February 29, 2016

May 16, 1984 - The Bases Run Red With The Non-Believers

Game #458 - Chicago Cubs, 6 @ Cincinnati Reds, 7

It's funny when a team loses because of a bad decision I made... on to the recap!

The Reds got on the board first in the bottom of the first when a Dave Parker sacrifice fly plated Gary Redus for the first run.  It's Parker's seventh sacrifice on the year, which leads the National League.  The Cubs tied the game in the top of the fourth when Jody Davis hit a solo homer off Jeff Russell.

In the bottom of the fifth Steve Trout, the Chicago starter, imploded.  Redus walked and stole second base, Ron Oester reached on a Larry Bowa error, Cesar Cedeno singled, Parker singled, Nick Esasky singled, Dave Concepcion popped out, but then Eddie Milner doubled and Trout hit the showers.  I'm pretty sure that was the longest sentence in the history of this blog.  Cincy scored four runs that inning to take a 5-1 lead.

Russell had been cruising going into the top of the sixth, but the wheels fell off right after his offense gave him that nice lead.  Davis doubled, Ron Cey was hit by Russell, Keith Moreland walked, Henry Cotto walked, and Russell joined Trout in the showers.  Wait, that didn't come out right...  Anyhoo, Ted Power took over and gave up a single to Larry Bowa and back to back sacrifices by Tim Stoddard and Bob Dernier and all of a sudden the game was tied up again!

The score was still knotted at 5-5 when Dernier squeezed home Larry Bowa off reliever John Franco.  The run was unearned because Bowa reached third on a Gary Redus fielding miscue.  In the bottom of the eighth Lee Smith was handed the ball and got out of the inning unscathed.  Three outs later, I had a choice to make. Do I keep Lee Smith in for a second inning of work, knowing he has a 2-6 Statis Pro rating, or do I bring in Warren Brusstar, who has a more favorable 2-7 rating?  I personally really like Lee Smith, so I wanted to see him get the win.  He got Parker to ground out for the first out, but gave up three straight singles to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth.  I finally yanked Smith, and pinch hitter Wayne Krenchicki stepped into the batter's box.  Brusstar walked him, to tie the game.  Then catcher Brad Gulden dug in and hit a walk-off single to win the game!  And it was all my fault!!!  *slaps forehead*

Winning Pitcher - John Franco
Losing Pitcher - Lee Smith
Player of the Game - Gulden, walk-off RBI single
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

February 26, 2016

May 16, 1984 - Saying Goodbye to Another 1984 Hero

No, Phil Niekro isn't dead.  Read the latest RIP, though, after the game recap...

Game #457 - Oakland A's, 1 @ New  York Yankees, 6

Bruce Bochte singled home Dave Kingman in the top of the second inning to give Oakland an early 1-0 lead.  But the Yankees would rally back in the bottom half of the inning courtesy of a two run homer by Omar Moreno.  It was his first long ball of the season, which isn't surprising considering he only hit four of them in the real 1984.

Steve Kemp hit a solo bomb too, in the fourth, to extend the lead to 4-1, New York.  Ray Burris has been rocked as a starter this season, despite having a 2-7 rating in Statis Pro.  Phil Niekro has been roughed up a bit too, but he was masterful this time around.  He went eight innings and walked none while striking out two.  The win gives New York a three game sweep of the Athletics, who continue to tumble down the AL West standings after a hot start.

Winning Pitcher - Phil Niekro
Losing Pitcher - Ray Burris
Player of the Game - Niekro
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan, Dave Winfield, Phil Niekro

Rest in Peace

In an unfortunate coincidence, this was the first Statis Pro game I played since learning 1984 veteran Tony Phillips passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack.  He was Ben Zorbist before Ben Zorbist, able to play anywhere on the field and get on base at a healthy clip.  Though he spent the majority of his career in Oakland, I remember him most from his Detroit Tigers days, which overlapped with the years I used to live in Michigan.  He was a feisty spark plug whom his teammates loved.  My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends, fans, and family...

February 14, 2016

May 16, 1984 - All Four Not

Game #455 - Texas Rangers, 4 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 7

There were five total hits in both halves of the first inning, and all of them went for extra bases.  In the top of the first Buddy Bell and Gary Ward hit back to back doubles to give Texas a quick 1-0 lead.  But in the bottom of the inning Dion James doubled, Robin Yount tripled, and Doug Loman doubled to put Milwaukee back out front.

By the bottom of the seventh it was tied 3-3, and that's when Rangers starter Dave Stewart collapsed. James, Yount, and Loman struck again, as all three eventually scored in addition to Bill Schroeder.  The Rangers had the bases loaded in the top of the ninth but Jim Kern struck out George Wright to win the day.

Winning Pitcher - Jack Lazorko
Losing Pitcher - Dave Stewart
Save - Jim Kern
Player of the Game - Dion James, 5-5, 2 2B's, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount 

Game #456 - Toronto Blue Jays, 4 @ Minnesota Twins, 9

Who would have thought the best team in the American League would face a second game of shortcomings against the second worst?  Twins starter Frank Viola was perfect through the first three innings and struck out eight over eight innings.  Tim Teufel was the real star, though.  Throughout this Statis Pro season I've patiently waited for the first "cycle" to be hit, and Tim was almost the man.  In the third inning he hit a two run shot of Luis Leal (who was ejected for arguing strikes with the very next batter).  In the fifth he cranked a double.  Then in the sixth, an inning that would plate four Twins, Teufel lined a triple and all of a sudden I was giddy!  Would this finally be it?!?  Alas...no.  In his last at-bat, in the seventh, he flyed out to center field. The wait continues...

Winning Pitcher - Frank Viola
Losing Pitcher - Jimmy Key
Player of the Game - Tim Teufel, 3-5, 2B, 3B, HR, 4RBI's, 3R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett

February 6, 2016

May 16, 1984 - Catcher Power

Game #453 - Boston Red Sox, 3 @ Cleveland Indians, 0

Both starting pitchers, Bruce Hurst and Steve Comer, weaved in and out of danger throughout the game with little damage to show for it.  Wade Boggs hit a sacrifice fly to plate Marty Barrett in the third, and then Rich Gedman rocked a double to score Jim Rice in the fourth.  But Boston hit into two double plays and Otis Nixon threw two runners out at the plate as well.

In the ninth the Red Sox were up three when Hurst, still in the game, walked his first two batters.  Steve Crawford came in and gave up a warning-track fly out to Andre Thornton that almost tied the game!  Mike Hargrove grounded into a game-ending double play immediately after.

Winning Pitcher - Bruce Hurst
Losing Pitcher - Steve Comer
Save - Steve Crawford
Player of the Game - Rich Gedman, 2-4, 2 2B's, RBI, caught one runner stealing and picked off another
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice

Game #454 - Seattle Mariners, 5 @ Detroit Tigers, 21

The Tigers must have been angry about their last two one-run losses to the Mariners, because their bats EXPLODED!  Some of the highlights:

  • Detroit hit 8 total home runs
  • Lance Parrish hit three of them!
  • In two different innings they scored 7 runs
  • Every starter had at least two hits
  • Every starter scored at least one run
  • In three different innings they sent ten or more batters to the plate
In short, it was a massacre.

Winning Pitcher - Milt Wilcox
Losing Pitcher - Matt Young
Player of the Game - Lance Parrish, 5-6, 3HR's, 6 RBI's, 3R's

February 1, 2016

May 16, 1984 - Back At It

Game #451 - California Angels, 12 @ Baltimore Orioles, 7

Neither starter, Mike Witt or Scott McGregor, were particularly good in this game.  They both surrendered two runs in the first inning.  The Orioles were actually up 4-2 after three, but that's when the Angels exploded for six runs.  Three of those came off a Bobby Grich home run, which was already his second of the game.

The Orioles chipped back against the California lead, getting within one run before the Angels tagged reliever Sammy Stewart for four more.  That assault included a Juan Beniquez three-run blast.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Witt
Losing Pitcher - Mark Brown
Player of the Game - Bobby Grich, 3-5, 2HR's, 2B, 5RBI's, 3R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Reggie Jackson, Rod Carew, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

Game #452 - Kansas City Royals, 3 @ Chicago White Sox, 2

Back to back doubles by Darryl Motley and Hal McRae positioned KC with an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first.  Pat Sheridan walked in the second, stole second base, and then trotted home on a Greg Pryor double to extend the lead to 2.  The Royals picked up another run in the fifth when John Wathan tripled and scored on a Motley single.

Meanwhile, Bret Saberhagen was cruising in just his second start of the season.  The only batter who gave him fits was Harold Baines.  Baines launched a solo homer in the fourth and a triple in the sixth.  He scored on a Greg Walker single after that.  Dan Quisenberry relieved Saberhagen in the eighth and pitched two perfect innings for the victory.

Winning Pitcher - Bret Saberhagen
Losing Pitcher - Floyd Bannister
Save - Dan Quisenberry
Player of the Game - Saberhagen, 7IP, 2R's, 2K's, 5H's, BB

After the game Onix Concepcion was activated from the DL.  He finished his thirty game recovery, and hasn't played since the second game of the season...which was back in 2012!