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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.
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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