NL Day 9: Save Me From the Giants

Duane Kuiper

Duane Kuiper

Giants 11, Braves 10
I know there are some Strat-Heads who like this sort of game, but I am not one of them. The game started off oddly, with Rick Mahler, coming off an amazing first start of the season, lasting just 1.2 innings of work and allowing 7 runs (6 earned) to put the Braves behind 7-1.  Soon enough, Atlanta had added 4 runs, only one of which was earned thanks to costly errors by third baseman Joel Youngblood and left fielder Jeff Leonard.  That cut the Giants’ lead to 7-5.  They extended it back up to 9-5 after 6 innings of work as Atlanta’s bullpen had their own struggles.  In the top of the 7th, Dale Murphy led off with a homer and Chris Chambliss walked, forcing Giants’ starter Randy Lerch out of the game.  In came Gary Lavelle, who walked Randy Johnson (great porn name, by the way), allowed a double to Glenn Hubbard that made it a 9-7 game, walked the bases loaded, allowed an RBI single to Claudell Washington, and then had a grounder to shortstop Johnny LeMaster thrown into an adjacent county allowing two more runs to score and give the Braves a 10-9 lead.  Things calmed down until the bottom of the 9th when Donnie Moore came in to try and notch his first save of the year, facing the bottom 3 in the San Francisco order.  In true Moore fashion, however, things didn’t go according to plan.  Duane Kuiper led off with a single, giving him an improbably fourth time reaching base in five plate appearances.  (Joe Posnanski would be happy.)  He moved up to 2nd as the prospective tying run after a LeMaster sacrifice bunt.  Jack Clark pinch-hit and singled him over to 3rd.  Dan Gladden then singled into right, scoring Kuiper to tie the game, and the defensive substitute of Albert Hall in right field booted the ball, allowing Clark to move to 3rd and Gladded to 2nd.  Manny Trillo then ignored the infield playing in, lifting a fly ball to Murphy in center field, deep enough to score Clark from 3rd.  Giants win a maddening game, 11-10, joining Atlanta at 4-3 in the NL West.  I prefer low-scoring games, so rolling up games with the Bay Area teams has been my own personal nightmare, thus far.  The average game involving the Giants has had 11.5 runs scored – highest in the National League – and games with the Athletics have had 10.2 – 2nd highest in the American League. If both teams reach the World Series, I may consider not playing it!

Mets 7, Cubs 6
Darryl Strawberry and George Fostered each had three hits and a homer in a victory for New York, who took over 1st place in the NL East with a 3-2 mark to start the season.  It wasn’t an easy win, with the Mets blowing an early 5-2 lead as the Cubs chipped away, tying the game in the top of the 9th on a 2-out, 2-RBI single by Gary Matthews, who reached base four times.  In the bottom of the 9th, Strawberry led off with a walk, moved up to 3rd on a Foster single, then scored on an RBI single past a drawn-in infield by Hubie Brooks, who rolled up the GB++.

Cardinals 8, Expos 6
Make it 3 straight losses for Les Expos. They took a 4-3 lead into the 8th inning, but ultimately lost it when George Hendrick hit a three-run homer in the 9th off of Jeff Reardon.  Reardon then allowed a follow-up homer to David Green (2nd).  Montreal tried to come back, but Andre Dawson’s 1st tater of the year cutting into the lead.  With two on and two out, Jeff Lahti finally got Tim Wallach on a pop up to Art Howe at short.  Lahti pitched the final 2 innings and was throwing tired as the only eligible pitcher out of the Cardinals’ bullpen.  Joaquin Andujar threw 7 innings in his first start since opening day for the 4-3 Cardinals, who are tied with the Mets and Cubs atop the NL East, though percentage points behind New York.

Reds 6, Dodgers 4
Cincinnati won for just the 2nd time in 7 games and the Dodgers lost their 3rd straight in a game pitting two teams who are each struggling to start the season.  Fernando Valenzuela became the first pitcher in the season to make a 3rd start to the season and so far the dice are just not going his way.  He started off with 4 shutout innings before things blew up.  His final line: 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 H, 4 BB, 4 K.  He is 0-1 with a 6.05 ERA across 19.1 innings of work.  The big blow came in the bottom of the 6th when, trailing 4-3 with the bases loaded and one out, Nick Esasky came up with a base-clearing triple.  John Franco (0.2 IP), Bob Owchinko (1 IP) and Ted Power (Sv, 2 IP) pitched a fine 3.2 innings of work out of the Cincy pen to notch the victory.

STANDINGS
=========

NL EAST                   W    L   PCT  GB    STR
Chicago Cubs              4    3  .571   -    L 1
St. Louis Cardinals       4    3  .571   -    W 1
New York Mets             3    2  .600   -    W 2
Pittsburgh Pirates        4    4  .500   0.5  W 2
Philadelphia Phillies     3    3  .500   0.5  L 3
Montreal Expos            1    6  .143   3    L 3

NL WEST                   W    L   PCT  GB    STR
Houston Astros            5    1  .833   -    W 2
San Diego Padres          3    1  .750   1    W 2
Atlanta Braves            4    3  .571   1.5  L 1
San Francisco Giants      4    3  .571   1.5  W 1
Los Angeles Dodgers       3    6  .333   3.5  L 3
Cincinnati Reds           2    5  .286   3.5  W 1

TEAM STARS
==========

     BATTER                        PITCHER                  
ATL  Dale Murphy                   Craig McMurtry           
     .423, 3 HR, 10 RBI            1-0, 2.57, 9 K          
CHC  Keith Moreland                Dennis Eckersley         
     .370, 1 HR, 4 RBI             2-0, 0.53, 11 K         
CIN  Nick Esasky                   Ted Power                
     .364, 1 HR, 4 RBI             2 Sv, 0.00              
HOU  Phil Garner                   Frank DiPino             
     .455, 4 RBI                   2-0, 1 Sv, 1.35         
LAD  Mike Marshall                 Orel Hershiser           
     .310, 2 HR, 6 RBI             1-0, 0.00               
MON  Andre Dawson                  Steve Rogers             
     .346, 1 HR, 6 RBI             1-0, 0.00               
NYM  George Foster                 Bruce Berenyi            
     .455, 3 HR, 5 RBI             1-0, 0.00               
PHI  Mike Schmidt                  Steve Carlton            
     .391, 3 HR, 8 RBI             1-1, 1.59, 8 K          
PIT  Jason Thompson                John Tudor               
     .280, 3 HR, 6 RBI             2-0, 0.57, 8 K          
SDP  Tony Gwynn                    Ed Whitson               
     .438, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 SB       1-0, 0.00               
SFG  Jeff Leonard                  Mike Krukow              
     .455, 2 HR, 7 RBI             1-1, 3.21, 9 K          
STL  David Green                   Bruce Sutter             
     .316, 2 HR, 4 RBI             3 Sv, 0.00              

LEADERS
=======

BATTING AVERAGE
 1. Foster, George (NYM)           .455
    Garner, Phil (HOU)             .455
    Leonard, Jeff (SFG)            .455
 4. Gwynn, Tony (SDP)              .438
 5. Murphy, Dale (ATL)             .423
 6. Schmidt, Mike (PHI)            .391
 7. Washington, Claudell (ATL)     .375
 8. Moreland, Keith (CHC)          .370
 9. Brooks, Hubie (NYM)            .368
    Knight, Ray (NYM)              .368

HOME RUNS
1. Foster, George (NYM)              3
   Murphy, Dale (ATL)                3
   Schmidt, Mike (PHI)               3
   Thompson, Jason (PIT)             3
5. Brooks, Hubie (NYM)               2
   Carter, Gary (MON)                2
   Cruz, Jose (HOU)                  2
   Green, David (STL)                2
   Leonard, Jeff (SFG)               2
   Marshall, Mike (LAD)              2
   McReynolds, Kevin (SDP)           2
   Strawberry, Darryl (NYM)          2
   Trevino, Alex (ATL)               2
   Virgil, Ozzie (PHI)               2

RUNS BATTED IN
1. Murphy, Dale (ATL)               10
2. Matthews, Gary (CHC)              8
   McReynolds, Kevin (SDP)           8
   Schmidt, Mike (PHI)               8
   Virgil, Ozzie (PHI)               8

STOLEN BASES
1. Dernier, Bob (CHC)                4
   Raines, Tim (MON)                 4
3. Gladden, Dan (SFG)                3
   Washington, Claudell (ATL)        3
   Wilson, Mookie (NYM)              3

EARNED RUN AVERAGE
 1. Berenyi, Bruce (NYM)           0.00
    Darling, Ron (NYM)             0.00
    Horton, Ricky (STL)            0.00
    Rogers, Steve (MON)            0.00
    Sutter, Bruce (STL)            0.00
    Whitson, Ed (SDP)              0.00
 7. Eckersley, Dennis (CHC)        0.53
 8. Rhoden, Rick (PIT)             0.56
 9. Tudor, John (PIT)              0.57
10. Honeycutt, Rick (LAD)          1.00

WINS-LOSSES
1. DiPino, Frank (HOU)             2-0
   Eckersley, Dennis (CHC)         2-0
   Sambito, Joe (HOU)              2-0
   Tudor, John (PIT)               2-0
5. Orosco, Jesse (NYM)             2-1

STRIKEOUTS
1. Valenzuela, Fernando (LAD)       18
2. Sutcliffe, Rick (CHC)            15
3. Pena, Alejandro (LAD)            14
4. Perez, Pascual (ATL)             13
5. Eckersley, Dennis (CHC)          11
   Welch, Bob (LAD)                 11

SAVES
1. Sutter, Bruce (STL)               3
2. Power, Ted (CIN)                  2
   Smith, Lee (CHC)                  2
   Tekulve, Kent (PIT)               2


SCHEDULE
========

ATL   4-3   Barker, L            (NR)
SFG   4-3   Robinson, J          (0-0, 0.00)

HOU   5-1   LaCoss, M            (NR)
PHI   3-3   Denny, J             (NR)

PIT   4-4   Rhoden, R            (1-1, 0.56)
SDP   3-1   Show, E              (0-0, 4.50)

CHC   4-3   Trout, S             (0-1, 6.00)
NYM   3-2   Darling, R           (0-0, 0.00)

STL   4-3   LaPoint, D           (0-0, 1.35)
MON   1-6   Smith, B             (0-1, 2.57)

LAD   3-6   Honeycutt, R         (1-0, 1.00)
CIN   2-5   Price, J             (0-1, 7.50)
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