January 26, 2014

April 29, 1984 - The Twins Play Two...It's So Meta!

Game #270 - Minnesota Twins, 9 @ Oakland A's, 6

Minnesota jumped to a very early lead thanks to a Tom Brunansky three run homer in the top of the first off Oakland starter Bill Krueger.  They extended their lead to 6-0 in the fourth when Mickey Hatcher roped a two-RBI triple.  Oakland threatened in the eighth when they scored four runs, including a Mike Davis tater.  But Rick Lysander worked out of the jam in an inning and two-thirds of work for the save.

Winning Pitcher - Al Williams
Losing Pitcher - Bill Krueger
Save - Rick Lysander
Player of the Game - Mickey Hatcher, 3-5, 2B, 3B, 3RBI's, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett, Joe Morgan

Game #270 - Minnesota Twins, 7 @ Oakland A's, 9

Game #2 of the double header was almost a mirror image of the first, with the teams trading places in terms of success.  This time Dwayne Murphy was responsible for the three run bomb in the first.  Eleven batters came up for Oakland in the first and Twins starter Mike Smithson didn't make it out still on the mound.  That was rough timing for the taxed bullpen working two games in one day.  Minnesota mounted a slow but ultimately failed comeback, pecking away at Oakland's early 9-2 lead. 

Winning Pitcher - Mike Warren
Losing Pitcher - Mike Smithson
Save - Keith Atherton
Player of the Game - Dwayne Murphy, 2-4, 2HR's, 5RBI's, BB

January 21, 2014

April 29, 1984 - New York Knight

Game #269 - Milwaukee Brewers, 12 @ New York Yankees, 9

What a game for Roy Hobbs Howell!  Joe Cowley gave up a solo homer to Howell in the bottom of the second.  In the bottom of the third, Howell came up again and took new reliever Clay Christianse deep for a two run jack (and right after tempers were boiling when Cowley hit Ed Romero with a pitch that puts him on the DL for the next 20 games).  His next two hits?  How about a triple and double!  In the top of the ninth Mike Armstrong finally got Howell to ground out, his first out of the game that left Roy a single short of the first cycle of the season.

Winning Pitcher - Bob McClure
Losing Pitcher - Joe Cowley
Save - Rollie Fingers
Player of the Game - Howell, 4-5, 2HR's, 2B, 3B, 3R's, 5RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount, Rollie Fingers, Dave Winfield

January 20, 2014

April 29, 1984 - Beat Down

Game # 268 - Cleveland Indians, 16 @ Detroit Tigers, 2

I was expecting a score like this, only the other way around.  Cleveland sent Steve Comer to the hill, with his 2-5 pitcher rating and 5.00 plus ERA, while Detroit had Dan Petry going in front of the home crowd.  As I've said before, THAT'S WHY YOU PLAY THE GAMES!

Comer worked out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the first by inducing Rupert Jones into a double play grounder to end the threat.  Cleveland responded in good faith, tagging Petry for two in the second and three more in the third.  Petry was pulled after five innings, having given up six runs, but the Indians were just getting started.  They put up ten more runs in the last three innings, bruising the self esteem of pitchers Dave Rozema, Glen Abbott, and Sid Monge.  In total, five different Indians hit a home run.  Every starter had at least one hit and RBI, and oddly, the only starter not to score a run was lead off man Brett Butler.  Cleveland avoids the sweep in Detroit in a big time way.

Winning Pitcher - Steve Comer
Losing Pitcher - Dan Petry
Player of the Game - Comer, 7IP, 1R, 7K's, 6H's, 4BB's

January 19, 2014

April 29, 1984 - I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today!

Game #267 - Boston Red Sox, 2 @ Chicago White Sox, 3

I chuckle at myself when it comes to deciding who gets an off day from a game of Statis Pro.  I try my best to pace off days as their managers must have in the real 1984, and I'm sure I'm taking it too seriously when I create the starting lineups.  Today I gave Julio Cruz a breather, but it didn't last long.  In the bottom of the second, Scott Fletcher ran into the wall chasing a foul ball.  He missed it and is now injured for the next three games.  That necessitated me bringing Cruz in.  All he did was go 2-2 with an RBI double, run scored, and two walks.  He was the difference as Chicago avoided the Sox sweep and ended their five game losing streak.

Winning Pitcher - LaMarr Hoyt
Losing Pitcher - Bob Ojeda
Save - Ron Reed
Player of the Game - Julio Cruz
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Carlton Fisk

January 18, 2014

April 29, 1984 - The Haves and the Have Nots

These two games seemed predictable, as the over .500 teams handled the sub .500 teams...

Game #265 - Texas Rangers, 1 @ Baltimore Orioles, 10

Eddie Murray, my all-time favorite player, hit a three run homer in the bottom of the first, and that was pretty much the ball game.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Flanagan
Losing Pitcher - Danny Darwin (I think I accidentally started Darwin two games in a row)
Player of the Game - Flanagan, 8IP, 6H's, 3K's, 1R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, and Jim Palmer (mop up duty)

Game #266 - Seattle Mariners, 5 @ California Angels, 6

I'm usually pretty neutral in these games, but I found myself pulling for the Mariners in this one.  The Angels were out front early thanks to a solo homer from Brian Downing (his eleventh!) and a three run bomb from back up catcher Jerry Narron.  But Seattle pulled within one in the fifth when they plated three runs.  Gary Pettis hit his fourth homer, a two run job (and his fourth on the season - he only hit two in the real 1984), to extend their lead back to three runs.  Alvin Davis kept Seattle in the thick of it with a two run homer in the top of the seventh.  The Mariners had the bases loaded in the eighth, but Doug Corbett worked out of the jam and California won the day.

Winning Pitcher - Luis Sanchez
Losing Pitcher - Bob Stoddard
Save - Doug Corbett
Player of the Game - Pettis, 2-3, HR, 2RBI's, 2SB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

January 17, 2014

Week in Review - April 22 through April 28

Would you believe it's been almost fourteen months on the nose since my last week in review?  At this rate I might not live long enough to finish this season.  I'm not complaining.  This is a hobby.  I have a job, a more than accommodating wife, and three young daughters to play with.  I get the games in when I can!

The Phenomenal Phive:

1.  Detroit Tigers, 15-4.  Just like the real 1984, the Tigers are off to a fast start.  Their lineup is stacked, with most of the team hitting above their normal expectations.  Willie Hernandez keeps it locked down two innings at a time to secure all those wins.

2.  Toronto Blue Jays, 16-6.  The Blue Jays have kept the pressure on Detroit, not only for the AL East lead but for the crown of best Statis Pro team in the land.  Jorge Bell is still hot, and so are starting pitchers Doyle Alexander and Dave Stieb.  Tony Fernandez, getting a lot of at-bats due to Alfredo Griffin's injury, is unstoppable of late.

3.  Houston Astros, 14-7.  Jose Cruz and Bob Knepper are dominating the NL right now.  They have Houston expanding their lead on the rest of the NL West. 

4.  New York Yankees, 13-6.  I'm not sure how or why, but Dennis Rassmussen has been one of the best pitchres in the league in the first month of the season.  Hot hitting from scrubs like Steve Kemp and Lou Piniella have got the Yankees clicking.

5.  Boston Red Sox, 14-7.  The AL East is a rough division to play in!  Their pitching hasn't been outstanding, but Dwight Evans and the other sluggers have stayed consistent in producing runs.  Tony Armas is putting more and more balls over the Green Monster. 

To my small but faithful following, thanks for hanging in there.  I'll see what I can do about completing the coming week before 2015!  Any suggestions or requests for the blog?  Comment below!

January 15, 2014

April 28, 1984 - Another Week in the Books!

Game #263 - Chicago Cubs, 10 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 6

Just an ugly, sloppy game!  The Cubs were up 10-1 until Lee Lacy hit a three run homer in the eighth and Jason Thompson hit a solo shot immediately after.  Every position player for Chicago recorded at least one hit as John Candelaria nearly doulbed his hits allowed for the season.

Winning Pitcher - Dick Ruthven
Losing Pitcher - John Candelaria
Player of the Game - Gary Matthews, 4-6, HR, 2RBI, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

Game #264 - Los Angelas Dodgers, 4 @ San Diego Padres, 1

Just a quiet, quick game!  Graig Nettles started the scoring in the bottom of the second with a solo home run for the Padres.  The Dodgers chipped back, including a two run dinger from Mike Marshall. 

Winning Pitcher - Alejandro Pena
Losing Pitcher - Ed Whitson
Player of the Game - Pena, CG, 1R, 6K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

January 13, 2014

April 28, 1984 - Hall of Fame Heroics

Game #261 - St. Louis Cardinals, 2 @ Montreal Expos, 0

Playing with the Cardinals can be fun because you get to "manufacture" runs.  In the first inning Ozzie Smith led off with a walk.  He stole second, moved to third on a sacrifice fly, and scored on a groundball by Ken Oberkfell.  That turned out to be all the Cardinals would need, becaus Dave LaPoint pitched a good game.  He spread six hits and two walks over seven innings.  After getting lifted for a pinch hitter, Bruce Sutter came in two pitch two perfect innings for the win.

Winning Pitcher - Dave LaPoint
Losing Pitcher - Dave Palmer
Save - Bruce Sutter
Player of the Game - Sutter, 2IP, Save
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

Game #262 - Philadelphia Phillies, 9 @ New York Mets, 4

I wish I did a better job keeping track of individual standout performances.  I'm pretty sure Steve Carlton recorded the season high strike out total of the season with fifteen in this game!  He even went 2 for 5 at bat.  The Phillies were up 9-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth.  Darryl Strawberry struck out for the second time of the game.  Hubie Brooks singled but George Foster K'ed a second time too.  With two outs Mike Fitzgerald singled as well.  That brought up light hitting Jerry Martin as a pinch hitter, and wouldn't you know it, he took Carlton deep for three runs.  Jose Oquendo lined out to finally end the game, a monster one for Carlton.

Winning Pitcher - Steve Carlton
Losing Pitcher - Ron Darling
Player of the Game - Carlton, CG, 15K's, 2-5, R, RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt

January 6, 2014

April 28, 1984 - Cruzin for a bruisin'

Game #260 - Atlanta Braves, 5 @ Houston Astros, 9

This was game two in the continuing battle of the top two teams in the NL East.  Enos Cabell got the first score of the game when he singled home Bill Doran in the bottom of the first inning.  Houston had a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth when Claudell Washington poked a solo homer off Mike Scott to cut the lead in half.  The Astros erupted for four runs in the sixth, thanks in large part to extra base hits by Alan Ashby, Doran, and Jose Cruz. 

Frank DiPino was handed the ball with a 7-1 lead but he got jacked up in the eighth.  Gerald Perry led off with a solo shot and a few batters later Glen Hubbard capped the scoring with a two run dinger to pull the Braves within two.  A 2-RBI triple by Cruz in the bottom half, though, provided Houston with all the offense they needed.  Cruz is scorching hot with the bat right now, gaining his fourth "Player of the Game" honors.  He and teammate Bob Knepper are the only two Statis Pro players to have that distinction thus far.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Scott
Losing Pitcher - Len Barker
Save - Bill Dawley
Player of the Game - Jose Cruz, 4-5, 2B, 3B, R, 2 RBI's

January 3, 2014

April 28, 1984 - Seeing Red

Game #259 - San Francisco Giants, 9 @ Cincinnati Reds, 4

On paper, this should have been a no-brainer.  The 2-7 rated Jay Tibbs of the Reds is the superior pitcher compared to Giants starter Bill Laskey and his 2-5.  But that's why I play the game...on paper!  See what I did there?

Eddie Milner scored in the bottom of the first after a Joel Youngblood error.  Youngblood's defense rating is E10, the worst you can have, and he already has five errors through 20 games.  San Fran bounced back with a highly improbable solo home run from Johnny LeMaster in the second and a squeeze play error by Dan Driessen in the third. 

Manny Trillo extended the lead in the top of the seventh by roping a two-run double, but the Reds came charging back in the bottom half of the inning.  Giants reliever Bob Lacey gave up three runs to tie the game up.  The even score didn't last, however, because the Giants roared back for four runs in the top of the eighth.  Jack Clark plated the first two RBI's with his second double on the day.  The Giants have won three of their last four while the Reds have lost three of their last four.

Winning Pitcher - Gary LaVelle
Losing Pitcher - Ted Power
Player of the Game - Jack Clark, 4-6, 2 2B's, 3RBI's, 1R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Perez

January 2, 2014

April 28, 1984 - Baylor and Butcher Deliver the Goods

Game #257 - Milwaukee Brewers, 2 @ New York Yankees, 4

Mark Caldwell  and Dennis Rasmussen  were pitching dueling gems through the bottom of the fifth.  That's when New York busted it open.  Lou Piniella doubled home Toby Harrah and a few batters later Don Baylor went yard for three more runs.  The Brewers chipped away at the Yankees' lead with a couple of runs but the New York bullpen was nasty.  Jay Howell struck out the side in the eighth and Righetti earned the save in the ninth.

Winning Pitcher - Dennis Rasmussen
Losing Pitcher - Mark Caldwell
Save - Dave Righetti
Player of the Game - Don Baylor, 2-3, HR, BB, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount, Dave Winfield

Game #258 - Minnesota Twins, 1 @ Oakland A's, 0

This was a nail biter!  Through the first seven and a half innings John Butcher and Ray Burris were matching goose eggs on the scoreboard.  Butcher was particularly masterful, having only allowed a first inning walk to Bruce Bochte and a third inning double to Joe Morgan.  In the bottom of the eighth and with two outs, Davey Lopes pinch-hit for Mark Wagner.  He got just the second hit of the game for Oakland, but moments later, he was caught stealing by Twins catcher Tim Laudner!

In the top of the ninth, Gary Gaetti singled to put the leading run on base, and Dave Meier came on to pinch run.  Laudner followed with what looked like a routine double play grounder to short, but late inning replacement Steve Keifer booted the ball!  Randy Bush followed with a grounder to second.  The fielder's choice left runners on first and third with one out.  Darrell Brown came in as a pinch hitter and tried to squeeze home Meier when he bunted to A's closer Bill Caudill...who muffed the grounder!  Meier scored!  Kirby Puckett grounded into a double play to end the top half of the ninth, but the two Oakland errors proved disastrous.  Twins closer Len Whitehouse retired the Oakland in the bottom of the ninth to give Minnesota just their sixth win on the season but their third in the last four games.

Winning Pitcher - John Butcher
Losing Pitcher - Ray Burris
Save - Len Whitehouse   
Player of the Game - Butcher, 8 IP, 2H's, 1BB, 6K's, 0R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett, Joe Morgan