Monthly Archives: September 2016

Album Flashback: Prince, “Purple Rain”

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Released on June 25th, 1984, Purple Rain was the 6th album put out by Prince.

Considered by most music critics as his finest album, Rolling Stone magazine named it the 2nd-best album of the 1980s and one of their 100 best of all time.

The soundtrack album featured five singles: “When Doves Cry”, “Let’s Go Crazy”, “Purple Rain”, “I Would Die 4 U” and “Take Me with U”.

Per Wikipedia:

Purple Rain was the first Prince album recorded with and officially credited to his backing group The Revolution. The resulting album was musically denser than Prince’s previous one-man albums, emphasizing full band performances, and multiple layers of guitars, keyboards, icy electronic synthesizer effects, drum machines, and other instruments. Musically, Purple Rain remained grounded in the R&B elements of Prince’s previous work while demonstrating a more pronounced rock feel in its grooves and emphasis on guitar showmanship.

Prince won 1985 Grammy Awards for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group as well as for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or TV Special. Though it didn’t win, the album was also nominated for Album of the Year.

Purple Rain was the highest-selling album for the week of August 4th, and remained the weekly leader through the end of 1984, ultimately holding down the title for 24 straight weeks.

NL Day 66: Mets Top Reds In Wild One

Mookie Wilson

Mookie Wilson

Mets 12, Reds 10 (11 innings)
A wild one in Cincinnati that knocked the Reds a half game back in the West and kept the Mets in pursuit of the Eastern title. We should probably just the line score speak for itself here.

             1 2 3  4 5 6  7 8 9  X X -  R  H  E
New York   - 2 0 0  0 0 2  0 3 1  2 2 - 12 13  2
Cincinnati - 2 3 1  0 0 2  0 0 0  2 0 - 10 17  2

For New York, Mookie Wilson had four hits and Ron Hodges reached base five times. For Cincinnati, Wayne Krenchicki and Dave Concepcion each reached base four times. Nick Esasky batted 8th for the Reds and hit two homers (7).

Cubs 4, Giants 3
Chicago maintained a two-game lead in the East with a hard-fought win over San Francisco. The Cubs were dealt a tough blow early on, with Bob Brenly hitting a 3-run homer (5th) in the 1st inning to put them behind early. Then starting pitcher Dennis Eckersley went down with a 5-game injury. But they chipped away, with RBI singles by Ron Cey, Ryne Sandberg and Jody Davis tying the game up 3-3 after 5 innings. In the bottom of the 6th, reliever Warren Brusstar was allowed to bat and led off with a walk, later scoring on a slow ground out to short by Gary Matthews. The always unpredictable Lee Smith pitched two innings for his 12th save on the season. Great work by the Cubs’ bullpen with three relievers combining for 7 shutout innings, allowing just 2 hits.

Padres 3, Expos 2
Terry Kennedy drove in a pair of runs and hit his 3rd homer of the season for San Diego, who snapped a 3-game losing streak and moved back into a virtual three-way tie at the top of the NL West. Goose Gossage went 2 innings for his 8th save of the season, working around a double by Scott in the 9th, getting Tim Raines on a fly out to left and Little on a grounder to third to close it out. Kevin McReynolds hit his 7th homer of the season for the Friars.

Dodgers 3, Pirates 0
Los Angeles won their 4th straight, with Bob Welch (4-6) tossing a 4-hit shutout. Ken Landreaux hit a solo homer (4th) in the 1st and Pedro Guerrero had a 2-run homer (6th) in the 3rd and that was all the Dodgers needed. Though they’re in 5th place, the Dodgers are just 2.5 games back.

Astros 4, Braves 2
Just a couple minutes into the game a fight broke out that resulted in the ejection of two players, including Houston starting left fielder Jose Cruz. Tensions are running high in the NL West with these two teams entering the game tied atop the division. In the end, the ‘stros came away winners, but it wasn’t easy. Claudell Washington led off with a single and was thrown out stealing as second baseman Bill Doran got a little “extra-curricular” and planted a knee in the face of Washington. Words were spoken and benches emptied. Rafael Ramirez followed with a double and Gerald Perry brought him with an RBI single to spot the Braves an early lead as they sought their 5th straight win. Terry Puhl’s 5th homer of the season came in the bottom of the 2nd, giving Houston a 2-1 lead. They extended the lead with an RBI single by Jerry Mumphrey the following inning. Chris Chambliss brought Atlanta closer with a solo homer (5th) in the 4th inning and they looked poised to get the lead back in the 5th when starting pitcher Len Barker doubled and moved to 3rd on a Washington single. After Washington stole second, however, Astros starter Bob Knepper buckled down, striking out Ramirez, Perry and Dale Murphy. Houston got out of another jam in the 8th, striking out Jerry Royster with the bases loaded and two out. So Houston now takes sole possession of the lead in the division but every team is right on their tail. These two teams go right back at it tomorrow and look for Atlanta starting pitcher Pascual Perez to receive some pre-game warnings from the umpires. He’s been known to retaliate…

Phillies 4, Cardinals 1
Steve Carlton (W 4-5) went the distance for Philadelphia, who kept 2 games back of Chicago in the East. Von Hayes broke out of his slump, going 1-for-2 with a double and a pair of walks. Mike Schmidt had an RBI single and walked twice. A tough go again for St. Louis who was once again working around a Joaquin Andujar injury and forced to go short-handed.

STANDINGS
=========

NL EAST                   W    L   PCT  GB    STR
Chicago Cubs             30   20  .600   -    W 2
Philadelphia Phillies    26   20  .565   2    W 1
New York Mets            26   22  .542   3    W 1
Montreal Expos           25   24  .510   4.5  L 1
Pittsburgh Pirates       22   28  .440   8    L 2
St. Louis Cardinals      18   26  .409   9    L 1

NL WEST                   W    L   PCT  GB    STR
Houston Astros           24   22  .522   -    W 1
San Diego Padres         26   25  .510   0.5  W 1
Cincinnati Reds          24   24  .500   1.0  L 1
Atlanta Braves           22   22  .500   1.0  L 1
Los Angeles Dodgers      23   27  .460   3.0  W 4
San Francisco Giants     21   27  .438   4.0  L 2

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

     BATTER                        PITCHER                  
ATL  Dale Murphy                   Steve Bedrosian          
     .262, 8 HR, 30 RBI            4-4, 5 Sv, 3.48         
CHC  Leon Durham                   Rick Sutcliffe           
     .303, 12 HR, 36 RBI, 6 SB     8-3, 2.90, 106 K        
CIN  Dave Concepcion               Mario Soto               
     .250, 10 SB                   7-5, 2.70, 74 K         
HOU  Jose Cruz                     Mike Scott               
     .299, 5 HR, 19 RBI, 7 SB      5-1, 2.78               
LAD  Pedro Guerrero                Alejandro Pena           
     .303, 6 HR, 24 RBI            5-2, 2.13, 50 K         
MON  Gary Carter                   Jeff Reardon             
     .289, 6 HR, 27 RBI            3-1, 8 Sv, 2.63         
NYM  Mookie Wilson                 Dwight Gooden            
     .345, 5 HR, 31 RBI, 14 SB     7-2, 2.23, 103 K        
PHI  Von Hayes                     John Denny               
     .348, 7 HR, 31 RBI, 16 SB     5-1, 1.95               
PIT  Lee Lacy                      Larry McWilliams         
     .353, 10 SB                   5-5, 3.49, 71 K         
SDP  Tony Gwynn                    Mark Thurmond            
     .353, 32 RBI, 21 SB           5-3, 2.86               
SFG  Jeff Leonard                  Greg Minton              
     .318, 12 HR, 38 RBI           3-5, 6 Sv, 3.98         
STL  Tommy Herr                    Bruce Sutter             
     .272                          8 Sv, 0.66              

LEADERS
=======

BATTING AVERAGE
 1. Gladden, Dan (SFG)             .391
 2. Gwynn, Tony (SDP)              .353
    Lacy, Lee (PIT)                .353
 4. Hayes, Von (PHI)               .348
 5. Wilson, Mookie (NYM)           .345
 6. Leonard, Jeff (SFG)            .318
 7. Oliver, Al (PHI)               .315
 8. Virgil, Ozzie (PHI)            .314
 9. Davis, Chili (SFG)             .308
10. Rose, Pete (CIN)               .306

HOME RUNS
 1. Durham, Leon (CHC)               12
    Leonard, Jeff (SFG)              12
 3. Brock, Greg (LAD)                10
    Davis, Chili (SFG)               10
    Schmidt, Mike (PHI)              10

RUNS BATTED IN
 1. Leonard, Jeff (SFG)              38
 2. Durham, Leon (CHC)               36
 3. Schmidt, Mike (PHI)              34
 4. Davis, Chili (SFG)               32
    Gwynn, Tony (SDP)                32

STOLEN BASES
 1. Raines, Tim (MON)                24
 2. Dernier, Bob (CHC)               23
    Wiggins, Alan (SDP)              23

EARNED RUN AVERAGE
 1. LaPoint, Dave (STL)            1.81
 2. Hershiser, Orel (LAD)          1.93
 3. Denny, John (PHI)              1.95
 4. Pena, Alejandro (LAD)          2.13
    Tibbs, Jay (CIN)               2.13
 6. Sanderson, Scott (CHC)         2.17
 7. Gooden, Dwight (NYM)           2.23
 8. Honeycutt, Rick (LAD)          2.27
 9. Andujar, Joaquin (STL)         2.42
10. Welch, Bob (LAD)               2.58

WINS-LOSSES
 1. Sutcliffe, Rick (CHC)           8-3
 2. Gooden, Dwight (NYM)            7-2
 3. Soto, Mario (CIN)               7-5
 4. Tudor, John (PIT)               6-6
 5. Denny, John (PHI)               5-1
    Scott, Mike (HOU)               5-1

STRIKEOUTS
 1. Sutcliffe, Rick (CHC)           106
 2. Gooden, Dwight (NYM)            103
 3. Valenzuela, Fernando (LAD)       95
 4. Soto, Mario (CIN)                74
 5. McWilliams, Larry (PIT)          71

SAVES
 1. Smith, Lee (CHC)                 12
 2. Gossage, Goose (SDP)              8
    Reardon, Jeff (MON)               8
    Sutter, Bruce (STL)               8


SCHEDULE
========

SDP  26-25  Show, E              (4-3, 3.72)
MON  25-24  Gullickson, B        (1-7, 5.14)

ATL  22-22  Perez, P             (3-5, 4.10)
HOU  24-22  Scott, M             (5-1, 2.78)

STL  18-26  Andujar, J           (4-3, 2.42)
PHI  26-20  Rawley, S            (4-2, 2.61)

AL Day 66: Tigers Rolling Again, Win 4th Straight

morrisjack-tigersTigers 6, Yankees 3
Jack Morris won his 10th game, throwing a complete game as Detroit won their 4th in a row. Homers by Kirk Gibson (15th) and Lance Parrish (9th) gave the Bengals a 3-0 lead in the 1st, but Don Mattingly’s 2-run homer (5th) in the 3rd tied the game back up. Parrish hit a sac fly in the 5th to give the Tigers the lead back and a Chet Lemon triple in the 6th opened the game up.

Royals 5, Blue Jays 2
Darryl Motley went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and a walk as Kansas City was winners again. Bret Saberhagen pitched well, but only lasted 4.1 innings (1 run allowed) and failed to qualify for the win. Joe Beckwith was credited with the victory, tossing 2.2 shutout innings in relief of Sabes. The Jays staged a 9th inning rally, bringing the tying run to the plate with two outs in the 9th before Dan Quisenberry retired Cliff Johnson on a grounder to third for his 8th save.

Indians 6, White Sox 2
Cleveland rode a 5-run 4th inning to an easy win over Chicago. Mel Hall’s 3-run homer was the big blow – his 7th on the season. Ron Kittle broke up the shutout bid with a 2-run homer in the 9th – his 13th.

Mariners 10, Athletics 8
A slugfest by the Bay, with a combined 18 runs and 30 hits. Ken Phelps went 3-for-3 with a HR (6th) and two walks for a perfect day at the plate to lead the Mariners. Dave Henderson popped his 7th homer of the season for the M’s, a 3-run blast in the 3rd that put them ahead 5-4. They never looked back. Mark Langston wasn’t lights out, but he did improve to 3-9 with 6.1 innings of work. Dave Kingman homered (9th) and drove in four runs in the Oakland loss.

Rangers 4, Angels 3
Larry Parrish had a pair of 2-RBI doubles to account for all four Texas runs as the Rangers held off the Halos. Dave Stewart finally had a nice start, going 7+ innings for Texas and improving to 3-5. Dave Tobik picked up his 1st save with 2 perfect innings of relief pitching.

Brewers 2, Orioles 1
It was a great pitching duel between two veterans in Milwaukee, with the ageless Don Sutton (W 2-5) tossing 7.1 innings for the win, allowing just a solo homer (7th) to the red hot Cal Ripken. Sutton struck out 8 before turning it over to Rollie Fingers for his 6th save. Mike Flanagan (L 2-8) went 6 innings, allowing 2 runs. Hard to believe that Sutton came into the game with a 5.01 ERA and Flanny with a 5.99, but then again these teams are two of the bottom three offenses in the American League right now.

STANDINGS
=========

AL EAST                   W    L   PCT  GB    STR
Detroit Tigers           37   12  .755   -    W 4
Boston Red Sox           28   21  .571   9    W 2
Cleveland Indians        27   23  .540  10.5  W 1
New York Yankees         25   22  .532  11    L 1
Toronto Blue Jays        24   23  .511  12    L 1
Baltimore Orioles        24   26  .480  13.5  L 1
Milwaukee Brewers        11   37  .229  25.5  W 1

AL WEST                   W    L   PCT  GB    STR
Kansas City Royals       32   16  .667   -    W 1
Chicago White Sox        23   25  .479   9    L 1
Oakland Athletics        23   25  .479   9    L 3
Seattle Mariners         23   26  .469   9.5  W 1
Minnesota Twins          23   26  .469   9.5  W 1
California Angels        21   28  .429  11.5  L 2
Texas Rangers            19   30  .388  13.5  W 1

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

     BATTER                        PITCHER                  
BAL  Cal Ripken                    Storm Davis              
     .289, 7 HR, 22 RBI            9-1, 1.45, 41 K         
BOS  Tony Armas                    Bob Ojeda                
     .300, 19 HR, 52 RBI           7-4, 3.32, 61 K         
CAL  Fred Lynn                     Ron Romanick             
     .311, 8 HR, 28 RBI            4-6, 2.36               
CHW  Harold Baines                 LaMarr Hoyt              
     .324, 10 HR, 30 RBI           9-3, 2.24, 55 K         
CLE  Julio Franco                  Bert Blyleven            
     .322, 33 RBI, 8 SB            5-3, 1.67, 53 K         
DET  Kirk Gibson                   Jack Morris              
     .287, 15 HR, 52 RBI, 7 SB     10-2, 2.70, 57 K        
KCR  Willie Wilson                 Mark Gubicza             
     .313, 16 SB                   6-2, 2.20, 40 K         
MIL  Cecil Cooper                  Bob McClure              
     .280                          3-4, 3.02, 39 K         
MIN  Kent Hrbek                    Mike Smithson            
     .297, 7 HR, 27 RBI            9-3, 3.58, 51 K         
NYY  Don Mattingly                 Phil Niekro              
     .338, 5 HR, 34 RBI            7-2, 2.61, 61 K         
OAK  Rickey Henderson              Bill Caudill             
     .366, 6 HR, 22 RBI, 23 SB     11 Sv, 2.73             
SEA  Alvin Davis                   Jim Beattie              
     .262, 9 HR, 29 RBI            6-3, 2.87, 50 K         
TEX  Larry Parrish                 Frank Tanana             
     .269, 10 HR, 38 RBI           5-6, 3.66, 53 K         
TOR  Lloyd Moseby                  Luis Leal                
     .292, 19 RBI, 8 SB            7-4, 2.60, 61 K         

LEADERS
=======

BATTING AVERAGE
 1. Henderson, Rickey (OAK)        .366
 2. Lansford, Carney (OAK)         .340
 3. Mattingly, Don (NYY)           .338
 4. Tabler, Pat (CLE)              .326
 5. Baines, Harold (CHW)           .324
 6. Franco, Julio (CLE)            .322
 7. Puckett, Kirby (MIN)           .321
 8. Boggs, Wade (BOS)              .315
 9. Barrett, Marty (BOS)           .314
    Griffey, Ken (NYY)             .314

HOME RUNS
 1. Armas, Tony (BOS)                19
 2. Gibson, Kirk (DET)               15
 3. Kittle, Ron (CHW)                13
 4. Baines, Harold (CHW)             10
    Brunansky, Tom (MIN)             10
    Gedman, Rich (BOS)               10
    Lemon, Chet (DET)                10
    Parrish, Larry (TEX)             10

RUNS BATTED IN
 1. Armas, Tony (BOS)                52
    Gibson, Kirk (DET)               52
 3. Evans, Dwight (BOS)              40
 4. Parrish, Larry (TEX)             38
 5. Kittle, Ron (CHW)                37

STOLEN BASES
 1. Garcia, Damaso (TOR)             25
 2. Henderson, Rickey (OAK)          23
 3. Pettis, Gary (CAL)               21

EARNED RUN AVERAGE
 1. Davis, Storm (BAL)             1.45
 2. Blyleven, Bert (CLE)           1.67
 3. Butcher, John (MIN)            1.97
 4. Berenguer, Juan (DET)          2.09
 5. Saberhagen, Bret (KCR)         2.18
 6. Gubicza, Mark (KCR)            2.20
 7. Hoyt, LaMarr (CHW)             2.24
 8. Boddicker, Mike (BAL)          2.29
 9. Romanick, Ron (CAL)            2.36
10. Clemens, Roger (BOS)           2.52

WINS-LOSSES
 1. Morris, Jack (DET)             10-2
    Petry, Dan (DET)               10-2
 3. Davis, Storm (BAL)              9-1
 4. Hoyt, LaMarr (CHW)              9-3
    Smithson, Mike (MIN)            9-3

STRIKEOUTS
 1. Langston, Mark (SEA)             97
 2. Witt, Mike (CAL)                 86
 3. Stieb, Dave (TOR)                79
 4. Clemens, Roger (BOS)             62
 5. Leal, Luis (TOR)                 61
    Niekro, Phil (NYY)               61
    Ojeda, Bob (BOS)                 61

SAVES
 1. Hernandez, Willie (DET)          12
 2. Caudill, Bill (OAK)              11
 3. Righetti, Dave (NYY)              9


SCHEDULE
========

NYY  25-22  Cowley, J            (1-1, 3.68)
DET  37-12  Petry, D             (10-2, 2.88)

TOR  24-23  Gott, J              (1-0, 3.24)
KCR  32-16  Black, B             (6-5, 2.78)

MIN  23-26  Viola, F             (3-5, 3.99)
BOS  28-21  Ojeda, B             (7-4, 3.32)

CLE  27-23  Heaton, N            (2-4, 6.14)
CHW  23-25  Hoyt, L              (9-3, 2.24)

SEA  23-26  Beattie, J           (6-3, 2.87)
OAK  23-25  Sorensen, L          (4-4, 5.80)

BAL  24-26  Davis, S             (9-1, 1.45)
MIL  11-37  McClure, B           (3-4, 3.02)

CAL  21-28  John, T              (2-4, 3.33)
TEX  19-30  Hough, C             (4-7, 5.52)

Movie Flashback: Purple Rain

purple-rain-poster

Topping the box office for one weekend in 1984 (July 29th, to be exact) was Purple Rain, starring the recently-deceased Prince.

Somehow I never saw it, but I’ll gladly hand the reins of this post over to some friends who did. One, in particular – musician Brandon Washington, who I’ve known longer than I haven’t.

Purple Rain- The best bad movie ever.

I mean, it’s not like Purple Rain is supposed to be taken at face value. It’s a hero story, the same as Rocky before it, the same as it’s contemporary, the original Karate Kid, and it’s the blueprint for Eminem’s 8 Mile. It’s not like The Time, or Appolonia, or The Kid, as Prince is called, are seasoned actors. Rather, this film is the epitome of the whole being greater than the sum of it’s parts. The by-the-numbers story-line actually helps showcase the outstanding music. I remember being slightly scared by Prince, especially the motorcycle…I knew what the biological symbols for male and female were, but at ten years old, I was like “Why are they put together like that?” It made me uneasy, but the music calmed me down, especially the “I Would Die 4 U”-‘Baby I’m A Star” pairing, which works on film almost as well as it does on record. I realize that I wasn’t supposed to laugh when Prince slaps Appolonia for sleeping with Morris Day, and by all visual confirmation, Prince looked to be at the time, a horrible kisser, but when “Purple Rain” begins at the films climactic moment, it also achieves what the quality of the film had been trying to kill for the previous 80 or so minutes. It suspends my disbelief, and I raise my hands in affirmation of life, love and carrying on. Isn’t that what it’s supposed to do?

– Brandon T. Washington, musician

Just a Quick Note

Only 4 more posts I’ll plan on making here before taking a back-seat to the actual 2016 MLB season.

I won’t be scheduling any more posts until after the conclusion of the 2016 postseason, leaving me at having filled you in on 66 of the 88 days of the season – exactly at the 3/4 mark.

In other news, I did roll out the 700th game of the project last week, so I’m getting there!

Eager to get it wrapped up, but still enjoying some of the little things, like how a meaningless game between two 7th place teams can end up being a really exciting, well-pitched, 2-1 affair.

You just never know.

And sometimes it looks like things are completely wrapped up and then, all of a sudden, a dominant team can lose 3 in a row and the 2nd place team has been on fire and all of a sudden it’s a tight race again.

Let’s just say there will be plenty of stories left for the final quarter of the season.

See you on the other side of the 2016 season! More to come this week…

NL Day 65: Wild West, 3-Way Tie

9cc8d8071b570a25127cd7913e020dc5Cubs 10, Giants 0
San Francisco fell back into the cellar in the NL West (though just 3 games back) while Chicago took a 2-game lead in the East after a lop-sided affair at Wrigley Field. “The Red Baron”, Rick Sutcliffe, tossed a 5-hit shutout, striking out 8. Sut leads the Senior Circuit in wins (8) and strikeouts (106), though he’s still not in the top 10 for ERA, so a run at the “Pitcher’s Triple Crown” doesn’t appear very likely at this point. Bob Dernier served well as Chicago’s table-setter, reaching base four times atop the lineup, scoring twice, stealing a base, and driving in a run. Each position player had at least one hit, with only Sutcliffe (0-for-5, 4 SO) struggling at the plate. That’s actually a bit of a surprise, given that he’s actually plenty capable with the lumber, hitting .286 this season.

Reds 5, Mets 1
But this post is mainly about the NL West, so let’s point out that the Cincinnati win puts them into a virtual 3-way tie atop the division, even if it’s technically .0009896 points out of the lead. Sure, they’re just 24-23, but who cares? Frank Pastore continued to benefit from some kind of deal he’s apparently made with the Dice Gods, improving to 4-1 with a complete game victory. His 6.50 ERA in 1984 is hardly being replicated here, where he has a 3.09 mark. His shutout bid was spoiled in the 9th by George Foster’s solo shot (8th). On the offensive side, it was Dave Concepcion with a 3-hit night (.241). Pastore also helped himself out, going 3-for-4 after starting out the season just 2-for-16.

Cardinals 3, Phillies 1
Kurt Kepshire improved to 4-1 with a 2.95 ERA, besting Philadelphia in a 3-1 complete game win. George Hendrick went 2-for-4 with a double for St. Louis. It was Philly’s 2nd straight loss as they dropped 2 games back of Chicago in the NL East, though they have 19 games remaining compared to just 15 for the Cubs. Glenn Wilson reached base three times for the Phils.

Dodgers 1, Pirates 0
This sort of game might drive a lesser fan crazy, but it’s just perfect for me. Fernando Valenzuela tosses 9 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits and 3 walks while fanning 11 for the Dodgers. In the bottom of the 9th, with the game still scoreless, he’s lifted for pinch-hitter Bob Bailor with two men on and two out. Rod Scurry relieves Pirates’ starter Rick Rhoden. Bailor singles for the walk-off win. The Dodgers are tied for last place in the NL West. And they’re just 3 games back, winners of 3 straight. Fernando is 4-7, but 10th in the National League with a 2.63 ERA and 3rd in strikeouts with 95.

Braves 4, Astros 3
Another day, another win for Atlanta who ran their streak to four games and took over 1st place in the NL west, though they are in a virtual three-way tie with the ‘stros and Reds. All three teams are one game over .500, although they have each played a different number of games. Houston took a 2-0 lead through two innings on an RBI single by Jose Cruz and solo homer by Terry Puhl (4th). Joe Niekro took a 2-0 lead into the 7th but was undone by a Phil Garner error that led to a pair of unearned runs – one scoring on a sac fly by Jerry Royster and another on a double by Bob Horner, filling in only after an injury to Albert Hall. The score held tied 2-2 into the 10th, when Dale Murphy connected for a two-run homer (8th) off of reliever Dave Smith. Donnie Moore once again got the call for the save, serving up a solo homer off the bat of Enos Cabell (5th) before retiring Puhl on a sterling play by Glenn Hubbard at second. Hard to say where the Bravos go from here with the closer situation. Both Moore and Steve Bedrosian have five saves now. Bedrosian has the better ERA (3.48 to 4.09), but Moore the better WHIP (1.27 to 1.45). Bedrosian walks more men (4.4 BB/9 compared to 2.0) but also strikes more out (9.1 K/9 to 6.5). Look for the two to pretty much alternate for now, with the team riding whoever has been pitching more effectively as of late. This was just the first game of a big 4-game series in Houston and hopefully this game was an indication of what we’re in for here. The Braves are wrapping up the project with 24 of their final 26 games coming in the division. For the Astros, 16 of their final 20 games are against the Braves and Cincinnati Reds – the other two teams atop the NL West. And don’t forget the San Diego Padres, who are just a half game out. They have 14 games remaining, including 4 at home against Atlanta.

STANDINGS
=========

NL EAST                   W    L   PCT  GB    STR
Chicago Cubs             29   20  .592   -    W 1
Philadelphia Phillies    25   20  .556   2    L 2
New York Mets            25   22  .532   3    L 2
Montreal Expos           25   23  .521   3.5  W 1
Pittsburgh Pirates       22   27  .449   7    L 1
St. Louis Cardinals      18   25  .419   8    W 1

NL WEST                   W    L   PCT  GB    STR
Atlanta Braves           22   21  .512   -    W 4
Houston Astros           23   22  .511   -    L 1
Cincinnati Reds          24   23  .511   -    W 1
San Diego Padres         25   25  .500   0.5  L 3
Los Angeles Dodgers      22   27  .449   3    W 3
San Francisco Giants     21   26  .447   3    L 1

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

     BATTER                        PITCHER                  
ATL  Dale Murphy                   Gene Garber              
     .262, 8 HR, 30 RBI            4-0, 0.78               
CHC  Gary Matthews                 Rick Sutcliffe           
     .276, 6 HR, 29 RBI, 9 SB      8-3, 2.90, 106 K        
CIN  Dave Concepcion               Mario Soto               
     .241, 9 SB                    7-5, 2.70, 74 K         
HOU  Jose Cruz                     Mike Scott               
     .299, 5 HR, 19 RBI, 7 SB      5-1, 2.78               
LAD  Pedro Guerrero                Alejandro Pena           
     .304, 5 HR, 22 RBI            5-2, 2.13, 50 K         
MON  Tim Raines                    Jeff Reardon             
     .303, 23 SB                   3-1, 8 Sv, 2.73         
NYM  Mookie Wilson                 Dwight Gooden            
     .337, 5 HR, 26 RBI, 13 SB     7-2, 2.23, 103 K        
PHI  Juan Samuel                   John Denny               
     .293, 6 HR, 14 SB             5-1, 1.95               
PIT  Johnny Ray                    Larry McWilliams         
     .311                          5-4, 3.46, 63 K         
SDP  Tony Gwynn                    Mark Thurmond            
     .355, 32 RBI, 21 SB           5-3, 2.86               
SFG  Jeff Leonard                  Greg Minton              
     .320, 12 HR, 38 RBI           3-5, 6 Sv, 4.19         
STL  Tommy Herr                    Bruce Sutter             
     .279                          8 Sv, 0.70              

LEADERS
=======

BATTING AVERAGE
 1. Gwynn, Tony (SDP)              .355
 2. Lacy, Lee (PIT)                .349
 3. Hayes, Von (PHI)               .347
 4. Wilson, Mookie (NYM)           .337
 5. Oliver, Al (PHI)               .321
 6. Leonard, Jeff (SFG)            .320
 7. Ray, Johnny (PIT)              .311
 8. Durham, Leon (CHC)             .309
    Virgil, Ozzie (PHI)            .309
10. Davis, Chili (SFG)             .308

HOME RUNS
 1. Durham, Leon (CHC)               12
    Leonard, Jeff (SFG)              12
 3. Brock, Greg (LAD)                10
    Davis, Chili (SFG)               10
    Schmidt, Mike (PHI)              10

RUNS BATTED IN
 1. Leonard, Jeff (SFG)              38
 2. Durham, Leon (CHC)               36
 3. Schmidt, Mike (PHI)              33
 4. Davis, Chili (SFG)               32
    Gwynn, Tony (SDP)                32

STOLEN BASES
 1. Raines, Tim (MON)                23
 2. Wiggins, Alan (SDP)              22
 3. Dernier, Bob (CHC)               21
    Gwynn, Tony (SDP)                21

EARNED RUN AVERAGE
 1. LaPoint, Dave (STL)            1.81
 2. Hershiser, Orel (LAD)          1.93
 3. Denny, John (PHI)              1.95
 4. Pena, Alejandro (LAD)          2.13
 5. Sanderson, Scott (CHC)         2.17
 6. Gooden, Dwight (NYM)           2.23
 7. Honeycutt, Rick (LAD)          2.27
 8. Andujar, Joaquin (STL)         2.42
 9. Rawley, Shane (PHI)            2.61
10. Valenzuela, Fernando (LAD)     2.63

WINS-LOSSES
 1. Sutcliffe, Rick (CHC)           8-3
 2. Gooden, Dwight (NYM)            7-2
 3. Soto, Mario (CIN)               7-5
 4. Tudor, John (PIT)               6-6
 5. Denny, John (PHI)               5-1
    Scott, Mike (HOU)               5-1

STRIKEOUTS
 1. Sutcliffe, Rick (CHC)           106
 2. Gooden, Dwight (NYM)            103
 3. Valenzuela, Fernando (LAD)       95
 4. Soto, Mario (CIN)                74
 5. Perez, Pascual (ATL)             69

SAVES
 1. Smith, Lee (CHC)                 11
 2. Reardon, Jeff (MON)               8
    Sutter, Bruce (STL)               8


SCHEDULE
========

NYM  25-22  Berenyi, B           (4-0, 2.14)
CIN  24-23  Tibbs, J             (3-2, 1.65)

SFG  21-26  Davis, M             (2-3, 5.44)
CHC  29-20  Eckersley, D         (4-4, 2.75)

SDP  25-25  Whitson, E           (2-4, 4.42)
MON  25-23  Smith, B             (4-1, 3.10)

PIT  22-27  McWilliams, L        (5-4, 3.46)
LAD  22-27  Welch, B             (3-6, 2.98)

ATL  22-21  Barker, L            (3-2, 3.49)
HOU  23-22  Knepper, B           (3-5, 3.53)

STL  18-25  Lahti, J             (4-3, 3.25)
PHI  25-20  Carlton, S           (3-5, 3.14)

NL Day 64: Mets Fall to Spos, Lose Hernandez

front-5Expos 4, Mets 3
In the spotlight series, it was Montreal winning a tight game against New York. Doug Flynn’s 2-RBI double in the 4th tied it and Tim Raines’ RBI single brought him home to put the ‘Spos ahead. The Mets lost first baseman Keith Hernandez for one game. He had gone 2-for-4 with his 6th homer of the season. Hernandez is hitting .298 with a .387 OBP.

Braves 6, Padres 5
Atlanta won their 3rd straight, remaining one game back along with Cincinnati and San Diego, the team they beat tonight. The Friars took a 4-1 lead but Andy Hawkins couldn’t hold the Braves down, surrendering a 2-RBI single to Chris Chambliss in the bottom of the 3rd and 2-RBI double to Gerald Perry in the 4th. A sac fly by Tony Gwynn tied the game in the top of the 7th, but Dale Murphy collected his 7th tater of the season in the bottom of the inning, breaking the tie and ultimately proving the game-winner. In an interesting development, the Bravos went back to Donnie Moore for a save – he worked around a one-out double by Steve Garvey in the 9th, striking out Terry Kennedy to notch his 4th save.

Dodgers 5, Reds 0
Los Angeles remained in last place but is also just 4 games back as Rick Honeycutt (W 4-4) tossed a 4-hit shutout against Cincinnati. The NL West has 3 teams who are just 1 game back. Pedro Guerrero (5th) and Greg Brock (10th) went deep for the Dodgers, while Franklin Stubbs – filling in at center field – went 3-for-3 with a walk. Brock, who went 3-for-4, has played in just 29 games but has a slash line of .330 / .395 / .670 for a 1.065 OPS.

Pirates 7, Cardinals 2
John Candelaria finally got his first win, going the distance and allowing 2 runs (1 earned). Helping out was second baseman Johnny Ray, who had a pair of solo homers – his first of the season. Bill Madlock went down with a 10-game injury, replaced by Jim Morrison who had a pair of hits. Also with a multi-hit game was Tony Pena and Doug Frobel.

STANDINGS
=========

NL EAST                   W    L   PCT  GB    STR
Chicago Cubs             28   20  .583   -    L 1
Philadelphia Phillies    25   19  .568   1    L 1
New York Mets            25   21  .543   2    L 1
Montreal Expos           25   23  .521   3    W 1
Pittsburgh Pirates       22   26  .458   6    W 2
St. Louis Cardinals      17   25  .405   8    L 2

NL WEST                   W    L   PCT  GB    STR
Houston Astros           23   21  .523   -    W 1
San Diego Padres         25   25  .500   1    L 3
Cincinnati Reds          23   23  .500   1    L 2
Atlanta Braves           21   21  .500   1    W 3
San Francisco Giants     21   25  .457   3    W 1
Los Angeles Dodgers      21   27  .438   4    W 2

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

     BATTER                        PITCHER                  
ATL  Dale Murphy                   Gene Garber              
     .263, 7 HR, 28 RBI            4-0, 0.86               
CHC  Leon Durham                   Rick Sutcliffe           
     .310, 12 HR, 36 RBI, 6 SB     7-3, 3.18, 97 K         
CIN  Pete Rose                     Mario Soto               
     .307                          7-5, 2.70, 74 K         
HOU  Jose Cruz                     Mike Scott               
     .300, 5 HR, 18 RBI, 6 SB      5-1, 2.78               
LAD  Pedro Guerrero                Alejandro Pena           
     .311, 5 HR, 22 RBI            5-2, 2.13, 50 K         
MON  Tim Raines                    Jeff Reardon             
     .303, 23 SB                   3-1, 8 Sv, 2.73         
NYM  Mookie Wilson                 Dwight Gooden            
     .337, 5 HR, 26 RBI, 13 SB     7-2, 2.23, 103 K        
PHI  Juan Samuel                   John Denny               
     .299, 6 HR, 14 SB             5-1, 1.95               
PIT  Lee Lacy                      Larry McWilliams         
     .349, 10 SB                   5-4, 3.46, 63 K         
SDP  Tony Gwynn                    Mark Thurmond            
     .355, 32 RBI, 21 SB           5-3, 2.86               
SFG  Jeff Leonard                  Greg Minton              
     .326, 12 HR, 38 RBI           3-5, 6 Sv, 4.19         
STL  Tommy Herr                    Bruce Sutter             
     .286                          8 Sv, 0.70              

LEADERS
=======

BATTING AVERAGE
 1. Gwynn, Tony (SDP)              .355
    Hayes, Von (PHI)               .355
 3. Lacy, Lee (PIT)                .349
 4. Wilson, Mookie (NYM)           .337
 5. Leonard, Jeff (SFG)            .326
 6. Oliver, Al (PHI)               .324
 7. Ray, Johnny (PIT)              .317
 8. Guerrero, Pedro (LAD)          .311
 9. Davis, Chili (SFG)             .310
    Durham, Leon (CHC)             .310

HOME RUNS
 1. Durham, Leon (CHC)               12
    Leonard, Jeff (SFG)              12
 3. Brock, Greg (LAD)                10
    Davis, Chili (SFG)               10
    Schmidt, Mike (PHI)              10

RUNS BATTED IN
 1. Leonard, Jeff (SFG)              38
 2. Durham, Leon (CHC)               36
 3. Schmidt, Mike (PHI)              33
 4. Davis, Chili (SFG)               32
    Gwynn, Tony (SDP)                32

STOLEN BASES
 1. Raines, Tim (MON)                23
 2. Wiggins, Alan (SDP)              22
 3. Gwynn, Tony (SDP)                21

EARNED RUN AVERAGE
 1. LaPoint, Dave (STL)            1.81
 2. Hershiser, Orel (LAD)          1.93
 3. Denny, John (PHI)              1.95
 4. Pena, Alejandro (LAD)          2.13
 5. Sanderson, Scott (CHC)         2.17
 6. Gooden, Dwight (NYM)           2.23
 7. Honeycutt, Rick (LAD)          2.27
 8. Andujar, Joaquin (STL)         2.42
 9. Rawley, Shane (PHI)            2.61
10. Soto, Mario (CIN)              2.70

WINS-LOSSES
 1. Gooden, Dwight (NYM)            7-2
 2. Sutcliffe, Rick (CHC)           7-3
 3. Soto, Mario (CIN)               7-5
 4. Tudor, John (PIT)               6-6
 5. Denny, John (PHI)               5-1
    Scott, Mike (HOU)               5-1

STRIKEOUTS
 1. Gooden, Dwight (NYM)            103
 2. Sutcliffe, Rick (CHC)            97
 3. Valenzuela, Fernando (LAD)       84
 4. Soto, Mario (CIN)                74
 5. Perez, Pascual (ATL)             69

SAVES
 1. Smith, Lee (CHC)                 11
 2. Reardon, Jeff (MON)               8
    Sutter, Bruce (STL)               8


SCHEDULE
========

SFG  21-25  Robinson, J          (2-2, 5.66)
CHC  28-20  Sutcliffe, R         (7-3, 3.18)

NYM  25-21  Darling, R           (1-4, 4.32)
CIN  23-23  Pastore, F           (3-1, 3.50)

STL  17-25  Kepshire, K          (3-1, 3.33)
PHI  25-19  Koosman, J           (5-4, 3.03)

PIT  22-26  Rhoden, R            (3-5, 3.62)
LAD  21-27  Valenzuela, F        (3-7, 2.88)

ATL  21-21  Camp, R              (2-2, 3.48)
HOU  23-21  Niekro, J            (2-7, 4.83)