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