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