March 12, 2018

June 6, 1984 - Red, White, and Blue

Game #693 - Texas Rangers, 3 @ Minnesota Twins, 2

Tim Teufel doubled to lead off the bottom of the first and then two batters later Mickey Hatcher doubled him home for the first run of the game.  Charlie Hough settled down after that, though, and pitched seven more innings without a run.

In the top of the sixth Larry Parrish hit a double (he's leading Statis Pro in that category) to plate Buddy Bell.  That was the first run of the game Frank Viola allowed.  It wouldn't be the last, because in the top of the seventh, with two outs, Jeff Kunkel tripled and then Ned Yost homered to break the tie.

Hough was still on the mound in the bottom of the ninth but Randy Bush led off with a solo homer to cut the Rangers' lead to one run.  Dave Schmidt came on for Texas.  Tim Teufel managed a single but Kent Hrbek grounded into a double play to end the game.

Winning Pitcher - Charlie Hough
Losing Pitcher - Frank Viola
Save - Dave Schmidt
Player of the Game - Ned Yost, 1-3, HR, 2RBI

Game #694 - Chicago Cubs, 2 @ Montreal Expos, 5 (14 innings!!!)

Starters Dick Ruthven and Steve Rogers were hanging goose eggs through the first four innings.  But in the top of the fifth Rogers was betrayed by his defense.  Left fielder Roy Johnson misplayed a Bob Dernier single that allowed Larry Bowa to score for the first run of the game.

Fast forward to the bottom of the ninth and it was still a 1-0 game.  Rich Bordi was on for the Cubs to wrap things up but he got into trouble immediately.  Three consecutive singles by Pete Rose, Miguel Dilone, and Wallace Johnson loaded the bases for Derrick Thomas.  Thomas singled to center field!  Rose scored but a super-clutch throw from Dernier nabbed the fleet-footed Dilone at the plate to keep the game tied.  Bordi then walked Bryan Little to reload the bases and that's when George Frazier replaced Bordi.  He had his work cut out for  him, because Tim Raines was standing in the batter's box.  But Frazier managed to whiff him - on to extra innings!

The game stayed tied until the top of the eleventh.  Keith Moreland doubled off Andy McGaffigan and, two outs later, scored on a pinch-hit by Richie Hebner.  That gave Chicago a 2-1 run lead heading into the bottom of the eleventh.  Hebner hit for SS Larry Bowa, so utility infielder Dave Owen came in to play shortstop for the last three outs.  I'm sure you know what happens next.  Angel Salazar hit a ground ball right to him but he misplayed it and Salazar ended up on second base.  He moved to third on a ground out and then scored on a sacrifice fly from Little to tie the game again.  More extra innings!!

In the top of the fourteenth George Frazier was due to hit - he had logged 4+ innings of relief at that point, but with a depleted bench, pitcher Rick Reuschel came in to hit.  He grounded into a double play.  In the bottom half of the inning Reuschel got into immediate trouble.  Tim Raines singled and then stole second.  Andre Dawson grounded out to third, leaving Raines on second with one out.  That brought up Gary Carter.  With first base open, one out, and Montreal's best slugger at the plate, the Cubs opted to intentionally walk Carter to set up the double play for Tim Wallach.  Wallach wasn't having any of that.  After 14 innings of play he was ready to go home.  As in RUN.  HOME RUN.  WALK-OFF!!!

Winning Pitcher - Jeff Reardon
Losing Pitcher - Rick Reuschel
Player of the Game - Tim Wallach, 3-Run Walk-Off Homer!!!
Hall of Famers in the Game - Ryne Sandberg, Tim Raines, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter

Happy Trails...Greg Harris

Greg Harris pitched two scoreless innings of relief in this one.  Fear not, it's not the last time you'll see his name this season.  He got traded to the Padres in the real 1984, though I'll probably hold out on using him until after the All-Star Break.  Let's compare the real 1984 Greg Harris Expos numbers to his Statis Pro performance:

Real 1984:  0-1, 2.04 ERA, 17.2 IP, 2 saves, 0.96 WHIP
Statis Pro:  1-3, 1.20 ERA, 15 IP, 5 saves, 0.87 WHIP

Both versions of Harris are studly for the Montreal bullpen.  Harris actually leads the Statis Pro team in saves.  Jeff Reardon will probably get more use later in the games, now, though I'm trying to channel my inner-Keith Law and use the best pitcher in the highest leverage situation, be it the ninth inning or not.

Greg Harris wrapped up his long career in 1995 by pitching one last season with...the Expos. 

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