January 29, 2017

May 25, 1984 - American League Nail-biters

Game #547 - Baltimore Orioles, 3 @ California Angels, 5

On paper this looked like a slam dunk for the Orioles.  They had Mike Boddicker (2-7 rating) going against Tommy John (2-5 rating).  But the Angels jumped out front in the bottom of the first, scoring two runs, one from a double by Doug DeCinces.  They added a third run in the fourth when a Boddicker error moved Gary Pettis to third base.  Bob Boone was then successful in scoring him with a sacrifice fly.

The O's finally came roaring back in the top of the seventh.  With two outs and John still on the mound, John Shelby tripled, Gary Roenicke singled, and Mike Young crushed a two-run homer to tie things up.  The tie evaporated in the bottom half of the inning, though.  With two outs and two runners on, DeCinces hit a bases-clearing double to give the final lead of the game to California.

Winning Pitcher - Doug Corbett
Losing Pitcher - Mike Boddicker
Player of the Game - Doug DeCinces, 2-3, 2 doubles, 3RBI, R, BB
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, Rod Carew, Reggie jackson

Game #548 - Milwaukee Brewers, 13 @ Minnesota Twins, 12

About 45 minutes before we were going to leave for church this morning I had some time to kill, so I tried to squeeze this game in before departing.  As you can probably tell from the score, I barely made it through the seventh before having to hit pause!

Things started off with a bang for the Twins.  In the bottom of the first Kirby Puckett singled and then Tim Teufel homered to take an early 2-0 lead.  The Brew Crew turned a two-out error by pitcher Mike Smithson in the top of the third into five unearned runs, including a three-run bomb by Rick Manning.  That made it 5-2, but Teufel hit his second homer of the game in the bottom of the inning to cut it to 5-3.

Jim Sundberg added a solo blast of his own in the fourth to again give Milwaukee a three run lead.  It stayed that way until the bottom of the sixth when back to back double by Gary Gaetti and Dave Meier made it 6-4.  And then in the seventh...the Twins unloaded!  All nine batters came to the plate and the Twinkies put up a five spot to take the lead, 9-6.  BUT THE BREWERS WEREN'T DONE!

In the top of the eighth Milwauke scored SEVEN runs, three from a Roy Howell tater and then four when Ben Oglivie hit a bases jacked GRAND SALAMI!  BUT THE TWINS STARTED TO RALLY BACK!!!  In the bottom half of the eighth Kent Hrbek rocked a two-run homer and then Mickey Hatcher made it back to back over the fence, and suddenly the Brewers lead was back down to one run.  But Rollie Fingers worked an inning and two-thirds to save the game for Tom Tellmann, who gave up five runs in relief but somehow got the win.  And I didn't even mention the three ejections due to crazy "Z" cards...

Winning Pitcher - Tom Tellmann
Losing Pitcher - Mike Walters
Save - Rollie Fingers
Player of the Game - Ben Oglivie, 2-4, GS, 4RBI, 2R's, sac fly
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount, Rollie Fingers, Kirby Puckett

January 27, 2017

May 25, 1984 - Royal Oil

Game #546 - Kansas City Royals, 2 @ Boston Red Sox, 5

My heart was aflutter in this one!  Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd cruised through his first five innings without allowing a hit.  The only Royals to make it on base were Onix Concepcion (thanks to a Jackie Gutierrez error) and Darryl Motley (walk).  But in the bottom of the sixth it would be Buddy Biancalana, he of sub-.200 batting average in the real 1984, that would end Boyd's bid with an infield single!  He was only starting the game because Frank White is injured.

Boyd was still tossing a shutout into the ninth when he gave up three singles and was pulled before the game could get away from him.  Bob Stanley cleaned up the mess for the Red Sox victory.  Tony Armas had a triple and a homer while Gutierrez had three hits and two RBI.

Winning Pitcher - Dennis Boyd
Losing Pitcher - Charlie Liebrandt
Save - Bob Stanley
Player of the Game - Boyd
Hall of Famers in the Game - Wade Boggs and Jim Rice

January 25, 2017

May 24, 1984 - Pittsburgh Winn

Game #545 - Cincinnati Reds, 3 @ Pittsburgh Pirates, 4

Joe Price and John Tudor squared off in a battle of southpaw hurlers in the third and final game of the series.  The Pirates scored first in the bottom of the second when Brian Harper smoked a double to plate Jason Thompson all the way from first base.  The Reds tied it up in the top of the fourth, though.  Cesar Cedeno was standing on third when Nick Esasky hit a ball deep enough to score Cedeno with a sacrifice fly.

The tie didn't last long.  In the bottom half of the fourth Pittsburgh managed to load the bases.  Dale Berra stepped up and hit an unlikely double, scoring Tony Pena and Thompson again.  Fast forward to the seventh.  The Pirates were still up 3-2 when a Cecilio Guante fielding error eventually led to Gary Redus crossing home plate and tying the game!

It was still tied in the bottom of the eighth.  With two outs Marvelle Wynn cranked a double off Bob Owchinko.  With the pitcher's position up next, Denny Gonzalez subbed for Jim Winn.  This was Gonzalez's first appearance of the year - he got called up when Bill Madlock went on the DL.  What did he do in his first at-bat?  RBI SINGLE FOR THE LEAD!  Kent Tekulve pitched a perfect ninth and Pittsburgh completed their sweep of the Reds!

Winning Pitcher - Jim Winn
Losing Pitcher - Bob Owchinko
Save - Kent Tekulve
Player of the Game - Denny Gonzalez, 1-1, PH RBI Single
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Perez

January 22, 2017

May 24, 1984 - NL Rookie Pitchers Dazzle

Game # 543 - San Francisco Giants, 0 @ New York Mets, 9

Dwight Gooden toed the rubber for the Metropolitans, and he was fiiiiilthy.  Over seven innings he struck out ten while only walking one.  Meanwhile, Giants starter Bill Laskey got abused, giving up eight runs in less than six innings.  The biggest spark plug in the batter's box was Wally Backman.  He went 4 for 4 with a double, two RBI, four runs, and two stolen bases.

Winning Pitcher - Dwight Gooden
Losing Pitcher - Bill Laskey
Player of the Game - Wally Backman

Game #544 - Los Angeles Dodgers, 4 @ Philadelphia Phillies, 1

Gooden wasn't the only rookie hurler dominating his game.  Orel Hershiser was dominant in his start too.  The only run scored on back to back doubles by Ozzie Virgil and Juan Samuel in the second.  Bulldog went eight innings with just four hits surrendered.  The Dodgers had a three run second inning off Charles Hudson, with two of those runs coming courtesy a Dave Anderson triple, his first on the season.

Winning Pitcher - Orel Hershiser
Losing Pitcher - Charles Hudson
Save - Ken Howell
Player of the Game - Hershiser
Hall of Famers in the Game - Mike Schmidt

January 19, 2017

May 24, 1984 - Let's Play Two!

It occurs to me I've never explained why most of these of posts feature two games at the same time.  The answer is simple:  there are two scorecards per 8.5x11 piece of paper I use!

I still have my original notepad with scorecards that came with my Statis Pro box, but I knew I would blow through that in no time playing this season.  I also knew storing those pages would be harder because they're an odd size.  So I decided to use what you see above - it came with the digital files for all the seasons on the CD my dad bought off eBay a few years back.  For the most part, it works great.  Extra-inning games that go past the 11th can be a problem, as can National League games since there tends to be a lot more pinch-hitting.

The scoring page above is from the two games for this post.  As it so happened, the Cubs were playing two.  The late great Ernie Banks would have loved that.

Game 541 - Atlanta Braves, 1 @ Chicago Cubs, 3

This looked like it was going to be an uphill batter for the Cubs because, prior to the game, I flipped the FAC's to see if Rick Mahler and Scott Sanderson were hot, average, or cold with their stuff.  Mahler actually bumped to a 2-8 rating while Sanderson wasn't feeling it at a 2-5.  But as I've said before...THAT'S WHY YOU PLAY THE GAME!

Bob Dernier attempted  bunt single in the bottom of the first but reached second on a Chris Chambliss error instead.  Ryne Sandberg then singled off the pitcher's card and Dernier scampered home.  A Greg Matthews single moved Ryno to third and then Leon Durham plated him and just like that the Cubbies were up 2-0.  Sanderson, meanwhile, was nearly flawless despite throwing junk.  He lasted eight innings and only gave up two hits.  That was a much needed long performance on a doubleheader day.  Mahler went the distance for the Braves despite tallying the loss.  The win stopped Chicago's THIRTEEN GAME losing streak.  Thank goodness for that.

Winning Pitcher - Scott Sanderson
Losing Pitcher - Rick Mahler
Save - Warren Brusstar
Player of the Game - Sanderson
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

Game 542 - Atlanta Braves 4, Chicago Cubs 5

On to game two!

For doubleheaders this season I've allowed clubs to place a 26th player on their roster, which I think they do in current MLB twin bills (though I don't know if it was that way in 1984).  Atlanta let Tony Brizzolara make his season debut as starter while Chicago trotted out Chuck Rainey.  Neither was particularly good in 1984, so I suspected some offense in this one.  Again, THAT'S WHY YOU PLAY THE GAME!

The Cubs got on the board first.  Steve Lake doubled home Leon Durham and Larry Bowa then singled home Mel Hall and Lake.  They added two more in the fifth when Richie Hebner launched a towering homer over the ivy to jump the lead to 5-0.

Rainey pitched into the seventh before giving up his first run, a homer to (not that) Randy Johnson.  Brad Komminsk then reached on a Bowa error and scored after stealing second while Lake airmailed the attempted assist into center field.  After 6 2/3 Rainey hit the showers, but he recorded a season-high ten strikeouts.

Still leading 5-2 Lee Smith came on in the ninth to go for the save.  He promptly loaded the bases and surrendered two runs!  Just as the situation was looking most desire he got Paul Runge to fly out for the second win on the day.  Perhaps this will be the spark that gets the Cubs out of the cellar in the NL East?

Winning Pitcher - Chuck Rainey
Losing Pitcher - Tony Brizzolara
Save - Lee Smith
Player of the Game - Rainey
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg

Happy Trails...Matt Sinatro

A pretty big problem popped up for me when Bruce Bennedict got injured a few games ago - the Braves essentially only used two catchers in 1984, Bennedict and Alex Trevino.  Matt Sinatro got into two games behind the plate, while Biff Pocoroba had a couple of at-bats but never saw the field.  All that's to say Sinatro got into his two games for the year to spell Trevino and is now done.  What's even sadder than that, though, is he was 0-4 in the real 1984, thus his hitting card had a 1 in 64 chance of an infield hit (FAC 11) or he was an automatic out.  So how did he do in my Statis Pro season?  The exact same: 0-4.  Pocoroba will ride the pine in Sinatro's place until Bennedict is off the DL.

January 15, 2017

May 24, 1984 - Plenty Left

New York Yankees, 3 @ Seattle Mariners, 6

This was a bit of a strange game as Mark Langston was in a lot of trouble through the first four innings.  Willie Randolph got thrown out at home in the first, Don Mattingly was stranded at second in the second, and then Dave Winfield and Rick Cerone both went yard in the third.  Add in a Cerone RBI single in the fourth and the Mariners looked like they could be toast.  However, Langston did strike out six batters through four innings...and ended the game with 13!  That was the big story of the game, as Langston carved up the Bronx Bombers in the back half of the match.

Winning Pitcher - Mark Langston
Losing Pitcher - Ray Fontenot
Player of the Game - Langston, CG, 13K's, 3R's, 0BB's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Dave Winfield

Milwaukee Brewers, 7 @ Texas Rangers, 6

This was the 43rd game of the year for Texas, and they still weren't at ten wins on the season.  They were fired up in the first inning, though, scoring three runs off Don Sutton to start the contest.  Milwaukee came roaring back, though.  Ben Oglivie hit a solo homer in the second and then Robin Yount deposited a ball into the bleachers with the bases loaded - GRAND SLAM!  But the Rangers kept trying to chip their way back into it.  Going into the bottom of the ninth they were only down by two.  Jim Kern was on the mound for the Brew Crew, and he didn't give up a run in the real 1984.  But with one out Marv Foley launched a home run that Kern couldn't do anything about.  He recorded the final two outs, though, to save the, uh, save.

Winning Pitcher - Don Sutton
Losing Pitcher - Danny Darwin
Save - Jim Kern
Player of the Game - Ray Searage, 2IP, 0H's, 0BB's, 2K's
Hall of Famers in the Game - Robin Yount, Don Sutton

January 12, 2017

May 24, 1984 - Five Below

Happy belated New Year's!  Usually the Christmas holiday allows for me to crank out a ton of Statis Pro games, but this time we had various family members from out of town visiting for three straight weeks!  I actually haven't played a game since mid-December.  I've got the shakes!

Detroit Tigers, 11 @ California Angels, 5

This game didn't start off well for Jack Morris.  He gave up a two-run homer to Fred Lynn in the first and another one in the third!  With a 4-0 lead Ron Romanick was cruising.  In fact, he hadn't allowed a hit through the first three innings!  But the Tigers came roaring back (#pun)  in the fourth.  They knocked three straight doubles (Gibson, Lemon, and Rupert Jones) to cut the lead in half.

It was in the fifth, though, that they did their major damage.  They plated SIX runs, including a grand slam by Jones.  Jack Morris wound up going the distance...even though Bobby Grich tagged him for a third home run surrendered in the game in the seventh.

Winning Pitcher - Jack Morris
Losing Pitcher - Ron Romanick
Player of the Game - Rupert Jones, 2-5, 2B, Grand Slam, 5RBI
Hall of Famers in the Game - Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson

Baltimore Orioles, 5 @ Oakland A's, 8

Denny Martinez made his second start on the season and the Orioles gifted him a 2-0 lead after the top of the first but Oakland was having none of it.  Dave Kingman went big-fly with a three-run homer as the A's tagged El Presidente with four in the first.  Martinez settled down a bit until the fifth when Oakland ruined a newly tied game for the Orioles by scoring three more off the Baltimore starter.  Tim Conroy and Keith Atherton relieved Steve McCatty for 2 and 2/3 innings to preserve the win.

Winning Pitcher - Steve McCatty
Losing Pitcher - Denny Martinez
Save - Keith Atherton
Player of the Game - Dave Kingman, 2-5, HR, 4RBI, R
Hall of Famers in the Game - Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan