December 30, 2015

RIP - Outfielders

Three outfielders I really enjoy playing with in this season of Statis Pro have recently passed away...

Carmillo Castillo - November 15, 2015
Eddie Milner - November 2, 2015
Dave Henderson - December 27, 2015

Henderson's death is particularly sad, in that he was a favorite of mine in my youth with his infectious smile and ability to rise to the occasion in key situations.  He's also oddly linked to the first player (I think) to die from the 1984 season; Donnie Moore.  "Hendu" is having a monster year in Statis Pro, now making his success bittersweet...

December 28, 2015

May 15, 1984 - Eighth Inning Comebacks

Game #443 - Toronto Blue Jays, 3 @ Minnesota Twins, 5

The Blue Jays entered this contest riding a six game win streak, so Minnesota knew it had its work cut out for them.

Ernie Whitt started the scoring by blasting a solo homer in the top of the third off starter Ken Schrom.  But the Twins scored two of their own in the bottom half of the inning.  Jim Clancy got himself into a bases loaded jam when Kirby Puckett roped a single to plate Dave Engle and Jim Eisenreich.

Whitt picked up another RBI in the seventh, where he tied the game on a base knock that scored Damaso Garcia.  Toronto took the lead in the top of the eighth when Rance Mulliniks laced a triple that let George Bell cross home plate.  This Blue Jays team has more triples than any other team this season!

It wasn't looking good for the Twins, because Clancy was cruising when he started the bottom of the eighth.  With one out, though, Mickey Hatcher and Kent Hrbek had back to back singles, bringing big Tom Brunansky to the plate.  Toronto brought in reliever Roy Lee Jackson, but Brunansky crushed a three run bomb to take the lead for good!

Winning Pitcher - Rick Lysander
Losing Pitcher - Jim Clancy
Save - Mike Walters
Player of the Game - Brunansky, HR, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett

Game #444 - Oakland A's, 3 @ New York Yankees, 4

In the top of the first Rickey Henderson singled, stole second, went to third base on a sacrifice fly, and scored on a Carney Lansford single.  But in the bottom of the inning New York tied it back up with a Omar Moreno triple that brought Ken Griffey home.  The Yankees grabbed another run in the second off a Tim Foli double.

In the top of the fifth Steve Keifer tried to bunt his way on base, but reached second on Don Mattingly's first error of the season.  Rickey Henderson drove him home with a single, and then scored himself after another Carney Lansford RBI, giving Oakland the lead.  In the bottom of the sixth, though, the Yankees got an unexpected power boost from light hitting shortstop Bobby Meachem, who cranked a solo shot over the left field fence to tie things up, 3-3.

The score remained knotted until the bottom of the eighth.  With the bases loaded and two outs, Ken Griffey ripped a single off Keith Atherton.  Steve Kemp scored but Rickey Henderson threw out Roy Smalley at home to end the inning.  Despite two batters reaching base in the top of the ninth, Dave Righetti recorded the save for the Bronx Bombers.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Armstrong
Losing Pitcher - Chris Codiroli
Save - Dave Righetti
Player of the Game - Armstrong, 1 2/3 IP in relief, 2K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Dave Winfield

December 19, 2015

May 15, 1984 - Ho Ho Ho

Merry Christmas, friends!  I apologize for the lack of posts as of late, 'tis the season of busyness, family, etc.  My dad comes into town this week for the holiday, so maybe we'll get to play a couple of games during that time.  I hope your Christmas is a good one, on to the games...

Game #441 - Seattle Mariners, 6 @ Detroit Tigers, 5

Lance Parrish hit a bases loaded single in the bottom of the first to put Detroit up 2-0 for a quick lead.  But Ken Phelps hit a solo homer in the second and Phil Bradley scored in the third to knot things up again at 2-2.  By the ninth inning the Mariners were leading by four runs when the Tigers attempted an epic comeback.  Reliever David Beard walked two batters before Alan Trammell crushed a three run home run to bring them within one.  Put Paul Mirabella jumped in and struck out Kirk Gibson to end the game in favor of Seattle.

Winning Pitcher - Jim Beattie
Losing Pitcher - Al Lopez
Save - Paul Mirabella
Player of the Game - Jim Beattie, 8IP, 2R's, 3K's

Game #442 - Texas Rangers, 8 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 3

The injury-ravaged Brew Crew were forced to start four lefties in their lineup against southpaw Frank Tanana, and the results weren't good.  Texas had a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth when a rain delay (Z card!) interrupted the game for 81 minutes.  I decided to let both starters continue pitching, but Jamie Cocanower was tagged for four runs in the top of the fourth, so maybe that wasn't the best call?

Winning Pitcher - Frank Tanana
Losing Pitcher - Jamie Cocanower
Player of the Game - Wayne Tolleson, 4-4, 2RBI's, R, 2SB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount

November 26, 2015

May 15, 1984 - Creased

All the 1985 Topps cards I feature on this blog are from my very first set I received as a kid.  I love these cards, and played with them all the time in my youth.  These two cards to the right show the dangers inherent with frequent contact.  I still remember the moment on our living room floor when I knelt down, only to discover too late that Tom Terrific was a casualty to my clumsiness.  I was pretty tickled to see two of my worst conditioned cards get displayed for the same post...

Game #439 - Kansas City Royals, 1 @ Chicago White Sox, 6

There were two main themes in this game:  home runs and pitching.  On the offensive side, the Pale Hose launched four homers.  The first came in the bottom of the second, when Ron Kittle went big fly with the bases empty.  Vance Law belted one of his own in the fourth.  In the sixth inning scrappy Rudy Law, not known for his power, crushed a two run blast.  And finally, in the bottom of the eighth, Ron Kittle provided his own encore with his second solo shot.

Tom Seaver, meanwhile, was as terrific as his namesake.  He went the distance by only allowing four hits and two walks.  The lone run he surrendered came in the fourth, when Frank White tripled home Jorge Orta.

Winning Pitcher - Tom Seaver
Losing Pitcher - Frank Wills
Player of the Game - Tom Seaver, CG W, 3K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tom Seaver

Game #440 - Boston Red Sox, 3 @ Cleveland Indians, 6

The Indians started things off strongly by scoring two runs in the bottom of the first, assisted by stolen bases from Brett Butler and Julio Franco and an error at first base by - you guessed it - Bill Buckner.  Boston tied things up in the fourth, though, with a sacrifice fly from Rich Gedman and an RBI single from Buckner.  Cleveland pulled away for good in the sixth when they posted four more runs, aided in part by a Gedman passed ball.

Winning Pitcher - Rick Sutcliffe
Losing Pitcher - Al Nipper
Save - Ernie Camacho
Player of the Game - Brett Butler, 2-4, 2R's, SB, RBI, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

November 25, 2015

May 15, 1984 - Junior Comes Through

Game #438 - California Angels, 3 @ Baltimore Orioles, 4

You know what I like about Thanksgiving breaks?  More time for Statis Pro!!!  Even better, I got to play with my favorite team...

Storm Davis allowed two runners in the top of the first inning but escaped the jam without allowing a run.  Geoff Zahn wasn't so lucky.  He gave up a lead off homer to Gary Roenicke and two batters later Cal Ripken Jr. parked a two run bomb of his own.

The Angels did score two runs in the third, though.  The bases were loaded and Gary Pettis, who is hitting so far above his talent level this season I can't make heads or tails of it, roped a single to plate Bobby Grich and Fred Lynn.

The Orioles never relinquished their lead as Tom Underwood pitched a perfect ninth to save the day for Baltimore.

Winning Pitcher - Storm Davis
Losing Pitcher - Geoff Zahn
Save - Tom Underwood
Player of the Game - Cal Ripken Jr., 2-4, HR, 2B, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, Cal Ripken Jr., Eddie Murray

November 22, 2015

May 14, 1984 - Balls

Game #437 - Montreal Expos, 2 @ San Diego Padres, 5

The very first baseball autobiography I ever read was Graig Nettles' Balls.  That book was hilarious, and was seen as a big middle finger aimed at George Steinbrenner, which is how Nettles found himself out of New York and joining the Padres.

Nettles was no laughing matter in this game.  In the bottom of the first inning, with the Padres already up one, he lined a double that scored Tony Gwynn.  In the bottom of the fifth he was the hero again, because the Expos had just tied the game at two apiece.  Nettles ripped another double to plate Gwynn again as well as Alan Wiggins.  For an encore, Graig lined a single in the seventh that scored - guess who - Tony Gwynn.  That was pretty much it in this one, San Diego won 5-2.

Winning Pitcher - Mark Thurmond
Losing Pitcher - David Palmer
Save - Craig Lefferts
Player of the Game - Graig Nettles, 3-3, 2 2B's, 4RBI's, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

November 17, 2015

May 14, 1984 - Keystone State Success

Game #435 - Philadelphia Phillies, 3 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 0

We had a good pitching match-up for this game, as future Hall of Famer Steve Carlton faced Alejandro Pena, who was pretty filthy in the real 1984.

The Phillies scored first in the top of the second inning.  Joe Lefebvre was plated by an Ivan DeJesus double.  Lefebvre scored again in the fifth, this time courtesy of Len Matuszek.  And their final run came in the ninth, when rookie Juan Samuel launched a solo homer.

When Philadelphia was on the field it was all Steve Carlton.  Despite surrendering eleven hits and three walks, he fanned eight Dodgers and went the distance for a complete game shutout.

Winning Pitcher - Steve Carlton
Losing Pitcher - Alejandro Pena
Player of the Game - Joe Lefebvre, 4-4, 2 doubles, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton

Game #436 - Houston Astros, 1 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 4

The Pirates have been hot as of late, and of course there's no better team in the NL West than the Astros, so this game was bound to be exciting.  It was a pitcher's duel through the first five innings, as both Bob Knepper and John Candelaria were hanging goose eggs on the scoreboard.

Houston drew first blood, though, when Bill Doran scored on a Phil Garner single in the sixth.  The Pirates answered back in a big way, though.  Jim Morrison rocked a three-run home run in the bottom half of the inning, scoring Tony Pena and Jason Thompson along with himself.  Johnny Ray added a solo shot in the seventh while Kent Tekulve and Rod Scurry preserved the victory over the last two innings.

Winning Pitcher - John Candelaria
Losing Pitcher - Bob Knepper
Save - Rod Scurry
Player of the Game - Jim Morrison, 2-4, HR, 3RBI's

October 30, 2015

May 14, 1984 - One-run squeekers

Game #433 - Seattle Mariners, 4 @ Detroit Tigers, 3

When you play thousands of games from a season three decades prior, some will be fun, and some will be stinkers.  This was the former!

Detroit jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first off Seattle starter Mike Moore when Chet Lemon roped a double but then scored on an error by centerfielder Barry Bonnell.  The Mariners tied it up in the fourth, though, when cult hero Ken Phelps launched a homer.

In the top of the fifth Jack Perconte scored Spike Owen on an RBI single.  He then stole second and crossed home plate himself on an RBI double by Alvin Davis.  Chet Lemon brought the Tigers back within one in the bottom half of the inning with a solo shot into the leftfield stands.

Each team scored another run in the sixth, but Edwin Nunez and Mike Stanton combined for three innings of shutout relief to preserve the win for Seattle.  It's their fifth in a row!

Winning Pitcher - Mike Moore
Losing Pitcher - Jack Morris
Save - Mike Stanton
Player of the Game - Nunez, 2IP, 0R's, 1H

Game #434 - Oakland A's, 5 @ New York Yankees, 6

What would you say if I told you the A's scored the first five runs of this ball game...and lost?

(Sorry, that's a very "30 for 30" way to start a recap.  Rest in peace, Grantland)

That being said, the A's did score the first five runs and lost!  Four of those came in the first inning, which included a three-run jack by Dave Kingman. But New York clawed back.  They plated two runs in the fourth when Roy Smalley homered.  They picked up another in the fifth and two more in the sixth off a Toby Harrah triple. The game-winning RBI came in the seventh.  Don Baylor doubled with one out, and then Butch Wynegar doubled him home for the eventual win.  Weak sauce, Oakland bullpen.  Weak sauce.

Winning Pitcher - Jay Howell
Losing Pitcher - Bill Caudill
Save - Dave Righetti
Player of the Game - Roy Smalley, 2-4, HR, 2RBI's, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan, Dave Winfield

Rest in Peace

Sad news to report - Garry Hancock, who played parts of the 1984 season on the Oakland A's, passed away this month.

October 23, 2015

May 14, 1984 - You Complete Me

Game #431 - Kansas City Royals, 7 @ Chicago White Sox, 0

The Royals have stunk quite a bit lately, so I decided at the start of the game I would try and "manufacture" some runs.  In the top of the second Daryl Motley led off with a single.  I had Frank White bunt him over to second.  With one out, Greg Pryor, playing for the injured George Brett, doubled him home!  My strategy worked!

The score stayed 1-0 until the top of the seventh, when KC put up three more runs, including a two run homer by Pat Sheridan.  They put up three more in the eighth and the Royals cruised to a 7-0 victory.  Mark Gubicza went the distance, only allowing three hits and two walks while pitching the shutout.

Winning Pitcher - Mark Gubicza
Losing Pitcher - LaMarr Hoyt
Player of the Game - Gubicza, he had six strikeouts too.

Game #432 - Boston Red Sox, 6 @ Cleveland Indians, 3

This game was ugly.  Why?  Here are a few reasons:

  • The Red Sox committed four errors and somehow still won.  The Indians had two as well, both by Julio Franco.
  • Rich Gedman hit into three double plays...and the Red Sox still won.
  • Oil Can Boyd gave up nine hits, but over nine innings.
  • Jerry Willard whiffed in all four at-bats.
Winning Pitcher - Oil Can Boyd
Losing Pitcher - Bert Blyleven
Player of the Game - Boyd, CG, 9K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Bert Blyleven

September 28, 2015

May 14, 1984 - Just Another Manic Monday

Game #340 - California Angels, 9 @ Baltimore Orioles, 1

I had to do a double-take when I checked my records, but this game was the first time this season Brian Downing earned "Player of the Game" honors.  I couldn't believe it, because he's had a heck of a season.  Gary Pettis has four for some reason, but Downing is only at one.

I'm getting ahead of myself.

The Angels scored a run in the top of the first when Rick Dempsey allowed a passed ball that plated Fred Lynn.  Mike Flanagan had to strike out the side to get out of the jam without further damage.  Baltimore picked the run back up in the second when Floyd Rayford cranked a solo bomb to tie things up at one apiece.

Tommy John and Flanagan continued their lefty-centric battle into the top of the seventh.  That's when California scored two more runs, including a balk by Flanagan.  Luis Sanchez and Doug Corbett kept the Orioles in check for the remainder of the game, while the Angels offense sent twelve batters to the plate in the top of the ninth, ending the Orioles hopes for a comeback.

Winning Pitcher - Tommy John
Losing Pitcher - Mike Flanagan
Save - Doug Corbett
Player of the Game - Brian Downing, 4-6, 3 doubles, run, RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Reggie Jackson, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

September 26, 2015

RIP - Yogi Berra and Others

It goes without saying these posts are my least favorite.  1984 doesn't feel far enough away to have to face the reality that all things must pass.  I've put this latest update off for over a year, preferring not to dwell on it, but the passing of one Yogi Berra signaled it was time, once again, to honor those we've lost.

I've mentioned numerous times before one of the reasons I was so excited to replay the 1984 season was because of the 1985 Topps set, my first complete set as a kid and the year that featured 1984 as the most recently played campaign on the back of the card.  I can remember being excited to pull out this Yogi Berra manager card, which is no small feat because I typically loathe manager cards.  I was barely ten years old but I knew that Yogi was an all-time great.  I was also tickled to learn his son, Dale, was the shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Yogi managed the Yankees for the entirety of the 1984 season, which was almost unheard of in the decade that George Steinbrenner made a mockery of the position with his constant firings.

While Yogi deserves every single accolade and fond remembrance for his time in baseball, it would be a gross oversight not to mention his bravery.  Yogi enlisted in the Navy during World War II, and was even part of the D-Day invasion.  He served both his country and baseball fans well, there will certainly never be another character like Berra.

While researching this article I was stunned to learn Joaquin Andujar just passed away recently too.  I had somehow missed that in the news cycle.  I have a special place in my heart for Dave Bergman as well, as I lived in Southeast Michigan during much of his career as a Tiger.  Rest in peace to all of them.

Bobby Castillo, 6-30-2014
Tom Veryzer, 7-8-2014
Dave Bergman, 2-2-2015
Gary Woods, 2-19-2015
Joaquin Andujar, 9-8-2015

September 19, 2015

May 13, 1984 - Sunday Wrap Up

Game #429 - Montreal Expos, 3 @ San Francisco Giants, 4

I've mentioned this before, that the Giants are decimated by injuries from "Z" cards right now, but check out this lineup.  There are only three starters from the first game of the season:

1.  Gene Richards - 8
2.  Steve Nicosia - 2
3.  Dusty Baker - 9
4.  Bob Brenly - 3 (playing out of position)
5.  Chris Brown - 5 (playing his first game in Statis Pro)
6.  Joel Youngblood - 7 (playing out of position)
7.  Brad Wellman - 4
8.  Johnnie LeMaster - 6
9.  Mark Davis - 1

In some ways the injuries have been a lot of fun, because it's forcing me to be creative.  Mostly, though, it's kind of sad because the Giants have a good offense when all of their starters are playing.

This rag-tag group took on the Expos for the last game of Sunday, May 13th.  Mark Davis escaped a bases loaded situation in the top of the second, and had the first RBI in the bottom of the inning, squeezing home Chris Brown.  Gene Richards followed with a 2-RBI single next to give San Fran a 3-0 lead.  The Expos tied the game in the top of the fourth, with two runs scoring from a home run by catching backup Bobby Ramos.

In the bottom of the fourth Duane Kiper was batting ninth in a double switch after Davis got lifted in the fourth.  He later scored on a Dusty Baker hit that ended up being the game-winner.  Greg Minton, Frank Williams, and Bob Lacey tossed  5 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.  Lacey retired Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, and Tim Wallach in the top of the ninth to get his first save of the season, so I gave him "player of the game" honors.  Most of you also know I use my 1985 Topps set (shows pics from the 1984 season) for these posts, but Lacey is the rare player who didn't have a card in that set.  Instead, you get a zoomed in shot from his 1985 Fleer card for this post.

I apologize for the lack of posts lately - I have two daughters playing soccer right now, so I'm spending week nights and Saturdays watching futbol instead of flipping Fast Action Cards...  I'll try and get the stats and standings updated this weekend, though.

Winning Pitcher - Greg Minton
Losing Pitcher - Steve Rogers
Save - Bob Lacey
Player of the Game - Lacey, three up, three down
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

September 12, 2015

May 13, 1984 - Deft Left

Game #427 - New York Mets, 5 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 6

This game was strange and fun and exciting for a variety of reasons.  Here's why:

1.  Four of the five Mets runs were scored on solo homers by Keith Hernandez, Hubie Brooks, George Foster, and Darryl Strawberry.

2.  Both starters, Bruce Berenyi and Bob Welch, lasted 6IP while giving up 4 runs with only three counting as earned.

3.  The Mets had a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth when Pedro Guerrero hit an RBI single and Greg Brock launched a three run home run to give the Dodgers the lead, 4-2.  But the Mets tied it in the top of the seventh with two runs of their own.

4.  I've mentioned on this blog a few times before that my father is a huge Dodgers fan but firmly believes Tom Niedenfuer is cursed.  With that in mind, in the top of the ninth, the Dodgers had a slim, one-run lead.  With two outs Niedenfuer proceeded to walk Hernandez and give up a double to Strawberry, who pushed Hernandez to third base.  But Hubie Brooks grounded out to Bill Russell to end the game.

Winning Pitcher - Pat Zachry
Losing Pitcher - Jesse Orosco
Save - Tom Niedenfuer
Player of the Game - Greg Brock, 1-3, HR, 3RBI's

Game #428 - Philadelphia Phillies, 0 @ San Diego Padres, 8

Starter Charles Hudson gave up eight runs in two-thirds of an inning before I finally yanked him, and that would be all the runs scored for the game!  Kevin McReynolds and Carmelo Martinez blasted home runs in that inning, and Tim Lollar scattered nine hits and two walks while striking out nine Phillies for the shutout.  Kevin Gross (5 1/3IP) and Bill Campbell (2IP) deserve a lot of credit for saving the bullpen from Hudson's disastrous start.

Winning Pitcher - Tim Lollar
Losing Pitcher - Charles Hudson
Player of the Game - Lollar, second start in a row winning this honor
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt, Tony Gwynn

September 5, 2015

May 13, 1984 - The Divisional Leaders

Game #425 - St. Louis Cardinals, 11 @ Cincinnati Reds, 2

My apologies for the lack of posts as of late!  August is my busiest month at work, and there were a handful of other events I won't bore you with, but we're back in action!

My dad, who has managed a few games for his favorite team (Dodgers) this season, was back in the dugout for this one.  This time he was managing his second favorite team from his hometown - the Cardinals!  Long story short...he destroyed me.  Frank Pastore gave up twice as many runs as innings pitched and four Cardinals had multi-hit games.

Winning Pitcher - Kurt Kepshire
Losing Pitcher - Frank Pastore
Player of the Game - Willie McGee, 5-5, 2B, 3B, 2R's, 5RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Tony Perez

Game #426 - Chicago Cubs, 1 @ Houston Astros, 2

Even when the Astros aren't hitting they're winning!  Houston only pushed two runs across the plate, but it was enough to win the game.  In the bottom of the first Bill Doran scored from first on a hit and run double from Terry Puhl.  Bobby Dernier scored in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Ron Cey, but in the bottom of the seventh Puhl hit a sacrifice himself to score pinch hitter Phil Garner.

Winning Pitcher - Frank DiPino
Losing Pitcher - Tim Stoddard
Save - Bill Dawley
Player of the Game - Terry Puhl, 1-3, 2B, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

August 8, 2015

May 13, 1984 - CK Won

Game #423 - Seattle Mariners, 8 @ New York Yankees, 6 (10 innings)

This three game series was a real exciting one, with each game providing its own drama!

The Mariners got to Ray Fontenot early in the first, scoring two runs on a Ray Cerone error and an Al Cowens single.  Seattle put four more on the board in the fourth, again courtesy of Al Cowens, who hit a grand salami with the bases juiced!

But the Yankees came roaring back from their 6-0 deficit.  Led by a solo homer from Lou Piniella and a two run bomb by Cerone, things were tied up after eight innings.

In the top of the tenth relieve Bob Shirley began his third inning of relief.  He gave up a lead off single to Cowens.  Two batters later Mariners rookie Alvin Davis went yard for two runs!  Reliever Bob Stoddard retired New York in the bottom half of the inning for the Mariner victory.

Winning Pitcher - Paul Mirabella
Losing Pitcher - Bob Shirley
Save - Bob Stoddard
Player of the Game - Al Cowens, 3-5, grand slam, 5RBI's, stolen base
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield

Game #424 - Pittsburgh Pirates, 4 @ Atlanta Braves, 6

The Braves sent eight hitters to the plate in the bottom of the first against Pirates starter Jose DeLeon.  Though he limited the damage to two runs, it was a rough way to start the game and his "pitcher effectiveness" rating got reduced by two.  Tony Pena hit an RBI single in the top of the fifth to bring Pittsburgh back to within a run, but home runs by Claudell Washington and Brad Komminsk in the bottom of the inning gave Atlanta the lead for good.

Winning Pitcher - Len Barker
Losing Pitcher - Jose DeLeon
Save - Donnie Moore
Player of the Game - Brad Komminsk, 3-4, 2B, HR, 3RBI's

Happy Trails...Bob Horner

This game was a bit of a bummer because it was the last time we'll see Bob Horner for this Statis Pro season.  The blonde slugger broke his wrist in the real 1984 and missed the rest of the season.  It was the second time in two years he suffered that kind of injury.

Let's see how our Horners compared:

Real 1984:  113AB  15R  31H  8DB  3HR  19RBI  .274/.349/.425/.774
Statis 1984:  124AB  17R  33H  6DB  3HR  12RBI  .266/.350/.387/.737

I was usually batting Horner second in the lineup, which I think helps explain a few of his increased at-bats.  But otherwise, the two Horners are pretty close.  Another couple of doubles and Horner would have been as good as his real 1984.  Randy Johnson will get most of the starts at third from here on out.  No, not THAT Randy Johnson, the other guy...

August 2, 2015

Friend Requests - Philadelphia Phillies Analysis

Hello again!  We got a request to go a little more in depth with the Phillies and their 1984 Statis Pro campaign.

Through 31 games the  Phillies are 16-15 which, all things considered, I think is pretty good.  They're currently in second place, though they are 6.5 games back of the Cardinals.  The Expos have been surging and at some point the Cubs will exit the cellar and make a charge.

The Phillies are a fun team to play with because they have a good bench and a lot of players who can cover multiple positions.  They've definitely been impacted by injuries, but as a manager, that's almost helpful because they have more than 25 players worthy of a roster spot.  For instance, Len Matuszek wasn't on my opening day team.  I haven't even gotten to Jeff Stone's insane rookie year yet either...

Some stats...

C  Ozzie Virgil       7HR  16RBI  .243/.304/.505/.808
1B  Len Matuszek  2HR  6RBI   .216/.365/392/.757
2B  Juan Samuel    5HR  14SB    .227/.265/.375/.640
3B  Mike Schmidt  9HR  20RBI   .227/.347/.546/.893
SS  Ivan DeJesus    5DB  2SB     .247/.336/.299/.635
OF Von Hayes      19DB  9SB     .357/.403/.573/.916
OF  Gary Maddox  2HR  5RBI    .253/.273/.360/.633
OF  Glenn Wilson   3DB  6RBI     .186/.250/.286/.536
OF  Joe Lefebvre    4HR  8RBI    .389/.489/.806/1.294
UT  John Wockenfuss 4HR  6RBI  ..222/.333/.611/.944

The injured...

Tim Corcoran  2HR  4RBI   .364/.447/.576/1.023
Sexto Lezcano  2HR  7RBI  .237/.341/.395/.736


Steve Carlton    5.15ERA  2-1  33K's
John Denny       1.62ERA   4-0  21K's
Jerry Koosman  3.20ERA  3-3  39K's
Charlie Hudson  5.40ERA  2-2  20K's
Shane Rawley   2.53ERA   1-1  15K's

Larry Andersen  2.45ERA  4SV
Al Holland          4.82ERA  1-4

August 1, 2015

May 13, 1984 - These Go To Eleven

Game #421 - Boston Red Sox, 11 @ Kansas City Royals, 2

Boston had a really fun offense in 1984, and it was on total display in this game.  Mike Easler knocked in two in the first inning to get the ball rolling.  Reid Nichols tripled in the second to plate Gary Allenson.  The Royals grabbed a couple of runs back in the third and fourth to pull within one, but back to back solo homers by Tony Armas and Easler in the sixth put the game out of reach for good.

Winning Pitcher - Dennis Eckersley
Losing Pitcher - Charlie Leibrandt
Player of the Game - Mike Easler, 3-5, 2B, HR, 4RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Dennis Eckersley

Game #422 - Minnesota Twins, 4 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 11

The third game between the AL cellar dwellers!

The game was tied 1-1 in the bottom of the second when the Brew Crew erupted for three runs.  But the Twins answered back with three of their own in the third, which included five straight singles off starter Moose Haas.  In the bottom of the sixth, though, Rick Lysander got tagged for the loss.  With runners on second and third he intentionally walked Robin Yount.  Cecil Cooper hit into a fielder's choice, but the bases stayed loaded.  That's when Bill Schroeder, seeing increased playing time with Jim Sundberg on the DL, CRUSHED a GRAND SLAM!

Winning Pitcher - Ray Searage
Losing Pitcher - Rick Lysander
Player of the Game - Bill Schroeder, 3-5, grand slam, 5RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett, Robin Yount

July 25, 2015

May 13, 1984 - Sunday Fun Day

Game #419 - Texas Rangers, 6 @ Chicago White Sox, 9

By the end of the fourth inning, the White Sox were leading 7-1.  Harold Baines had homered and Vance Law had a clutch, 2-RBI single as starter Danny Darwin was chased from the game early.  The Rangers had a nice four run rally in the fifth, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Pale Hose.

Winning Pitcher - Bert Roberge
Losing Pitcher - Danny Darwin
Player of the Game - Roberge, 2 1/3IP in relief one hit, zero runs

Game #420 - Toronto Blue Jays, 13 @ Cleveland Indians, 4

For the second game in a row, Toronto scored double digits against Cleveland.  Indians starter Neal Heaton deserved better, as the Tribe committed four errors in the game, including two by Brook Jacoby and his E6 fielding rating.  Every Blue Jays starter had at least one hit and one run, as did the two of the three replacements later in the game.  Only Tony Fernandez came up short at the plate.  Slacker.

Winning Pitcher - Doyle Alexander
Losing Pitcher - Neal Heaton
Player of the Game - Alexander, 7IP, 2R's (0 earned) - this is his fifth time winning this honor, which I believe leads Statis Pro right now...

July 22, 2015

Friend Requests - San Diego Padres Analysis


I'm doing something new on the blog - I want to create a label for "friend requests".  In the past some of you have asked for stats, input to set a lineup for a future game, etc.  I love that - hearing back from the internet void about an obscure baseball simulation game is good incentive to stay on top of the blog.  So, if you ever want more info on how I'm playing the game, or you want to pick a batting order for your favorite team, I'm down for trying it!  Just leave a comment in a post and I'll try my best.

Joey recently asked for me to share how one of his favorite all-time teams, the '84 Padres, are doing this season.  Despite Garvey's thumbs up here, I haven't had a lot of success with them.  Over 32 games they're just 12-20.  And if I'm being honest, they're one of the least interesting teams to manage.  Outside of benching Graig Nettles against lefties (where you at Luis Salazar fans!?!?), the lineup almost never changes.  Here's how the offense is doing:

C     Terry Kennedy      1HR, 9RBI   .250/.299/.320/.619
1B    Steve Garvey        2HR, 13RBI  .220/.267/.293/.559
2B    Alan Wiggins        3HR, 22SB   .285/.343/.423/.766
3B    Graig Nettles        6HR, 14RBI   .260/.348/.494/.842
SS    Gary Templeton    0HR, 7RBI    .237/.294/.263/.557
LF    Camelo Martinez   3HR, 19RBI  .276/.364/.448/.812
CF   Kevin McReynolds  2HR, 13RBI .310/.333/.419/.752
RF    Tony Gwynn           2HR, 12RBI  .353/.395/.419/.814

32 games is still a small sample size, but Steve Garvey is stone cold right now on offense.  Kennedy and Templeton are hardly better.  Nettles and Wiggins are over their heads and due to come back down to earth, though Wiggins' speed is playing great.

Here's the pitching:

Ed Whitson            3-4   3.97   20k
Eric Show              1-4   6.45   23k
Mark Thurmond     3-2   4.37   13k
Andy Hawkins        1-3   4.29   28k
Tim Lollar               1-2   5.29   28k

Goose Gossage       1-2   3.38   2sv
Craig Lefferts          0-0   0.57    4sv
Dave Dravecky       0-1   3.57    11k

The starting pitching has not lived up to their true talent level.  If the Padres are to turn around and finish first in the NL West like they did in the real 1984 they'll have to be better.  I think that will happen.  But the Astros are going to be hard to catch - they have excellent pitching and a more dynamic offense.  Time will tell!

July 18, 2015

May 13, 1984 - The Insane Seasons of Joe Morgan and Mike Young

Game #418 - Oakland A's, 4 @ Baltimore Orioles, 7

When you play an entire season of Statis Pro, you have to figure there will be statistical outliers.  After 162 games the law of averages should kick in and players should, more or less, reproduce similar stat lines as their real 1984 seasons.  But at this point, when teams have only played 30 games or so, it is reasonable to assume some will be performing well under their abilities and some well above.  I don't know that there are two other players so far above their actual 1984 talent level as Joe Morgan of the A's and Mike Young of the Orioles.

Morgan is of course a Hall of Fame caliber player and one of the best second basemen of all time.  But 1984 was his last season, and he never had any season that resembles his current .460 average and .568/.793/1.361 OPS.  That's over 111 plate appearances.  Similarly, Young is walloping a .400 average with a .486/.661/1.146 OPS in 138 plate appearances.  Naturally, Morgan went 3-5 in this game and Young 3-4 with a double.  They continue to refuse to come back to earth.

Al Bumbry, pictured, had the best game.  He went 4-5 with a double, two runs scored, and a RBI.  Mike Boddicker spread nine hits and two walks over seven innings and Eddie Murray knocked a two run homer to help the Orioles win the game.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Boddicker
Losing Pticher - Mike Warren
Player of the Game - Al Bumbry
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

July 9, 2015

Week in Review - May 6 through May 12

Another week is in the books - this one took close to ten months to complete.  I'll take it, you get the games in when you can!

Phenomenal Phive:

1.  Toronto Blue Jays, 25-7.  Everything continues to be clicking for the blue birds.  They're now ahead of the Tigers and don't look to be slowing down.  Good players like Rance Mulliniks and Dave Collins are playing above their talent level and Lloyd Moseby and George Bell keep raking.

2.  Houston Astros, 24-8.  The Astros are still in orbit, high above the rest of the NL West.  Platoons are working out, the starting pitching is solid, and the bullpen is near unhittable.

3.  St. Louis Cardinals, 24-10.  The red birds continue to hold the NL East on lock-down.

4.  Detroit Tigers, 22-9.  It's hard to believe with a record 13 games over .500 the Tigers are in second place, but them's the breaks.  Kirk Gibson in particular is leading the way.

5.  New York Yankees, 20-11.  Here's my nominee for "most likely to drop off."  Their starters are a bunch of 2-5's and 2-6's.  Mattingly is finally hitting well, though, and Dave Winfield continues to do his things.  Willie Randolph will be off the DL soon too.  Maybe they'll still be in the top five after all!

July 7, 2015

May 12, 1984 - Giants Falling Like Flies

Game #417 - Montreal Expos, 4 @ San Francisco Giants, 1

No team has been snake-bitten by the "Z" fast action card and injury chart than the Giants.  They just got Jeoffrey Leonard back from the DL, where Chili Davis, Manny Trillo, and Al Oliver still reside.  So I'm sure you see where this going.  They received TWO more injuries in this game!  First, Scot Thompson and Leonard collided.  Thompson will be gone for 20 games while Leonard will "only" miss six.  Then, Dan Gladden and Jack Clark crashed into each other too.  Gladden will be out for 30 games and Clark for 14!  Davis is close to moving off the DL, but it will matter little with all the other opening day starters still nursing their boo boos.

Bryn Smith had a good outing, going eight innings and spreading eight hits and three walks while striking out eight.  That's a lot of eights.  Terry Francona earned his first "player of the game" award by roping three doubles.  Montreal continues to climb up the standings while the Giants, well...check the pic.

Winning Pitcher - Bryn Smith
Losing Pitcher - Bill Laskey
Save - Greg Harris
Player of the Game - Francona
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

July 3, 2015

May 12, 1984 - 'Merca

Happy 4th of July weekend everyone!  I hope you get to squeeze in a couple of games of Statis Pro...

Game #415 - New York Mets, 8 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 0

My Dad was in town last week, so once again he was managing his favorite team, the Dodgers.  This started as a very close match, with neither team scoring a run through the first three innings.  But in the top of the fourth Jose Oquendo hit a bases loaded single to plate Hubie Brooks.  One inning later New York scored another run on an RBI hit from Keith Hernandez.  A solo homer by Mike Fitzgerald and a three run bomb by Darryl Strawberry in the next two innings made sure the game was well out of hand as my poor father shook his head while Walt Terrell went the distance for his first shutout of the season.

Winning Pitcher - Walt Terrell
Losing Pitcher - Orel Hershiser
Player of the Game - Terrell, CG SHO, 5H's, 3K's

Game #416 - Philadelphia Phillies, 3 @ San Diego Padres, 2

The Padres jumped out to an early lead against John Denny and the Phillies in the bottom of the first.  Carmelo Martinez roped a triple to plate Tony Gwynn and Alan Wiggins.  In the top of the third Von Hayes doubled home Ivan DeJesus to pull Philadelphia to within one.  In the top of the sixth Hayes did more damage, this time putting one into the outfield seats for two more runs.  In the bottom of the ninth Larry Andersen gave up a single to Steve Garvey.  Garvey went to second on a ground out, and then Martinez hit a single to Von Hayes and Garvey tried for home...but Hayes gunned him down!

Winning Pitcher - John Denny
Losing Pitcher - Ed Whitson
Save - Larry Andersen
Player of the Game - Von Hayes, 2-4, 2B, HR, 3RBI's, outfield assist
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt, Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

June 20, 2015

May 12, 1984 - Cheaper by the Dozens

Game #413 - St. Louis Cardinals, 2 @ Cincinnati Reds, 12

Cardinals pitcher John Stuper got straight SMOKED in the fourth inning.  Eleven Reds came to the plate, including Brad Gulden, who crushed a grand slam as Cincy scored eight runs in the inning.

Winning Pitcher - Joe Price
Losing Pitcher - John Stuper
Player of the Game - Brad Gulden, Grand Slam, 2BB's, Sac Fly, 3R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith

Game #414 - Chicago Cubs, 3 @ Houston Astros, 4 (12 Innings!)

This game was much more suspenseful than the Cardinals/Reds match-up.  Ryne Sandberg led off the game with a single and a stolen base, then Mel Hall knocked him home for the first run.  In the bottom of the fifth, Denny Walling went deep for his first homer on the season to give Houston the lead, 2-1.  Ron Cey matched his third base counterpart by blasting his own two run bomb the next inning, putting the Cubs back in the lead at 3-2.  But Jerry Mumphrey scored Bill Doran on an RBI single in the bottom half of the inning to tie things up.

In the seventh the Cubs suffered a serious blow when a bloop hit by Mark Bailey caused Leon Durham and Gary Matthews to crash into each other for injuries, which will cause them to miss seven and six games respectively.  But neither team could generate offense until the bottom of the twelfth.  Jose Cruz led off with a single and then moved to third on a double by Enos Cabell.  Cruz got nabbed off third, though, when Jody Davis made a diving catch on a little pop up by Denny Walling.  That left two outs and Cabell on second base with Craig Reynolds at the plate.  Dickie Noles gave up a single and Cabell scampered home to win on the walk-off hit in the bottom of the twelfth!!!

Winning Pitcher - Joe Sambito (retired one batter)
Losing Pitcher - Dickie Noles
Player of the Game - Vern Ruhle, 1 2/3 IP of perfect relief
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg, Nolan Ryan

June 12, 2015

May 12, 1984 - Closers Combust!

Game #411 - Seattle Mariners, 11 @ New York Yankees, 10

This game was so exciting I'm going to give you an inning by inning breakdown!

New York jumped all over Seattle starter Ed VandeBerg.  They put up five runs, including a two run blast from Don Mattingly and a solo homer by Roy Smalley.  I thought this would be a blowout.  THAT'S WHY YOU PLAY THE GAME!

Ron Guidry cruised through the first but gave up back to back singles in the second.  Up stepped Barry Bonnell, who launched one over the left field fence.  All of a sudden it was just a two run lead...

Did I say Yankees lead?  Because Guidry gavem up four more runs as the Mariners batted around in the third.  Three of those runs?  I bases clearing double by...Bonnell!  He already had six RBI's by the third, how is he not the Player of the Game?  #SUSPENSE

With two outs Tim Foli doubled off VandeBerg.  Then Andre Robertson did too, plating Foli.  That was all for Ed.  Mariners were still out in front, 7-6.

Bob Stoddard was on the mound for Seattle, but he got abused by the potent New York hitters.  The Yankees scored three runs, two on an RBI single by Smalley.  That put New York back in front, 9-7.

Huh.  Nothing really happened in this inning.  Weird.

Alvin Davis, a rookie in 1984, has been tearing it up this season.  He hit a solo home run in the seventh, New York still winning, 9-8.

Jay Howell was pitching for the Yankees, and he hadn't given up a run all season.  But...Al Cowens hit an RBI single to tie the game!  But it doesn't last long!  In the bottom of the inning Tim Foli singles.  He moved to second on a sacrifice by Robertson.  Two batters later, pinch hitter Steve Kemp knocked him in.  New York in the lead again, 10-9.

Jay Howell settled down and got two outs right away.  With only one to go for the win, pinch hitter Ken Phelps singled!  Next up, another pinch hitter:  Dave Henderson.  With the flip of the first FAC card...BD!  Clutch batting!  Next card?  HOME RUN!!!  Seattle out front again!  Ed Nunez retired the Yankees in the bottom of the inning for the win!!!

Winning Pitcher:  Mike Stanton
Losing Pitcher:  Jay Howell
Save:  Ed Nunez
Player of the Game:  Dave Henderson - SECOND GAME IN A ROW!
Hall of Famers in the Game:  Dave Winfield

Game #412 - Pittsburgh Pirates, 6 @ Atlanta Braves, 4

That last game was so long in the recap, I'll skip straight to the good part for this one.  Steve Bedrosian took the mound in the top of the eighth with a 4-2 lead for the Braves.  Like Jay Howell, he had yet to surrender a run.  But he gave up FIVE straight hits and was lifted without recording an out as the Pirates came out of nowhere for the comeback win!

Winning Pitcher:  John Tudor
Losing Pitcher:  Steve Bedrosian
Save:  Kent Tekulve
Player of the Game:  Doug Frobel, started the rally against Bedrosian.

May 29, 2015

May 12, 1984 - Five For Fighting

Game #409 - Boston Red Sox, 0 @ Kansas City Royals, 5

Darryl Motley has been one of the worst starters in Statis Pro so far, but he was a big contributor in this game.  He launched a two run homer in the first to give KC the early lead.  The Royals would tack on three more runs in the seventh thanks in part to a pinch hit home run by Jorge Orta.  Meanwhile, Bud Black dominated the Red Sox hitters while tossing a shutout.

Winning Pitcher - Bud Black
Losing Pitcher - Bob Ojeda
Player of the Game - Black, CG SHO, 5H's, 3K's
Hall of Famers in the Game:  Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

Game #410 - Minnesota Twins, 3 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 5

This was the second game in a series between two of the worst teams in the American League so far.  The Brew Crew scored first in the bottom of the third.  Dion James doubled home Ted Simmons.  Minnesota responded in the fourth.  Tim Teufel hit his first triple of the year, and Gary Gaetti later knocked him in.

A two-out error by Don Sutton in the sixth, his second of the game, led to two more runs for the Twins.  But in the bottom of the seventh, Twins starter John Butcher self-destructed.  He allowed four straight singles before being lifted in favor of Len Whitehouse.  Whitehouse would hit a batter and then give up a bases loaded double to Cecil Cooper to secure the victory for Milwaukee.

Winning Pitcher - Don Sutton
Losing Pitcher - John Butcher
Save - Rollie Fingers
Player of the Game - Cecil Cooper, 2-4, 2B, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett, Don Sutton, Rollie Fingers

May 25, 2015

May 12, 1984 - Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day in the present, not 1984.  My dad served in the Air Force for the first 14 years of my life.  He finished his service by recruiting for the Air Force Academy for years.  I grew up on military bases and have a special place in my heart for this holiday.

Game #407 - Toronto Blue Jays, 15 @ Cleveland Indians, 8

Can I make a small confession?  I screwed up this game.  The Indians batted around in the third inning.  In the top of the fourth, I started at the top of their line up (Brett Butler) instead of the number eight hitter (Jerry Willard), who was supposed to have batted next.  I didn't catch it until I was recording the stats.  I know I should have erased the last six innings and started again, but after 23 combined runs and seven combined relief pitchers, I took the lazy way out.  Theoretically, it should have helped the Indians anyway, and they still lost.  Please don't think less of me!

Winning Pitcher - Bryan Clark
Losing Pitcher - Steve Farr
Player of the Game - Alfredo Griffin, 3-5, HR(!), 5RBI

Game #408 - California Angels, 4 @ Detroit Tigers, 3

With the Blue Jays winning the previous game, the Tigers were under increased pressure to keep pace in the AL East.  Unfortunately, Juan Berenguer didn't have his best stuff.  He gave up a solo homer in the second to Reggie Jackson, and a RBI double to Fred Lynn in the third.  Ruppert Jones of Detroit grounded into a double play in the fourth, but it plated Kirk Gibson in the process, cutting the California lead to one.  But in the top of the sixth Jackson went yard again off Berenguer, and the Tigers couldn't complete a comeback victory.

Winning Pitcher - Ron Romanick
Losing Pitcher - Juan Berenguer
Save - Don Aase
Player of the Game - Reggie Jackson, 2-4, 2HRs, 3RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

May 16, 2015

May 12, 1984 - Dry Spells

It's been quite some time since posting, and even longer since playing Statis Pro.  Sometimes we get stuck in seasons of life where personal recreation takes a back seat to more important husband, father, employee, etc.  I'm hoping to get back on tracks soon!

In the meantime, here are a couple of games I completed a few weeks ago:

Game #405 - Oakland A's, 8 @ Baltimore Orioles, 5 (12 innings)

With two outs in the top of the 12th, Mark Brown hit Dave Kingman, walked Bruce Bochte, gave up a double to Mike Heath, and a single to Tony Phillips.  The Orioles loaded the bases with two outs, but Tim Conroy got Rick Dempsey to ground out to end the game.

Winning Pitcher - Larry Sorensen
Losing Pitcher - Mark Brown
Save - Tim Conroy
Player of the Game - Dave Kingman, 4-5, 2HR's, 3R's, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

Game #406 - Texas Rangers, 1 @ Chicago White Sox, 6

Rich Dotson only surrendered three hits, but added five walks over 6 2/3 innings.  Texas only plated one run, because they are the worst team in the AL this season.

Winning Pitcher - Rich Dotson
Losing Pitcher - Dickie Noles
Player of the Game - Greg Luzinski, 3-4, HR, RBI

April 11, 2015

May 11, 1984 - Teeny Boppers

Game #403 - Philadelphia Phillies, 15 @ San Diego Padres, 3

400 games into this Statis Pro season, and I'm still conflicted on when to yank a starting pitcher who is getting shelled in the first inning.  I pulled Eric Show after two outs and seven hitters because he had already yielded four runs.  A fifth crossed the plate when Floyd Chiffer inherited a runner on third.  The Phillies added a bookend to the massive scoring in the ninth inning, when they scored six more runs.  Four of those came courtesy of a Len Matuszek grand slam.

Winning Pitcher - Shane Rawley
Losing Pitcher - Eric Show
Player of the Game - Len Matuszek, 3-4, 2B, Grand Slam, HBP, 3R's, 4RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt, Tony Gwynn

Game #404 - Montreal Expos, 13 @ San Francisco Giants, 4

...and continuing the theme with early inning struggles...Giants starter Jeff Robinson was already losing 1-0 when five runners scored in the third.  The Giants bullpen was already taxed from their last loss, so I let him go back out there for the fifth.  He allowed two more runs and then loaded the bases before I finally sent him to the showers.  The Expos had a field day, none more so than Gary Carter.  He was perfect at the plate and scored three runs while driving in five.

Winning Pitcher - Charlie Lea
Losing Pitcher - Jeff Robinson
Player of the Game - Carter, 4-4, 2B, HR, 3R's, 5RBI's, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

April 4, 2015

May 11, 1984 - The East Is Least

Game #401 - Chicago Cubs, 3 @ Houston Astros, 5

Mike Scott got off to a rough start when he surrendered a lead off homer run to Ryne Sandberg in the top of the first.  But Houston chipped back and took the lead by the fifth inning.  Ron Cey brought the Cubbies back within one when he launched a two run blast of his own, but Dave Smith pitched a great two innings of relief, striking out four Chicago hitters in that span.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Scott
Losing Pitcher - Steve Trout
Save - Bill Dawley
Player of the Game - Dave Smith
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

Game #402 - New York Mets, 1 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 2

In the bottom of the first Steve Sax singled off Ron Darling.  He then stole second base.  Two hitters and outs later, Mike Marshall doubled him home to give L.A. the quick 1-0 lead.

Darling helped his own cause in the bottom of the third by reaching first on a hit.  He moved to third on a line drive by Mookie Wilson, and then scored on a Kelvin Chapman ground out to tie the game.  The game stayed tied until the bottom of the sixth.  Ken Landreaux singled and move to third on two separate ground outs.  That's when Sax recorded his second hit to plate Landreaux for the lead.

Meanwhile, Fernando Valenzuela was dealing.  His only real trouble occurred in...the top of the ninth!  I had channeled my inner-Tommy Lasorda and was committed to Fernandomania finishing the game.  Hubie Brooks led off with a hit, but George Foster grounded into a double play.  Ron Gardenhire was up next, and he doubled!  Mike Fitzgerald stepped up and walked, putting two on with two outs in a one run game.  Wally Backman pinch hit in the nine hole, but Valenzuela got him to strike out for the complete game victory!

Winning Pitcher - Fernando Valenzuela
Losing Pitcher - Ron Darling
Player of the Game - Valenzuela, CG, ER, 9K's

March 8, 2015

May 11, 1984 - 400

Game #400 - St. Louis Cardinals, 10 @ Cincinnati Reds, 2

Howdy friends!  If you can't tell by now, I just played my 400th Statis Pro game for this 1984 season!  It's taken just over three years to get here, but nonetheless, we're here!  As always, thanks for taking time to read these silly posts.

This game actually started off quite suspenseful.  There were goose eggs on the scoreboard through the first four innings as Danny Cox and Jay Tibbs were holding their opposing hitters in check.  But in the top of the fifth Cox squeezed home Tom Herr and then Ozzie Smith hit a 2-RBI single to give the Red Birds a 3-0 lead.  They never looked back as Cox pitched eight innings while only giving up one run.

Winning Pitcher - Danny Cox
Losing Pitcher - Jay Tibbs
Player of the Game - Cox, his third straight POTG
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Tony Perez

February 26, 2015

May 11, 1984 - Change in Pitch

Game #399 - Pittsburgh Pirates, 4 @ Atlanta Braves, 1

I did something in this game I don't recall doing before in this Statis Pro season:  I didn't hit the pitcher in the ninth slot in the batting order.  I didn't even hit him in the eighth slot!  That's right, starter Rick Rhoden got penciled into the seven-hole.

Rhoden hit over .300 in the real 1984 and his hitting card looks a lot better than Dale Berra and Doug Frobel's, so I figured, what the heck.

Rick might have been distracted by the change in routine, because his first inning was a bit rocky.  Bob Horner doubled and then scored on a Claudell Washington double.  Dale Murphy struck out for the second out of the bottom of the first but Chris Chambliss singled.  Washington rounded third and was heading for home but Frobel gunned him down to prevent the second run from scoring.

Johnny Ray, meanwhile, had Rhoden's back.  He knocked a two run homer in the second and doubled home another run in the fifth.  Lee Lacy added a solo shot in the eighth to secure the win.  How did Rhoden do batting seventh?  He was 1-3 with a double!

Winning Pitcher - Rick Rhoden
Losing Pitcher - Rick Mahler
Save - Kent Tekulve
Player of the Game - Johnny Ray, 2-5, 2B, HR, 3RBI's

February 23, 2015

May 11, 1984 - Rain and Pain

Before I forget - there's a new poll to the right of this story!

Game #397 - Minnesota Twins, 8 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 3 (rained out after 5 innings)

The Twins jumped all over Bob McClure in the first inning.  Kent Hrbek hit a two run homer with just one out, driving home Mickey Hatcher.  Hatcher was on base after a fluke single caused Charlie Moore and Robin Yount to collide.  Moore will be on the shelf for 11 games.  The Brewers are so depleted with injuries I don't even have a position player to call up to the active roster.  Dave Engle doubled home two as well to give the Twins a 4-0 lead after one inning.  Hatcher hit a two run jack of his own in the second inning, and the only thing that could cool off the Minnesota bats was the unexpected downpour that ended the game after five innings.

Winning Pitcher - Frank Viola
Losing Pitcher - Bob McClure
Player of the Game - Hatcher, 2-3, HR, 2RBI's, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett, Robin Yount

Game #398 - Seattle Mariners, 11 @ New York Yankees, 4

Here was Phil Niekro's first inning:

Jack Perconte, ground out.  Phil Bradley, hit by pitch.  Alvin Davis, walk.  Ken Phelps, hit by pitch.  Dave Henderson, walk, Bradley scores.  Al Cowens, fly out.  Larry Milbourne, single, two score.  Spike Owen, double, one scores.  Bob Kearney, home run, three more score.  Niekro lifted.

The old knuckler wasn't knuckling.

Winning Pitcher - Matt Young
Losing Pitcher - Phil Niekro
Player of the Game - Dave Henderson, 3-4, 2HR's, 4 RBI's, 3R's, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield, Phil Niekro

February 21, 2015

May 11, 1984 - Leftied Behind

Game #395 - California Angels, 4 @ Detroit Tigers, 11

This was the first game in a big series between the barely-second place Tigers in the AL East and the first place Angels in the West.  Mike Witt was on the mound for California, facing off against Milt Wilcox for Detroit.

The Angels struck first, in the first.  A Fred Lynn sacrifice fly plated Rod Carew and an RBI single by Reggie Jackson scored Bobby Grich.  The Tigers cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning.  Chet Lemon ripped a two-out triple to send Kirk Gibson all the way around the bases.

In the next inning Mike Witt really got into a jam.  With the bases loaded and two outs, and the game now tied at two apiece, leftie Kirk Gibson went yard for a grand salami!  It's his second grand slam of the season, tying Jody Davis for the Statis Pro MLB lead.  Witt was still in the game two innings later when Lemon went deep off him again, this one scoring two runs.  It was a bad day for Mr. Witt...  The Tigers did lose Tom Brookens to injury for 16 games.  He was in as a mid-game sub for Lou Whitaker.

Winning Pitcher - Milt Wilcox
Losing Pitcher - Mike Witt
Player of the Game - Kirk Gibson, 3-4, grand slam, 5RBI's, 3R's, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

Game #396 - Boston Red Sox, 9 @ Kansas City Royals, 3

This game started off all K.C.  A Jackie Gutierrez error (he already has 10 on the season!) led to three runs in the bottom of the first off BoSox starter Bruce Hurst.  Rich Gedman homered in the top of the second to get Boston on the board, but it was a pitcher's duel after that until the seventh inning.  That's when rookie Bret Saberhagen gave up a three run blast to leftie Bill Buckner.  The Red Sox scored four more runs in the top of the ninth too to really put the game out of reach for the floundering Royals.

Winning Pitcher - Bruce Hurst
Losing Pitcher - Bret Saberhagen
Save - Charlie Mitchell
Player of the Game - Bill Buckner, 2-4, HR, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Jim Rice

February 13, 2015

May 11, 1984 - Clutch Homers

Game #393 - Oakland A's, 4 @ Baltimore Orioles, 5

The O's were hosting Texas after being swept by the Blue Jays and were looking to rebound.  It was a battle through the first five innings because neither team could score off starters Ray Burris and Scott McGregor.  The A's scored first in the top of the sixth, though, when Dwayne Murphy went yard to give Oakland a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom half of the inning Wayne Gross did what he's been doing all season:  hitting home runs.  This one was of the Earl Weaver variety, scoring three for the Orioles.  Steve Kiefer made a crucial error in the seventh that led to two more runs for Baltimore and a victory.

Winning Pitcher - Sammy Stewart
Losing Pitcher - Ray Burris
Save - Tippy Martinez
Player of the Game - Stewart, 2IP, K
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

Game #394 - Texas Rangers, 2 @ Chicago White Sox, 1

This was one of those games you hate to see either starter get tagged for a loss.  Charlie Hough went eight solid innings for the Rangers, yielding only one run, a homer to Ron Kittle, while striking out five and only walking one batter.  Floyd Bannister was just as good, pitching a complete game with seven K's and just two walks.  He surrendered a homer as well, to Larry Parrish, but with a runner on board.  That was the difference and all the Rangers needed for the victory.

Winning Pitcher - Charlie Hough
Losing Pitcher - Floyd Bannister
Save - Dave Schmidt
Player of the Game - the ol' knuckler

February 4, 2015

May 10, 1984 - Dramarama

Game #391 - San Francisco Giants, 2 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 3

Mike Krukow gave up three doubles in a row in the bottom of the first, which gave the Pirates an early 2-0 lead.  The Giants were able to tie the game, though, by the fourth inning.  The score stayed knotted until the bottom of the eighth.  Tony Pena lead things off by singling.  He stole second base on a failed hit and run with Bill Madlock at the plate.  Madlock then doubled to give the Pirates the go-ahead run.  Madlock was 3-4 for the day, which he badly needed.  He has been ice cold this Statis Pro season.

Winning Pitcher - Cecilio Guante
Losing Pitcher - Frank Williams
Player of the Game - Mad Dog

Game #392 - San Diego Padres, 1 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 2 (12 innings)

The languishing Padres were in town against the smoking-hot Cardinals.  Lonnie Smith gave the cards an early lead when he knocked home Andy VanSlyke in the bottom of the second.  But the Padres took the lead after an  unlikely home run from Alan Wiggins and an RBI hit from Carmelo Martinez.

The Padres had a 3-2 lead in the seventh but lost it when St. Louis tied the game on a Ken Oberkfell RBI.  The next four innings were scoreless, pushing the match to the 12th inning.  Dave Rucker, pitching his third inning of relief, gave up a homer to pinch hitter Kurt Bevacqua.  All the Padres had to do was record three outs for the win.  New reliever Dave Dravecky took the mound and disaster ensued.  Chris Speier singled, Willie McGee walked, and David Green singled to load the bases.  Tom Herr then ripped a two-RBI single for the walk off win!!!

Winning Pitcher - Dave Rucker
Losing Pitcher - Dave Dravecky
Player of the Game - Tom Herr
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage, Ozzie Smith

January 31, 2015

May 10, 1984 - That's Why You Play the Game!

Cincinnati Reds, 9 @ Montreal Expos, 8

Jeff Russell was opposing Bill Gullickson at the start of this game, so the pitching match up definitely seemed to favor the Expos.  THAT'S WHY YOU PLAY THE GAME!

The Reds jumped all over Gullickson in the second inning, scoring four runs.  Gullickson walked three that inning and gave up three hits, including a 2-RBI double to Wayne Krenchicki.  Gullickson got tagged for three more runs in the fifth, even though it was reliever Andy McGaffigan that gave up two of them on a bases loaded walk to Eddie Milner and a single to Duane Walker.

The Expos were down 9-4 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs when Montreal legend Andre Dawson kick started a furious rally with a solo homer.  Reliever Keefe Cato gave up a total of four runs before Ted Power got the save when Tim Raines grounded out to first to end the game.

Winning Pitcher - Tom Hume
Losing Pitcher - Bill Gullickson
Save - Ted Power
Player of the Game - Duane Walker, 2-3, 2B, 2RBI's, 3BB's, SB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Perez, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

Atlanta Braves, 5 @ New York Mets, 3

Craig McMurtry, who lost 17 games in the real 1984 season, faced rookie sensation Dwight Gooden in this battle.  The scales definitely tip in favor of New York with that match up.  THAT'S WHY YOU PLAY THE GAME!

The score was all zeroes in the top of the third inning with two outs.  Gooden had already struck out five batters when Gerald Perry singled.  That brought up Bob Horner, who took a Gooden fastball deep into the cheap seats for a 2-0 Braves lead.  The Mets tied things up in the bottom of the fourth when George Foster, playing his first game since recovering from an injury, launched a two run bomb of his own to tie things up.

There were two outs in the top of the fifth when Perry once again proved to be a nemesis for Gooden, this time doubling.  Horner singled home Perry and later crossed home plate himself when Claudell Washington hit another home run off Gooden.  Despite "Dr. K's" eleven strikeouts in the game, he was the losing pitcher.

Winning Pitcher - Craig McMurtry
Losing Pitcher - Dwight Gooden
Save - Steve Bedrosian
Player of the Game - Bob Horner, 2-5, HR, 3RBI's, 2R's

January 25, 2015

May 10, 1984 - NL West 2, NL East 0

Game #387 - Los Angeles Dodgers, 4 @ Chicago Cubs, 2

The score was tied one each in the top of the sixth when Cubs starter Rick Reuschel ran into trouble.  Steve Sax knocked in two with a double, and later scored on a Steve Yeager single. Chicago picked up one more run in the seventh but L.A. held on for the win.

Winning Pitcher - Rick Honeycutt
Losing Pitcher - Rick Reuschel
Save - Burt Hooton
Player of the Game - Honeycutt, 8IP, 4H's, 4K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

Game #388 - Philadelphia Phillies, 2 @ Houston Astros, 3 (10 innings)

Wouldn't you know it, Joe Niekro flirted with another no-hitter.  He had gone 6.2 innings before giving up his first hit, to Joe Lefebvre.  That hit also plated Len Matuszek, who had walked to start the inning.  Glenn Wilson then scored Lefebvre on a two-out single.  Just like that Niekro lost the lead.  Houston picked up a run in the bottom half of the inning when Mark Bailey stroked a hard double to score Ray Knight.

Fast forward to the bottom of the ninth - the Phillies still had a 2-1 lead.  With one out Larry Andersen gave up a hit to Kevin Bass.  Bass moved to second on a failed hit and run by Terry Puhl, with Puhl out at first.  One out from victory, Bailey was again at bat.  He knocked a single, and Bass went flying around third and scored, beating the throw from the outfield to tie the game and send things to extra innings!

In the bottom of the tenth Bill Campbell was on the mound.  With one out he gave up a surprise triple to Phil Garner.  Jose Cruz was up next, and squeaked an infield hit to plate Garner - Houston wins on the walk-off!!!

Winning Pitcher - Joe Sambito
Losing Pitcher - Bill Campbell
Player of the Game - Mark Bailey, 2-4, 2B, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt

January 19, 2015

May 10, 1984 - Just Three Games in the AL

This was a bit random on the MLB scheduler's part, but there were only three American League games on May 10th back in 1984, so here are the last two...

Game #385 - Texas Rangers, 1 @ Chicago White Sox, 9

I did something I hadn't done this season in Statis Pro - I made a defensive replacement in the middle of the inning, after an error was made.  The culprit?  Jeff Kunkel.  His crime?  It was his third error in just five innings.  I brought in Wayne Tolleson to teach Kunkel a lesson.  I'm the one who got schooled, though, because Tolleson made an error five batters later!

Tom Seaver had his first great game of the year, going the distance and scattering five hits and two walks.  I would have made him "Player of the Game," but Ron Kittle had different plans.  He went yard twice, totaling five RBI's and three runs.  Rangers catcher Donnie Scott took a nasty foul tip off his hand and will miss the next 30 games.  Texas can't catch a break this season...

Winning Pitcher - Tom Seaver
Losing Pitcher - Dave Stewart
Player of the Game - Ron Kittle
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tom Seaver

Game #386 - Cleveland Indians, 6 @ New York Yankees, 4

Neither starter made it past the fourth inning, as both Rick Sutcliffe and Dennis Rasmussen each surrendered four runs.  It's no wonder Cleveland dumped Sutcliffe in the early going of the real 1984 - they must have been furious when he turned into a Cy Young pitcher in Chicago.  Both bullpens shined in this one, but it was the Cleveland trio of Tom Waddell, Mike Jeffcoat, and Ernie Camacho who were the brightest.  In five combined innings no runners reached base!  Brook Jacoby had the winning hit, plating two with a double in the seventh inning.

Winning Pitcher - Tom Waddell
Losing Pitcher - Clay Christianse
Save - Ernie Camacho
Player of the Game - Mike Jeffcoat, 2IP, 2K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield

January 13, 2015

May 10, 1984 - Jays Sweeping

Game #384 - Toronto Blue Jays, 12 @ Baltimore Orioles, 2

I've made no attempt to hide the fact the Orioles are my favorite team.  So it stings when they're getting trounced by an AL East rival, but that's exactly what is happening on this home stand against the Blue Jays.

The game was scoreless until the top of the fifth when Toronto plated two runs off Storm Davis.  The Orioles got one run of their own in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI ground out from John Shelby that scored John Lowenstein. 

From the sixth through ninth innings the Blue Jays decided to impose their will on Baltimore.  They scored ten runs, including big homers by Cliff Johnson and Willie Upshaw.  There was no stopping Toronto as they continue to be the most dominant team in Statis Pro right now.

Winning Pitcher - Luis Leal
Losing Pitcher - Storm Davis
Player of the Game - Leal, 8IP, 4H's, 5K's, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

January 4, 2015

May 9, 1984 - Mom

Game #383 - San Diego Padres, 3 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 4

As it so happens, May 9th is my Mom's birthday, and her favorite team is the Cardinals.  She was born and raised in St. Louis, so it seems fitting the last game of her special day featured the Red Birds.

The Cardinals had to dig out of an early hole.  In the first inning Carmelo Martinez ripped a 2-RBI double and later scored himself on a Steve Garvey double to give the Padres a 3-0 lead.  But the Cardinals got two back in the bottom of the first from RBI singles by Terry Pendleton and Tom Herr.  David Green drove home Willie McGee in the third to tie things up.

The game was still knotted at 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh when backup catcher Tom Nieto crushed a solo shot to give the go-ahead run to St. Louis.  Bruce Sutter worked two innings of relief to notch his league-leading 9th save of the season.  This is already Tom Nieto's third "Player of the Game" awared on the season!

Winning Pitcher - Dave LaPoint
Losing Pitcher - Mark Thurmond
Save - Bruce Sutter
Player of the Game - Tom Nieto, HR, threw out Tony Gwynn on a steal attempt
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter

That concludes May 9th - standings and stats have been updated in the right hand column!

January 3, 2015

May 9, 1984 - Walk-Off All-Stars!

Game #381 - Cincinnati Reds, 6 @ Montreal Expos, 8

There must be something in the water in my neck of the woods, because I keep getting some dramatic finishes to these Statis Pro games.  This post is no exception!

The Reds took an early two run lead when Ron Oester doubled home Eddie Milner and Duane Walker to start the game.  Walker hit a solo homer in the top of the fourth that extended the Reds lead to 5-2.  A Walker error in the bottom of the sixth, though, closed the gap and made it a 6-4 game, still in favor of the red legs.

Fast forward to the bottom of the ninth, John Franco started his second inning of relief.  He walked pinch hitter Jim Wohlford and then gave up three singles in a row to blow the lead and let the Expos tie it up.  Franco got lifted in favor of Ted Power to face the right-handed Gary Carter with a runner on first and no outs.  There was a severe power outage (PUN!), though, as Power gave up a walk-off homer to The Kid!!!

Winning Pitcher - Dan Schatzeder
Losing Pitcher - John Franco
Player of the Game - Gary Carter, 2-3, HR, 2RBI's, 2BB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

Game #382 - Atlanta Braves, 3 @ New York Mets, 6

This game was all goose eggs until the bottom of the fourth.  With Wally Backman and Keith Hernandez on base, Darryl Strawberry took Rick Camp deep for a three run lead.  The Braves tied things up in the top of the sixth, though, with an epic two-out rally that tied the game, including a bases clearing triple by Dale Murphy.

The game was still tied up at three apiece in the bottom of the ninth.  With two outs and a runner on first, Gene Garber walked Backman to bring up Hernandez.  The Seinfeld star put one into the right field bleachers to provide YET ANOTHER walk-off home run!!!

Winning Pitcher - Doug Sisk
Losing Pitcher - Gene Garber
Player of the Game - Keith Hernandez, 2-4, HR, 3RBI's, 2R's