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