December 19, 2016

May 23rd, 1984 - NL East Leaders Emerge

Game #535 - Cincinnati Reds, 0 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 2

After an error by Dave Concepcion in the bottom of the first allowed Lee Lacy to end up on third, Jason Thompson singled him home to give Pitt the quick 1-0 lead.  In the bottom of the second Doug Frobel launched a solo shot to make it 2-0, but that was the lump sum of scoring for the game.  Jay Tibbs went seven strong for the Reds, but Rich Rhoden was absolutely filthy, going the distance for the shutout as Frobel threw out Dan Driessen at the plate to preserve the goose egg.  The win got the Pirates back over .500 on the season, good for second place in the NL East.

Winning Pitcher - Rick Rhoden
Losing Pitcher - Jay Tibbs
Player of the Game - Rhoden, CG SHO, 4K's, 1-3

Game #536 - Houston Astros, 5 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 8

The Red Birds raced out to a 7-1 lead after four innings, thanks in part to a two-run homer from David Green.  Bob Forsch appeared in his first game of the season, and even though his performance was shakey at best (9 hits, 4 walks in 5 2/3IP), it was enough for the winning against their fellow divisional leader.  It also ensured the Astros wouldn't sweep the series.
Winning Pitcher - Bob Forsch
Losing Pitcher - Nolan Ryan
Save - Dave VonOhlen
Player of the Game - David Green, 2-4, HR, 2RBI, 2R's, SB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Nolan Ryan, Ozzie Smith

December 13, 2016

May 23, 1984 - Expos, Dodgers Win

San Diego Padres, 1 @ Montreal Expos, 6

Montreal led early and often in this game.  They jumped out 2-0 off Eddie Whitson in the first, with Andre Dawson recording an RBI single and Tim Wallach an RBI ground out.  The Expos loaded the bases in the fourth and Argenis Salazar and Bryn Smith both laid down perfect squeeze bunts.  San Diego ruined Smith's shutout in the ninth, but it was too little too late.

Winning Pitcher - Bryn Smith
Losing Pitcher - Eddie Whitson
Player of the Game - Smith, CG, 5H's, 4K's, 1R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson.

Los Angeles Dodgers, 4 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 3

I've told this story a few times now, but my dad is a Dodgers fan and grumbles to this day about Tom Niedenfuer and his classic meltdowns on the mound.  He's had some in Statis Pro too, and this game was nearly the same thing all over again.  With a two run lead in the bottom of the ninth, pinch-hitter Greg Gross singled with one out.  Luis Aguayo then doubled, with Gross moving to third.  Juan Samuel hit a soft fly ball to right, so Gross couldn't advance.  That brought up Sixto Lezcano and Niedenfuer walked him to load the bases!  John Wockenfuss was next in the batter's box, and he walked too, plating Gross and leaving the bases loaded and only a one run deficit.  Worse yet, Mike Schmidt was at the plate!  But Niedenfuer finally got out of the jam.  Schmidt grounded out to Bill Russell and L.A. held on to the win.

Winning Pitcher - Rick Honeycutt
Losing Pitcher - John Denny
Save - Tom Niedenfuer
Player of the Game - Honeycutt, 8IP, 2R's, 6H's, 7K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt

December 11, 2016

May 23, 1984 - Kind of Blue

Every now and then my baseball card scan has a cool look/parity to it.  Love this shot of Moseby and Royster, back to back, in their powder blues...

Game #531 - Minnesota Twins, 5 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 7

I thought the Twinkies had the upper-hand in this one.  Mickey Hatcher hit a three-run blast off Blue Jays ace Doyle Alexander in the first inning, but Lloyd Moseby answered with his own two-RBI moonshot in the bottom half of the inning.

John Butcher settled down after that...until the fifth that is.  With Rance Mulliniks on, DH Willie Aikens went yard to give Toronto the 4-3 lead.  But in the top of the sixth, with two runners on, Gary Gaetti hit a bases clearing double to once again give Minnesota the one run lead.  But Butcher choked the lead again when Tony Fernandez singled home Moseby to tie it back up.

In the bottom of the seventh Damaso Garcia smoked a triple with two outs.  Moseby then rapped his second double of the game to plate Garcia, but Moseby scored too when Darrell Brown booted the ball in center.  Roy Lee Jackson and Dennis Lamp closed the door for the Blue Jays win.

Winning Pitcher - Doyle Alexander
Losing Pitcher - Rick Lysander
Save - Dennis Lamp
Player of the Game - Lloyd Moseby, 3-4, HR, 2 2b's, 3RBI, 3R's

Game #532 - Atlanta Braves, 11 @ Chicago Cubs, 10

This game was such a hot mess, I'm not sure how to recap it.  How about some bulleted highlights?

  • After the top of the sixth, Atlanta was up 10-0.  Steve Trout laid an egg for Chicago.
  • Ryne Sandberg walked FIVE times in one game.  Ron Cey had three of his own.
  • Four Braves knocked homers:  Brad Komminsk, Dale Murphy, Albert Hall, and Jerry Royster.
  • Chicago staged a furious comeback in the bottom of the ninth, scoring six runs and they had Bull Durham on second when Jody Davis grounded out to end the game.
  • This is the THIRTEENTH loss in a row for the Cubs.
Winning Pitcher - Craig McMurtry
Losing Pitcher - Steve Trout
Save - Gene Garber
Player of the Game - Jerry Royster, 5-5, HR, 2 2b's, 3R's, 4RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

December 6, 2016

May 23, 1984 - Almost a Perfect 10

Game #529 - New York Yankees, 10 @ Seattle Mariners, 9 (11 innings)

Let's do something different.  Let's look at who won each inning:

First - The Yankees, 1-0.  Dave Winfield doubled, Mattingly singled him home.

Second - Mariners, 6-2.  Phil Niekro got crushed.  Bill Nahorodny smacked a two-run single during the Seattle onslaught.

Third - Mariners, 1-0.  Nahorodny again, this time a solo homer.

Fourth - Yankees, 3-2.  Dave Winfield with a two run bomb!

Fifth through Eighth - tie, 0-0.

Ninth - Yankees, 3-0!  The Mariners had a three run lead, but reliever Mike Stanton gave up a solo homer to Don Mattingly and three batters later Roy Smalley cranked a game-tying, two run blast!

Tenth - tie, 0-0.

Eleventh - Yankees, 1-0.  With runners on second and third and no outs, Smalley grounded out to first but it plated pinch-runner Toby Harrah for what ended up being the winning run!

Winning Pitcher - Mike Armstrong
Losing Pitcher - Ed VandeBerg
Player of the Game - Roy Smalley, 1-4, HR, 3RBI, 2BB's, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield, Phil Niekro

Game #530 - Milwaukee Brewers, 6 @ Texas Rangers, 4

It's the battle of the Cellar Dwellers, take two!

The Rangers actually had an early 2-0 lead on Milwaukee, but in the fifth Bill Schroeder hit the first of his two solo homers on the day and Randy Ready lined an RBI triple that scored Rick Manning.  They were up to six runs after seven, which was enough of a lead for Ned Yost's first home run on the season to not spoil the day.  Rollie Fingers went 1 and 2/3 innings to save the game for the Brew Crew and prevent the Rangers from winning their tenth game of the year.

Winning Pitcher - Bob McClure
Losing Pitcher - Dave Stewart
Save - Rollie Fingers
Player of the Game - Fingers, 1 2/3IP, Save
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount, Rollie Fingers

December 1, 2016

May 23, 1984 - Left-Handed Lift

Chicago White Sox, 1 @ Kansas City Royals, 5

The Royals right now are being held together by cheap gauze and Band-Aids, but wouldn't you know it, they're playing great baseball despite half of their starters being on the disabled list.  They scored a single run in five different innings, with five different batters (Hal McRae, Lynn Jones, Darryl Motley, Greg Pryor, and Onix Concepcion) recording the corresponding RBI.

It was Bud Black who was the real star, though.  He didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning, and not even a run until the eighth.  He struck out six and walked four while only giving up three hits.

Winning Pitcher - Bud Black
Losing Pitcher  - Britt Burns
Player of the Game - Bud Black

Baltimore Orioles, 5 @ Oakland A's, 3

This game kept tilting back and forth on the scoreboard.  The A's damaged Scott McGregor for two runs in the first, including an RBI single by Carney Lansford.  But in the top of the second the Orioles tied it up on a Rich Dauer double and a fielding error by Dwayne Murphy.  Murphy made up for it in the third with a solo homer, but John Lowenstein crushed one for two RBI to give the Orioles the lead once again, this time at 4-3.  John Shelby would add a solo shot in the seventh as the Birds got the win.

Winning Pitcher - Scott McGregor
Losing Pitcher - Ray Burris
Save - Sammy Stewart
Player of the Game - Tonight, let it be Lowenstein
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan

November 28, 2016

May 23, 1984 - Prepare Launch Sequence

Game #525 - Cleveland Indians, 4 @ Boston Red Sox, 1

Wade Boggs roped a double in the first, one of his two for the game, and then moved to third on a Jim Rice sacrifice fly.  Tony Armas was up next and scorched a triple to plate Boggs and give the Red Sox an early 1-0 lead.

Cleveland came chipping back.  In the fourth Brook Jacoby knocked home George Vukovich to tie things up.  Then in the fifth Vukovich scored again, this time thanks to an Andre Thornton double.  It stayed 2-1 until the eighth inning.  Dennis Eckersley was still handing in there as the starting pitcher but with two runners on Tony Bernazard cleared the bases with a clutch double.  That was it for Eck and pretty much the ball game too as Cleveland won their third in a row against the team from Beantown.

Winning Pitcher - Neal Heaton
Losing Pitcher - Dennis Eckersley
Save - Ernie Camacho
Player of the Game - George Vukovich, 3-5, homer short of the cycle, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Dennis Eckersley

Happy Trails...Dennis Eckersley

It's not Happy Trails for the rest of the season, since Eck got traded to the Cubs for the last two-thirds of the real 1984, so we'll certainly see him again over in the National League.  But this was his swan song with Boston.  How did Statis Pro Eckersley compare to the real Boston Eck?  Let's take a look:

Real 1984:  4-4  5.01ERA  64.2IP  2CG  38R/36ER  33K's  1.29WHIP
Statis Pro:   4-2  3.86ERA  58.2IP  1CG  38R/25ER  38K's  1.56WHIP

First glances would have you believe Statis Pro Dennis outperformed the real deal, but a closer look will show his WHIP was higher in my Statis Pro season and he was the beneficiary of 13 runs that went as unearned.  In essence, they performed about the same.  For Boston he was only a "2-5" rated starter but now that he's moving to the Windy City I think that card will be "2-7."  The other big news with Eckersley's departure is who is taking his place in the Boston rotation.  That's right...a rookie flamethrower known as "The Rocket."  I've waited a long time for this moment, but soon we'll see the debut of a Mr. Roger Clemens.

Game #526 - Detroit Tigers, 6 @ California Angels, 0

This game is a tale of two Juan Berenguer's.  Through the first four and a half innings, he walked seven and gave up four hits.  Somehow, no runs scored.  But with two on in the fifth, he then went eleven batters straight without an Angel reaching base.  During that streak he struck out six California hitters in a row and eight total!  Willie Hernandez came on in relief to slam the door shut for a Detroit victory.

Winning Pitcher - Juan Berenguer
Losing Pitcher - Bruce Kison
Player of the Game - Lou Whitaker, 2-5, HR, 3RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

November 26, 2016

May 22, 1984 - Make 7 Up Yours

Game #523 - Cincinnati Reds, 3 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 7

It was a rough start for both Jeff Russell and Larry McWilliams.  The Reds plated two runs after three straight singles and a walk to start things off in the top of the first.  In the bottom half of the inning Russell loaded the bases with only one out.  Dave Concepcion made a key error that led to three unearned runs on Russell's tab.

It stayed 3-2 Pirates until the Reds tied it up in the top of the fifth thanks in part to a Marvelle Wynne error that permitted Concepcion to score.  Wynne made up for the gaff by throwing out Cesar Cedeno at home plate a couple of batters later.

It was still tied in the bottom of the eighth when Ted Power relieved Russell, who besides his rough first inning, pitched a marvelous six innings after that.  Power has been the mayor of bad luck city in this Statis Pro season and that mad mojo continued Johnny Ray scored on a Lee Lacy single after a Duane Walker error.  With two runners on after that Jim Morrison, in the game for a now injured (20 games!) Bill Madlock, deposited a ball over the left filed fence to pad the Pirates lead and secure the win.

Winning Pitcher - Kent Tekulve
Losing Pitcher - Ted Power
Player of the Game - Jim Morrison, 1-1, HR, 3RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Perez

Game #524 - Houston Astros, 8 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 7

Houston was up 7-1 after two and a half innings, but the Cardinals kept clawing back for the rest of the game in this battle between the two first place teams in the National League.  And just like the last game, Houston emerged victorious as every non-pitching starter for the 'stros had a hit and five different batters collected RBI's.

Winning Pitcher - Vern Ruhle
Losing Pitcher - Danny Cox
Save - Bill Dawley
Player of the Game - Terry Puhl, 2-4, 3B, 3RBI, 2R's, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter

November 24, 2016

May 22, 1984 - Thankful for Power Hitting Rightfielders

Gobble gobble, Statis Pro fans!  I hope you're getting to spend this holiday with friends and loved ones.  And I hope your turkey comas are light enough that you get a game or two in to boot!

Game #521 - San Francisco Giants, 2 @ New York Mets, 7

Bob Brenly of the Giants and Darryl Strawberry of the Mets each had an RBI double in the first inning as both teams came out slugging.  George Foster added a solo homer in the second to give New York the lead.

Disaster struck in the third for the Giants once again.  In yet another brutal twist of fate, Dusty Baker became the latest in a looooooong line of San Fran injuries.  He ran into the wall chasing a Keith Hernandez double and will be out for 30 games!  I think the Giants have logged more DL time than the other 25 teams combined...

Mookie Wilson ripped a three-run homer in the fourth and Strawberry launched a two-run blast in the fifth to ruin Jeff Robinson's day and give the Big Apple something to cheer for.

Winning Pitcher - Sid Fernandez
Losing Pitcher - Jeff Robinson
Save - Brent Gaff
Player of the Game - Strawberry, 2-3, 2b, HR, 3RBI, intentional walk

Game #522 - Los Angeles Dodgers, 10 @ Philadelphia Phillies

Sometimes the tide can really change in a game.  This was a lefty battle as Steve Carlton faced off against Fernando Valenzuela.  Fernando was in trouble early and often, especially after a two-run error by Candy Maldonado.  But in the top of the fifth, L.A. came roaring back.  They plated five against a shell-shocked Carlton, including a home run by Mike Marshall.  Carlton was still in the game when Valenzuela launched his second homer of the season in the sixth.  He has the same total as Pedro Guerrero now, which is crazy.

Winning Pitcher - Fernando Valenzuela
Losing Pitcher - Steve Carlton
Player of the Game - Marshall, 3-4, 2 HR's, 4RBI, Sac Fly
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton

November 22, 2016

May 22, 1984 - Eighth Inning Meltdowns

Game #519 - Minnesota Twins, 1 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 7

Dave Stieb and Pete Filson were battling each other on the mound in this one, and both were doing quite well...for a time.  The Blue Jays struck first when Jorge Bell doubled in the fourth and then, two batters later, Lloyd Moseby doubled him home.  In the top of the sixth the Twinkies tied it up when Kirby Puckett reached on a Willie Upshaw error and scored on a Kent Hrbek single.

The Blue Jays tacked on three more runs before the eighth, when Minnesota reliever Ron Davis imploded and gave up three more, including hitting Dave Collins with a pitch that got both benches stirring (in my imagination).

Winning Pitcher - Dave Stieb
Losing Pitcher - Pete Filson
Player of the Game - Stieb, CG, 0ER, 5K's, 5H's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett

Game #520 - San Diego Padres, 13 @ Montreal Expos, 5

I swear this was a close game!

The Padres rocked the scoreboard first when Kevin McReynolds launched a two run bomb in the first.  The Expos tied it up in the second, though, including a solo homer by Andre Dawson.  Dawson almost hit for the cycle in this game, missing only a double to be the first one in this Statis Pro season.  It was Andre's triple in the fifth that plated two more runs to give Montreal a 4-2 lead.

In the eighth San Diego was still trailing, 4-3, when lefty specialist Gary Lucas took the hill for Montreal.  He gave up three straight hits, a walk, a pop up, and then another single before mercifully being yanked and ruining Charlie Lea's seven innings of solid work.  Jeff Reardon was up next, but an Angel Salazar error led to three more runs and the route was on.  The Expos also had a devastating injury in the first when Terry Francona and Jim Wohlford collided on a Steve Garvey blooper.  Wohlford is on the shelf for 22 games but Francona will be out for 53 - the biggest injury of the year!!!

Winning Pitcher - Goose Gossage
Losing Pitcher - Gary Lucas
Player of the Game - Tony Gwynn, 4-6, 2R's, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

November 19, 2016

May 22, 1984 - cALLdWELL That Ends Well

Game #517 - New York Yankees, 8 @ Seattle Mariners, 10

The Mariners were already up 2-0 heading into the top of the third when Matt Young's arm apparently fell off as he gave up five runs to the Bronx, including a two-run jack from Rick Cerone.  Seattle posted three runs in the bottom of the fourth (two from an Alvin Davis double) and an RBI single from Gorman Thomas in the fifth to retake the lead at 8-5.

New York wasn't finished, though.  In the top of the sixth Steve Kemp walked and Ken Griffey singled.  With Toby Harrah due up, I pinch hit with Roy Smalley.  All he did was launch a THREE RUN BOMB to tie it up!!!

The score was still knotted in the bottom of the eighth when Dave Righetti took over for the Yankees.  Spike Owen dropped a bunt single down the third base line but Dave Henderson flew out after that.  Alvin Davis was up, and it wasn't looking good since it was a lefty on lefty battle.  But Davis flipped a "clutch batting" FAC and the next card dictated a WALK-OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Winning Pitcher - Edwin Nunez
Losing Pitcher - Dave Righetti
Player of the Game - Alvin Davis, 2-5, 2B, walk-off HR, 4RBI, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield

Game #518 - Milwaukee Brewers, 13 @ Texas Rangers, 3

I did something a little out of the ordinary in this game.  I let Charlie Hough keep pitching even after getting roughed up at various points.  He game up two runs right out of the gate in the first.  Then he game up a grand slam to Bill Schroeder in the fifth.  Ben Oglivie tagged him for a homer in the eighth, but I still had him up in the ninth until he gave up back to back singles.  Tom Henke couldn't get the final two outs before allowing those two inherited runners to score as well as four of his own.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Caldwell
Losing Pitcher - Charlie Hough
Player of the Game - Caldwell, 8 2/3 IP, 3R's, 4H's, 5K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount

November 10, 2016

May 22, 1984 - The Two Inning Save

Game # 515 - Chicago White Sox, 5 @ Kansas City Royals, 6

Coming off a game where Kansas City lost two of its starting players, Pat Sheridan and Steve Balboni, and knowing there are another seven games before George Brett is off the DL, they could ill-afford more injuries.  But that's just what they got!  In two separate incidents, Frank White (16 games) and Jorge Orta (8 games) both went down!

That wasn't enough to prevent a win for the Royals, though.  Down 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh, K.C. staged an epic comeback.  The Royals recorded five straight singles to score four runs, including the tying and go-ahead RBI from U.L. Washington...who was only in the game for the injured White!  Dan Quisenberry worked two innings for the save.

Winning Pitcher - Joe Beckwith
Losing Pitcher - Richard Dotson
Save - Dan Quisenberry
Player of the Game - U.L. Washington, 1-3, 2RBI

Game #516 - Baltimore Orioles, 4 @ Oakland A's, 3

I have a daughter with Type 1 diabetes, and whenever we changer her evening insulin dosage, we have to check her a couple of times in the middle of the night to make sure her blood sugar doesn't get too low.  I took the first shift a couple of nights ago, and decided to play Statis Pro to stay awake until midnight, the first check time.  What a disaster!  I was literally falling asleep throughout the game, finding names half-written, my score sheet was a mess...I'm never doing that again!  The Orioles managed to avoid my slumber errors to eek out a victory, including a two inning save by Tippy Martinez.

Winning Pitcher - Storm Davis
Losing Pitcher - Chris Codiroli
Save - Tippy Martinez
Player of the Game - Eddie Murray, 2-3, 2 2b's, R, BB, RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan

November 8, 2016

May 22, 1984 - Election Tuesday

Well, May 22, 1984, was a Tuesday, and today is a Tuesday.  And not just any's election day.  So go out there and vote.  And do me a favor...pick the correct candidate!  

Game #513 - Cleveland Indians, 8 @ Boston Red Sox, 5

For the second game in a row, Cleveland has Boston's number!  Though the Sox had a 1-0 lead in the top of the third, the Tribe plated three, including a bases-loaded walk by Bob Ojeda.  In the top of the seventh Cleveland was still out in front, 5-3, when they again scored three runs, including an RBI single from the ageless wonder, Julio Franco.  Jim Rice parked a two-run bomb off reliever Jamie Easterly in the bottom half of the inning, but Cleveland held on to win by the end.

Winning Pitcher - Steve Farr
Losing Pitcher - Bob Ojeda
Save - Tom Waddell
Player of the Game - Julio Franco, 4-5, RBI, R, SB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

Game #514 - Detroit Tigers, 3 @ California Angels, 5

So of the four teams to make the playoffs in the real 1984, none of them are currently in first place in my league.  Of those four, Detroit is the only team with a winning record.  They've played great, but the Yankees and Blue Jays have been other-worldly so far.  I'm starting to get anxious about it - what am I doing wrong!?

Milt Wilcox has been one of the unluckiest starters in Statis Pro, and his bad fortune continued in this one.  The Angels sent all nine hitters to the plate in the bottom of the first and scored three runs.  They picked up two more in the second.  Wilcox settled down after that, going five more runs without allowing another score.  Despite a two-run rally in the seventh, the Tigers were doomed for the day.  Part of the reason?  FIVE double plays.  Egad!

Winning Pitcher - Mike Witt
Losing Pitcher - Milt Wilcox
Save - Doug Corbett
Player of the Game - Corbet, 2IP, SV, K, 0H's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

November 5, 2016

May 21, 1984 - First Place Fisticuffs

Game #511 - Minnesota Twins, 7 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 4

With such a short schedule of games on May 21, the Blue Jays had a chance to add some distance to their lead in the AL East.  Unfortunately for Toronto, the Minnesota sluggers were having none of that.  They plated five runs off Luis Leal in the top of the first, including back to back doubles from Tom Brunansky and Mickey Hatcher and a bases clearing triple from Gary Gaetti.  The Blue Jays had pulled back within a run of the Minnesota lead in the seventh, but Brunansky added some insurance by stroking his third double of the game in the top of the ninth as Ron Davis recorded the save.

Winning Pitcher - Frank Viola
Losing Pitcher - Luis Leal
Save - Ron Davis
Player of the Game - Tom Brunansky, 3-5, 3 2b's, 2RBI, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett

Game #512 - Houston Astros, 14 @ St. Louis Cardinals

I haven't been this excited for a match-up in a long time, as the Astros and Cardinals are both in first place in the National League.  But Houston gashed St. Louis for fourteen runs and all that anticipation went straight out the window.  At one point Ricky Horton, David Green, and Darrell Porter all got ejected for arguing a "safe" call at first and the Cards had to burn through four bullpen arms in relief of Dave LaPoint.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Scott
Losing Pitcher - Dave LaPoint
Player of the Game - Bill Doran, 4-6, 2 3b's, 3R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter

Happy Trails - Alan Bannister

With the lefty LaPoint starting for St. Louis, I rested Craig Reynolds and started backup Alan Bannister.  Alas, it would mark Bannister's last game...but not for the season!  That's right, Bannister made his way to the Rangers in the real 1984, so we'll see him again and still in the state of Texas at that.

How did Alan fair in this season of Statis Pro?

Let's take a look:

Real 1984:  9G  20AB  2R  4H  2 2b  0RBI  2BB  2K  .200/.273/.300/.573
Statis 1984: 9G  21AB  1R  4H  1 2b  1RBI  2BB  2K  .190/.261/.238/.499

Those are eerily similar stat lines, so it looks like Bannister did what Bannister was supposed to do.  Bert Pena will take his place now on the Houston bench.

October 31, 2016

May 21, 1984 - Beantown and Beanings

Game #509 - Cleveland Indians, 5 @ Boston Red Sox, 1

There were only four games played in the real 1984 on this date.  I appreciate these light schedule days because it makes me feel like I'm finishing this season faster than I really am!

Steve Comer walked Wad Boggs and Dwight Evans in the bottom of the first, and Boggs eventually scored on a Jim Rice sacrifice fly.  But Cleveland bounced back in the top of the fifth.  Julio Franco, who is hitting everything pitched at him lately, roped a single and then part-time catcher Chris Bando jacked a two run dong to give the Tribe the lead.  (I hate using the word "dong" for home runs.  I feel like everyone is right now.)  Bob Stanley relieved Bruce Hurst but he leaked three more runs and Believeland took home the victory.

Winning Pitcher - Steve Comer
Losing Pitcher - Bruce Hurst
Save - Ernie Camacho
Player of the Game - Chris Bando, 3-5, HR, 2RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

Game #510 - Chicago White Sox, 8 @ Kansas City Royals, 1

This game left both teams black and blue.

There were two runners on with only one out when Frank Wills surrendered a bloop hit that caused Steve Balboni and Pat Sheridan to collide!  Both runners scored and Balboni and Sheridan join George Brett on the IR thanks to the dreaded "Z" injury card.

Frank Wills beaned Rudy Law in the fourth after giving up a lead-off double to Tom Paciorek.  Then he plunked Greg Luzinski in the top of the fifth and I pulled him on principle.  But White Sox starter Floyd Bannister exacted revenge by hitting the first batter he faced in the bottom of the next inning!  In real life that would have been a brawl for sure, but in Statis just keep playing.  Chicago continued to batter the ball as the Royals dropped the game and two more position players.

Winning Pitcher - Floyd Bannister
Losing Pitcher - Frank Wills
Player of the Game - Bannister, 8IP, 8K's, R

October 29, 2016

May 20, 1984 - Futbol Saturday

My Fall has been full of soccer games on Saturdays.  Today, for instance, featured four games among my three daughters, and two trips to the soccer complex that is 30 minutes away.  But somehow...I've got the May 20th stats updated and the latest two games posted!

Game #507 - Philadelphia Phillies, 3 @ San Francisco Giants, 6

The Giants are so injury-riddled and toothless because of it that I find myself rooting for them each an every game.  Usually to no avail.  And this one had a rough start when lead-off hitter Von Hayes blasted a solo homer off Mike Krukow.  But the Giants sent eight hitters to the plate and pecked and pawed Jerry Koosman for three runs to give them a 3-1 lead.

By the top of the seventh the Phillies had tied things up when John Wockenfuss plated Ivan DeJesus with an RBI single.  The game stayed tied heading into the bottom of the ninth.  Al Holland was on the mound for a second inning of work (Adam Miller before there was Adam Miller!) but pinch-hitter Gene Richards singled to start things off.  John Rabb struck out but Johnnie LeMaster singled too!  With two on and one out, Steve Nicosia replaced Duane Kuiper.  He dug in and LAUNCHED A WALK-OFF, THREE-RUN HOMER!!!

Winning Pitcher - Gary LaVelle
Losing Pitcher - Al Holland
Player of the Game - Nicosia
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt

Game #508 - Cincinnati Reds, 0 @ St. Louis Cardinals

Here's some late breaking news:  the Cardinals are still seemingly winning every game this season.  This time, Joaquin Andujar tossed his first shutout of the season, limiting the Reds to six hits.  Andy VanSlyke had two RBI and a double to lead the red bird offense.

Winning Pitcher - Joaquin Andujar
Losing Pitcher - Mario Soto
Player of the Game - Andujar

October 16, 2016

May 20, 1984 - Bench Pressed

Game #505 - Atlanta Braves, 4 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 3

Rick Camp and John Candelaria were the starters for this one, and both pitched extremely well.  In fact, the game was scoreless after six innings of play.  But the bases were loaded in the top of the seventh when Brad Komminsk grounded into a force out at secon that plated Dale Murphy.  The Pirates tied it up when they too had the bases loaded and Ron Wotus laid down a suicide-squeeze to score Jim Morrison.  Lee Lacy came in to pinch hit and stumbled into a fielder's choice that allowed Bill Madlock to cross home plate to give the Pirates the lead.

The Braves rallied back in the thanks to a RBI double by Albert Hall.  They scored two more in the ninth thanks in part to a Gerald Perry pinch hit, which they would eventually need because Pittsburgh scored once more in the bottom of the ninth in their failed comeback.

Winning Pitcher - Steve Bedrosian
Losing Pitcher - Don Robinson
Player of the Game - Gerald Perry, 1-1, SB, R

Game # 506 - New York Mets, 7 @ San Diego Padres, 8 (10 innings)

The Padres were enjoying a 2-1 lead when starter Andy Hawkins walked three straight batters to start the sixth.  Hawkins hit the showers but two runs would eventually score.  Greg Booker allowed two more runs in the seventh, thanks in part to a Time Flannery error.  By the time the ninth inning rolled around the Mets were up 7-3, but the Padres weren't done.  A two-run, pinch-hit homer by Bobby Brown got them within two, and four batter later Tony Gwynn roped a line drive to plate two more - tie game!  In the bottom of the tenth Graig Nettles doubled off Tom Gorman and Carmelo Martinez walked.  Steve Garvey flied out softly to left field but Bobby Brown, still in the game, delivered the walk-off single to win the game!!!

Winning Pitcher - Goose Gossage
Losing Pitcher - Tom Gorman
Player of the Game - Bobby Brown, 2-2, HR, 3RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

October 15, 2016

May 20, 1984 - All About that Bass, 'bout that Bass, No Triples

Game #503 - Houston Astros, 5 @ Chicago Cubs, 3 (11 innings)

On paper this didn't look like it would be much of a contest.  Joe Niekro of the Astros has been one of the best pitchers in the NL this season while Rick Reuschel was uncharacteristically bad in the real 1984, but it was the Cubs who would score the first three runs in the game.  In the bottom of the third Ryne Sandberg knocked in Larry Bowa with a single.  In the fifth Gary Mattews, newly off the disabled list, plated Bob Dernier.  And in the sixth, Keith Moreland added a homer to make it 3-0.

Meanwhile, Rick Reuschel was bobbing and weaving through the Houston lineup.  He had induced the double plays to help his cause, but the wheels finally came off in the seventh.  Four straight singles and an RBI ground out made it a tie ball game.  It would stay that way after nine innings, which meant free baseball!

In the top of the ninth there were two outs when Alan Ashby singled off Tim Stoddard.  Up to the plate came Kevin Bass...and he parked it for two!  The Cubs wouldn't counter in the bottom half of the inning and Houston wins AGAIN.

Winning Pitcher - Bill Dawley
Losing Pitcher - Tim Stoddard
Save - Julio Solano
Player of the Game - Kevin Bass, 2-5, HR, 2RBI, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

Game #504 - Montreal Expos, 2 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 0

Starters Bill Gullickson and Alejandro Pena both lasted seven scoreless innings before being pulled for pinch-hitters.  Jeff Reardon and Pat Zachry each tossed a scoreless eighth inning.  In the top of the ninth the infamous Tom Niedenfuer took the mound.  With one out Tim Raines singled.  Terry Francona took a hit and run signal and poked a single, moving Raines to third.  That's when Raines took the game into his own hands.  For only the second time in 500+ Statis Pro games this season...I attempted to steal home with a player!  And sure enough...RAINES DID IT!  Two batters later Tim Wallach TRIPLED to make it 2-0!!!  That's all Gary Lucas would need to record the save.

Winning Pitcher - Jeff Reardon
Losing Pitcher - Tom Niedenfuer
Save - Gary Lucas
Player of the Game - Raines, 1-4, R, HE STOLE FREAKIN' HOME PLATE!
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter

October 6, 2016

May 20th, 1984 - The AL East tightens

Game #501  - California Angels, 0 @ New York Yankees, 2

Geoff Zahn of the Angels and Joe Cowley of the Yankees squared off in this one and both pitchers were straight-dueling!  In the bottom of the second the Yankees drew first blood, though.  Back to back doubles by Don Baylor and Lou Piniella gave them a slim 1-0 lead.

Cowley was mowing down California.  In fact, he didn't give up his first hit until the top of the fourth with two outs.  Fred Lynn singled and then Brian Downing doubled but they were stranded when Reggie Jackson struck out.

In the bottom of the fifth New York scored again.  Butch Wynegar was on third and Willie Randolph on second (his first game back off the DL!) when Dave Winfield singled to plate Wynegar.  That was all the runs that would score for the game as both starters went the distance but Cowley emerged victorious.

Winning Pitcher - Joe Cowley
Losing Pitcher - Geoff Zahn
Player of the Game - Cowley, CG SHO, 10K's, 5H's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield

Game #502 - Chicago White Sox, 6 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 5

With the Yankees winning the pressure was on for Toronto to stay ahead of them in the standings.  They were down 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth, though, when they staged a comeback.  They scored three runs, first on a bases-loaded single by Tony Fernandez and then a two-RBI single by Ernie Whitt.  Dave Collins added a solo homer in the fifth to extend their lead to 4-2.

But in the top of the sixth Greg Luzinski went yard to pull the White Sox within one.  George Bell walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to again give Toronto a two run cushion at 5-3.  But in the top of the seventh reliever Roy Lee Jackson got into a mess of trouble, including a double by pinch-hitter Jerry Hairston to tie the game and then an RBI single by Julio Cruz to put Chicago ahead.  In the bottom of the ninth Lloyd Moseby singled with two outs, bringing George Bell to the plate.  He took Bert Roberge pitch to the warning track in left field, but Harold Baines caught it to end the game!

Winning Pitcher - Juan Agosto
Losing Pitcher - Roy Lee Jackson
Save - Bret Roberge
Player of the Game - Jerry Hairston, PH 2B, 2RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tom Seaver

September 30, 2016

May 20th, 1984 - 500!!!

Practically speaking, it's really no different than game #499 or #501 - but our Statis Pro season has hit a new milestone.  That's right.  Five-hundred games of the season are in the books, meaning we're roughly a quarter of the way through the games.  I still struggle with the internal debate of whether this is awesome or completely ridiculous.  Probably both!

Thanks to all of you who stop by and read these posts, check the stats and standings, and vote in the polls (speaking of which - there's a new one!).  All three of my daughters are playing soccer now, which doesn't leave me as much time to play as I'd like.  I'm still chugging along, though!

If you would like to know more about a particular team or player, submit a future lineup, or make another kind of request, just let me know in the comments section!

Game #500 - Boston Red Sox, 5 @ Minnesota Twins, 2

Ken Schrom got a raw deal.  He pitched seven strong innings for the Twinkies, only allowing two runs in the fourth when Bill Buckner batted home Tony Armas and Marty Barrett.  But his bullpen allowed three more to score in the last two innings, making Ron Washington's two-run blast in the eighth off Al Nipper irrelevant.

Winning Pitcher - Al Nipper
Losing Pitcher - Ken Schrom
Save - Steve Crawford
Player of the Game - Nipper, 7 2/3IP, 5H's, 2R's, 2K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Kirby Puckett

September 25, 2016

May 20, 1984 - Where there's a Willard, there's a way...

Game #499 - Cleveland Indians, 12 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 4

Rick Sutcliffe and Jamie Cocanower opposed each other in this one, and neither was very good coming out of the gate.  In the top of the first Brett Butler was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on an Andre Thornton double.  Mike Hargrove then batted home Thornton with a two-out single.  In the bottom of the frame the Brewers actually took the lead on a three-run homer by backup catcher Bill Schroeder, who has played about a dozen games in a row because Jim Sundberg and Charlie Moore are still injured for the Brewers!

But in the top of the second Cocanower would exit the game without recording his fourth out.  The Tribe sent 12 batters to the plate, capped off by a three-run bomb from catcher Jerry Willard, giving Cleveland nine runs on the inning.  Meanwhile, Rick Sutcliffe settled down and went eight innings for the victory.

Winning Pitcher - Rick Sutcliffe
Losing Pitcher - Jamie Cocanower
Player of the Game - Jerry Willard, 2-4, HR, 3RBI, 2R's, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount, Rollie Fingers

My next game will be the 500th on the season!  Stay tuned for that...

September 16, 2016

May 20, 1984 - A Tale of Two Games

It was the best of games,
It was the worst of games...

Game #497 - Oakland A's, 17 @ Detroit Tigers, 4

I've mentioned it before, but blowouts are not fun to play in Statis Pro.  Once you have a ten run lead you're pretty much begging for outs from the Fast Action Cards so you can move to data entry on the ol' Excel stat sheets.  This game was 7-1 heading into the eighth when Oakland posted TEN RUNS on the inning.  It took three pitchers to record three outs.  That's not good.

When the game was still somewhat close Mike Heath was a big contributor.  He walked in the second and scored on a Tony Phillips home run.  In the fourth he added his own two-run jack and the A's would never let up in this one.

Winning Pitcher - Curt Young
Losing Pitcher - Dan Petry
Player of the Game - Mike Heath
Hall of Famers in this Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan

Game #498 - Texas Rangers, 1 @ Kansas City Royals, 3

Now this is the kind of Statis Pro game that is a lot of fun!  Starters Frank Tanana and Mark Gubicza were posting goose eggs through four innings.  But in the top of the fifth Marv Foley went deep for a solo homer.  That was all of the offense until the bottom of the eighth.  Greg Pryor, John Wathan, and Willie Wilson all singled to load the bases.  Daryl Motley then walked to tie the game!  With one out and the bases still loaded, Steve "bye-bye" Balboni roped a two-run double for the game winning RBIs!

Winning Pitcher - Dan Quisenberry
Losing Pitcher - Frank Tanana
Player of the Game - Balboni

September 14, 2016

May 20, 1984 - Orlando Magic

Game #496 - Seattle Mariners, 6 @ Baltimore Orioles, 1

Sometimes in a game of Statis Pro, you just have to be the right guy at the right time.  Sometimes, that guy is Orlando Mercado.

In the fifth inning, with runners on the corners, Mercado poked a single to score Barry Bonnell.  One out later Steve Henderson singled home Spike Owen to give the Mariners a 2-1 lead.

In the sixth inning, the bases were loaded when Mercado was again at the plate.  This time, Mike Flanagan plunked him to bring home Bonnell!

In the top of the eighth, Spike Owen hit his fourth triple on the season with one out.  Mercado laid down a perfect suicide squeeze to plate Owen, but reliever Mark Brown committed an error and Mercado reached first base as an added bonus.  Bonnell added a two run blast in the ninth and that's all the trident-M's would need to carry the day.

Winning Pitcher - Jim Beattie
Losing Pitcher - Mike Flanagan
Save - Edwin Nunez
Player of the Game - Orlando Mercado, RBI hit, RBI hit by pitch, RBI squeeze
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

September 12, 2016

Week in Review - May 13 thru May 19

Egads!  I haven't written a "Week in Review" since 2014...and that's because I forgot the review for the week of May 6-12!  I need to pick up the pace of my games played or I won't finish this until I'm in my sixties...

The Phenomenal Phive

1.  Toronto Blue Jays (28-10)  The Blue Birds have maintained their lead in the super-competitive AL East despite the Tigers closing the gap between first and second place.  George Bell continues to rake and Damaso Garcia is a league leader in hits and batting average.  Meanwhile, Doyle Alexander is the leading Cy Young candidate.

2.  St. Louis Cardinals (29-11)  The Cards have certainly outperformed their expected offensive output, led by Ken Oberkfell and Ozzie Smith, but their balanced starting rotation and the lethal Bruce Sutter are distancing themselves from the rest of the pack.

3.  Houston Astros (27-11)  If you thought Jose Cruz was the best hitting outfielder on his team you would be wrong.  If you thought he was second best you might still be wrong!  Terry Puhl and Jerry Mumphrey are absolutely torrid right now.  Nolan Ryan is tied with Dwight Gooden for the league lead in strikeouts and the Houston bullpen is as deep as they are talented.

4.  Detroit Tigers (25-11)  Lurking in the jungle are Kirk Gibson, Lance Parrish, and the rest of the Detroit crew.  While the Blue Jays are hitting above their heads right now, Detroit is performing right about where they should be, which leads me to believe they'll soon overtake the enemy north of the border.  Willie Hernandez has four wins out of the bullpen.

5.  New York Yankees (25-12)  I'm not sure how the Bronx Bombers continue to dominate, but they're still hanging tough.  And they just got Willie Randolph back from the disabled list, which will only make them more deadly.  Some of their bench players are too good to stay at their current levels, but Don Baylor is due for some more home runs off the FAC cards.

Useless Stats

  • God bless him, Ken Phelps has just enough plate appearances to overtake Joe Morgan as the OPS leader in the AL!  He also leads in slugging percentage and is second in on-base percentage.
  • The worst pitcher's ERA among qualified starters in the National League is Charlie Hudson of the Phillies, who clocks in with an 8.04.  Putrid!
  • The worst WHIP in the AL?  Mike Moore of the Mariners and his 2.24.  His saving grace is his strikeout total, as he's in the top five right now.  He's also tied for the lead in passed balls (2).
  • Steve Lake, the backup catcher for the Cubs, has six errors in eight games.  That's not good.  Mike Schmidt and Ivan DeJesus, the left side of the Philadelphia infield, are first and second in errors.  That can't be helping Charlie Hudson's confidence.
  • Brian Downing has played more games at this point of the season than anyone else in the AL.  He's appeared in all 41 contests for California, the only Angel to do so.

September 9, 2016

May 19, 1984 - Eight is Enough

Game #495 - Cincinnati Reds, 1 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 8

Frank Pastore was the starting pitcher for the Reds, and I'm not exaggerating when I say he's been the worst starter in either league in this Statis Pro season.  He came into the game with an 11+ ERA, which is especially hard to do given how probabilities work in Statis Pro.  So imagine my surprise when he got through the first four innings without surrendering a run!  But in the fifth everything fell apart, as the Cardinals scored four times, two of those runs coming from a bases-loaded double by Ken Oberkfell.  St. Louis would tack on four more in the seventh, including a pinch-hit homer by Tito Landrum that scored two.  Kurt Kepshire continued his stellar season by going six strong innings and only giving up one run in the first.

Winning Pitcher - Kurt Kepshire
Losing Pitcher - Frank Pastore
Player of the Game - Ken Oberkfell, 3-4, 2B, 2RBI, R, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith

September 7, 2016

May 19, 1984 - Three Is All The Diffference

Lefferts kinda got the shaft on this scan...
Game #493 - New York Mets, 1 @ San Diego Padres, 3

It was Walt Terrell opposing Mark Thurmond in this one, and the Mets got on the board first in the second inning when Terrell helped his own cause by hitting a two-out single to score Hubie Brooks.  The Padres answered back in the third when Thurmond singled and then Alan Wiggins hit a home run.  That homer matched Wiggins' total for the real 1984 season.  I've noticed a flaw with players' hitting cards.  If they have a low home run total over a full season its hard to accurately account for it unless you solely rely on clutch hitting situations.  For my season it's even worse with triples, as they seem to be a bit inflated at only the quarter point of the season.  Speaking of which...

Terry Kennedy tripled on his clutch-hitting rating to plate Steve Garvey, and that would be the grand total for the offense on both teams.  Craig Lefferts retired six of seven batters over the last two innings, including four strikeouts.

Winning Pitcher - Mark Thurmond
Losing Pitcher - Walt Terrell
Save - Craig Lefferts
Player of the Game - Lefferts
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn

Game #494 - Philadelphia Phillies, 10 @ San Francisco Giants, 7

Here's everything you need to know about this one:

The Giants knocked in seven runs.  So did Ozzie Virgil.

That's right, Virgil was "en fuego."  In the top of the fourth he cleared the bases with a 3-RBI double, and then walloped a grand slam in the sixth.  I don't know for sure, but those 7 RBI are probably the highest single player total on the season.

Winning Pitcher - Bill Campbell
Losing Pitcher - Frank Williams
Save - Larry Andersen
Player of the Game - Virgil.  Duh.
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt

August 31, 2016

May 19, 1984 - Three Up, Three Down

First things first:  This is an ugly scan job.  I acknowledge that and accept full responsibility.  I also accept the fact I am being lazy and won't be bothered to try again.  Thank you for your understanding.

Game #491 - Montreal Expos, 3 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 2 

It's funny to think about now, but the Expos started out this Statis Pro Season in dead last, but have crawled there way back to the middle of the pack in the NL East.  They were in LA for their second game for this one, and Andre Dawson went big fly in the top of the second.  Greg Brock answered back with his own solo shot in the bottom half of the inning and the score was knotted 1-1.

In the bottom of the third Dave Palmer was in a jam, having loaded the bases when Brock was back up and poked a single to plate Dave Anderson.  But he K-ed Steve Sax after that to end the threat.  Montreal tied things up again thanks to an RBI single from Bryan Little in the fourth.

Palmer and Bob Welch continued their fine pitching performances until the seventh.  Welch gave up a PALMER!  Pitcher home run!!!  That would be the difference for the Expos.

Winning Pitcher - Dave Palmer
Losing Pitcher - Bob Welch
Save - Greg Harris
Player of the Game - Palmer, 7 1/3IP, 5K's, HR
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

Game #492 - Atlanta Braves, 3 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 4 (eleven innings)

Len Barker was on the bump for the Braves while the Pirates countered with Jose DeLeon.  Both starters were fine through the first four innings.  But in the top of the fifth Gerald Perry went yard to make it 1-0.  The score stayed that way until the bottom of the eighth.  With two outs Tony Pena doubled.  Marvelle Wynn was next and singled him home to tie things up!  The Braves struck back in the top of the ninth, though.  Kent Tekulve, working his second inning of relief, gave up a solo homer to pinch hitter Bob Watson!

In the bottom of the ninth Donnie Moore was trying to close things down for Atlanta.  But Lee Mazzilli came in and singled off Moore to start things off.  Two outs later, Johnny Ray brought Mazzilli in - back to a tie game!!!

Fast forward to the bottom of the tenth.  Moore was still on the mound.  Tony Pena reached on a single and then Wynne lined a double.  Pena tried to test the outfield but got gunned down at home plate!  With that the game pushed forward into the eleventh.  Third baseman Randy Johnson led things off with a HOME RUN!!! Cecilio Guante retired the next three but the damage was seemingly done.  Except...

Mazzilli, now batting against Gene Garber, singled for the second at-bat in a row!  He moved to third when pinch hitter Milt May doubled!  With runners on second and third and no outs recorded, lead-off hitter Lee Lacy stepped to the plate.  The result?  BASES CLEARING DOUBLE!  WALK-OFF HIT FOR LACY!!  PIRATES WIN!!!

Winning Pitcher - Cecilio Guante
Losing Pitcher - Gene Garber
Player of the Game - Lacy of course! 

August 20, 2016

Friend Requests - Baltimore Orioles Analysis

Hello!  I had a request for an update on a few teams, including my personal favorite, the Baltimore Orioles.  Who am I to deny my loyal readers the opportunity to learn more about the greatest team ever?

The Orioles are 22-17 in this 1984 Statis Pro season, one year removed from their real life World Series victory over the Phillies.  The team doesn't look that different than the champs, though some of their performances have varied.  They have a good record but are actually tied for fourth place with the Boston Red Sox, stuck behind the Yankees, Tigers, and Blue Jays.  The AL East is very tough, especially compared to the weak teams over in the West.

Let's take a look at the offense:

C   Rick Dempsey   7HR  15RBI  .223/.296/.476
1B Eddie Murray    8HR   35RBI  .348/.454/.582
2B Rich Dauer        9 2B    10RBI  .256/.278/.372
3B Wayne Gross    13HR  27RBI  .223/.321/.638
SS Cal Ripken Jr.   8HR    28RBI  .331/.402/.600
OF Mike Young     6HR    28RBI  .402/.491/.636
OF Al Bumbry        5 2B    5RBI     .385/.446/.431
OF Gary Roenicke  5HR   17RBI   .278/.393/.500
OF John Lowenstein 2HR  11RBI   .364/.414/.494
OF John Shelby      2 3B    8RBI     .225/.252/.297
DH Ken Singleton   2HR    5RBI     .268/.324/.340

As you can see, a lot of these guys are hitting way outside of their weight class.  Mike Young is the prime example of this.  He's the best hitter in the league right now not named Joe Morgan.  He and Morgan continue to be the luckiest players on the FAC's.  Wayne Gross hits homers, walks, or strikes out.  At some point the offense has to come back down to earth...right?

Here are the pitchers:

Mike Boddicker    7-2  1.78 ERA  33K
Mike Flanagan      3-2   3.28 ERA  27K
Storm Davis           4-3  3.17 ERA  32K
Scott McGregor     3-1  5.66 ERA  24K

Sammy Stewart      1-1   8.31 ERA  5 saves
Tippy Martinez       1-0   8.31 ERA  1 save
Dennis Martinez     0-2    8.40 ERA

Jim Palmer is already done for the season, his last as a professional.  The starters have been strong, though McGregor has suffered from some bad luck.  The bullpen is an obvious eye sore.  They've had bad luck too, though Dennis Martinez was not good in the real 1984.  He just got bumped into the rotation to fill the Jim Palmer void.

I predict these guys will finish third by the end of the year.  I think the Tigers and Blue Jays will continue to battle for first while the Yankees and Red Sox fade at some point.  This is a plus .500 team for sure, but they can't keep hitting like they are now.  Sadly.

August 19, 2016

May 19, 1984 - Double Digit Disasters

Game #489 - Chicago White Sox, 12 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 10

Jim Gott was the Toronto starter and he got knocked around in a hurry.  Scott Fletcher reached on an error by Rance Mulliniks and then trotted home ahead of a Harold Baines two-run blast.  Vance Law was the next man in the batter's box, and he went yard too, giving the Pale Hose a quick 3-0 lead.  They made it 7-0 in the top of the second when Ron Kittle cranked a three-run jack of his own.

But Toronto began a comeback in the bottom of the second.  They plated four, including a bases loaded, two-RBI single by catcher Ernie Whitt.  And the game kept going like that - each team spraying the ball around the field.  The White Sox would total five homers on the game, with Marc Hill and Greg Walker adding to the cause.  Toronto had two, a two-run bomb from Dave Collins and a two-run homer from Jorge Bell in the eighth that brought the Blue Jays within a run of tying the game.  But a Fletcher sacrifice fly in the ninth gave Ron Reed enough cushion to save the day for Chicago.

Winning Pitcher - Dan Spillner
Losing Pitcher - Jim Gott
Save - Ron Reed
Player of the Game - Spillner, who I just realized is also pitching on the Indians right now...

Game #490 - Houston Astros, 18 @ Chicago Cubs, 0

You read that right.  The Astros hung 18 on the Cubs.  It was ugly as they scored runs in seven of their nine innings.  Jerry Mumphry had five RBI, Enos Cabell had four, and Terry Puhl collected three.  Gary Matthews comes off the disabled list, so that's something...?  The Cubbies have an eleven game losing streak right now.  Not sure how they can recover to go to the playoffs like the real 1984 at this point...

Winning Pitcher - Bob Knepper
Losing Pitcher - Dick Ruthven
Player of the Game - Knepper, CG SHO, 4K's, 2-5, 2 2b's, RBI, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

August 6, 2016

May 19, 1984 - AL Outfield Studs

Game #487 - Boston Red Sox, 6 @ Minnesota Twins, 4

The big story of this game was the fourth inning. Clinging to a one run lead, Boston exploded for five more off starter Mike Smithson.  Four of those came courtesy of Dwight Evans hitting a grand slam.  It wasn't all fun and games for the Red Sox, though.  Rich Gedman got injured in the bottom of the ninth and will miss the next nine games.

Winning Pitcher - Oil Can Boyd
Losing Pitcher - Mike Smithson
Save - Charlie Mitchell
Player of the Game - Evans, 2-4, grand slam, 4RBI's, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Kirby Puckett

Happy Trails...Charlie Mitchell

Rookie Charlie Mitchell notched ten games in the real 1984, and didn't get into a game until August.  I had him in the bullpen right at the start of the season, and used him as the closer.  How did Statis Pro Mitchell compare to the real one?

Real 1984:  2.76 ERA, 0-0, 0SV, 16.1IP, 7K's, 6BB's, 1.22WHIP
Statis Pro:   1.69 ERA, 1-1, 6SV, 16IP, 4K's, 2BB's, 0.69WHIP

As you can see, the Statis Pro version was a pinch better.  I think it's funny that both iterations hit two batters with pitches.  That's fairly random, especially with just ten games/16 innings to work with.  Mitchell had a 2-8 rated pitcher card in my deck, and closer duties will now fall to the 2-6 Bob Stanley.  Prepare for a bumpy ride.

Game #488 - California Angels, 3 @ New York Yankees, 5

In the bottom of the first Ken Griffey led off with a double and then trotted home on a Dave Winfield homer.  Winfield recorded another RBI in the third when he roped a double.  In fact, the Yankees rocked seven total doubles during the game.

It was still 5-0 in the top of the eighth when Ray Fontenot gave up a lead off home run to Bobby Grich.  Gary Pettis then doubled and Fontenot was lifted for Jay Howell.  But pinch hitter Reggie Jackson came in and blasted a homer of his own!  Alas, that is all the damage California would muster, as Howell settled down to save the game.  Good news for the Yankees, too - Willie Randolph is off the DL for their next game.

Winning Pitcher - Ray Fontenot
Losing Pitcher - Tommy John
Save - Jay Howell
Player of the Game - Dave Winfield, 3-4, 3RBI's, 2R's, HR, 2B
Hall of Famers in the Game - Reggie Jackson, Rod Carew, Dave Winfield

July 28, 2016

May 19, 1984 - I'm Back

It's been over a month, which was about the amount of time my family and I needed to move to a new house three miles away and get settled.  But we made it!  And my Statis Pro game was undamaged!  On to the games...

Game #485 - Texas Rangers, 1 @ Kansas City Royals, 6

I actually played this one before we moved!  As such the details are a little fuzzy but I know Pat Sheridan was spelling Willie Wilson in center field, and led off the bottom of the first with a single, eventually scoring on a Frank White sacrifice fly.  Onix Concepcion crossed home plate on a Greg Pryor ground out in the second, and that's all the scoring that occurred until the bottom of the eighth when K.C. erupted for four runs, including 2 RBI from a Dane Iorg single.  Charlie Leibrandt took a shutout into the ninth before George Wright plated Larry Parrish with a triple.

Winning Pitcher - Charlie Leibrandt
Losing Pitcher - Danny Darwin
Player of the Game - Leibrandt, CG, 3K's, 8H's

Game #486 - Cleveland Indians, 11 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 3

I played this one last night, so it's a bit fresher in my mind.  Especially Brett Butler.  In the real 1984 he had three home runs for the entire season.  In Statis Pro he'd only launched one.  In fact, Butler is one of the worst performing starters in my game, at the bottom of the unlucky barrel.  But he went crazy in this game!  He blasted a "clutch batting" homer in the second and bombed another one in the sixth, giving him four RBI's on the game!  Meanwhile, Bert Blyleven took his own shutout into the ninth before Roy Howell crushed a three run jack with two outs.  Howell had three of the seven hits on the day for the Brew Crew.  Howell is hitting over .400 on the season, about 170 points higher than he did in the real 1984.  Now we know who is stealing Brett Butler's mojo...

Winning Pitcher - Bert Blyleven
Losing Pitcher - Moose Haas
Player of the Game - Butler, 3-6, 2HR's, 4RBI's, steal
Hall of Famers in the Game - Bert Blyleven, Robin Yount

June 14, 2016

May 19, 1984 - 8.5 Innings

Game #483 - Seattle Mariners, 2 @ Baltimore Orioles, 7

Baltimore was looking for revenge after their absolute drubbing by the Mariners the day before, and they came out swinging.  Al Bumbry and Cal Ripken Jr. singled, and then Eddie Murray knocked a hit to score Bumbry.  But Seattle tied it up in the top of the second.  Mike Boddicker had retired the first five hitters in the game before issuing a walk to Phil Bradley.  That's when little Spike Own ripped a triple to even things up.

Rich Dauer pulled the O's ahead again in the bottom of the third when he launched a solo homer off Mike Moore.  Baltimore piled on in the fourth and fifth inning, plating another five runs, all off Mike Moore.  I didn't realize it until the end of the game, but Moore gave up 15(!) hits in six innings.  But in five of those six innings Baltimore managed to hit into a double play, including two lineouts to Phil Bradley who caught John Lowenstein too far off first.  A Bob Kearney solo bomb in the eighth wasn't enough to dig the Mariners out of their hole as the Orioles put one in the WIN column.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Boddicker
Losing Pitcher - Mike Moore
Player of the Game - Rich Dauer, 2-4, 2B, HR, 3RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

Game #484 - Oakland A's, 4 @ Detroit Tigers, 5

Detroit is playing great baseball, but they continue to trail the Blue Jays in the AL East.  With the A's in town they needed to keep the pedal to the metal - *instert Detroit auto-industry pun* - to keep pace.

Jack Morris was tossing a no-hitter in the fourth when, with one out, Bruce Bochte poked a single to break that up, and then Mike Heath went deep to give Oakland a surprise 2-0 lead.  But Darrell Evans ripped a solo bomb in the fifth and then Kirk Gibson added one of his own in the sixth, but Oakland was still up 3-2 thanks to a RBI double by Tony Phillips in the previous inning.

In the bottom of the seventh Tom Burgmeier replaced Mike Warren and had the bases loaded when Carney Lansford booted a grounder that allowed Detroit to tie the game.  With the bases still loaded Lou Whitaker poked a ball out of the infield to score Evans for the lead.  Evans added an RBI hit in the eighth, which would prove important because Oakland scored an unearned run off Willie Hernandez in the ninth due to a Howard Johnson error.  But the Evans RBI secured victory for Hockey Town USA.

Winning Pitcher - Jack Morris
Losing Pitcher - Bill Caudill
Save - Willie Hernandez
Player of the Game - Darrell Evans, 3-3, BB, HR, 2RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan

June 10, 2016

May 18, 1984 - Working 9 to 5

Game #481 - Philadelphia Phillies, 9 @ San Francisco Giants, 1

It was a funky game for the Phillies, as the Giants never challenged them for the win.  Von Hayes led off both the first and the third inning with triples, and each time Greg Gross was able to plate him for the RBI.  Juan Samuel and Mike Schmidt recorded homers and John Denny tossed another gem, going 7 innings and only giving up four hits, one of which was a Bob Brenly  four-bagger.

Winning Pitcher - John Denny
Losing Pitcher - Bill Laskey
Player of the Game - Denny, 7IP, 4H's, R, 6K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt

Game #482 - Cincinnati Reds, 3 @ St. Louis Cardinals, 5

This was the final game on the May 18th schedule, and it was a good one!

The Reds scored first.  Gary Redus hit a one-out double and then stole third base.  Two hitters later Dave "Cobra" Parker hit a deep fly for an RBI sacrifice.  But in the bottom of the first St. Louis took the lead.  Three straight singles scored Willie McGee and George Hendrick.  A Redus error in the second allowed Lonnie Smith to score after cranking a double, and then the Cards got two more in the third to make it 5-1.

In the top of the fifth the Reds began chipping back.  Redus doubled again, and once again eventually scored on a Parker sacrifice fly.  Cesar Cedeno punched an RBI pinch-hit in the sixth that allowed Ron Oester to cross home and all of a sudden the Cards were only up two!  But Dave Rucker pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, wracking up three K's for the save.

Winning Pitcher - John Stuper
Losing Pitcher - Joe Price
Save - Dave Rucker
Player of the Game - Rucker
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Perez, Ozzie Smith

May 29, 2016

May 18, 1984 - Happy Memorial Day Weekend

Hey, I hope you all are having a great long weekend.  My dad is retired Air Force, so I always get an extra sense of appreciation on Memorial Day.  My family and I are moving houses in the next couple of weeks, so I should be packing instead of Statis Pro-ing, but what's better than three free days of simulated ballgames?

Game #479 - Atlanta Braves, 4 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 1

It was a scoreless game leading into the top of the second when Brad Komminsk ripped a solo blast to give Atlanta the early lead.  Dale Murphy added an RBI single in the third and a Claudell Washington fielder's choice plated Bob Watson in the fourth.  Washington added another solo homer in the sixth and the Braves were triumphant over the Pirates.

Winning Pitcher - Pascual Perez
Losing Pitcher - John Tudor
Save - Steve Bedrosian
Player of the Game - Perez, 7IP, ER, 6H's, 5K's

Game #480 - New York Mets, 9 @ San Diego Padres, 15

Well the Padres offense must have been offended by my recent comments on this site regarding their performance, because they opened up a can of whup-@$$ on the Mets.  Ron Darling gave up three runs in the bottom of the first when six of the first seven batters singled, including a two-RBI hit by Terry Kennedy.  Kennedy plated two more in the fifth, which had the Padres up 5-3 going into the top of the fourth.  But that's when the Mets staged their own comeback.  They tied things up on RBI shots by Keith Hernandez and Hubie Brooks.  Unfortunately for New York, reliever Brent Gaff imploded to the tune of six runs in the bottom half of the inning and the Padres never looked back.

Winning Pitcher - Tim Lollar
Losing Pitcher - Brent Gaff
Player of the Game - Terry Kennedy, 4-4, 2B, 6RBI's, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

May 26, 2016

May 18, 1984 - Shutouts

Game #477 - Houston Astros, 4 @ Chicago Cubs, 0

Bill Doran went absolutely nuts in this game.  In the real 1984 he only hit four homers, but he had two two-run jacks against the hapless Cubs, bringing his Statis Pro total to three with still three-quarters of the season to play.  Nolan Ryan cruised through seven innings of work while striking out five and the Cubs lost their TENTH game in a row.  Woof.

Winning Pitcher - Nolan Ryan
Losing Pitcher - Chuck Rainey
Player of the Game - Bill Doran, 2-5, 2HR's, 4RBI's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Nolan Ryan, Ryne Sandberg

Game #478 - Montreal Expos, 0 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 3

The bases were loaded in a tie game in the bottom of the fifth when Expos starter Steve Rogers plunked Orel Hershiser to score the first run of the game.  That was all they'd actually need as Hershiser went the distance for a shutout, thanks in large part to Mike Marshall throwing out Tim Raines at home plate in the top of the ninth.

Winning Pitcher - Orel Hershiser
Losing Pitcher - Steve Rogers
Player of the Game - Hershiser, CG SHO, 8K's, only 4H's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson

May 24, 2016

May 18, 1984 - AL East Continues to Dominate

Game #475 - California Angels, 1 @ New York Yankees, 3

The first place Angels traveled to the Bronx in hopes of furthering their lead over the rest of the AL West.  But New York was ready to defend the house that Ruth built.  In the bottom of the second Butch Wynegar doubled and was brought home by a Roy Smalley single.  Smalley moved to second when outfielder Juan Beniquez bobbled the ball.  That allowed a Tim Foli hit to score Smalley too.  Don Baylor added a RBI double in the third to extend the Yankees lead to 3-0.  Rob Picciolo countered with a solo homer in the top of the seventh, but that was all the offense California could muster because Ron Guidry was filthy.  He pitched into the seventh and struck out eight on his way to another victory on the season.  Jay Howell and Dave Righetti were strong in closing the game out.

Winning Pitcher - Ron Guidry
Losing Pitcher - Ron Romanick
Save - Dave Righetti
Player of the Game - Gator
Hall of Famers in the Game - Reggie Jackson, Rod Carew, Dave Winfield

Game #476 - Chicago White Sox, 6 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 8

This was a fun one!

Doyle Alexander was pitching for Toronto, and he's been the leading candidate for Cy Young since the season started.  Britt Burns had the ball for Chicago, and let's be honest, he's no Doyle Alexander.  Cliff Johnson hit an RBI single in the third to plate Damaso Garcia, who has been hitting everything lately.  He added an RBI in the next inning and all of a sudden Toronto was up 3-0.

By the sixth inning it was 5-0, thanks in part to a Jorge Bell blast.  In the top of the eighth, though, the White Sox had enough.  Three straight hits, including an RBI double by Jerry Hairston, chased Alexander out of the game.  With two on reliever Roy Lee Jackson walked Greg Luzinski to load the bases for Greg Walker.  And that's when Walker went to the deli and ordered a GRAND SALAMI!!!  Game tied, 5-5!!!  The next batter was Ron Kittle.  KITTLE PARKED ONE TOO!!!  Chicago was in the lead, 6-5!

In the bottom of the inning Chicago brought in Juan Agosto, a fine lefty reliever.  But Agosto walked Damaso Garcia and the Lloyd Moseby tripled him home!  Game tied!!!  Jorge Bell was up after that, and the White Sox called in Ron Reed.  It didn't matter, because Toronto rang their Bell for a second time in the game - TWO RUN HOMER!!!  Ron Musselman retired the side in the top of the ninth for the save, though the Blue Jays lost Alfredo Griffin for a second time this season, as he went on the DL for fourteen games.  It looks like Griffin won't be able to play in as many games in Statis Pro as he did in the real 1984.

Winning Pitcher - Jim Acker
Losing Pitcher - Juan Agosto
Save - Ron Musselman
Player of the Game - Jorge Bell, 2-5, 2HR's, 3RBI's

May 21, 2016

May 18, 1984 - Five Up, Five Down

Game #473 - Cleveland Indians, 0 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 5

Don Sutton, he of beautifully permed hair, had the Cleveland batters curled into fits.  (Did I really just type that?  Yes.  Yes I did.)  He tossed a complete game shutout, spreading five hits and a walk, over nine innings.  He also added five strikeouts.  Meanwhile, the Brew Crew knocked Neal Heaton around for five runs.  Robin Yount was 2-4 with two runs scored while Bill Schroeder was 3-3 with three RBI's and a double.

Winning Pitcher - Don Sutton
Losing Pitcher - Neal Heaton
Player of the Game - Sutton
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount, Don Sutton

Game #474 - Boston Red Sox, 5 @ Minnesota Twins, 6

The Boston Red Sox put up the first two runs of the game when Mike Easler tagged John Butcher with a two run bomb.  Tom Brunansky countered in the bottom half of the first with an RBI double that plated Tim Teufel.  It stayed 2-1 until the third inning, that's when Minnesota scored three, including an RBI double from Mickey Hatcher.

In the top of the fifth Easler again came to the rescue, this time roping a triple that scored Dwight Evans.  Easler then crossed home on a Jim Rice single.  That meant the score was tied at four, but in the top of the sixth Jackie Gutierrez squeezed home Tony Armas.  With Boston now in the lead, Mickey Hatcher once again came to the rescue.  Brunansky had walked, and the Hatcher pulled a "clutch hitting" FAC and doubled him home.  That knotted it back up.

It was still tied until the bottom of the eighth.  Jim Eisenreich singled for the third time and then stole second base.  Randy Bush came in as a pinch hitter and grounded a ball to Gutierrez, but a wild throw led to his second error of the game (and 15th of the season!) and Eisenreich became the winning run!

Winning Pitcher - Ron Davis
Losing Pitcher - Mark Clear
Save - Mike Walters
Player of the Game - Mickey Hatcher, 2-3, 2 2B's, 2RBI's, intentional walk
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Dennis Eckersley, Kirby Puckett

May 17, 2016

May 18, 1984 - The Real 1984 AL Division Winners Win

Game #471 - Oakland A's, 1 @ Detroit Tigers, 6

Oakland actually scored first in this game, when Mike Davis went big fly out of the nine hole to open the game up for the A's.  Unfortunately for Oakland, that would be all that they managed.  Chet Lemon had a solo homer in the sixth and Kirk Gibson plated three with one of his own in the seventh.

Winning Pitcher - Juan Berenguer
Losing Pitcher - Steve McCatty
Player of the Game - Aurelio Lopez, 2IP, 2k's

Game #472 - Texas Rangers, 3 @ Kansas City Royals, 4

Kansas City didn't hesitate to take the lead, plating two in the first when Jorge Orta singled home Pat Sheridan and Steve Balboni scored Daryl Motley with a sacrifice fly.  They added another run in the fourth when Willie Wilson singled home Frank White.  But the Rangers came storming back in the fifth.  Gary Ward crushed a three-run bomb off Bud Black and suddenly it was a tie game again.  It remained knotted at 3-3 when Onix Concepcion, playing for the first time off the disabled list that he'd been on since the second game of the season, poked a single with the bases loaded to record the eventual game-winning RBI.

Winning Pitcher - Bud Black
Losing Pitcher - Dickie Noles
Save - Dan Quisenberry
Player of the Game - Onix Concepcion