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