1984 - Squeeze

Game #355 - Detroit Tigers, 5 @ Kansas City Royals, 6

Kansas City is starting a long stretch without their all-star third sacker, George Brett, who is out with an injury.  The Royals got things started the right way in the first, though, because Daryl Motley hit a solo homer and Frank White singled home Steve Balboni to give KC a 2-0 lead.

They had extended that lead to 4-1 in the top of the sixth when Royals starter Frank Wills ran into some trouble.  Alan Trammell doubled and then Kirk Gibson launched yet another home run to chase Wills out of the game.  Joe Beckwith entered but he surrendered a two run shot of his own, this time to Lance Parrish.  That gave the Tigers a 5-4 lead.  Pat Sheridan hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning that plated Greg Pryor, and that had the game knotted at 5-5.

That was still the score heading into the bottom of the tenth.  Willie Hernandez was starting his third inning of relief work when pinch-hitter John Wathan doubled.  Wathan advanced to third on an infield single by Pryor.  Don Slaught was next up but grounded out to Darrell Evans.  With one out, Buddy Biancalana came to the plate.  He's a terrible hitter, and Hernandez is a strong pitcher, so I opted for the suicide squeeze.  Sure enough, Biancalana laid it down and Wathan scored on the walk-off squeeze!

Winning Pitcher - Dan Quisenberry
Losing Pitcher - Willie Hernandez
Player of the Game - Lil' Buddy

Game #356 - Cleveland Indians, 3 @ New York Yankees, 4

Let's fast forward to the bottom of the sixth.  Toby Harrah tripled off Neal Heaton.  That brought up Bobby Meacham.  I was feeling it.  SQUEEZE TIME.  Meacham pulled it off, New York now had a 2-0 lead.

Tim Foli knocked in two more for New York to give them a 4-0 lead going into the top of the eighth.  Ray Fontenot, still in the game, gave up three straight hits, including an RBI double by Chris Bando.  Reliever Jay Howell took over but gave up a two-run double to pinch hitter George Vukovich.  That made it a 4-3 game.  Howell got back on track, though, and closed them out in the ninth for the save.

Winning Pitcher - Ray Fontenot
Losing Pitcher - Neal Heaton
Save - Jay Howell
Player of the Game - Tim Foli, 2RBI double
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield

October 19, 2014

Minnesota and Milwaukee Prove Midwest Dominance

Game #353 - Minnesota Twins, 4 @ California Angels, 2

Gary Gaetti singled home Kent Hrbek in the third inning to start the scoring for the game.  The Angels responded in the bottom half of the inning when Brian Downing and Fred Lynn hit back-to-back doubles to give California a 2-1 lead.  Mickey Hatcher tied the game in the fourth when an RBI that scored Randy Bush.  It was Dave Engle's RBI hits in the seventh and ninth, though, the secured the win for Minnesota.

Winning Pitcher - John Butcher
Losing Pitcher - Ron Romanick
Save - Rick Lysander
Player of the Game - Engle, 2-5, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett, Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

Game #354 - Milwaukee Brewers, 10 @ Chicago White Sox, 2

I don't think there's been a worse offense in Statis Pro this season than the Milwaukee Brewers, but they busted out the whipping sticks against the White Sox.  Eight of their nine starters recorded two hits, with a grand total of 17 for the game.  Only three of those went for extra bases, but they added five walks on the way to the victory.  Not only did Chicago suffer a terrible loss, they will also be without the services of Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk for the next 20 games.  Fisk took a foul ball off the hand from the bat of Cecil Cooper and had to exit the game.  Joel Skinner will replace Fisk on the roster, but the South Side is now missing one of their biggest offensive threats.

Winning Pitcher - Don Sutton
Losing Pitcher - Richard Dotson
Player of the Game - Dion James, 2-5, bases clearing double in the fourth inning that started the route
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount, Don Sutton, Carlton Fisk

October 18, 2014

May 6, 1984 - Make that EIGHT in a Row for the Cardinals

Game #352 - San Francisco Giants, 0 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 5

It wasn't until I started typing this post that I realized this 1984 series reflected the 2014 NLCS!  The 2014 Giants got the best of St. Louis, but the 1984 Statis Pro Cardinals swept San Fran to run their win streak to a staggering eight games.

The Red Birds started the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, as back to back doubles by Willie McGee and David Green - with two outs - eventually led to a 2-0 lead.  That would be all Danny Cox would even need.  Though he walked seven Giants, he only gave up four hits and went the distance for a complete game victory. 

Winning Pitcher - Danny Cox
Losing Pitcher - Mark Grant
Player of the Game - Cox, CG SHO
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith

That was the last May 6th game, I hope to have the standings and statistics updated later today.  As always, thanks again for following the blog!

October 15, 2014

May 6, 1984 - Pirates Plunder Dodgers for Two Wins

Game #350 - Los Angeles Dodgers, 0 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 2

There was a major pitcher's duel in this one!  Rick Honeycutt faced Rick Rhoden and both brought their best stuff.

The score was 0-0 into the top of the sixth when L.A. finally got their first hit, a Terry Whitfield single.  In the bottom of the same inning Lee Lacy got a hit with one out and stole second base.  Johnny Ray was up next, and he also singled.  The third base coach sent Lacy home, where he was safe despite the throw.  Ray moved to second on the play at the plate, and then to third on a Tony Pena ground out.  Honeycutt uncorked a wild pitch, and Ray scampered home to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead.  That's all they would need because Rhoden was absolutely dominant.  He only gave up two hits in the complete game shutout.

Winning Pitcher - Rick Rhoden
Losing Pitcher - Rick Honeycutt
Player of the Game - Rhoden, CG SHO, 2H's, 3BB's, 6K's

Game #351 - Los Angeles Dodgers, 4 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 12

This game was brutal.  The Pirates scored two runs in the first, third, fourth, and sixth innings, and added four more in the eighth because why not.  Fernando Valenzuela didn't escape the fourth.  Every Pirates starter had at least one hit, and four had as many as three.  Even starting pitcher John Tudor was 2 for 3!

Winning Pitcher - John Tudor
Losing Pitcher - Fernando Valenzuela
Player of the Game - Lee Mazzilli, 3-5, 2B, R, 6RBI's

October 13, 2014

May 6, 1984 - Chicki-Chicki Boom Boom

Game #349 - Cincinnati Reds, 5 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 4

The Phillies jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the second inning.  Ozzie Virgil and Joe Lefebvre hit back to back solo shots to give Philadelphia a 2-0 advantage.  They tacked on a third run in the third when Juan Samuel doubled home Von Hayes.

But the Reds came storming back in the fifth.  They tagged Shane Rawley for three runs to tie the game, including a triple for Nick Esasky.  Philadelphia answered back in the bottom of the inning when Jeff Russell surrendered his fourth run of the game on an RBI single by Glenn Wilson.  Unfortunately, Wilson got caught going to far past first base on the hit and was thrown out by Dave "Cobra" Parker.

The score was still 4-3 in the eighth when Cesar Cedeno jacked a solo blast to tie the game up off of reliever Bill Campbell.  Then, in the top of the ninth, the Reds took the lead when Wayne Krenchicki laced a triple to plate Parker.  Juan Samuel made it as far as third base in the bottom of the ninth, but was ultimately stranded when Virgil struck out to end the game.

Winning Pitcher - John Franco
Losing Pitcher - Larry Andersen
Player of the Game - Krenchicki, game-winning triple
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Perez

October 12, 2014

May 6, 1984 - Joe Niekro Nearly Throws No-Hitter

Game #348 - Houston Astros, 4 @ New York Mets, 0

I continue to hope and pray that this season of Statis Pro will deliver a no-hitter.  I almost got my wish today!

In the top of the second inning, Walt Terrell of the Mets gave up a two-out single to Craig Reynolds.  Ray Knight then launched a hard double that scored Reynolds to give Houston a one run lead.   

Joe Niekro retired the side in the bottom of the fifth, including strike outs of Mike Fitzgerald and Jose Oquendo.  It was about this point in the game I realized Niekro had yet to surrender a hit.  He had issued three walks, including two to Darryl Strawberry, but no hits.  In the bottom of the sixth it was once again three up, three down.

In the top of the seventh Houston extended their lead.  Terrell was lifted for a pinch hitter the previous inning so Brent Gaff was on the hill.  He ended up allowing three runs to score, including a Terry Puhl solo shot.  That brought up the Mets in the bottom of the seventh.  Two Mets starters, Hubie Brooks and George Foster, were missing from the line up because of injuries, but this inning would feature Keith Hernandez and Strawberry, New York's two best hitters.  Once again, though, Niekro retired the Mets three in a row, including a Strawberry whiff.

At this point I was very nervous.  We were six outs away from the no-no.  Mike Fitzgerald led off the eighth.  The Fast Action Card indicated the play would be off the pitcher card.  The next FAC was flipped:  18.  Single off the pitcher card.  No-hitter eliminated.  Niekro actually gave up two more hits but the Mets didn't score, and the knuckler finished the game for a shutout.

Winning Pitcher - Joe Niekro
Losing Pitcher - Walt Terrell
Player of the Game - Niekro, CG SHO, 4H's, 3BB's, 8K's

October 11, 2014

May 6, 1984 - Blue Royster Cult

Game #346 - Atlanta Braves, 5 @ Montreal Expos, 2

This was game one in a double header for the Braves and Expos.  Claudell Washington started the scoring when he lined a triple that plated Dale Murphy in the second inning.  Montreal tied things up in the third when Tim Raines stole second base after a single and was knocked home by Bryan Little.  Two innings later Raines would score again on a Terry Francona sacrifice fly.

The score was still 2-1 in favor of Montreal when Bob Horner walked and Chris Chambliss singled in the top of the eighth.  Expos starter Charlie Lea was lifted for ace reliever Andy McGaffigan.  McGaffigan gave up a double to Dale Murphy, walks to Washington and Glen Hubbard, and a single to Rafael Ramirez.  When the dust settled the Braves were leading 4-2.  Pinch hitter Jerry Royster added a homer in the top of the ninth to seal the victory.

Winning Pitcher - Steve Bedrosian
Losing Pitcher - Charlie Lea
Save - Donnie Moore
Player of the Game - Bedrosian, 2IP, 0R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

Game #347 - Atlanta Braves, 2 @ Montreal Expos, 1

In game two there were a lot of bench players in the game, spelling the starters who played earlier in the day.  Paul Runge doubled home Chris Chambliss in the top of the first to give Atlanta an early lead.  That was the only run that scored until the seventh inning.  That's when Jerry Royster, yes, the Jerry Royster who pinch hit for a homer in game one, went deep again!  Homers in both halves of the double header!  He only hit one deep the entire season in the real 1984, but cranked two in one day in Statis Pro.

That gave the Braves a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.  Pascual Perez was tossing a shutout when Gary Carter led off with a double.  Tim Wallach grounded out but Carter went to third on a soft single by Doug Flynn.  Gene Garber relieved Perez while Pete Rose came into the game as a pinch hitter and punched one into the outfield to score Carter.  Garber settled down, though, and retired the next two Expos for Atlanta's second win of the day.

Winning Pitcher - Pascual Perez
Losing Pitcher - Bryn Smith
Save - Gene Garber
Player of the Game - Jerry Royster, home run machine
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter

October 5, 2014

May 6, 1984 - Ain't No Lollar Back Girl

Game #345 - San Diego Padres, 9 @ Chicago Cubs, 3

This game was really all San Diego.  Five straight hitters made contact in the fifth to lead to four runs and a 6-0 lead, including a solo homer by Carmelo Martinez.  As a matter of fact the first eight hitters in the lineup had at least two hits.  And the ninth place batter, pitcher Tim Lollar, recorded an RBI double.

Winning Pitcher - Tim Lollar
Losing Pitcher - Steve Trout
Player of the Game - Lollar, 6IP, 3ER's, 7K's, 1-3, 2B, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Ryne Sandberg

September 30, 2014

May 6, 1984 - Beasts of the East

Game #343 - Baltimore Orioles, 4 @ Texas Rangers, 2

The Rangers were the first team to put runs on the board in this contest.  Billy Sample was walked by Scott McGregor and stole second base before Gary Ward brought him home on a triple.  Ward then crossed home plate when Buddy Bell singled.

The Orioles finally etched out a run when an RBI ground out from Cal Ripken scored Al Bumbry.  With a 2-1 lead, Charlie Hough was still pitching in the top of the ninth.  Wayne Gross was the first batter, and reached first base on an error by second baseman Wayne Tolleson.  Gary Roenicke walked next, putting two runners on base for catcher Rick Dempsey.  Dempsey took a hanging knuckler and put it over the outfield fence to give Baltimore the gut-punching lead for the first time in the game.  Little known reliever Mark Brown held the Rangers scoreless in the bottom of the ninth to give the Orioles the late-earned victory.

Winning Pitcher - Mark Brown
Losing Pitcher - Charlie Hough
Player of the Game - Rick Dempsey, 3 run homer for the win
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

Game #344 - Kansas City Royals, 2 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 3

There were two notable injuries in this game.  George Brett crashed into the dugout chasing a foul ball and is now injured for 20 games.  Ouch.  That probably means I won't get to pencil him into a lineup until 2016.  Not to be outdone, the Blue Jays lost outfielder Jesse Barfield when he crashed into the outfield fence for 20 games as well.  That actually helps me out from a manager's perspective because it's been hard finding time for both Barfield and Dave Collins in the same game. 

Winning Pitcher - Dave Stieb
Losing Pitcher - Bud Black
Save - Dennis Lamp
Player of the Game - Stieb, 8IP, ER, 6H's, 5K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett

September 27, 2014

May 6, 1984 - How the (AL) West Was Won and Where It Got Us

Oakland Athletics, 2 @ Minnesota Twins, 0

Let's take a look at the two starting pitchers in the game, and you tell me who should have won:

Pitcher A:  9IP  8H  9K 0BB
Pitcher B: 8.1IP 4H  1K 5BB

Pitcher A was Frank Viola, who threw a complete game but gave up a pair of solo home runs in the third inning to Bill Almon and Davey Lopes.  Pitcher B was Steve McCatty, who lucked out time and again during the game, including four double plays the Twins offense couldn't avoid.  McCatty almost had the shutout, but with Tom Brunansky singling with one out in the ninth I didn't take and chances and brought in bullpen stud Bill Caudill for the save.

Winning Pitcher - Steve McCatty
Losing Pitcher - Frank Viola
Save - Bill Caudill
Player of the Game - McCatty
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett

Happy Trails - Lenny Faedo
I forgot to mention the last time the Twins played that Lenny Faedo was done for the season.  I'm not sure why, but in the real 1984 Faedo started the season with the team but then mysteriously dropped off the roster before May, never to make it to the big leauges again.  Here's the tale of two Faedo's:

The Real 1984:  16G  52AB  6R  13H  1DB  1HR  6RBI  .250/.304/.327/.630
Statis Pro 1984: 16G  48AB  2R   8H   1DB  0HR  3RBI  .167/.167/.188/.354

California Angels, 7 @ Seattle Mariners, 2

Ken Phelps, king and mascot of the saber-minded folks in baseball, had the ultimate Ken Phelps game.  First AB:  strike out.  Second AB:  walk.  Third AB:  two-run homer.  Unfortunately, that was all the offense the Mariners could muster against the Angels, who extended their lead in the AL West with yet another victory.

Winning Pitcher - Jim Slaton
Losing Pitcher - Ed Vande Berg
Player of the Game - Dick Schofield, 3-5, 2B, 2RBI's, R

September 22, 2014

May 6, 1984 - AL East Haves and Have Nots

Game #339 - Detroit Tigers, 7 @ Cleveland Indians, 5

The Tigers leaped out to a 7-1 lead after six and a half innings, led by a Kirk Gibson two-run shot in the third and a three run jack by Darrell Evans in the top of the seventh.  Cleveland chipped away but ran out of time to complete a comeback.

Winning Pitcher - Milt Wilcox
Losing Pitcher - Steve Farr
Save - Dave Rozema
Player of the Game - Evans, HR, 3RBI's

Game #340 - New York Yankees, 9 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 2

The Brewers' offense is absolutely putrid.  I mean they are terrible.  Guidry wasn't particularly effective, but the Brewers hit into three different double plays, killing potential rallies throughout the game.  Lou Piniella, Dave Winfield, and Don Mattingly had back to back to back doubles in the fourth, leading to three runs scored.  The only blow for New York was losing Willie Randolph to injury.  He'll sit for about 10 games, which means I probably won't play with him again until 2016, lol...

Winning Pitcher - Ron Guidry
Losing Pitcher - Bob McClure
Player of the Game - Guidry, 7IP, 2ER's, 6K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield, Robin Yount

September 21, 2014

May 6, 1984 - Ron Kittle Tastes The Rainbow

Game #338 - Chicago White Sox, 11 @ Boston Red Sox, 7

There was plenty of offense in this one!  In the top of the third inning Scott Fletcher led things off with a double.  That was the first base runner to reach off of Oil Can Boyd.  It wouldn't be the last.  He walked Julio Cruz and then gave up a three run tater to backup catcher Marc Hill.

The White Sox were ahead 4-1 going into the bottom of the sixth.  Floyd Bannister was in trouble with the bases loaded and no outs.  He promptly plunked Reid Nichols and was removed from the game.  But a pinch-hit single by Rich Gedman, a single by Wade Boggs, and an RBI ground out by Jim Rice gave Boston the lead, 5-4.

The Pale Hose responded in the top of the seventh.  Rudy Law reached on a single and moved to third on a Mike Easler error when Harold Baines smoked a grounder to him.  Greg Walker singled home Law, which left runners on the corners.  That's when Ron Kittle cracked one out of the park for a stunning 8-5 lead.  And he wasn't done, because in the top of the ninth he hit a two-run homer too.

Winning Pitcher - Ron Reed
Losing Pitcher - Bob Stanley
Save - Dan Spillner
Player of the Game - Ron Kittle, 3-5, 2HR's, 2B, 5RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

September 19, 2014

Week in Review - April 29 through May 5

Well, it took about seven months to complete this most recent week, which averages out to about a month per day of games.  That doesn't feel too shabby!

The Phenomenal Phive

1.  Detroit Tigers, 19-6.  The roar of '84 is alive and kicking heading into the month of May.  Lance Parrish is crushing the ball, Kirk Gibson continues to excel, and Sweet Lou Whitaker remains the most consistent hitter in the lineup. 

2.  Toronto Blue Jays, 20-7.  Nipping right on the Tigers' heels are the Blue Jays.  Their balanced batting order and superior starting pitching continues to propel them forward.  If they have one weak spot it is their bullpen.

3.  Houston Astros, 19-7.  Houston's pitchers might be the best in Statis Pro, but it's their over-achieving offense that has made them the leaders in the NL West.  At some point they'll cool off, but for now, they continue to ride the wave of good luck.  Terry Puhl seems to be the chief benefactor of that streak.

4.  St. Louis Cardinals, 19-8.  I'm not sure how they're doing it, but the Cards are riding a seven game win streak.  Ken Oberkfell his swinging a hot bat, and my move of Ozzie Smith to the lead-off spot is paying dividends.  Bruce Sutter is up to eight saves now on the season.

5.  New York Yankees, 18-7.  That's right, three AL East teams in the top five.  The Yankees have quietly maintained their strong start.  Phil Niekro has tossed two shutouts and Dennis Rassmussen is a league leader in strike outs.  And to top things off, Don Mattingly's bat is finally warming up too.

Useless Stats

-Wayne Tolleson of the Texas Rangers hast the most at-bats (59) without a walk in the AL.  Terry Francona of the Expos leads that stat in the NL with 49.

-Scott Fletcher and Kent Hrbek lead the majors with 4 hit by pitches.  Scott McGregor has plunked the most hitters, also with 4.

-For some reason I'm tracking when a hitter reaches base by fielder's choice or error.  Jose Cruz and Tony Pena have both reached this way 9 times.

-Milt Wilcox of the first place Tigers has given up TEN homers in 30 innings.

-Mike Schmidt has committed 11 errors.  Woof.

September 17, 2014

May 5, 1984 - Seven Wins and Counting

Game #377 - San Francisco Giants, 1 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 4

Stop me if you've read this on the blog before:  the Cardinals won.  Again.

These guys can't lose.  They dispatched the Giants with relative ease as Joaquin Andujar went eight innings only giving up one unearned run.  Tom Herr smacked two doubles and Lonnie Smith went deep in the sixth inning.

I apologize for the long delay in postings!  I was on a big family vacation.  I got to see my Orioles take two from the Yankees, and also got to cross Derek Jeter off my bucket list of future Hall of Famers I can claim to have seen play with my own two eyes. 

Winning Pitcher - Andujar
Losing Pitcher - Jeff Robinson
Save - Bruce Sutter
Player of the Game - Andujar, who has won three POG's in his last three starts.
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter

September 2, 2014

May 5, 1984 - NL West Rolling

Game #335 - Cincinnati Reds, 11 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 7

I've played 20+ games with the Reds, and I still misspell "Cincinnati" every blog entry...

The Reds capitalized on a Glen Wilson error to plate three in the first inning, including RBI doubles from Dave Parker and Ron Oester.  Juan Samuel doubled home Von Hayes in the bottom of the inning.

With the score still 3-1 in the third, Cesar Cedeno smacked a two run homer, though the Phillies got two more in the fourth to make it 5-3.  That was the same inning Mike Schmidt had to leave the game due to an injury while going for a foul ball.  He'll have to sit out the next game too.

The Reds kept scoring, though, and pulled away to win the game.

Winning Pitcher - Jay Tibbs
Losing Pitcher - Jerry Koosman
Player of the Game - Dan Driessen, 4-4, 2HR's, 5RBI's, 4R's, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt

 Game #336 - Los Angeles Dodgers, 2 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 1

Including this game, Alejandro Pena has thrown four complete games in six games started this year!  He was filthy against the Pirates, only surrendering three hits and three walks.  The one run scored against him was due in part to his own fielding error.

John Candelaria was nearly as good, giving up only two runs over eight innings, but the lackluster Pirate offense continues to sputter.

Winning Pitcher - Alejandro Pena
Losing Pitcher - John Candelaria
Player of the Game - Pena

August 24, 2014

May 5, 1984 - By Dawley, I Think He's Got It!

Game #334 - Houston Astros, 2 @ New York Mets, 1

The Houston Astros have won seven games in a row at this point.  It's a pretty strong team.  There's not a lot of power, but they have good speed and batting average-type hitters, quality starting pitching, and a lights-out bullpen.

The best arm in that pen is Bill Dawley, who had a heck of a year in the real 1984.  He's replicating it here, where he's just earned his third "Player of the Game" recognition.  Houston had a one run lead when he relieved Mike Scott with one out in the sixth.  He proceeded to strike out three of the six hitters he faced.  Only Danny Heep managed a hit, smoking a double of a "Z" fielding play.

New York, meanwhile shot themselves in the foot.  Repeatedly.  Wally Backman was thrown out twice trying to steal second.  There were two errors in the outfield, and Mike Fitzgerald was caught stealing to end the game on a busted hit and run attempt with Heep.  Woof.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Scott
Losing Pitcher - Ron Darling
Save - Julio Solano
Player of the Game - Bill Dawley

August 23, 2014

May 5, 1984 - 3+3+3=9

Game #333 - Atlanta Braves, 1 @ Montreal Expos, 9

I've been waiting for this day pretty much since the start of the blog.  The day has finally come.  Tim Wallach is the player of the game!!!

Why does this excite me?  Because it gives me a chance to direct you to one of my favorite sites on the web - the Tim Wallach blog - where @29collector is literally trying to collect every baseball card ever printed of his favorite player, Tim Wallach.  This concept is so outlandish, and the player so random, and the site so original...I don't have the right words for how perfect it all is. 

Speaking of perfect, that was about how good Wallach's day was in Statis Pro.  The Braves had a 1-0 lead against Bill Gullickson when Wallach went deep for a home run in the bottom of the fourth off Rick Camp.  In the top of the sixth with one out, Gerald Perry reached on a Terry Francona error and moved to second when Bob Horner walked.  I pulled Gullickson for the left-handed Gary Lucas to face fellow leftie Chris Chambliss.  The switcheroo worked as Chambliss hit into a double play.

In the bottom half of the sixth Wallach got plunked by Camp.  I wish there was a benches clearing brawl function in Statis Pro, because the Montreal fans would have been enraged.  Wallach got the last laugh, though, when Miguel Dilone plated him on a sacrifice fly for a 2-1 lead.  That, and when Wallach blasted a three run homer the next inning too, sending Camp to the showers and Montreal to victory.

Winning Pitcher - Gary Lucas
Losing Pitcher - Rick Camp
Player of the Game - Tim Wallach, 3-4, 2HR's, 4RBI's, HBP, 3R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

August 17, 2014

May 5, 1984 - Cinco de Mayo

Game #331 - Kansas City Royals, 5 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 4

This was a fun one, so let's jump into it!  George Brett doubled with two outs in the first and Jorge Orta singled him home to give KC the early lead.  But a Lloyd Moseby triple and an unusual balk by Joe Beckwith tied the game up in the bottom half of the inning.

It stayed knotted at 1-1 until the fifth.  George Brett, Steve Balboni, and Pat Sheridan had RBI hits to give the Royals a 4-1 lead.  But, once again, the Blue Jays responded in their next turn at bat.  Damaso Garcia and Rance Mulliniks each knocked home teammates to get the blue birds within a run.  Garcia added yet another RBI in the sixth, and suddenly it was a tie game once again.

The score was still 4-4 heading into the top of the ninth.  The Blue Jays sent Ron Musselman to the mound, who is their best bullpen arm.  With one out Steve Balboni singled.  John Wathan came in as a pinch runner.  Pat Sheridan then doubled to put Wathan on third with one out and first base open.  Musselman intentionally walked Frank White to set up the double play, but Don Slaught hit a fly out to right field that was deep enough to score Wathan for the go-ahead run.

In the bottom of the ninth Dan Quisenberry came out for his second inning of work.  With one out Willie Upshaw singled, and the George Bell did too.  But Jessie Barfield struck out and Rance Mulliniks lined out to end the game.  KC got a much needed win while Toronto slips into second place in the AL East.

Winning Pitcher - Dan Quisenberry
Losing Pitcher - Ron Musselman
Player of the Game - Quiz, 2IP, 2K's, W
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett

Game #332 - San Diego Padres, 6 @ Chicago Cubs, 3

This is game two in the real world match up of the 1984 playoff teams.  The Padres bid Cubs starter Dick Ruthven adios after five runs in just a third of an inning in the first, including a three run bomb by Steve Garvey.  Back to back doubles by Ron Cey and pinch hitter Richie Hebner chased Eddie Whitson out of the game in the eighth, but Craig Lefferts locked things down for the Padres, tying the series at 1-1.

Winning Pitcher - Eddie Whitson
Losing Pitcher - Dick Ruthven
Save - Craig Lefferts
Player of the Game - Whitson, 7 1/3IP, 4H's 3K's, 3R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Ryne Sandberg

August 16, 2014

May 5, 1984 - Lucky 13

Game #329 - California Angels, 13 @ Seattle Mariners, 8

The Angels put up five runs out of the gate in the first inning, including and RBI triple from Doug DeCinces.  Matt Young had been pitching pretty well this season, so he was definitely due for a stinker.  He lasted four innings and gave up six runs.

California had the 6-0 lead until the bottom of the fourth.  Mike Witt gave up four singles and a walk as the Mariners plated four runs to draw closer to the Halos.  But Juan Beniquez neutralized the threat in the top of the fifth with a three run homer and, despite another four runs from the M's, they never got close again.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Witt
Losing Pitcher - Matt Young
Player of the Game - Juan Beniquez, 3-6, HR, 3RBI's, 3R's

Game #330 - Baltimore Orioles, 13 @ Texas Rangers, 5

This game was scoreless until a Billy Sample error permitted Cal Ripken Jr. to score in the top of the third.  The Rangers tied it up when Curtis Wilkerson singled home Bobby Jones, who got the rare start at first for the injured Pete O'Brien.  Jones had been standing on second with the first of his three doubles on the day.

The Orioles were trailing 3-2 in the seventh when Mike Young, who continues to play out of his gourd, hit a solo shot and Gary Roenicke singled home Ripken.  It was still 4-3 in the eighth when Baltimore exploded for three runs thanks to a Floyd Rayford homage to Earl Weaver.  In the bottom of the inning, though, Texas crawled back to within two when Dennis Martinez got wild.  The threat ended in the top of the ninth, however, because the O's sent 12 batters to the plate and scored six runs.

Winning Pitcher - Tom Underwood
Losing Pitcher - Odell Jones
Save - Sammy Stewart
Player of the Game - Floyd Rayford, 2-2, HR, BB, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

August 11, 2014

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

 A couple of you have been showing some love and asking some questions in the comments lately - thank you! - so I thought I would share a little bit about how I'm approaching the season.  I think I did a version of this at the start of the blog, but I'm too lazy to go back and look.

The first question was about what player cards I'm using.  When I first started toying with the idea of playing a whole season, I thought about doing 1985, which was the season that came with my game.  I soon discovered, though, that the teams weren't complete.  Most of the players missing were September call-up types, but that became a problem for the starting pitchers.  I'm following the Statis Pro rule that a pitcher can't start/appear in more games than they did in the season (I'm not being quite so strict with innings pitched).  I needed a complete roster to make this work.

As it so happened, my dad bought a CD full of about 50 seasons worth of Statis Pro on Ebay a few years back.  He and I play a "King of the Hill" version where we will randomly select a year and a team from the disc.  Whoever wins keeps their team and the loser draws a new one.  It's pretty fun.  Anyway, the CD teams were complete.  They're also a bit easier to use, especially with BD rating already listed.  I have to scale the fielding ratings because the non-Avalon cards scale from 4 to 2 instead of 2 to 0.  You can see a comparison above.  The purchased set wasn't completely accurate on how many games per position, I've had to use Baseball Reference to clean some of that up.  I also write total games played on the cards so I can get a sense for DHing and pinch hitting. 

Besides that, I'm using my original board, FAC's, etc. for the game.  The disc came with a scorecard that fit two per page, so I use that too.  I still have my original pad of scorecards and use it when my dad and I get to play.  I decided on 1984 for a couple of reasons.  First, my first complete set of Topps baseball cards was 1985, which featured the 1984 season on the back of the card.  I spent so many hours pouring over the stats and players.  It's still my favorite set from Topps.  I spent some years growing up in Michigan, too, so the chance to see the 84 Tigers team in action sounded fun.  My favorite team is the Baltimore Orioles, and my favorite player Eddie Murray, so I knew I was getting an MVP-caliber effort there too.  Plus you have Doc Gooden's rookie year, the Cubs in the playoffs - it's a fun year of ball to relive. 

The second question you asked were about rule variations. Instead of Pitching Reduction I use Points of Effectives and the Good vs. Bad stuff options.  I switched to that pretty early in the season but like the dynamic it creates.  I've yet to try infield positioning, guarding the lines, pitching around batters, and other variations.  I might experiment one of these days with that - stay tuned!

I hope you all found this helpful - thanks to everyone who reads the site and keeps visiting!  I find these games very relaxing and a fun hobby.  Keep the questions and comments coming!  

August 10, 2014

May 5, 1984 - Yanks Blank, A's Unphased

Game #327 - New York Yankees, 7 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 0

As if the Brewers haven't been terrible enough this Statis Pro season, they lost catcher Jim Sundberg for 14 games after he got injured on a Don Mattingly foul tip.  That was after Mattingly's two run homer in the first.  Dave Winfield hit a grand slam in the second and Phil Niekro had the knuckler dancing, blanking the Brew Crew through all nine innings.

Winning Pitcher - Phil Niekro
Losing Pitcher - Mike Caldwell
Player of the Game - Niekro, CG SHO, 5K's, 5H's, 2BB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield, Phil Niekro, Robin Yount, Rollie Fingers

Game #328 - Oakland A's, 9 @ Minnesota Twins, 4

Question:  How many A's did Twins starter Al Williams retire before getting yanked?

Answer:  One (Mickey Tettleton strike out).

Question:  How many runs did he give up?

Answer:  Four.

Question:  How many innings did the Twins bullpen cover?

Answer:  8 2/3 (Pete Filson 3 2/3, Mike Walters 1, Ed Hodge 4).

Question:  Is this story recap a bit contrived?

Answer:  Yes.

Winning Pitcher - Ray Burris
Losing Pitcher - Al Williams
Player of the Game - Dave Kingman, 2-4, HR, BB, 3RBI's, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Joe Morgan, Kirby Puckett

August 2, 2014

May 5, 1984 - Eleven is Heaven

Game #325 - Chicago White Sox, 10 @ Boston Red Sox, 11 (eleven innings)

There were too many runs scored in this one to make for a coherent post!  Some highlights:
  • Greg Luzinski hits a two run homer in the top of the first.
  • DH Rick Miller doubles home two in the bottom of the third to give Boston a 3-2 lead.
  • Chicago roars back with a four run third, including a bases-clearing triple by Harold Baines, to give the White Sox a 6-5 lead.
  • Greg Walker knocks a pinch hit homer for three RBI's in the seventh, 9-6 Chicago.
  • Boston scores three runs in the bottom of the ninth, including a two run jack from Mike Easler, to tie the game and send it into extra innings.
  • With one out in the bottom of the eleventh, Salome Barojas walks Dwight Evans.  Mike Easler then hits a double to plate Evans for a walk-off victory!
Winning Pitcher - Charlie Mitchell
Losing Pitcher - Salome Barojas
Player of the Game - Mike Easler, 3-6, 2B, HR, 3RBI's, HBP
Hall of Famers in the Game - Carlton Fisk, Tom Seaver, Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

Game #326 - Detroit Tigers, 6 @ Cleveland Indians, 3 (eleven innings too!)

Ruppert Jones hit a three run homer of Steve Comer in the top of the second to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.  Cleveland chipped away at the lead over the next three innings and had tied it up by the fifth.  Willie Hernandez pitched the eighth, ninth, and tenth innings as the game went into extras.  Ernie Camacho tried to match his effort, but ended up yielding a three run bomb to Lou Whitaker in the top of the eleventh!  Tigers win...

Winning Pitcher - Willie Hernandez
Losing Pitcher - Ernie Camacho
Save - Aurelio Lopez
Player of the Game - Whitaker, 2-6, 2B, HR, 3RBI's

July 29, 2014

May 4th, 1984 - Anonymous FTW

Game #323 - Cincinnati Reds, 3 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 4

A few days back an "anonymous" reader checked in on a comments section and requested a specific lineup for the Phillies.  Who am I to deny my fans?  Here's what he/she wanted:

1.  Samuel, 4
2.  Hayes, 8
3.  Schmidt, 5
4.  Virgil, 2  (Actually wanted Lezcano here, but he's on the DL)
5.  Matuszek, 3
6.  Maddox, 7
7.  Wilson, 9
8.  DeJesus, 6
9.  pitcher, 1 - just happened to be Hall of Famer Steve Carlton

It's not a bad looking lineup!  I typically hit Samuel down in the six hole, because despite his 70 stolen bases in 1984, his on-base skills leave a lot to be desired.  So how did "anonymous" do?  Let's see!

He/she looked like a genius out of the gate.  Samuel doubled and, three batters later, Virgil put one over the fence for a quick 2-0 lead.  The Phillies added a third run in the third when Carlton reached on a Nick Esasky error.  Samuel popped out but Hayes smoked a triple to plate Carlton.

Carlton, meanwhile, was more than handling the Reds.  Despite drawing a "horrible stuff" fast action card to start the game, he was holding his own.  In fact, the Reds were scoreless going into the top of the ninth.  I wanted Carlton to get the shutout, so he was still pitching.  Cesar Cedeno led off with a double, and moved to third on a weak Dave Concepcion single.  Dave Parker hit into a fielder's choice but plated Cedeno in doing so.  At that point I lifted Carlton for Larry Andersen.  Pinch hitter Wayne Krenchicki flew out to left, but Dan Driessen doubled to move Parker to third.  Tim Foley then roped a double to plate those two and tie the game!

Ted Power took the mound for the Reds in the bottom of the ninth.  Pinch hitter Jim Lefebvre singled with no outs.  Greg Gross subbed for DeJesus and successfully made contact on a risky hit and run play, moving Lefebvre to third.  Kiko Garcia struck out, but Juan Samuel poked a single through the drawn in infield to win the game on a walk-off!

Winning Pitcher - Larry Andersen
Losing Pitcher - Ted Power
Player of the Game - Steve Carlton, ND, 8 1/3IP, 2R's, 6K's, 4H's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton

Game #324 - San Francisco Giants, 3 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 10

Dan Gladden and Steve Nicoscia each hit solo homers in the top of the first, but it was all St. Louis after that.  Starter Mark Davis couldn't escape a five-run fifth and the Lou just kept piling it on afterwards.

Winning Pitcher - Dave LaPoint
Losing Pitcher - Mark Davis
Player of the Game - Tom Nieto, 3-5, 2 2B's, HR, 4RBI's, ejected in the ninth for arguing with the umpire, despite a seven run lead.  Can't teach heart.

July 27, 2014

May 4th, 1984 - May The Fourth Be With You

Game #321 - San Diego Padres, 1 @ Chicago Cubs, 2

Eric Show gave up a two-out, two-RBI single to Jody Davis in the first inning.  Show went six more innings after that, shutting down Chicago, but it didn't matter.  The Padres only managed one run despite recording nine hits off Cubs starter Rich Bordi.  Lee Smith and Warren Brusstar retired all six San Diego Padres  hitters they faced to secure the victory.

Winning Pitcher - Rich Bordi
Losing Pitcher - Eric Show
Save - Warren Brusstar
Player of the Game - Jody Davis, 1-4, 2RBI's, threw out Alan Wiggins attempting to steal
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage, Ryne Sandberg

Game #322 - Houston Astros, 3 @ New York Mets, 2 (five innings, called for rain)

I almost ignored the "Z" card that ended this game early.  It was maybe the best pitching match up of the season as Bob Knepper was facing Doc Gooden.  They've been the two most dominant pitchers in the NL this season.  Houston managed to scrape together three runs off Gooden across five innings.  Knepper gave up two runs that weren't earned due to errors by Terry Puhl and Phil Garner, but he pitched strong enough for the abbreviated win - his sixth of the season.  The Mets lost George Foster for four games when he ran into the left field wall trying to catch an Alan Ashby double.

Winning Pitcher - Bob Knepper
Losing Pitcher - Doc Gooden
Player of the Game - Terry Puhl, 2-2, SAC, 2RBI's

July 26, 2014

May 4, 1984 - For Whom the Bell Tolls

Game #319 - Baltimore Orioles, 4 @ Texas Rangers, 9

It always feels like when one team has a left-hander pitching, the opposing team does too.  Mike Flanagan took the hill for the O's, as Frank Tanana opposed him on behalf of the Rangers.  Neither pitcher was particularly effective, despite the fact neither team had a hit until the bottom of the fourth.

With two outs in the fourth, Buddy Bell doubled.  Larry Parrish did too, bringing home Bell.  Hostetler, only playing because Pete O'Brien is on the DL, then homered to give Texas a 3-0 lead.  Baltimore put up two runs each in the fifth and sixth, but the Rangers scored four more in the bottom of the sixth to seal the victory.  Jim Palmer mopped up for his last appearance of the season.

Winning Pitcher - Frank Tanana
Losing Pitcher - Mike Flanagan
Player of the Game - Buddy Bell, 3-4, 2B, 3R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer

Happy Trails - Jim Palmer
Die-hard Orioles fans know 1984 was the stumbling end of Jim Palmer's career.  After three disastrous starts and five games total, he was done in Baltimore.  He was similarly ineffective in Statis Pro, though not quite as bad.  Let's take a look:

Real 1984:  18IP  9.17ERA  0-3  4K's  2.21WHIP
Statis Pro:   16IP  5.63ERA  0-2  11K's  2.06WHIP

You regular readers of the blog know the Orioles are my favorite team.  It would have been fun to play with a 70's era team when Palmer was a dominant pitcher.  These five games were not a fun experience...

Game #320 - Kansas City Royals, 3 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 8

The Toronto offense continues to beat up whoever they face.  They had four innings in a row where they scored runs.  Jim Clancy wasn't really outstanding, but he ate up innings while the balanced lineup put up hits and runs.  On the flip side, Kansas City continues to flounder.  I'm not quite sure how they ended up being the AL West champions in 1984.

Winning Pitcher - Jim Clancy
Losing Pitcher - Mike Gubicza
Player of the Game - Clancy, 8IP, 4K's, 3R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett

July 20, 2014

May 4, 1984 - AL West Battles

Game #317 - Oakland A's, 4 @ Minnesota Twins, 8

This game had some nice back and forth.  The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Kent Hrbek singled home Kirby Puckett.  Oakland tied it up in the top of the second when Dwayne Murphy went deep for a solo shot.  The A's pulled ahead 2-1 in the fourth when Murphy replicated his previous blast.  But Puckett and Mickey Hatcher plated a run apiece in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead.

The long ball hurt Minnesota starter Ken Schrom for a third time in the top of the sixth when he surrendered a two-run home run to Bruce Bochte.  The game stayed 4-3 in favor of the A's until the bottom of the eighth.  Keith Atherton was on the mound for Oakland but gave up three straight singles plus a walk to pinch hitter Ron Washington.  Bill Caudill relieved Atherton but committed a throwing error that gave the Twins a one run lead.  Mickey Hatcher then hit a bases-clearing double that was made possible when Gary Hancock and Dwayne Murphy collided in the outfield.  Hancock will be on the DL for 31 games while Murphy will have to sit for five. 

Winning Pitcher - Rick Lysander
Losing Pitcher - Keith Atherton
Player of the Game - Hatcher, 3-5, 2B, 4RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett

Game #318 - California Angels, 0 @ Seattle Mariners, 9

This game started as a pitcher's duel between Geoff Zahn and Jim Beattie.  It was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth, when Alvin Davis hit a solo homer to give Seattle the lead.  The flood gates opened in the next inning.  Spike Owen reached on a bunt attempt error by Rod Carew.  Zahn got two outs after that, but reeled of two singles and two walks before getting yanked.  That's when Al Cowens crushed a three run homer off reliever Curt Kaufman.  Kaufman gave up two more solo homers in the eighth to Dave Henderson and Steve Henderson (no relation).

Winning Pitcher - Jim Beattie
Losing Pitcher - Geoff Zahn
Player of the Game - Beattie, CG SHO, 9H's, 2BB's, 8K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson