May 26, 2014

May 2, 1984 - Professional Pitchers

Game #303 - Minnesota Twins, 10 @ Seattle Mariners, 1

The first five Twins hitters reached base in the first inning of this game, and the route was on.  Mark Langston struggled until the fourth, when I finally pulled him after surrendering nine runs.  Meanwhile his counterpart, John Butcher, was slaughtering the M's hitters (couldn't resist).  He went the distance by scattering six hits and five walks.  Tom Brunansky registered five RBI's on the day too.

Winning Pitcher - John Butcher
Losing Pitcher - Mark Langston
Player of the Game - Butcher, CG, 4K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett

Game #304 - Texas Rangers, 1 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 3

Charlie Hough has been an extremely bad luck pitcher in this Statis Pro season.  After five starts his ERA was north of 9.00.  He's a "2-6" rated starter, meaning he should be pretty average, but that hadn't been the case so far this year.  So you can imagine my dismay when he gave up three runs in the first, including a two run homer by Willie Upshaw.  I thought for sure Hough was headed to the showers early again, but oh my, he righted the ship!  He pitched the next seven innings, scattering six hits and keeping the Blue Jays off balance with his knuckler.

Unfortunately for the Rangers, Doyle Alexander was his dominant self.  This season he has been the best pitcher in the American League, and he proved it again with this game.  He lasted eight innings and only surrendered four hits over that span.  The Blue Jays have won seven straight and are now a game and a half in front of the Tigers for first place.

Winning Pitcher - Doyle Alexander
Losing Pitcher - Charlie Hough
Save - Ron Musselman
Player of the Game - Alexander

May 25, 2014

May 2, 1984 - Professional Hitters

Game #301 - New York Yankees, 11 @ Chicago White Sox, 6

This was a fun game until the ninth inning.  The Yankees were up 4-0 after the top half of the second, but Chicago scored three of their own in the bottom of the inning, and then two more for the 5-4 lead in the third. 

New York tied things up in the fifth because Don Baylor launched a Britt Burns pitch into the bleachers.  A Toby Harrah triple in the next inning helped the Yankees stretch their lead to two runs.  Carlton Fisk answered with a solo homer, though, to cut that back to one. 

But in the ninth inning the Yankees erupted for four more runs, putting the game well out of reach for the White Sox.

Winning Pitcher - Jose Rijo
Losing Pitcher - Britt Burns
Player of the Game - Don Baylor, 3-5, 2B, HR, 4RBI's, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield, Carlton Fisk

Game #302 - Boston Red Sox, 9 @ Detroit Tigers, 8

After the first four innings the Tigers had a 6-0 lead, with all the runs scored by four home runs (Lou Whitaker, Lance Parrish, Ruppert Jones, and Dave Bergman).  But Boston stormed back with a five run fifth, capped off by a Mike Easler grand slam!  Kirk Gibson would go on to hit two more solo homers for Detroit, but a three run ninth off reliever Doug Bair put a loss in the standings for the Tigers.

Winning Pitcher - Bob Stanley
Losing Pitcher - Doug Bair
Save - Steve Crawford
Player of the Game - Mike Easler, 3-5, 2 2B's, Grand Slam, 6RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Dennis Eckersley

May 23, 2014

May 2, 1984 - 300

I've never actually seen this movie, but I have played 300 games of the 1984 season.

Game #299 - Cleveland Indians, 1 @ Baltimore Orioles, 5

Cleveland scored first in the top of the first when Andre Thornton singled home Brett Butler.  It was a rough start for Mike Boddicker, but he would settle down.  In the bottom of the second Rick Dempsey plated Eddie Murray, and Ken Singleton followed with a sacrifice fly to score Floyd Rayford.  The O's picked up another two in the third when Cal Ripken homered and scored Gary Roenicke. 

Winning Pitcher - Mike Boddicker
Losing Pitcher - Neal Heaton
Player of the Game - Boddicker, CG, 1R, 4K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

Game #300 - Oakland A's, 4 @ California Angels, 5

Now this was a game fit for a major milestone!

The scoring in this game started in the bottom of the first.  Brian Downing, who is swinging one of the hottest bats in the league right now, pulled a "clutch hitting" card to rope a triple that pushed Rod Carew and Bobby Grich across the plate.  Oakland answered back in the top of third, when with two outs, Tony Phillips doubled home Jim Essian to cut the lead in half.

In the bottom of the fourth the Angels got one back as Rod Carew singled in Gary Pettis.  But Oakland scored a run in the fifth and sixth to tie things up.  In the bottom of the seventh Bobby Grich led off with a solo homer to once again give California the lead.  But Dwayne Murphy responded with his own solo shot in the eighth to yet again tie the game. 

Don Aase retired the side in the top of the ninth to bring the Oakland defense back on the field.  Bill Caudill, their best reliever, was on the mound.  With two outs Reggie Jackson drew a walk, his third of the game.  Jerry Narron pinch hit for Bob Boone, and on a risky hit and run play, moved Jackson to third with a single.  That brought up light-hitting Rob Picciolo.  All he did was bloop one into the outfield for a walk off win on the three-hundredth game of Statis Pro!!!

Winning Pitcher - Don Aase
Losing Pitcher - Bill Caudill
Player of the Game - Rob Picciolo, walk-off RBI single
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

May 7, 2014

May 1, 1984 - May One Is Done

Game #297 - St. Louis Cardinals, 8 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 1

You have to believe me - this was actually an extremely close game!  The Pirates scored first in the bottom of the first when Jim Morrison singled home lead off man Marvell Wynne.  Spot starter Ralph Citarella calmed down after that and went seven innings while striking out 10 Pirates and only surrendering three hits.  Jose DeLeon of Pittsburgh was equal to the task, also going seven innings and yielding but one run.

With the game tied up in the top of the ninth, Kent Tekulve came in for the black and yellow.  Statis Pro had made him "hot" for this game, meaning by a lucky turn of the "fast action card" his pitching range was stronger than normal.  This didn't end up meaning a thing, as he gave up five hits, two walks, and a total of seven runs in 2/3 of an inning's work.  It was some of the best luck I've ever seen for a 2-9 rated pitcher (that's nearly unhittable in Statis Pro). 

Winning Pitcher - Dave Rucker
Losing Pitcher - Kent Tekulve
Player of the Game - I'm going with Citarella, who was quite dominant despite getting the no-decision.
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith

Game #298 - Los Angeles Dodgers, 4 @ San Francisco Giants, 2

A Joel Youngblood error in the top of the third led to a run for the Dodgers.  Youngblood has an "E10" rating in the field, which is the worst you can have.  It's almost as if he's wearing the glove on the wrong hand.  He has a decent stick, though, especially for the Giants, so he has to stay in the lineup.  Bob Brenly tied things up with a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth, and later in that same inning Johnnie LeMaster doubled home Youngblood to give San Fran the lead.

The Dodgers took the lead for good, though, in the fifth, thanks to an outfield collision between Chili Davis and Manny Trillo.  Davis will miss 11 games, but Trillo will be gone for 30 games.  That means I won't play a game with Trillo for a few years, which is weird to think about.  That also leaves the Giants with four of their opening day starters on the DL (Jeff Leonard and Al Oliver too).  No wonder they're dead last in the NL West.

Winning Pitcher - Fernando Valenzuela
Losing Pitcher - Atlee Hammaker
Save - Tom Niedenfuer
Player of the Game - Fernadomania, 8IP, 6K's, 2R's

Happy Trails - Atlee Hammaker

This game was the last for Hammaker, an All-Star caliber pitcher who was off to a great start in 1984 before, I'm assuming, suffering an injury to shelve him for the year.  Let's compare performances:

Real 1984:  6G's, 33IP, 2.18ERA, 24K's, 1.24WHIP
StatisPro 84:  6G's, 49.2IP, 1.63ERA, 30K's, 0.95WHIP

The big disparity is the innings pitched.  Absolute purists could accuse me of violating Statis Pro tenants by allowing his innings totals to exceed his actual.  For my own sanity in doing this, though, I'm merely going by games played and trying my best to approximate the innings.  Hammaker was giving Gooden a run for his money for the best pitcher in the NL, it's sad to see him go and absolutely devastating for the Giants, who are left with a bunch of 2-5 rated starters.