August 31, 2016
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 homer...to 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
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
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
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
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