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