Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A's and Twins split opening 4-game set


Game 1:  Minnesota: 4   Oakland:  3
WP - Koosman (1-0)    LP - Langford (0-1)   S - Corbett (1)

Twins 2B Rob Wilfong had 3 hits, including the go-ahead
 2-run homer in the 7th as the Twins spoiled the A's home 
opener. Doug Corbett pitched 2 and 2/3 innings for the save.











Game 2:   Oakland: 8   Minnesota: 1
WP - Keough (1-0)  LP - Redfern (0-1)

Matt Keough was the star as he went the distance in the 
8-1 win over Minnesota. This one was never close 
as the A's banged out 12 hits, including 3 each from Rickey Henderson and Mitchell Page.  Page connected on his first homer of the year as did Dave Revering to lead Oakland.














Game 3:  Oakland: 5  Minnesota: 4
WP - Kingman (1-0)  LP - Zahn (0-1)  S - Lacey (1)

Jeff Newman had a banner day going 4 for 4 with a home
run and 2 RBI as the A's took care of business, beating
the Twins 5-4.  Light-hitting Rob Picciolo also went 
deep for the A's.  Brian Kingman pitched into the 8th
inning and picked up the W, with Bob Lacey capping
it off for his first save.  Butch Wynegar had 2 hits for
Minnesota.








Game 4:  Minnesota: 3  Oakland: 0  (14 innings)
WP - Corbett (1-0)  LP - Lysander (0-1)

It took 14 innings but finally someone generated some
offense in this one, and it was the visiting team doing 
so in a 3-0 victory.  This game was all about the 
pitching, with starters Roger Erickson (Minnesota) and
Mike Norris (Oakland) both pitching 9 shutout innings.
Both pitchers also struck out 8 opposing batters in what
were dominating performances.  
Iron-Man Doug Corbett relieved Erickson in the 10th and 
proceeded to throw 5 more shutout innings, getting a 
much deserved W.  
Corbett was outstanding in this series in both his appearances.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Astros Sweep Dodgers in Battle of Top NL West Squads

In the first firefight between the two teams expected to battle for the NL West crown, the Astros overpower the Dodgers in a four game sweep. Houston pitching was lights out, as the Dodgers only managed four runs total in the four games. The strikeouts also were abundant on the Houston side, especially from J.R. Richard and new Astro Nolan Ryan.

Game One: Houston 1, LA 0
W: Richard (1-0)
L: Hooton (0-1)
S: Sambito (1)

Houston ace J.R. Richard was unhittable, racking up 12 Ks and only two walks in 8.1 innings of shutout ball.  What a pitcher (and with a tragic story to come that would douse that talent). The Dodgers Burt Hooten was almost as good in seven innings of one run ball. The only run of the game would come in the third, as Dodgers great Steve Garvey muffed a bunt attempt by Richard for an error, opening the door for a two out single from Cesar Cedeno for the Ribbie.

Game Two: Houston 11, LA 1
W: J. Niekro (1-0)
L: Sutcliffe (0-1)

The Astros slapped around Rick Sutcliffe, as the youngster gave up six runs in the first three innings. Enos Cabell was three for four with four RBIs and a triple, and Jose Cruz had three singles and three RBIs for good measure. Joe Niekro had his knuckle curve working, giving up hardly anything in seven innings of work.

Game Three: Houston 4, LA 2
W: Ryan (1-0)
L: Sutton (0-1)
S: Smith (1)

The Ryan Express comes to Houston and is a welcome sight in the Astrodome. Ryan strikes out nine (with one walk) and only gives up a single run in seven innings in his Astros debut. Houstron strikes for three off Don Sutton in the bottom of the fourth, two runs coming on Art Howe's double off the right field wall, as Sutton was knocked around a bit. Houston added an insurance run in the fifth on a Cedeno triple. The Dodgers attempted a late comeback but new Houston reliever Dave Smith got off of a few jams for the save in his two innings of work.

Game Four: Houston 6, LA 1
W: Forsch (1-0)
L: Goltz (0-1)

A fairly easy win to close out the Houston sweep, as Houston scores six runs off Dave Goltz and Bobby Castillo without an extra base hit in the bunch (typical for this squad of singles hitters). Denny Walling gets a rare start and plates two with an RBI single but clutch singles abound. Meanwhile, Houston vet Ken Forsch is great, going nine and only giving up four measly hits.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Braves Sweep Reds!

Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati, OH

Game 1

The 1980 home opener will not be remembered well for the Reds fans.  Atlanta crushed 3 homeruns including 2 by big hitting third sacker Bob Horner.  Horner drove in 3 runs and was the hitting star. Phil Niekro got the start for Atlanta and worked into the seventh to secure his first win of the year. Fireballing, eat-a-holic Frank Pastore got the start for the Reds and also the loss. Perhaps that 72 ounce steak he consumed in Texas before the season opener bogged him down. Braves 7...Reds 2.
Pastore's dinner that cost him the loss. 72 ounces with all the trimmings to go along with 3 Martinis.


Game 2

The second match of the season did not fair well for the Red legs either.  Bob Horner hit his third homerun of the season to lead the Braves to another victory over Cincinnati.  Dale Murphy also connected for a long blast for the Braves as well. Both starting pitchers were mediocre as Mike LaCoss surrendered 6 runs but was not around for the loss. Tomlin was hung with the loss as he was ineffective in relief. Atlanta's starter, Larry McWilliams did not fool anyone either as the Reds tagged him for 4 runs on 9 hits over 5 innings pitched. Johnny Bench went deep twice and George Foster hit his first of the year but it was not enough as Rick Camp earned the win in relief for the Braves. Braves 8....Reds 6.

Game 3

Atlanta's right hander Rick Matula was on his "A" game as he shut down the Big Red Machine through 8 innings.  Matula struck out 6 batters and did not allow a run. Light hitting catcher Biff Pocoroba knocked in 2 runs for the Braves and that would be all they would need on this day. Bonham received the loss for Cincinnati. Braves 4.....Reds 0.

Game 4,

Knuckle ball ace, Phil Niekro started 2 games and won them both in the series.
The Reds did very little in the series finale to prevent a season opening sweep at home. Atlanta struck for 6 runs in the 7th inning as they manhandled the Reds inept pitching staff.  Charlie Leibrandt received the brunt of the Brave onslaught as he coughed up 10 runs over 6.1 innings pitched.  Bob Horner connected for his 4th homerun of the series and drove in another 3 runs to lead the attack. The winner was Phil Niekro(2-0) as he made his second start of the series. Braves 11...Reds 3.



Sox Start Strong with 3 Against O's

April 10, 1980 at Chicago –Steve Trout (1-0) looked to be in mid-July form as he tossed 8 1/3 innings for a 3-0 winner on the South Side of Chicago in the season opener. Ed Farmer (1) nailed down the final two outs. The ChiSox reached Orioles legend Jim Palmer (0-1) with a pair of runs in the 1st on RBI from Claudell Washington and Chet Lemon. Jim Morrison (3 hits) doubled in rookie Harold Baines in the 8th.

April 11, 1980 at Chicago – This time it was Baltimore southpaw Mike Flanagan (1-0) overwhelming Sox hitters. The 1979 Cy Young winner yielded just 1 unearned run on 5 hits in 7 innings of work. Dave Ford finished up the 5-1 Orioles win. Ken Singleton had 2 hits and 2 RBI to lead the O’s offense, including a massive 479-foot bomb into the far reaches of the LCF upper deck at Comiskey. It was 6 inches from reaching the rooftop.

April 12, 1980 at Chicago – Under a constant threat of April showers, the White Sox won 6-4. Eddie Murray (1) hit a 2-run shot in the T1 off Richard Dotson (1-0). The Pale Hose answered with a Lamar Johnson (1) 2-run clout. The Sox then added 4 more in the 2nd off Steve Stone (0-1). Mike Squires (3 hits) singled in a run. Bob Molinaro brought home 2 with a base knock. Singleton (2) got a couple back for the visitors with an RBI single in the 6th and a solo shot in the 8th.   


April 13, 1980 at Chicago – Wayne Nordhagen (1) blasted a grand slam in the B1 off Dave Ford (0-1) to set the tone in a 6-0 White Sox whitewashing. It was curious that Ford would get the start after appearing in the previous 3 games in relief. On the hill for Chicago was local HS star Ross Baumgarten (1-0), who was magnificent with 6 2/3 IP of 3-hit shut-out ball. Randy Scarbery retired the final 7 in order. 

Red Sox Spoil Brewers Opening Series

The Milwaukee Brewers amassed 31 hits in 3 games but could only come away with 1 win as the Boston Red Sox spoiled the opening series for the "Crew".  The Brewers were all over Boston in game 1, reigning down 17 hits, including homers by Robin Yount and Paul Molitor, to give Milwaukee an optimistic look for the outcome of the series.

But Boston spoiled a Milwaukee game 2 celebration by blasting the Brewers bullpen for 4 runs in the 9th.  Bob McClure and Bill Castro could not hold a 1 run lead in the last frame as Boston delivered 4 big hits (including a crucial double off the wall by Dwight Evans) to give the Red Sox a 4-1 lead going into the bottom half of the inning.  Milwaukee managed 2 runs in the bottom frame, but it wasn't enough as Boston knotted the series at 1-1.

Game 3 saw a pitching dual as a combined 7 hits were only allowed between the two teams.  Boston put up the sole run in the top of the 6th when Rick Burleson lined a single between 1st and 2nd base, scoring Dwight Evans from second.  It was the only run of the game, allowing Boston to get out of town with a 2-1 series win over Milwaukee.  SP Bob Stanley pitched a stellar game throwing a complete game shut out and allowing only 3 hits.