December 30, 2017

June 4, 1984 - Identical Scores

Game #667 - Cincinnati Reds, 6 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 5

Gary Redus stood on second base with one out in the top of the first when Cesar Cedeno dug in against Rick Honeycutt.  He must have ate his Wheaties because he jacked it over the fence for a quick 2-0 lead for the Reds.

Cincy was up 3-0 by the bottom of the second, but back to back RBI hits by Steve Sax and Dave Anderson closed the lead to one.  The Reds responded in the top of the fourth.  This time it was Cedeno standing on second when Dave Parker went big-fly for the second two-run homer of the game.

The Dodgers kept chipping back, especially in the bottom of the seventh when Ken Landreaux launched his own two-run bomb but John Franco recorded the last four outs to save the game for the Reds.

Winning Pitcher - Joe Price
Losing Pitcher - Rick Honeycutt
Save - John Franco
Player of the Game - Cesar Cedeno, 2-4, HR, 2RBI, 2R's, SB

Game #668 - Texas Rangers, 6 @ Minnesota Twins, 5

It was a scoreless game until the top of the second, when the Rangers sent nine batters to the plate against Minnesota starter John Butcher.  Gary Ward walked to start that inning and then stole his first base of the year.  But Dave Engle air-mailed the throw allowing Ward to score on the error.  Marv Foley followed later with a two-RBI single.

By the bottom of the ninth the Rangers had a 6-1 lead.  Danny Darwin was masterful, and the only run he allowed was unearned thanks to a Buddy Bell throwing error.  With the five run cushion Tom Henke trotted to the mound to close things out.  His real 1984 was atrocious and his Statis Pro form is even worse.  He maintained that rep by allowing a double to Dave Engle and then a hit plus a fielding error on a Jim Eisenreich single.  Pinch-hitter Randy Bush walked and that brought up Kirby Puckett.  He was 0 for 4 up to that point but jumped all over a Henke fastball to zap a triple that plated two.  All of a sudden the Twins were only down two!  Henke got yanked for closer Dave Schmidt.  With Puckett on third Mickey Hatcher flew out deep enough in right field to score Puckett.  That made it a one-run lead with two outs and Kent Hrbek at the plate.  But Schmidt dug deep and K-ed Hrbek for the ballgame. 

There were eight total errors in the game, which I'm pretty sure was a record for the season.

Winning Pitcher - Danny Darwin
Losing Pitcher - John Butcher
Save - Dave Schmidt
Player of the Game - Darwin, 8IP, 1R, 7K's, 6H's, 0BB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Kirby Puckett

Happy Trails...Jim Eisenreich

This was Eisenreich's last game of the Statis Pro season.  In the real 1984 he left baseball for three years to overcome his case of Tourettes.  He was quite the inspiration for others who suffer from the symptom when he came back to baseball in 1987 and found success with the Phillies and Marlins among other teams.

Let's see how he did in the real 1984 compared to this Statis Pro season:

Real 1984:  1R, 7H, 2B, 3RBI, 2S, 2BB, .219/.250/.250
Statis Pro:  3R, 9H, 0B, 1RBI, 2S, 5BB, .391/.500/.391

Yikes - that's a huge difference.  In a very small sample size (28 plate appearances on the Statis Pro season) Eisenreich got very lucky.  In the real 1984 his departure from the team cleared the way for future Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett.  I've been playing Puckett since day one, though.  I'm bringing in Pat Putnam to replace Eisenreich's spot on the roster.

December 26, 2017

June 4, 1984 - The Mark of the Devil

Happy holidays!  I hope you get this week off of work like I do.  I haven't got a lot of games in of late due to family in town and more still to come.  I also don't like playing game #666 the day after Christmas, but it is what it the recaps!

Game #665 - Toronto Blue Jays, 14 @ Detroit Tigers, 5

I haven't been this pumped for a game in a long while, and this first game of the series between the top two teams in the AL East started off quite compelling but descended into madness soon after.

In the top of the first eight Blue Jays came to the plate against a laboring Dan Petry.  RBI hits by Willie Upshaw, Jesse Barfield, and Rance Mulliniks had Toronto up 3-0.  But in the bottom half of the inning Lou Whitaker and newly announced Hall of Famer Alan Trammell rapped a single apiece to put two on for Kirk Gibson...who went big-fly to tie the game up for Detroit!

And then the Blue Jays scored ELEVEN runs across the second and third innings.  So much for a back and forth nail-biter between the two best teams in the American League...

Winning Pitcher - Jim Clancy
Losing Pitcher - Dan Petry
Player of the Game - Rance Mulliniks, 4-6, 3B, 3RBI, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Alan Trammell!!!

Game #666 - Seattle Mariners, 16 @ Kansas City Royals, 8

The Mariners played the role of the devil against poor Kansas City.  Charlie Leibrandt faced ELEVEN batters in the top of the first, getting shelled for five runs.  Three of those scored thanks to back-to-back doubles from Alvin Davis and Al Cowens.

The Royals put up a two-spot in the bottom half of the first in an honest attempt to stay in the game.  But Leibrandt didn't make it out of the third and the KC bullpen was taxed throughout the rest of the game.  Joe Beckwith was solid through three-plus innings until Alvin Davis crushed a two-run bomb in the sixth.  Paul Splittorff, making his final appearance of the season (and career) came on in the seventh and got destroyed.  Jim Presley, Ken Phelps, and then Alvin Davis again all homered off him and Splittorff had to split without recording his third out of the game.

The Royals staged a minor rally in the bottom of the ninth, scoring five runs off struggling Mariners reliever Roy Thomas, but it wasn't nearly enough to overcome the deficit.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Moore
Losing Pitcher - Charlie Liebrandt
Player of the Game - Alvin Davis, 3-4, 2B, 2HR's, 2BB's, 4RBI, 3R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett

Happy Trails...Paul Splittorff

As I mentioned above, this marked the last appearance of Kansas City legend Paul Splittorff.  The late, great Splittorff struggled mightily in the real 1984, his last season in the big leagues.  He pitched all 15 of his seasons for the Royals, and it was a rough way for the talented lefty to leave the game.  Before giving up six runs in this contest he was actually doing better than his real 1984 stats, but that got ruined by the Mariners bats.  Let's compare the stats:

Real 1984:  1-3, 7.71ERA, 28IP, 4K's, 10BB's, 2.04WHIP
Statis Pro:  1-2, 8.23 ERA, 35IP, 19K's, 15BB's, 2.17WHIP

The innings pitched differential was thanks to a successful long relief appearance a few games back.  Otherwise, these stats are pretty similar minus the surplus of strikeouts in this Statis Pro season.

With Splittorff gone rookie Danny Jackson has been added to the bullpen... 

December 23, 2017

June 4, 1984 - Lefty Sluggers Deliver

Game #663 - California Angels, 7 @ Chicago White Sox, 5

The Angels got an unexpected power boost in the top of the second inning.  With Reggie Jackson on first with two outs, Rob Wilfong gripped it and ripped it for a two-run homer.  The White Sox answered back with a run in the bottom of the second.  Greg Walker tripled and later came home on a Vance Law single.

Each team got three runs in the third.  Brian Downing doubled home Dick Schofield and later scored on a two-run single from Jackson.  Carlton Fisk doubled home Julio Cruz and Scott Fletcher and scored on a Ron Kittle ground out.  After the dust of the first three innings settled the Angels were up 5-4.

California starter Ron Romanick settled down after that, but White Sox hurler LaMarr Hoyt didn't follow suit.  Fred Lynn tagged him for a two-run bomb in the top of the fifth.  The White Sox scored a run in the bottom of the ninth but still fell short, losing 7-5.

Winning Pitcher - Ron Romanick
Losing Pitcher - Lamarr hoyt
Save - Doug Corbett
Player of the Game - Fred Lynn, 2-5, 2B, HR, 2RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, Carlton Fisk

Game #664 - Oakland A's, 11 @ Cleveland Indians, 9

This game was nuts.

In the top of the first Rickey Henderson walked and proceeded to steal second and third base.  Two batters later Dwayne Murphy negated Henderson's effort by depositing the ball over the right field fence, giving Oakland a 2-0 lead.  But in the bottom of the first Cleveland tied things up with an RBI double from Andre Thornton, who then scored on a Mike Hargrove single.

Steve Farr was still pitching in the top of the second but pulled a feat I'm pretty sure hasn't happened this season - he walked five straight A's!  That gave Oakland a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the second...where Cleveland sent up ten hitters who tagged Mike Warren for six runs, four of which were unearned due to a Joe Morgan fielding error.

Oakland wouldn't quit, though.  In the top of the fourth Murphy connected for his second homer of the day, this also a 2-RBI job, and then they scored four runs off Jamie Easterly in the fifth.  It wasn't all Easterly's fault, though.  Brook Jacoby had TWO fielding errors during the inning.   Murphy capped off the insanity with a THIRD homer, this time solo, in the top of the eighth as the Athletics won a wild one...

Winning Pitcher - Chuck Rainey
Losing Pitcher - Jamie Easterly
Save - Tom Burgmeier
Player of the Game - Dwayne Murphy, 3-6, 3HR's, 5RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan

December 19, 2017

June 4, 1984 - Oglivie Delivers

Game #662 - Milwaukee Brewers, 4 @ Baltimore Orioles, 2

Don Sutton and Mike Boddicker faced off and were doing pretty well until the bottom of the second.  A Jim Ganter error allowed Eddie Murray to reach base.  Wayne Gross walked after that.  Then Rick Dempsey singled to load the bases.  Rich Dauer flew out to center and then Ken Singleton popped out to Sutton.  But John Shelby roped a single that plated Murray and Gross.

Sutton must have been irked from that inning, because in the bottom of the fourth he got tossed for arguing with the umpire.  Pete Ladd and Ray Searage rose to the occasion, though, tossing five innings of scoreless relief.

In the top of the seventh Cecil Cooper singled off Boddicker, which was just the third hit of the game for the Brewers.  Then Robin  Yount singled as well.  That brought up Ben Oglivie.  He sent a shot soaring to Lake Michigan and all of a sudden Milwaukee was up 3-2.  They picked up an insurance run in the eighth and Rollie Fingers pitched a perfect ninth to secure the win.

Winning Pitcher - Ray Searage
Losing Pitcher - Mike Boddicker
Save - Rollie Fingers
Player of the Game - Ben Oglivie, 1-4, HR, 3RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount, Don Sutton, Rollie Fingers, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

December 16, 2017

June 3, 1984 - Six Sigma

Game #661 - New  York Yankees, 3 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 6

Ray Fontenot has been unlucky when you compare his performance in Statis Pro to his true talent in the real 1984.  That luck didn't change in this game.

In the bottom of the first the Blue Jays took the early lead with a lead off homer by Dave Collins.  Five more Blue Jays recorded hits before Willie Upshaw finally grounded out.  They plated two more runs to jump out 3-0.

In the top of the third the Yankees charged back.  Doyle Alexander walked Bobby Meacham and then, two batters later, gave up a two-run home run to Don Mattingly.  Donnie Baseball had four hits on the day and suddenly the Bronx Bombers were within one.

Fontenot was still pitching on fumes to save the New York bullpen in the fourth when, with two runners on, Lloyd Moseby cranked a three-run bomb to extend the Toronto lead to four.  The Yankees threatened in the top of the ninth.  Mike Pagliarulo homered off Jim Gott, and then Gott gave up a hit to Ken Griffey and a walk to Willie Randolph.  Gott got yanked for Jimmy Key with fellow lefty Don Mattingly coming up.  Mattingly singled off Key to load the bases but Don Baylor lined out to George Bell, who was playing third base, to end the game.

Winning Pitcher - Doyle Alexander
Losing Pitcher - Ray Fontenot
Save - Jimmy Key
Player of the Game - Lloyd Moseby, 2-4, 2B, HR, 3RBI

December 14, 2017

June 3, 1984 - Sans Victory

Game #659 - San Diego Padres, 2 @ San Francisco Giants, 3

The Padres and Giants faced off in a twin bill, and San Fran jumped out early in the bottom of the first.  Jeff Leonard jacked a two-run homer and rounded the bases with one flap down to give the Giants an early 2-0 lead.

The Padres tied things up in the top of the third, however.  Gary Templeton singled and then pitcher Tim Lollar drew a walk from Jeff Robinson.  Two batters later Tony Gwynn caught the gap with a line drive triple to knot it at two runs apiece.

In the bottom of the fifth Brad Wellman led off the inning with a double.  Two batters later Robinson helped his own cause by singling him home.  Unfortunately for Robinson, he got caught rounding first too wide and Tony Gwynn threw him out as he tried to get back to the bag.  But that would prove to be enough as Robinson went seven innings for his second win on the year while Gary LaVelle closed out the final two innings.

Winning Pitcher - Jeff Robinson
Losing Pitcher - Tim Lollar
Save - Gary LaVelle
Player of the Game - Robinson, 7IP, 2R's, 4K's, 1-2, RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

Game #660 - San Diego Padres, 4 @ San Francisco Giants, 5

Game two started as a pitcher's duel.  Emergency starters Dave Dravecky and Mark Calvert cruised through the first three innings, with both only allowing one runner in that time.  Calvert actually had a no-hitter going with one out in the fourth when Tony Gwynn hit his first triple of the game but second on the day.  Kevin McReynolds plated him with a double immediately after and the Padres were up, 1-0.

The Giants tied it up in the bottom of the third when Joel Youngblood singled home Jeff Leonard.  And in the bottom of the fourth the Giants tagged Dravecky for three more runs, including a two-run homer from Chili Davis.

The Giants were up 4-2 in the top of the seventh when reliever Randy Lerch allowed three straight hits, including an RBI double by Bruce Bochy.  Frank Williams subbed in but immediately recorded a fielding error that tied things up.

Williams settled down after that, keeping the game tied through the top of the ninth.  In the bottom half of the inning Craig Lefferts was working his third inning of relief when  he walked weak-hitting Duane Kuiper.  Kuiper moved to second on a single by weak-hitting Johnnie LeMaster and Lefferts was in trouble.  Pinch-hitter John Rabb grounded into a double play but that moved Kuiper to third.  Up stepped Chili Davis...who ripped a double to win the game!  Walk-off win for the Giants!!!  They won both games of the doubleheader!

Winning Pitcher - Frank Williams
Losing Pitcher - Craig Lefferts
Player of the Game - Chili Davis, 2-5, 2B, HR, 3RBI, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn

December 12, 2017

June 3, 1984 - Five-Run Leads

Game #657 - Montreal Expos, 7 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 2

On paper this looked like a tight pitcher's duel, but it didn't quite play out that way.  Charlie Lea was strong but John Tudor stumbled...

In the top of the third inning Mike Ramsey led off with a single and eventually scored on a Tim Raines single.  The bases were juiced for Ramsey in the third and he came through with a 2-RBI base knock to plate Gary Carter and Pete Rose.  Then in the sixth he doubled home Derrell Thomas.  Ramsey only had 3 RBI for the Expos in the real 1984 and equalled that many in just this game.

Winning Pitcher - Charlie Lea
Losing Pitcher - John Tudor
Player of the Game - Mike Ramsey, 3-4, 2B, 3RBI, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tim Raines, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter

Game #658 - Seattle Mariners, 1 @ Texas Rangers, 6

Dave Stewart escaped a couple of jams in the first two innings but got tagged in the top of the third.  Jack Perconte led off the inning with a double and two batters later scored when Alvin Davis did the same.  But after the third inning Stewart was lights-out.  Only two more Mariners reached base the rest of the way!

Meanwhile, the Rangers bats were uncharacteristically hot.  Six different hitters recorded an RBI.  Billy Sample led the way with three hits, including a triple while Marv Foley homered.

Winning Pitcher - Dave Stewart
Losing Pitcher - Mark Langston
Player of the Game - Stewart, CG, 9K's, R, 5H's

December 9, 2017

June 3, 1984 - Hot Corner Heroics

Game #655 - St Louis Cardinals, 9 @ New York Mets, 4

Ken Oberkfell was a fine player in the 80's, a good third sacker who put up consistent stats.  But in this Statis Pro season he's been absolutely bonkers.  He continued his torrid hitting in this game.

In the top of the second Obi-Wan led off the inning with a double and then scored on a George Foster error.  In the top of the fifth he recorded his third hit of the game and scored on an Ozzie Smith single.  He plated Andy VanSlyke in the top of the sixth with his fourth hit of the game.

Like I said, bonkers.

He only has a few games left with the Cardinals, though, before he goes to the Braves.  In the real 1984 he was Bob Horner's replacement in Atlanta.

Winning Pitcher - Kurt Kepshire
Losing Pitcher - Bruce Berenyi
Player of the Game - Oberkfell
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith

Game #656 - Chicago Cubs, 4 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 1

This game featured two fine pitching performances from opposing starters Dennis Eckersley and John Denny.

The first run of the game came in the top of the fourth with two outs.  Denny had only allowed one hit up to that point when Gary Matthews took him deep for a solo homer.  Denny would pitch through the seventh but that was his only charged run.

Eckersley, meanwhile, was doing well too.  He pitched seven innings of shutout ball but got lifted for a pinch-hitter in the top of the eighth.  The Phillies jumped all over reliever Warren Brusstar.  In the bottom of the eighth he walked Mike Schmidt and Ozzie Virgil but got Juan Samuel to ground into a double play.  Schmidt moved to third on that play and then scored on an Ivan DeJesus single, which tied the game.

In the top of the ninth Phillies reliever Al Holland got into a big pickle.  With one out Gary Matthews and Keith Moreland drew back to back walks.  That brought Ron Cey to the plate.  And the Penguin wasn't playing any games.  I mean, he was, he was playing the game of baseball, but you know what I mean.  Al Holland certainly did - because Cey went yard for a three-run bomb!

Winning Pitcher - Warren Brusstar
Losing Pitcher - Al Holland
Save - Lee Smith
Player of the Game - Ron Cey
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg, Dennis Eckersley, Mike Schmidt

November 29, 2017

June 3, 1984 - Unlikely Pitching Heroes

Game #653 - Boston Red Sox, 5 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 0

Mike Brown started 11 games for the Red Sox in 1984 and wasn't very good.  But as I like to say in Statis Pro..."that's why you play the game!!!"

Brown retired the first ten batters he faced, finally surrendering a single to Jim Sundberg in the bottom of the fourth.  He would only give up three more singles the rest of the way and only had to face 30 total batters!!!  It ranks as one of the top pitched games of the year, easily in the top 10.

He had all the runs he needed thanks to a breakout inning in the top of the third.  Moose  Haas gave up an RBI double to Jim Rice and then a three-run homer to Tony Armas.  The Red Sox picked up one more run in the top of the ninth thanks to a Ted Simmons error at third base.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Brown
Losing Pitcher - Moose Haas
Player of the Game - Brown, CG SHO, 2K's, 0BB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Robin  Yount

Game #654 - Kansas City Royals, 3 @ Minnesota Twins, 1

Frank Wills started 5 games for the Royals in 1984 and wasn't very good.  But as I like to say in Statis Pro..."that's why you play the game!!!"

Wills pitched seven shutout innings and only gave up four hits.  Strangely, all four were for extra bases and three of them came off the bat of Ron Washington (two doubles and a triple).  But Wills worked out of every one of those jams without the base runner crossing home plate. 

Strangely, the KC pitcher who struggled on the day was ace reliever Dan Quisenberry.  Quiz hadn't allowed a single run all season but the second batter he faced, Tim Laudner, took him deep for a solo homer.  He gave up two more hits in his two innings pitched but did well enough to record the save.  Onix Concepcion was the star on offense, going three for three with a double, RBI, stolen base and two runs scored.  The win meant the Royals swept the Twins at the Metrodome, going 4-0 and moving to within a game of .500 on the season.

Winning Pitcher - Frank Wills
Losing Pitcher - Ken Schrom
Save - Dan Quisenberry
Player of the Game - Wills, 7IP, 0R's, 5K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett, Kirby Puckett

November 27, 2017

June 3, 1984 - Holy Calamity Scream Insanity

Game #651 - Baltimore Orioles, 10 @ Detroit Tigers, 9 (14 innings!)

Baltimore entered the game without a win in their road trip to Detroit and were desperate to get a "W".  What happened next was pure insanity.

The O's took the lead in the top of the third when Mike Young doubled home John Shelby.  But in the bottom of the third Tom Brookens went yard, continuing his hot hitting since coming off the DL.  Then in the top of the fifth Baltimore tagged Jack Morris for another three runs, including another RBI from Young.

It would stay 4-2 in favor of the Orioles until the bottom of the sixth.  Scott McGregor, who was pitching without his best stuff, gave up a solo homer to Chet Lemon.  But he lasted through seven and handed the ball over to Sammy Stewart, who has not been good this season despite supposed to being their closer.  Sure enough, in the bottom of the ninth with a one run lead, he gave up a sacrifice fly RBI to Darrell Evans that scored pinch-hitter Dave Bergman.  Extra innings!  And by extra, I mean EXTRA...

Tippy Martinez took the mound for the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth inning and was in total control, striking out seven Tigers.  In the top of the 13th the Orioles rewarded his grit by plastering Sid Monge for FOUR runs, including an Earl Weaver-approved three run dong from, you guessed it, Mike Young.  Tippy went back out to the mound in the bottom of the inning to nail down the win.  Until he didn't.  He walked Kirk Gibson, struck out Bergman, but then gave up a two-run homer to Rupert Jones!  That got Martinez removed for Tom Underwood...who gave up a 2-out, 2-run homer to Alan Trammell!  Tie game again!!!

Carl Willis was now on the mound for Detroit because he was the last arm left.  His real life 1984 season was awful and so was his appearance in this game.  He loaded the bases with no outs and then gave up a 2-RBI double to Al Bumbry.  He managed to strand three runners after that but now Detroit had a two run deficit to overcome.  And they almost did!  A Rupert Jones ground out plated Gibson but Howard Johnson lined out to Underwood to end this completely ridiculous game.

Winning Pitcher - Tom Underwood
Losing Pitcher - Carl Willis
Player of the Game - Mike Young, 5-8, 2B, HR, 5RBI, 2R's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

Game #652 - Houston Astros, 0 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 3

Phil Garner, who normally has a decent glove, was a total calamity in this game.  He registered THREE ERRORS in the first four innings of the game.  I actually yanked him on principle and trotted Denny Walling out there.

It ultimately didn't matter, because the Astros wasted a decent start by Vern Ruhle.  The reason?  Alejandro Pena.  He clocked  his third shutout of the season, only giving up seven hits while striking out six.  Mike Scioscia had a solo homer while also throwing out Jerry Mumphrey on a failed hit and run in the top of the ninth.  Enos Cabell also got injured for 14 games chasing a foul ball into the stands.

Winning Pitcher - Alejandro Pena
Losing Pitcher - Vern Ruhle
Player of the Game - Pena, CG SHO

November 25, 2017

June 3, 1984 - Almost Perfect

Game #649 - Atlanta Braves, 7 @ Cincinnati Reds, 2

The quest for the season's first no-no is still afoot, and it way Jay Tibbs of the Reds who didn't just flirt with a no-hitter but a perfect game too!

Tibbs was perfect through his first six innings on the mound.  18 Braves up, 18 Braves down.  But Rick Maheler was nearly as good for Atlanta.  He'd only allowed three base runners through the first five innings.  In the bottom of the sixth things changed.  The Reds staged an epic two-out rally.  Eddie Milner singled and then stole second.  Gary Redus doubled him home for the first run of the game.  After that Dan Driessen walked.  Dave Parker was up next and he singled home Redus, 2-0 in favor of the Reds!  Mahler got lifted for Gene Garber, who retired Wayne Krenchicki to end the inning but now Tibbs had a lead to go with his perfect game.

In the top of the seventh Gerald Perry lined out to Krenchicki.  That brought up Glenn Hubbard...who HOMERED!  Perfect game - ruined.  No-hitter - ruined.  Shutout - ruined!  All in one blast!  Claudell Washington singled after that which brought up Dale Murphy.  Murph connected on a LONG BALL, two-run homer!  In just three batters Jay Tibbs went from a perfect game through six and a third to losing the ball game!

The Braves added four more runs in the top of the ninth and Steve Bedrosian pitched the final two innings for the save.

Winning Pitcher - Gene Garber
Losing Pitcher - Jay Tibbs
Save - Steve Bedrosian
Player of the Game - Dale Murphy, 2-4, HR, 2RBI, 2R's

Game #650 - California Angels, 4 @ Cleveland Indians, 3

This was one of those "anything you can do I can do better" games.  In the top of the first the Angels scored a run on a Brian Downing single...and Cleveland matched with a run of their own in the bottom half.  The same thing happened in the second, Rod Carew singled home Doug DeCinces but the Indians tied it up again in their half.

It stayed 2-2 until the top of the eighth.  Mike Jeffcoat was on in relief of Steve Comer but gave up a single to Fred Lynn and then a monster bomb to Downing, giving the Angels a two run lead.  In the bottom of the eighth ace reliever Don Aase was on the mound but he was giving up cheap singles all over the place, including an RBI hit by Tony Bernazard.  He allowed two more runners in the ninth but Cleveland couldn't tie it up.

Winning Pitcher - Jim Slaton
Losing Pitcher - Mike Jeffcoat
Save - Don Aase
Player of the Game - Brian Downing, 3-5, HR, 3RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

November 23, 2017

June 3, 1984 - Gobble Gobble

Game #648 - Oakland A's, 2 @ Chicago White Sox, 4

Through the first three innings starters Steve McCatty and Britt Burns were posting goose eggs.  But in the top of the fourth Dave Kingman was on second and Dwayne Murphy on first when Mike Heath stepped into the batter's box.  He zapped a ball into the gap and plated two on his bases-clearing triple.

It stayed 2-0 in favor of Oakland until the bottom of the fifth.  That's when Rudy Law launched his third home of the year.  Then, in the bottom of the seventh, Law singled and stole second base.  Ron Kittle walked and McCatty got lifted for Keith Atherton.  Scott Fletcher layed down a sacrifice bunt to move Law and Kittle up a base.  Harold Baines was up next and singled home Law.  Tie game!  Up next was Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk, who gripped it and ripped it for a 2-RBI double and the lead!  It was a sad turn of events for McCatty who struck out nine Sox on the day.

Juan Agosto worked the ninth but was pretty shaky.  He loaded the bases but, with two outs, got pinch-hitter Mark Wagener to pop up to Vance Law to end the game.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Winning Pitcher - Brett Roberge
Losing Pitcher - Steve McCatty
Save - Juan Agosto
Player of the Game - Rudy Law, 3-4, HR, RBI, 2R's, SB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Carlton Fisk

November 21, 2017

Week in Review: May 27 through June 2

Ron Kittle leads the A.L. in homers (19) and whiffs (60).
The last "Week in Review" posted on April 9, 2017.  That means we went another seven months or so to complete a week of play.  That was the same pace as last time, so that's good.  I feel like I've been playing more frequently as of late.  I've been ignoring my two baseball card blogs as a result.  I also picked up coaching my daughter's soccer team, so I'm surprised the pace hasn't slowed down.

The Phenomenal Phive:

1.  Toronto Blue Jays, 35-15, .700 win%.  The Blue Jays continue to hold off the Tigers for the top of the AL East.  Dave Stieb and Doyle Alexander are the best pair of starting pitchers in the game and the Toronto offense still rips triples more than any other club out there.  An injury to Tony Fernandez will be hard to ignore as he's out for 30 games.

2.  Houston Astros, 34-16, .680 win%.  The Astros continue to throttle the rest of the NL West and even had the advantage over the Cardinals in their head to head play this last week.  Their offense continues to hit above their true talent level, including Terry Puhl, Bill Doran, and Jerry Mumphrey.  But their key to success continues to be a lights-out bullpen led by Bill Dawley.

3.  St. Louis Cardinals, 36-17, .679 win%.  The Red Birds are still playing great baseball, which is a good thing considering the real 1984 division champs, the Chicago Cubs, have ripped off a lot of wins in the past two weeks.  Bruce Sutter is nearly unhittable while numerous Cardinals are grabbing hits in bunches.  Tom Herr had a great week and has snuck into the top five in a couple of different offensive categories.

4.  Detroit Tigers, 32-16, .667 win%.  The Roar of 84 are still playing dominant baseball, even though they're stuck in second place behind the Blue Jays.  Kirk Gibson is in the running for league MVP and Trammell and Whitaker continue to be a potent top of the lineup.

5.  Boston Red Sox, 29-20, .592 win%.  Tony Armas continues his climb up the home run leader board and is now just one (18 total) behind Ron Kittle for the league lead.  Wade Boggs and Dwight Evans are dominating in the top of the batting order and rookie Roger Clemens made his debut this past week.  But it's Oil Can Boyd who is leading the rotation, with a top five ERA and WHIP in the American League.

Useless Stats:

  • Eddie Murray leads the AL in intentional walks with 4.  Darryl Strawberry leads the NL with 6.
  • Jack Perconte of the Mariners has the most plate appearances in the AL at 242.  Tim Raines has logged the most in the NL with 233.
  • Who has the most plate appearances without a walk in each league?  In the AL it's Jeff Kunkel of Texas, who has come to the plate 64 times without a free pass.  In the NL a pitcher leads the way.  Mario Soto of the Reds has batted 32 times with no base on balls.
  • Who has the most plate appearances with a single digit strikeout total?  In the AL it's Pete O'Brien of the Rangers.  In a 120 PA's he's only whiffed 8 times.  For the NL it's Bryan Little of the Expos.  He has 146 PA's and just 9 K's.
  • What about most plate appearances without a strike out?  In the AL the leader is Donnie Hill of the A's.  The part time infielder has 16 times at the plate without a K.  The NL leader is the injured Brian Harper of the Pirates.  He's totaled 32 PA's and has yet to get wrung up.  Considering he's on the DL for two more months his lead seems safe.
  • Mike Mason of the Rangers leads the AL with 2 balks.  In the NL it's Rick Mahler of the Braves.  He has 3.
  • Who has registered the most losses so far?  In the AL it's yet another Ranger...Charlie Hough with 8.  In the NL three pitchers have 8 too - Bill Laskey and Jeff Robinson of the Giants and Walt Terrell of the Mets.
  • Don Sutton, Ken Schrom, and Scotty McGregor lead the AL with two pick-offs on the season.  Chuck Rainey of the Cubs leads the NL with 2 as well.
As always, thanks for checking in!  If you have any requests or want to set a lineup, just let me know in the comments below!  I also updated the stat tabs - you can see all player hitting and pitching data through June 2nd.

November 19, 2017

June 2, 1984 - Blue Jays End the Week on a Win

Game #647 - New York Yankees, 2 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 6

The Yankees staged a two-out rally in the top of the first when Steve Kemp singled and later scored on a Don Baylor hit.  Butch Wynegar walked after that to load the bases for Mike Pagliarulo.  Pags lined out to Tony Fernandez to end the inning, but he tagged the ball so hard that Fernandez injured his hand and will be out for the next 30 games!  It's a good thing Alfredo Griffin is almost off the DL...

The Blue Jays came roaring back in the bottom of the second.  Willie Upshaw and Rance Mulliniks (in for the injured Fernandez) smoked back to back triples as the Blue Jays plated three in the inning.  They picked up three more in the third, including a two-run bomb from Jesse Barfield who is playing his first game since coming off the disabled list.  After a rocky first inning Dave Stieb lasted eight innings, scattering ten hits and two walks (and a Don Baylor hit by pitch).

Winning Pitcher - Dave Stieb
Losing Pitcher - Dennis Rasmussen
Player of the Game - Stieb

November 17, 2017

June 2, 1984 - Never In Doubt

Game #645 - San Diego Padres, 15 @ San Francisco Giants, 3

When it rains, it pours.

Mike Krukow got destroyed and didn't make it past the second inning in this one.  The Padres scored three runs in the first and three more in the second.  Krukow only recorded four outs but managed to give up five singles and four walks.  Four Giants pitched on the day and they all got tagged for at least two runs each.

Andy Hawkins had his best game of the year for San Diego, going seven innings and only allowing three runs.

Winning Pitcher - Andy Hawkins
Losing Pitcher - Mike Krukow
Player of the Game - Kevin McReynolds, 3-5, HR, 5RBI, 2R's,BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn

Game #646 - Seattle Mariners, 1 @ Texas Rangers, 5

The Rangers actually looked like a competent ball club in this one, which hasn't been the case for them most of the season.  RBI singles by Curtis Wilkerson in the second and Pete O'Brien in the third gave them an early 2-0 lead.  Starter Mike Mason pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the sixth, only allowing a run on a Steve Henderson sacrifice fly.  Wilkerson had his second RBI of the game in the bottom of the sixth as Texas pulled away.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Mason
Losing Pitcher - Ed VandeBerg
Save - Dave Schmidt
Player of the Game - Mason, 7.1 IP, 5K's, R

November 10, 2017

June 2, 1984 - 2 Skinnee J's

Game #643 - Chicago Cubs, 10 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 8

After high scoring games like this one I never know how many details to go into because a simple recap can turn into a book chapter.  The top of the third is the best place to start.  Phillies starter Marty Bystrom ended up surrendering eight runs, and three of those were because I was too stubborn to lift him knowing he was due up first in the bottom half of the inning.  Errors by Bystrom and Ivan DeJesus didn't help matters.

It was 8-2 until the bottom of the seventh.  Steve Trout worked in and out of jams for the first six innings before George Frazier was brought on to register the last nine outs.  But Sixto Lezcano went deep on a two-run bomb and then, after Frazier was lifted, Tim Stoddard gave up a hit to Greg Gross that plated the two remaing inherited runners from Frazier and all of a sudden it was just a two run lead for the Cubbies.

Chicago got much needed insurance in the top of the ninth.  After Ron Cey walked Jody Davis went deeeeeeep to give the Cubs a four run lead.  With three outs to go Lee Smith toed the rubber but, with one out, gave up  two singles, a walk, and then a Luis Aguyao double and all of a sudden the Phillies looked like they could tie this game with one swing.  But Smith got  yanked and Rich Bordi got two quick outs to earn the save.

Winning Pitcher - Steve Trout
Losing Pitcher - Marty Bystrom
Save - Rich Bordi
Player of the Game - Jody Davis, 2-5, HR, 3RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg, Mike Schmidt

Game #644 - Montreal Expos, 2 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 3 (12 innings)

Rich Rhoden was uncharacteristically hittable in the first, giving up three singles, and including an RBI shot by Tim Wallach that plated Andre Dawson.  In the top of the third Tim Raines walked, stole second, move to third on an infield single, and scored on a ground out from Gary Carter to give Montreal a 2-0 lead.

Pittsburgh tied things up in the bottom of the fifth.  Bill Gullickson gave up and RBI double to Lee Lacy that scored Rhoden and then Johnny Ray drove home Marvelle Wynne on a single to knot the game.

And then it was a lot of goose eggs.  Dan Schatzeder went three innings of scoreless relief for the Expos and Cecilio Guante did the same for the Pirates.  Fast forward to the bottom of the 12th.  After two scoreless innings from Jeff Reardon Montreal handed the ball to Greg Harris.  Harris walked Lee Mazzilli, but Mazzilli was out at second on a fielder's choice that left Lacy on first.  Lacy stole second on a busted hit and run and then moved to third on a Johnny Ray ground out.  With two down Jason Thompson stepped up and poked a blooper into right field to score Lacy on the walk-off!

Winning Pitcher - Kent Tekulve
Losing Pitcher - Greg Harris
Player of the Game - Jason Thompson, GWRBI in the bottom of the 12th
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tim Raines, Andrew Dawson, Gary Carter

November 9, 2017

June 2, 1984 - The Kings of I-70

Game #641 - Kansas City Royals, 5 @ Minnesota Twins, 4

On paper this looked like an easy match-up, but it was anything but for the Royals.  They had staff ace Bud Black on the mound against a sub-par Pete Filson.  Don Slaught took Filson deep for a two run blast in the second.  KC  tacked on another run in the fourth on an RBI hit by Greg Pryor.

But in the bottom of the fourth Black fell apart, surrendering four runs and getting lifted from the game.  Two of those scores were compliments of a Kent Hrbek triple. 

The Royals tied the game on a passed ball that scored Willie Wilson in the fifth.  And then in the sixth Onix Concepcion scored on a Don Slaught double, his third RBI of the day and the eventual game-winner.

Winning Pitcher - Bret Saberhagen
Losing Pitcher - Pete Filson
Save - Mark Huismann
Player of the Game - Don Slaught, 2-3, HR, 2b, BB, 3RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett, Kirby Puckett

Game #642 - St. Louis Cardinals, 2 @ New York Mets, 0

This was another one I would have bet money on only to lose it.  Dwight Gooden was up against Bob Forsch, and there were nearly four runs of difference between their ERA's in the real 1984.  Gooden lived up to his reputation, going eight strong and striking out nine along the way.  But Forsch kept the Mets bats guessing.  In the bottom of the eighth he allowed a lead-off single to Ron Hodges and then a walk to Rusty Staub.  At that point Forsch got lifted for Bruce Sutter, who worked out of the jam when Keith Hernandez grounded into his second double play of the game.

Doug Sisk came on in the top of the ninth and the Cards played their custom small-ball offense.  David Green walked and moved to third on a hit-and-run by Ken Oberkfell.  Tom Herr came up next and squeezed Green home!  Two batters later Oberkfell scored on a single by Tito Landrum and with that Gooden's gem was flushed down the drain.

Winning Pitcher - Bruce Sutter
Losing Pitcher - Doug Sisk
Player of the Game - Tom Herr, 2-3, RBI sacrifice bunt
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter

November 4, 2017

June 2, 1984 - Shutout and a Near No-No!

Game #639 - Houston Astros, 1 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 0

Bill Doran led off the top of the first with a triple.  Terry Puhl was next to the plate and easily singled him home.  He moved to second on a sacrifice fly by Jerry Mumphrey and third on an infield single from Jose Cruz but got stranded there after Bob Welch retired Denny Walling and Craig Reynolds.

And that was it.

That was the only stinking run of the ball game!

Astros starter Mike Scott went eight strong, striking out six and only allowing five hits.  Dave Smith worked the ninth and the heart of the Dodgers order for the save.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Scott
Losing Pitcher - Bob Welch
Save - Dave Smith
Player of the Game - Mike Scott

Game #640 - Boston Red Sox, 10 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 2

If you're a new reader to this Statis Pro Blog (I doubt you are, I think there are only a dozen of you who check in regularly!), you know I'm obsessed with seeing a cylce or a no-hitter this season.  So far...nada!  But, this game NEARLY provided both!

In the top of the first Jim Rice doubled and later scored on a Mike Easler single.  In the fourth he blasted a three-run homer!  And then in the seventh he poked a single...he was only missing the triple!  Alas, in the top of the ninth he flied out to Rick Manning.

Meanwhile...Oil Can Boyd was tossing a no-hitter!  Through the first six innings he had faced the minimum number of batters, with Robin Yount the only base runner when he walked in the second (Ben Oglivie immediately grounded into a double play).  So in the top of the seventh Dion James popped out to Rich Gedman, back in the lineup after a stint on the DL.  Then Jim Sundberg flew out to Rice.  With two outs and the no-hitter still intact, Cecil Cooper hit a bouncer to Mike Easler...who miffed the play!  Cooper reached on the Easler error.  And that brought up Hall of Famer Robin Yount.  And what did Yount do...?  HOME.  RUN.  With two outs in the seventh Yount ruined the no-no with a donger!  That's cold-blooded, Robin!

Winning Pitcher - Oil Can Boyd
Losing Pitcher - Mike Caldwell
Player of the Game - Jim Rice, 4-5, 2b, HR, 4RBI, 3Rs, nice mustache
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Robin Yount

October 30, 2017

June 2, 1984 - Cornerstones

Game #637 - California Angels, 2 @ Cleveland Indians, 1

Rod Carew, leading off for the visiting Angels, surprised everybody in the stadium when he went yard in his first at-bat of the game.  But Rick Sutcliffe settled down after that, tossing one of his best games of the season for Cleveland (I'm chomping at the bit to get him pitching in Chicago...).  He allowed only four more hits until the top of the eighth.  After back to back singles by Dick Schofield and Carew he was replaced by Ernie Camacho.  Camacho got Brian Downing to line out to Julio Franco, who quickly stepped on second to double off Schofield.  But Fred Lynn plated Carew on a scorching double to center field. 

With a 2-0 lead Mike Witt pitched into the ninth but was replaced by Doug Corbett after Chris Bando zapped a pinch-hit homer over the fence.  Corbett retired the last two outs to record the save.

Winning Pitcher - Mike Witt
Losing Pitcher - Rick Sutcliffe
Save - Doug Corbett
Player of the Game - Rod Carew, 3-4, HR, 2Rs
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

Game #638 - Baltimore Orioles, 2 @ Detroit Tigers, 4

Mike Young, the most improbable star of this Statis Pro season, continued his torrid production by blasting a solo homer in the first.  Tom Brookens answered back in the bottom of the third with one of his own to knot the game at one apiece.

The teams traded runs again in the seventh.  Al Bumbry doubled home Gary Roenicke in the top half but Brookens singled home Larry Herndon to tie things  up once again.

Storm Davis, who pitched the whole game for Baltimore, got into a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the eighth.  With one out up guessed it.  TOM BROOKENS.  He punched a single that plated two, giving him all four RBI on the day for a Detroit win.

Winning Pitcher - Aurelio Lopez
Losing Pitcher - Storm Davis
Player of the Game - Tom Brookens, 3-3, HR, BB, 4RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

October 28, 2017

June 2, 1984 - Burris, Driessen Lead the Way

Game #635 - Oakland A's, 3 @ Chicago White Sox, 0

Floyd Bannister of the White Sox somehow allowed three singles to start the game against the A's, but no Oakland players scored.  Rickey Henderson was thrown out at home on a Tony Phillips single and Dave Kingman grounded into a double play. 

Bannister finally allowed a run in the fifth when Bill Almon was driven home by a Phillips double.  Kingman singled home Henderson in the tenth just after Bannister was lifted for Ron Reed and that gave the A's a 2-0 lead.  Bruce Bochte crossed home in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Henderson.

That's all Ray Burris needed.  He pitched into the ninth but gave up a single to Greg Walker and a walk to Ron Kittle when the manager pulled him for their ace reliever Bill Caudill.  Caudill induced a double play grounder from Mike Squires and Rudy Law was retired for the final out of the game.  This was Carlton Fisk's first game back from injury but he had a quiet day.

Winning Pitcher - Ray Burris
Losing Pitcher - Floyd Bannister
Save - Bill Caudill
Player of the Game - Burris, 8IP, 0R's, 4K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Carlton Fisk

Game #636 - Atlanta Braves, 6 @ Cincinnati Reds, 7

After a scoreless first inning Brad Komminsk and Tim Foley exchanged solo homers in the second to make it a 1-1 game.  The Reds added a second run in the bottom of the second when Dave Parker walked with two outs.  He attempted to steal second and would have been out but Glen Hubbard dropped the throw.  Dave Concepcion then singled home Parker to give the Reds the lead.

The Braves came roaring back in the top of the fifth.  With starter Jeff Russell due up in the bottom half of the inning, the manager left him in too long as Atlanta scored three runs, generated in part by doubles from Chris Chambliss, Randy Johnson, and Rafael Ramirez.  But the Reds scrambled back! 

In the bottom half of the inning Craig McMurtry got shelled.  With the bases loaded he walked Duane Walker to plate the first run.  Then Dan Driessen stepped up.  The smooth hitting lefy went BIG FLY...GRAND SALAMI!!!  The Braves tacked on runs in the sixth and ninth innings but it wasn't enough to overcome Cincy.  The Reds are 3-1 against the Braves over the last four days.

Winning Pitcher - Jeff Russell
Losing Pitcher - Craig McMurtry
Save - John Franco
Player of the Game - Dan Driessen, 2-4, GS, 4RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Perez

October 26, 2017

June 1, 1984 - Wrapping Up the First of the Month

Game #633 - Seattle Mariners, 7 @ Texas Rangers, 4

The Rangers were holding onto a 4-2 lead going into the top of the fifth when Charlie Hough's knuckler got destroyed by the Mariners.  Back to back doubles by Jack Perconte and Spike Owen and an eventual bases-clearing triple by Larry Milbourne gave Seattle a five-run inning.

Jim Beattie didn't have his best day but Mike Stanton and Ed Nunez contributed three scoreless innings of relief to seal the deal.

Winning Pitcher - Jim Beattie
Losing Pitcher - Charlie Hough
Save - Edwin Nunez
Player of the Game - Jack Perconte, 3-5, 2 2b's, 2R's, SB

Game #634 - New York Yankees, 0 @ Toronto Blue Jays, 6

This game proved to be a disaster for the Yankees outfield.  Omar Moreno and Dave Winfield collided on a Tony Fernandez double.  Winfield is out for the next 12 games and Moreno will be out for 20.  Luis Leal took advantage of the catastrophe and scattered six hits and four walks for a complete game shutout. 

Winning Pitcher - Luis Leal
Losing Pitcher - Joe Cowley
Player of the Game - Leal, CG SHO, K
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield

October 8, 2017

June 1, 1984 - More NL Action

Game #631 - Montreal Expos, 3 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 4

Talk about a fun game - both starters went eight strong innings and neither got the decision!

In the top of the second inning Gary Carter ripped a ball over the fence to give Montreal a 1-0 lead.  That was good all the way until the bottom of the sixth, when Expos starter David Palmer gave up a triple to Lee Lacy and then a double to Johnny Ray. 

It was still a tie game in the top of the eighth when, with two runners on, Pirates starter Larry McWilliams collided with third sacker Jim Morrison.  Morrison got the worst of it and is now on the 30 game DL.  McWilliams worked out of the jam to hand the ball to Don Robinson.  Robinson, one of the unluckiest pitchers in Statis Pro, once again imploded.  He gave up two runs in to the top of the ninth and it could have been worse but Lacy gunned down Tim Raines at the plate.

In the bottom of the ninth Jeff Reardon came in to save the game.  With two outs Denny Gonzalez, in the game for the injured Jim Morrison, zipped a double down the line and then scored when Miguel Dilone bobbled Tony Pena's single.  Pena was on first with two down and still trailing Montreal by one run.  Marvelle Wynne was up next and he legged out an infield single to put two Pirates on!  Lee Mazzilli came in to pinch hit for Dale Berra but hit weakly to shortstop Derrick Thomas.  But Thomas air-mailed the ball to first and both runners scored on the error!  A walk-off E6 for the Pirates!!!

Winning Pitcher - Don Robinson
Losing Pitcher - Jeff Reardon
Player of the Game - Larry McWilliams, 8IP, 1R, 6K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tim Raines, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter

Game #632 - San Diego Padres, 5 @ San Francisco Giants, 1

Giants starter Mark Davis was well on his way to the best start of his frustrating season, pitching five scoreless innings heading into the top of the sixth with a slim 1-0 lead.  But with one down Tony Gwynn doubled, though he was thrown out at home on a subsequent single by Carmelo Martinez.  But McReynolds came up next and blasted a homer to make it 2-1 in favor of the Padres.  McReynolds struck again in the eighth, this time with a 2-RBI triple.  McReynolds was only a double short of the cycle.  We still haven't seen a cycle on the season and it's driving me crazy.

Winning Pitcher - Eddie Whitson
Losing Pitcher - Mark Davis
Player of the Game - Kevin McReynolds, 3-4, 3B, HR, 4RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage

October 4, 2017

June 1, 1984 - A Reckoning Is Coming

I can't help but think, many years from now, when we're in the home stretch of the regular season, the Cardinals will be fading, struggling to hold onto first place, while the surging Cubs will be beating down the door right at the wire.  I look forward to it...

Game #629 - St. Louis Cardinals, 9 @ New York Mets, 3

Walt Terrell had a decent enough season in the real 1984, but so far in Statis Pro he's been fairly awful.  That was the case again in this game.  Already trailing 1-0 in the top of the third, Terrell got destroyed by the Cardinals offense.  Tom Herr ripped his first home run of the season for 3 RBI and the Red Birds plated four more in the inning.

Danny Cox toed the rubber for St. Louis and had a solid six innings of work, only allowing one run to score.  Reliever Ricky Horton gave up a two-run homer to Keith Hernandez but still got a save since he went three innings after Cox.

Winning Pitcher - Danny Cox
Losing Pitcher - Walt Terrell
Save - Ricky Horton
Player of the Game - Tom Herr, 3-5, 2B, HR, 3RBI, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ozzie Smith

Game #630 - Chicago Cubs, 6 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 5

It sure looked like Chicago's five game win streak was coming to an end early in the contest.  Von Hayes led off the bottom of the first with a single, stolen base, and then a run on the RBI knock by Tim Corcoran.  Corcoran plated another run in the fourth to give the Phillies a 5-0 lead.

And that's when the Cubs turned into Bears.

In the top of the fifth Ryne Sandberg homered to cut the lead to four.  Steve Carlton was still cruising until the top of the seventh.  Four straight Cubs recorded hits, including an RBI single by Gary Mattews.  Carlton got lifted and in came the late Tug McGraw.  With two runners on, Steve Lake came in as a pinch hitter for reliever Dickie Noles.  What did Lake do?  HOME RUN!!!  The Cubs came out of nowhere and  then somehow had a one run lead, their first of the game.  Tim Stoddard ad Warren Brusstar pitched a scoreless final three innings to give Chicago the improbable win!

Winning Pitcher - Dickie Noles
Losing Pitcher - Tug McGraw
Save - Warren Brusstar
Player of the Game - Steve Lake, GW 3-Run Homer
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg, Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton

October 2, 2017

June 1, 1984 - Rocket Launch

Game #627 - Boston Red Sox, 9 @ Milwaukee Brewers, 6

Well, this was one of the most anticipated games of the Statis Pro season - the debut of rookie Roger Clemens!

Clemens is a "2-5" ranked pitcher in Statis Pro thanks to his +4 ERA, but his strikeout range is enormous, so it should make for some interesting stat lines the rest of the way.

The Rocket got into trouble in the bottom of the second.  With two outs and runners on second and third, Rick Manning ripped a double to but the Brew Crew up by two.  But the Red Sox tied the game by plating runs in the third and fourth inning.  The score stayed knotted until the top of the sixth.  With one run already in, Dwight Evans took spot starter Chuck Porter over the outfield fence for three more RBI!

Meanwhile, Clemens pitched out of a jam in the bottom half of the inning but finally got tagged again in the seventh when a Ben Oglivie single brought Cecil Cooper and Robin Yount home.  Ganter came up next and got a hit but Oglivie was thrown  out at third base for the second time of the game by Dewey.  Bob Stanley gave up two unearned runs off his own error in the eighth but Boston held on to give Clemens a win for his first career start.

Winning Pitcher - Roger Clemens
Losing Pitcher - Chuck Porter
Player of the Game - Dwight Evans, 2-4, HR, 3RBI, 2R's, BB, HBP, 2Asst.'s
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Robin Yount, Rollie Fingers

Game #628 - Kansas City Royals, 3 @ Minnesota Twins, 2

Dave Engle led off the bottom of the second with a double and scored three batters later when Kirby Puckett knocked him home.  That was the only run of the game until the bottom of the sixth when Tim Teufel took Royals starter Larry Gura deep for a solo homer.

Frank Viola, meanwhile, was mowing down the Royals...until the eighth inning.  With two outs Hal McRae singled and Willie Wilson scored to make it a 2-1 game still in favor of the Twins.  But a Houston Jimenez error kept the inning alive and Viola was replaced by Ron Davis.  Davis gave up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Dane Iorg and all of a sudden Viola had a no-decision and the game was tied.

In the top of the ninth pinch-hitter Jorge Orta doubled with one out.  Wilson popped out and it looked like George Brett grounded out to Gary Gaetti but Gaetti overthrew Kent Hrbek and Orta scored the go-ahead run on the error!  Quisenberry worked his second inning of relief in the bottom of the ninth and got the Twins retired without incident to cap a comeback victory for the Royals.

Winning Pitcher - Dan Quisenberry
Losing Pitcher - Ron Davis
Player of the Game - Quisenberry
Hall of Famers in the Game - George Brett, Kirby Puckett

September 30, 2017

June 1, 1984 - Saved the Day

Game #625 - Baltimore Orioles, 3 @ Detroit Tigers, 6

This game kicked off a crucial home series for the Tigers as they faced off against a fellow AL East team, the Baltimore Orioles, who are also chasing the Blue Jays for the division lead.

The game was scoreless through four innings until John Shelby doubled home John "Tonight, let it be..." Lowenstein in the top of the fifth.  The O's picked up two more runs in the sixth on a Wayne Gross home run.  Gross leads the team in that category.

The Tigers came roaring back in the bottom half of the inning.  Baltimore starter Mike Flanagan had been nearly unhittable until that point but gave game up a 2-RBI single to Barnabo Garbey and a two-run homer to Marty Castillo.  Kirk Gibson added an insurance dinger in the seventh and Willie Hernandez pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth to save the game.

Winning Pitcher - Milt Wilcox
Losing Pitcher - Mike Flanagan
Save - Willie Hernandez
Player of the Game - Kirk Gibson, 2-4, 2B, HR, 2R's, 2RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray

Game #626 - Houston Astros, 7 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 4

Fernandomania was not in effect for the Dodgers in this game.  Valenzuela gave up three runs in the top of the first while facing eight different hitters.  The Dodgers picked up a run in the third when Steve Yeager parked a solo shot off Bob Knepper to make it 3-1.

Jerry Mumphrey knocked home Phil Garner in the fourth and seldom used backup shortstop Bert Pena cranked a two-run homer in the fifth to give Houston a 6-1 lead. 

Knepper gave up two more runs in the seventh and was lifted for Bill Dawley in the eighth.  The Astros picked up another run in the top of the ninth so Frank DiPino came in to mop up the victory.  He gave up a solo shot to German Rivera in the bottom of the ninth and then proceeded to load the bases before Dave Smith came in to record one out to save the game.

Winning Pitcher - Bob Knepper
Losing Pitcher - Fernando Valenzuela
Save - Dave Smith
Player of the Game - Dave Smith

September 27, 2017

June 1, 1984 - Reds, Braves Split Twin Bill

Game #623 - Atlanta Braves, 10 @ Cincinnati Reds, 5

Each team called up a starter not on their current roster for the doubleheader.  The Braves let Tony Brizzolara make his second start of the year while the Reds went with Andy McGaffigan.  Neither was particularly good...

Atlanta went up big in the top of the first.  Gerald Perry led of with a homer, Dale Murphy plated Randy Johnson with a double and then scored on a two-run bomb from Chris Chambliss and the Braves were up 4-0 with only one out in the game.

Fast forward to the top of the eighth and the Braves still had a 7-4 lead.  That's when Johnson launched a ball into the left field stands for three more runs and the final nail in the coffin.

Winning Pitcher - Tony Brizzolara
Losing Pitcher - Andy McGaffigan
Player of the Game - Randy Johnson, 4-5, 2B, HR, 4RBI, 2R's

Game #624 - Atlanta Braves, 0 @ Cincinnati Reds, 2

The Reds spent up a lot of their long relief in the first game of the doubleheader, so they needed Mario Soto to have a strong start.  He didn't disappoint!  Cincinnati got a run in the bottom of the first when Gary Redus doubled, went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Eddie Milner, and then scampered home on a Cesar Cedeno single.  That's all Soto would need.  He went all nine innings only giving up three hits and two walks while striking out an impressive ten Braves.

Winning Pitcher - Mario Soto
Losing Pitcher - Rick Camp
Player of the Game - Mario Soto

September 25, 2017

June 1, 1984 - Hello June!

Game #621 - Oakland A's, 0 @ Chicago White Sox, 1

Tom Seaver was well past his prime in 1984, but in this game he pulled out some old Seaver magic to pitch one of the best games of this Statis Pro season.  It was certainly a dominant performance.  Only three runners reached base!  Tony Phillips doubled in the third, Bruce Bochte singled in the fifth, and Rickey Henderson drew a walk in the sixth.  That was all Oakland could muster while Seaver struck out six.

Meanwhile, the A's wasted an unusually masterful performance by Larry Sorensen.  The only run he allowed was a Vance Law solo blast in the bottom of the fourth.  It was one of only four hits for Chicago, though they did reach on five bases on balls.

Carlton Fisk comes off the DL in their next game, which has been a long time coming.

Winning Pitcher - Tom Seaver
Losing Pitcher - Larry Sorensen
Player of the Game - Tom Seaver, CG SHO, 2H's, BB, 6K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan, Tom Seaver

Game #622 - California Angels, 1 @ Cleveland Indians, 3

This was a battle of the lefties as Neal Heaton and Geoff Zahn faced off in this series opener.  Both pitchers were cruising until the bottom of the fourth.  Andre Thornton was on third with two outs when Brook Jacoby singled him home.  The game got tied by California in the top of the fifth when Heaton plunked Juan Beniquez with the bases loaded!  He got Brian Downing to ground out to Chris Bando to end the threat.

RBI doubles by Bando and Carmelo Castillo in the bottom of the fifth gave Cleveland all the runs they needed.  Tom Waddell and Ernie Camacho pitched a scoreless two innings of relief to give Cleveland the victory.

Winning Pitcher - Neal Heaton
Losing Pitcher - Geoff Zahn
Save - Ernie Camacho
Player of the Game - Heaton, 7IP, ER, 6K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

September 23, 2017

Month in Review - May

Holy cow, May is in the books.  That's two months down.  I can't believe it.  It's taken over five years.  When I started this blog I had two kids and now I have three...with that third kid being five!  My blog is older than my last born!

I'd say the biggest story of the season so far is that none of the four playoff teams from the real 1984 are currently in first place.  The Tigers are closest, just a couple of games back of the Blue Jays.  Toronto has played extremely well but their bullpen will get exposed soon enough.  I predict Detroit will be in first by the end of June.

The Royals have been decimated by injuries, including 20 games to George Brett, but they get most of their starters back within the next week or so.  They've quietly risen up the standings to third place, though they're still five games below .500.  The Padres are showing a little more signs of life but still lag behind four teams in the NL West.  The Astros are still playing stellar ball and haven't come back down to earth yet.  I'm nervous about the Padres chances to duplicate their improbable World Series appearance.

The team that causes me the most stress is the Cubs.  They're dead last and ten games under .500.  The Cardinals might be the best team in either league, which isn't helping.  But, they're on a five game win streak right now and very soon will get both Rick Sutcliffe and Dennis Eckersley in their rotation.  They absolutely need them.

Other Guys Besides Joe Morgan Who Are Playing Way Over Their Heads:

Dion James, Brewers, OF
Gary Pettis, Angels, OF
Oil Can Boyd, Red Sox, P
Brad Gulden, Reds, C
Claudell Washington, Braves, OF
Pasquel Perez, Braves, P

Favorite Game In May?

There were a lot of fun games in May, but I'd have to go with the insane second game of a doubleheader on May 27 between Cleveland and the Blue Jays.  Cleveland scored five runs in the top of the eleventh...but Toronto tied it up and walked it off in the 12th!

Your MVP Race So Far:

American League
1.  Joe Morgan, A's, 2B
2.  Mike Young, Orioles, OF
3.  Dave Winfield, Yankees, OF

National League
1.  Darryl Strawberry, Mets, OF
2.  Claudell Washington, Braves, OF
3.  Tim Raines, Expos, OF

Your CY YOUNG Race So Far:

American League
1.  Doyle Alexander, Blue Jays
2.  Bud Black, Royals
3.  Dan Quisenberry, Royals

National League
1.  Alejandro Pena, Dodgers
2.  Rick Rhoden, Pirates
3.  Dwight Gooden, Mets


P - Alejandro Pena, Dodgers
C - Lance Parrish, Tigers
1B - Alvin Davis, Mariners
2B - Joe Morgan, A's
3B - Wade Boggs, Red Sox
SS - Cal Ripken, Orioles
OF - Darryl Strawberry, Mets
OF - Mike Young, Orioles
OF - Claudell Washington, Braves

I'm An Awesome Manager Of...

The St. Louis Cardinals.  They have the best record in Statis Pro right now and they are running away in the NL East.  They have a lot of versatility on the bench and the bullpen and all cylinders are firing right now.

I'm A Terrible Manager Of...

The Chicago Cubs.  Despite ending the month on a five game win streak, during May they lost THIRTEEN in a row.  I buried their playoff hopes deep in the woods where nobody will find them.  I'm sorry Punky Brewster.

Looking Forward

At the end of April I predicted it would take three to four years to finish May...and I was just about dead right!  It took nearly three and a half on the nose.  That seems to be the going pace, so I'll predict February of 2021 to be done with June...which is so far away yet will get here so quickly...