Monthly Archives: February 2017

R.I.P. Steve Goodman

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It was particularly cruel that Chicago-based singer-songwriter and uber-Cubs fan Steve Goodman would pass away in the final weeks of the 1984 season.

Goodman wouldn’t live to see the Cubs clinch the National League East – their first division title in franchise history and first playoff appearance in 39 years.

That clinching game against the Pittsburgh Pirates would come four days after he passed away from of leukemia.

He received a posthumous Grammy Award in 1985 for “City of New Orleans”, which was covered by Willie Nelson, Arlo Guthrie, Johnny Cash and others.

Readers from Illinois will recognize the title of the song as the name of an Amtrak train which has run from Chicago to New Orleans since 1947.

Goodman was a classmate of Hillary Clinton at Maine East High School in Park Ridge, which I used to drive past on my commute to work for a couple years when I lived in nearby Buffalo Grove.

He wrote “Go, Cubs, Go”, which has been routinely played at Wrigley Field following Cubs’ victories since 2007.

Pretty sure I own a 45 of that, but I haven’t been through those since moving three years ago. Hopefully it survived the move.

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NL Day 86: Homers Give Reds 3rd Straight Win

aaor066Two other games in the National League today.

Reds 6, Mets 4
Dave Parker’s 3-run homer (4th) tied the game up in the 5th inning and Brad Gulden’s solo homer (4th) in the 8th gave Cincinnati the lead that would hold. Dave Concepcion reached base four times in the Reds’ victory. Wally Backman homered (1st) and had a pair of singles in New York’s loss.

Dodgers 4, Giants 2
Orel Hershiser capped off a nice season, ERA-wise, though he finished just 4-5 after a complete game win over San Francisco. Hershiser finished the season with a 2.04 ERA. Mike Marshall had two hits, including his 13th homer of the season. For the Giants, MVP hopeful Jeff Leonard went 3-for-4 with a HR (16th) and double, scoring both San Francisco runs. At .349-16-53 RBI, Leonard leads the National League in homers by 1 and runs batted in by 5. He’s 3rd in batting average, 17 points behind the lead.

STANDINGS
=========

NL EAST                   W    L   PCT  GB    STR
Chicago Cubs             39   23  .629   -    W 4
Philadelphia Phillies    38   24  .613   1    L 1
New York Mets            34   29  .540   5.5  L 1
Montreal Expos           31   32  .492   8.5  W 1
Pittsburgh Pirates       30   32  .484   9    W 1
St. Louis Cardinals      22   40  .355  17    L 4

NL WEST                   W    L   PCT  GB    STR
Houston Astros           34   28  .548   -    W 2
San Diego Padres         32   31  .508   2.5  L 4
Cincinnati Reds          31   32  .492   3.5  W 3
Atlanta Braves           29   33  .468   5    L 2
San Francisco Giants     27   35  .435   7    L 2
Los Angeles Dodgers      27   35  .435   7    W 2

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

     BATTER                        PITCHER                  
ATL  Dale Murphy                   Rick Mahler              
     .273, 14 HR, 42 RBI           4-3, 2.95               
CHC  Gary Matthews                 Rick Sutcliffe           
     .271, 8 HR, 37 RBI, 9 SB      11-3, 2.44, 132 K       
CIN  Dave Concepcion               Mario Soto               
     .241, 16 SB                   10-5, 2.56, 100 K       
HOU  Jose Cruz                     Mike Scott               
     .283, 25 RBI, 10 SB           7-2, 2.37               
LAD  Pedro Guerrero                Fernando Valenzuela      
     .305, 7 HR, 29 RBI            6-8, 2.61, 125 K        
MON  Tim Raines                    Charlie Lea              
     .308, 28 SB                   7-6, 3.09, 74 K         
NYM  Mookie Wilson                 Dwight Gooden            
     .331, 40 RBI, 19 SB           10-2, 1.95, 150 K       
PHI  Juan Samuel                   Steve Carlton            
     .290, 8 HR, 24 SB             7-5, 2.37, 73 K         
PIT  Lee Lacy                      Rick Rhoden              
     .366, 15 SB                   5-6, 2.99, 70 K         
SDP  Tony Gwynn                    Mark Thurmond            
     .355, 38 RBI, 22 SB           7-4, 2.86               
SFG  Jeff Leonard                  Greg Minton              
     .349, 16 HR, 53 RBI           4-5, 6 Sv, 3.96         
STL  Tommy Herr                    Dave LaPoint             
     .275                          1.63, 60 K              

LEADERS
=======

BATTING AVERAGE
 1. Lacy, Lee (PIT)                .366
 2. Gwynn, Tony (SDP)              .355
 3. Leonard, Jeff (SFG)            .349
 4. Hayes, Von (PHI)               .339
 5. Wilson, Mookie (NYM)           .331
 6. Oliver, Al (PHI)               .330
 7. Mumphrey, Jerry (HOU)          .329
 8. Garner, Phil (HOU)             .319
 9. Raines, Tim (MON)              .308
10. Davis, Chili (SFG)             .306

HOME RUNS
 1. Leonard, Jeff (SFG)              16
 2. Durham, Leon (CHC)               15
    Schmidt, Mike (PHI)              15
 4. Murphy, Dale (ATL)               14
    Virgil, Ozzie (PHI)              14

RUNS BATTED IN
 1. Leonard, Jeff (SFG)              53
 2. Virgil, Ozzie (PHI)              48
 3. Schmidt, Mike (PHI)              46
 4. Durham, Leon (CHC)               45
 5. Murphy, Dale (ATL)               42

STOLEN BASES
 1. Raines, Tim (MON)                28
 2. Dernier, Bob (CHC)               27
 3. Backman, Wally (NYM)             24
    Samuel, Juan (PHI)               24
    Wiggins, Alan (SDP)              24

EARNED RUN AVERAGE
 1. LaPoint, Dave (STL)            1.63
 2. Gooden, Dwight (NYM)           1.95
 3. DeLeon, Jose (PIT)             2.02
 4. Hershiser, Orel (LAD)          2.04
 5. Honeycutt, Rick (LAD)          2.16
 6. Sanderson, Scott (CHC)         2.28
 7. Carlton, Steve (PHI)           2.37
    Scott, Mike (HOU)              2.37
 9. Sutcliffe, Rick (CHC)          2.44
10. Tibbs, Jay (CIN)               2.51

WINS-LOSSES
 1. Sutcliffe, Rick (CHC)          11-3
 2. Gooden, Dwight (NYM)           10-2
 3. Soto, Mario (CIN)              10-5
 4. Scott, Mike (HOU)               7-2
 5. Lollar, Tim (SDP)               7-3

STRIKEOUTS
 1. Gooden, Dwight (NYM)            150
 2. Sutcliffe, Rick (CHC)           132
 3. Valenzuela, Fernando (LAD)      125
 4. Soto, Mario (CIN)               100
 5. Perez, Pascual (ATL)             91

SAVES
 1. Smith, Lee (CHC)                 14
 2. Gossage, Goose (SDP)             11
    Reardon, Jeff (MON)              11


SCHEDULE
========

PIT  30-32  McWilliams, L        (6-6, 3.73)
PHI  38-24  Carlton, S           (7-5, 2.37)

CIN  31-32  Tibbs, J             (3-3, 2.51)
NYM  34-29  Berenyi, B           (5-0, 2.86)

MON  31-32  Rogers, S            (4-4, 3.22)
SDP  32-31  Show, E              (4-4, 3.74)

HOU  34-28  Ryan, N              (4-1, 3.32)
ATL  29-33  McMurtry, C          (2-4, 3.39)

STL  22-40  Cox, D               (0-7, 4.33)
CHC  39-23  Trout, S             (5-1, 3.31)

LAD  27-35  Pena, A              (5-3, 2.74)
SFG  27-35  Krukow, M            (4-9, 5.66)

Padres Lose, Astros Enter Playoffs

75748-11frCharlie Lea may have received a congratulatory phone call from the Houston Astros for his part in the NL West race.

The Montreal Expos starting pitcher tossed a four-hit shutout over the San Diego Padres, with his team’s 2-0 win ending the divisional chase and handing Houston the title.

Montreal scored their runs on a 2nd inning RBI single by Jim Wohlford and 4th inning RBI ground out by Tim Wallach.

San Diego’s best chance came in the bottom of the 7th when Steve Garvey singled and Graig Nettles walked to lead off the inning.

But Lea settled in by striking out Terry Kennedy, retiring Kevin McReynolds on a pop out to short and then getting Carmelo Martinez on a grounder to third.

Lea would work around a pinch-hit, one-out single by Tim Flannery in the 8th, which would prove to be the Padres final base runner of the contest.

Goose Gossage loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the 9th before striking out Bryan Little to end the threat.

But Lea carved up the side in the bottom of the 9th to close out his shutout and end San Diego’s run.

The Astros will now square off against either the Chicago Cubs or Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship Series.

With two games remaining in the season, the Cubs have a one game lead over the Phillies in the NL East.

Cubs Take Lead With 2 To Go

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The Chicago Cubs staged a late-game comeback over the St. Louis Cardinals, moving one game up on the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East with two games remaining in the regular season.

The Cubs weren’t given much of a chance headed into the game, with punching bag Dick Ruthven (3-2, 6.95) on the mound for the Northsiders and NL ERA-leader Dave LaPoint (3-3, 1.55) on the bump for the Redbirds.

Chicago managed to hang in there, however, stuck in a 2-2 stalemate after 7 innings of play.

In the top of the 8th, with Ruthven still pitching for the Cubs, Willie McGee led off with a triple, then scored on a Tommy Herr sacrifice fly to Bob Dernier in center.

LaPoint, meanwhile, had pitched five innings of no-hit ball headed into the bottom of the 8th, although he had walked five Chicago batters in the contest.

Leon Durham got things started up with a leadoff double, however, and then scored on an RBI triple by Ron Cey to tie the game back up.

Cey would be erased at the plate on a fielder’s choice ground out with the infield playing in and the Cubs would strand runners at the corners when pinch-hitter Thad Bosley struck out against new pitcher, Bruce Sutter.

So the game was tied again, 3-3, going into the 9th.

Lee Smith pitched a shutout top of the inning, getting Darrell Porter on a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 9th with Sutter still on the mound, Dernier led off with a single.

Unable to get a good jump, Dernier was rooted at first until Sutter unloaded a wild pitch that moved him up to 2nd base with two outs.

Durham proved the hero again in the game, drilling a splitter into the bleachers in right field for a two-run homer – his 15th on the season – ending the contest.

Durham finished 3-for-4 with a walk and two extra-base hits.

Andy Van Slyke had three singles and a stolen base for the visiting Cardinals in the loss.

Astros Close in on NL West Title

98-93frThe Houston Astros batted around in a four-run 6th inning en route to a 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves, clinching no worse than a tie for the NL West title pending the results of the San Diego Padres game later on.

Bob Knepper (W 6-6) went the distance, staying on to retire Ken Oberkfell on a game-ending pop out to second base with a man on base.

In the 6th, Phil Garner homered (4th) to drive in two runs, putting the ‘stros up 2-1.

After Kevin Bass singled and Jerry Mumphrey reached on an error, Enos Cabell and Terry Puhl each followed with RBI singles to make it a 3-run lead for Houston.

In the bottom of the 8th, Bob Horner hit a homer off the bench to tighten the game up, but that’s as close as Atlanta would get.

Craig Reynolds and Garner each reached base three times in the Houston victory.

Phils Fall Short, Lose 8-6

1984-fleer-267-jason-thompson-8c16dcc0892ff74f91ddcc4238b15f5fThe Philadelphia Phillies lost a hugely important game in their quest for the NL East title, falling 8-4 to their intrastate rival Pittsburgh Pirates.

In what was expected to be a quality pitcher’s duel pitting Rick Rhoden up against Jerry Koosman, the Bucs got started early with a 3-run top of the 1st.

After Marvell Wynne led off with a single and moved to second on an error by right fielder Glenn Wilson, Johnny Ray was walked and Bill Madlock followed with an RBI double.

Jason Thompson then singled in two more runs to render the Philadelphia crowd silent.

Mike Schmidt put Philly on the board in the bottom of the 2nd with a solo homer and an RBI single by Ivan DeJesus in the 5th made it a one-run game.

But Pittsburgh pounced again in the 6th inning, sending 8 men to the plate in a four-run outburst.

Thompson led off with a solo homer, Lee Lacy followed up later on with a two-run homer and Rhoden doubled another run in to give the Pirates a 7-2 advantage.

Schmidt added another homer in the 9th – a 2-run blast that made it a four-run difference.

Al Oliver doubled to chase Rhoden from the contest and Philly loaded the bases with one out to bring up pinch-hitter Tim Corcoran as the potential tying runner.

But closer Kent Tekulve came in and got the job done, slamming the door on the Philadelphia comeback by inducing a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.

The loss dropped Philadelphia a half game back of the Chicago Cubs, who would play later.

The Phillies have two games remaining and the Cubs have three.

We’ll bring you the result of that game tomorrow morning.

AL Day 86: Tigers Head Into ALCS On Roll

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Tigers 9, Yankees 7 (11 innings)
It took 11 innings, but the Detroit Tigers won their 7th straight game as they continued to steamroll the competition as the regular season nears completion. Detroit held a 7-4 lead until Toby Harrah hit a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the 7th to tie the game up. In the 11th, Barbaro Garbey led off with a double and scored on a John Grubb single to put the Tigers back up. Darrell Evans had a two-out RBI single to extend the lead. Doug Bair pitched three no-hit, shutout innings out of the Detroit bullpen for the win. Dan Petry allowed 4 runs in 5 innings of work as Detroit’s starter.

Blue Jays 7, Indians 5
Toronto kept rolling with their 6th straight win, climbing back from 2-0 and 5-2 holes. Cliff Johnson had three homers (11) and drove in 6 of the Jays runs and Ernie Whitt brought in the other with his 12th homer of the season. Pat Table had a pair of singles and a walk in the Tribe’s loss. The results of the game put the two teams into a tie for 3rd place in the AL East.

Royals 6, White Sox 4
Chicago lost their 6th straight game as their 1984 replay limped towards a miserable ending. Not expected to make the postseason rotation, Larry Gura was left free to try for a complete game as Kansas City’s starter, only to run into some difficulties in the 9th. entering the inning with a 6-0 lead, Gura made quick work of Luzinski and Walker for two outs. He then fumbled Ron Kittle’s grounder back to the mound, walked two men and then served up a grand slam off the bat of Julio Cruz (2nd).

Red Sox 3, Angels 1
Tony Armas hit his 21st homer of the season (!) to cap off a 3-1 win for Boston. Oil Can Boyd pitched well for the BoSox, but left after 6.1 innings of work. Bob Stanley couldn’t get out of the bases-loaded jam he inherited, allowing the Halos to tie it up. Dwight Evans’ RBI single broke the deadlock and Stanley went the other two innings for the win, ending the game by getting Fred Lynn on a fly out to center with runners on the corners.

Mariners 2, Twins 0
Minnesota lost their 11th straight as Jim Beattie and the Seattle Mariners shut them down, 2-0. Ken Phelps brought Spike Owen home for both Seattle runs – on an RBI double in the first inning and on a sacrifice fly in the final inning. Owen went 2-for-4 with a triple and stolen base. Beattie (W 8-5) went 7-plus innings for the win, leaving the game with the bases loaded and nobody out in a one-run game in the bottom of the 8th. Mike Stanton came on and retired Dave Engle on a 4-2 fielder’s choice at the plate, Kent Hrbek on a shallow fly to center and Randy Bush on a grounder to third to wiggle out of it. The Twins put two on with two out in the 9th, but Kirby Puckett popped out to Jack Perconte at second, ending the threat.

STANDINGS
=========

AL EAST                   W    L   PCT  GB    STR
Detroit Tigers           47   15  .758   -    W 7
Boston Red Sox           37   26  .587  10.5  W 5
Toronto Blue Jays        34   28  .548  13    W 6
Cleveland Indians        34   28  .548  13    L 1
New York Yankees         33   29  .532  14    L 3
Baltimore Orioles        32   30  .516  15    W 1
Milwaukee Brewers        16   46  .258  31    L 7

AL WEST                   W    L   PCT  GB    STR
Kansas City Royals       40   22  .645   -    W 1
Seattle Mariners         30   32  .484  10    W 3
California Angels        28   35  .444  12.5  L 1
Chicago White Sox        27   35  .435  13    L 6
Oakland Athletics        27   35  .435  13    L 2
Texas Rangers            26   36  .419  14    L 4
Minnesota Twins          24   38  .387  16    L11

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

     BATTER                        PITCHER                  
BAL  Cal Ripken                    Storm Davis              
     .295, 11 HR, 35 RBI           12-1, 1.59, 54 K        
BOS  Dwight Evans                  Bruce Hurst              
     .310, 12 HR, 52 RBI           10-5, 3.79, 57 K        
CAL  Fred Lynn                     Geoff Zahn               
     .319, 10 HR, 40 RBI           6-1, 2.59               
CHW  Harold Baines                 LaMarr Hoyt              
     .341, 13 HR, 44 RBI           9-7, 3.17, 66 K         
CLE  Julio Franco                  Bert Blyleven            
     .317, 35 RBI, 9 SB            6-4, 2.45, 73 K         
DET  Kirk Gibson                   Jack Morris              
     .278, 17 HR, 61 RBI, 8 SB     12-2, 2.90, 67 K        
KCR  Willie Wilson                 Dan Quisenberry          
     .296, 19 SB                   5-0, 12 Sv, 1.06        
MIL  Cecil Cooper                  Rollie Fingers           
     .290                          9 Sv, 0.65              
MIN  Kent Hrbek                    John Butcher             
     .291, 7 HR, 31 RBI            7-4, 1.99               
NYY  Don Mattingly                 Phil Niekro              
     .333, 46 RBI                  10-2, 2.76, 87 K        
OAK  Rickey Henderson              Bill Caudill             
     .357, 8 HR, 28 RBI, 34 SB     14 Sv, 2.31             
SEA  Alvin Davis                   Jim Beattie              
     .251, 12 HR, 36 RBI           8-5, 3.16, 59 K         
TEX  Larry Parrish                 Frank Tanana             
     .293, 10 HR, 50 RBI           7-7, 3.38, 65 K         
TOR  George Bell                   Dave Stieb               
     .320, 9 HR, 38 RBI            8-5, 2.48, 93 K         

LEADERS
=======

BATTING AVERAGE
 1. Henderson, Rickey (OAK)        .357
 2. Herndon, Larry (DET)           .342
    Johnson, Cliff (TOR)           .342
 4. Baines, Harold (CHW)           .341
 5. Lansford, Carney (OAK)         .335
 6. Mattingly, Don (NYY)           .333
 7. Puckett, Kirby (MIN)           .326
 8. Boggs, Wade (BOS)              .324
 9. Tabler, Pat (CLE)              .321
10. Bell, George (TOR)             .320

HOME RUNS
 1. Armas, Tony (BOS)                21
 2. Kittle, Ron (CHW)                18
 3. Gibson, Kirk (DET)               17
 4. Parrish, Lance (DET)             14
 5. Baines, Harold (CHW)             13
    Kingman, Dave (OAK)              13
    Lemon, Chet (DET)                13

RUNS BATTED IN
 1. Gibson, Kirk (DET)               61
 2. Armas, Tony (BOS)                60
 3. Evans, Dwight (BOS)              52
 4. Parrish, Lance (DET)             51
 5. Parrish, Larry (TEX)             50

STOLEN BASES
 1. Henderson, Rickey (OAK)          34
 2. Garcia, Damaso (TOR)             30
 3. Pettis, Gary (CAL)               23

EARNED RUN AVERAGE
 1. Davis, Storm (BAL)             1.59
 2. Butcher, John (MIN)            1.99
 3. Berenguer, Juan (DET)          2.09
 4. Gubicza, Mark (KCR)            2.19
 5. Saberhagen, Bret (KCR)         2.34
 6. Blyleven, Bert (CLE)           2.45
 7. Stieb, Dave (TOR)              2.48
 8. Zahn, Geoff (CAL)              2.59
 9. Niekro, Phil (NYY)             2.76
10. Boddicker, Mike (BAL)          2.78
    Romanick, Ron (CAL)            2.78

WINS-LOSSES
 1. Davis, Storm (BAL)             12-1
 2. Morris, Jack (DET)             12-2
 3. Petry, Dan (DET)               11-3
 4. Niekro, Phil (NYY)             10-2
 5. Hurst, Bruce (BOS)             10-5

STRIKEOUTS
 1. Langston, Mark (SEA)            111
 2. Witt, Mike (CAL)                 97
 3. Stieb, Dave (TOR)                93
 4. Niekro, Phil (NYY)               87
 5. Clemens, Roger (BOS)             80

SAVES
 1. Caudill, Bill (OAK)              14
    Hernandez, Willie (DET)          14
 3. Camacho, Ernie (CLE)             12
    Quisenberry, Dan (KCR)           12


SCHEDULE
========

DET  47-15  Wilcox, M            (3-3, 3.69)
NYY  33-29  Rasmussen, D         (5-3, 2.86)

TOR  34-28  Stieb, D             (8-5, 2.48)
CLE  34-28  Comer, S             (7-4, 3.16)

CHW  27-35  Seaver, T            (6-6, 5.51)
KCR  40-22  Leibrandt, C         (5-4, 4.36)

CAL  28-35  Zahn, G              (6-1, 2.59)
BOS  37-26  Nipper, A            (6-3, 3.39)

BAL  32-30  Davis, S             (12-1, 1.59)
OAK  27-35  Krueger, B           (5-5, 4.19)

SEA  30-32  Young, M             (2-4, 7.85)
MIN  24-38  Butcher, J           (7-4, 1.99)

MIL  16-46  Caldwell, M          (1-9, 6.64)
TEX  26-36  Tanana, F            (7-7, 3.38)