July 29, 2014
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
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
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
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
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
July 19, 2014
Detroit absolutely erupted on offense. For the first (and probably only) time on the season, three different teammates each hit two homers apiece. Kirk Gibson, Lance Parrish, and Howard Johnson were the power triad this game, including a grand slam for HoJo.
Winning Pitcher - Dan Petry
Losing Pitcher - Rick Sutcliffe
Player of the Game - Howard Johnson, 3-4, HR, GS, 5RBI's
Game #316 - New York Yankees, 9 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 2
Don Mattingly has had a mostly benign season up to this point, so it was fun to see him explode at the plate in this game. He went 4 for 4 and knocked home four runs to boot. Dennis Rasmussen continued his hot start to the year by going eight innings and striking out six. The Brewers continue to falter in all aspects of their play. Jamie Cocanower couldn't last three innings while the bullpen got stretched to cover the shortfall.
Winning Pitcher - Rasmussen
Losing Pitcher - Cocanower
Player of the Game - Mattingly, 4-4, HR, 2 2B's, BB, 4RBI's, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield, Robin Yount
July 5, 2014
Battle of the Sox! Bruce Hurst toed the rubber versus LaMarr Hoyt to determine the superior hose. Hoyt was hurt first, surrendering a solo homer to Tony Armas for his tenth shot on the season.
Chicago responded in the top of the third, though. Carlton Fisk singled home Scott Fletcher and Jerry Hairston for a 2-1 lead. Both teams continued to produce goose eggs on the scoreboard until the seventh, when Hurst walked Harold Baines and Greg Lunzinski with two outs. I pulled Hurst for Bob Stanley, but Fisk didn't care about the platoon splits because he deposited the ball over the left field wall for a 5-1 lead. Boston never recovered, with round one of the series going to the White Sox.
Winning Pitcher - LaMarr Hoyt
Losing Pitcher - Bruce Hurst
Player of the Game - Carlton Fisk, 3-4, 2B, HR, 5RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Carlton Fisk, Wade Boggs, Jim Rice