Blog Archive

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Pitching leads Reds to sweep

August 31, 1981:  A Johnny Bench tenth inning pinch single scores Dave Concepcion with the winning run as the Reds outlast the Expos 4-3.  Montreal scored two runs in the top of the eighth to tie it.  Rookie Scott Brown (2-0) picked up the win while Bill Lee (2-4) was pinned with the defeat.

September 1, 1981:  Frank Pastore (7-2) tossed his second shutout of the abbreviated season as the Reds downed the Expos 2-0.  Pastore allowed six hits while walking two and striking out two.  George Foster went 2 for 4 and drove in both runs.  Charlie Lea (0-5) was the tough luck loser going seven innings and allowing two runs for Montreal.

September 2, 1981:  Tom Seaver (9-7) continued the standout effort of the Cincinnati starters throwing a five hit shutout as the Reds sweep the series with a 5-0 win.  Seaver allowed only one walk and struck out seven.  Foster hit two solo homers, his 22 and 23 of the season and Ronnie Oester added his third of the year.  Veteran Stan Bahnsen saw his record drop to 2-2.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pale Hose and Yanks Split 4 Despite Sox out-hitting Bombers 47-25

August 27, 1981
CHICAGO -- Rick Reuschel (3-1) had his best sinker working tonight as the Yankees dropped the White Sox 3-1. Goose Gossage (13) game on to record the 27th out. Larry Milburne had 3 hits and knocked in a run to lead the offense.

August 28, 1981
CHICAGO -- Steve Trout (6-3) and LaMarr Hoyt (7) combined to defeat Ron Guidry (6-3) and the Yankees 3-2 and even the series. Lamar Johnson cracked 3 hits and The "Bull" Greg Luzinski (25) unloaded a 446-foot bomb to CF to lead the offense.

August 29, 1981
CHICAGO -- 'The Goose" (14) can close out a game better than anyone. The Yankees tallied the g-ahead run in the T8th when Jerry Mumphrey reached on a 2-base error by SS Bill Almon. PH Aurelio Rodriguez singled him home for a 5-4 Yankees lead. That was all she wrote. The Pale Hose jumped out to a 4-1 lead through 5, but the Bombers responded with 3 in the T6 to tie it. Ron Davis (1-3) won his first game in relief. Almon and Waune Nordhagen had 3 hits apiece to lead all batters as the ChiSox out-hit the Yanks 14-4 in this one.

August 30, 1981
CHICAGO -- Oscar Gamble (12) hit a solo blast to LF in the 7th inning, It was just one of two hits the Yanks got off Dennis Lamp (5-1) in an 11-1 laugher for the White Sox as they split the series. The ChiSox compiled 19 hits with 4 players garnering 3 apiece. Carlton Fisk's (5) 3 including a 3-run jack. Ron Leflore, Rusty Kuntz and Almon also chipped in 3 safeties.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Oakland and Cleveland split 2-game set

Game 1:
Cleveland: 7  Oakland: 6
WP - Waits (4-8)  LP - Keough (6-4)
HR - Cleveland: None   Oakland: C Johnson (12)                            

Mike Hargrove had 3 hits and the Indians took advantage
of some sloppy defense by the A's to win a close one
7-6.  5 of the 7 Indians runs were unearned, and the A's
fought back but came up just short. Rickey Henderson had
5 hits for the A's and Cliff Johnson hit his 12th homer.

Game 2:
Oakland: 5  Cleveland: 4
WP - McCatty (8-5)  LP - Monge (1-2)                                                              
HR - Cleveland: None  Oakland: Heath (5)

The A's earned a split of the two-game series with a 5-4 win.
Len Barker started for the Indians and had a wild 6 innings.
He walked 7 batters but whiffed 10.
The Indians trailed by 1 entering the 9th but tied the game on
a Duane Kuiper single.  In the bottom of the inning Tony
Armas came through with the game winning base knock,
bringing home Dwayne Murphy who had 3 hits in the game.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Pirates Post 2 Ws around Perez Meltdown

August 24, 1981
PITTSBURGH -- Bill Robinson hit a pinch hit blooper that scored Lee Lacy in the B9th for a 3-2 Pirates winner. This was necessary after Rick Monday (8) tied the game in the T9th with a dramatic 2-run shot off Kent Tekulve (4-3). Odell Jones was sensational as a starter for the Bucs with 7 IP and only 2 hits allowed. He struck out 7 and walked none.

August 25, 1981
PITTSBURGH -- Usually the descriptions here are so you don't need a box score. Trust me, folks. You want to look at the box score on this one. For some reason the Pirates were 2 men under the roster limit on this day. Their bullpen was already wiped out. When SP Pascual Perez (3-4) totally melted down in the 2nd, the Bucs brain trust had no choice, but to call all arms to the mound. After Perez plunked opposing pitcher Dave Goltz, he uncorked a wild pitch, gave up 3 consecutive singles, then walked 3 in a row. The enigmatic starter then walked off the mound without his manager coming out. Wacko!!!! Jason Thompson, Willie Montanez, Gary Alexander, Lee Lacy and Bill Robinson all took their turns. It was comedy for sure, but also embarrassment for Jay Johnstone and Mike Scioscia who fanned, and Bill Russell who  grounded into a DP. Oh yeah, the Dodgers won 15-6.

August 26, 1981
PITTSBURGH -- Rick Rhoden (3-6) gave the Pirates exactly what they needed -- a complete game 4-1 victory. Lacy had 3 hits, Omar Moreno scored 3 runs and Dale Berra drove in a pair.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A's sweep O's at home

Game 1
Oakland: 5  Baltimore: 0
WP - Kingman (5-5)  LP - Palmer (5-7)
HR - Baltimore: None  Oakland - Murphy (10)                                              
Four A's pitchers combined to shut out the Orioles
and Dwayne Murphy went deep for his 10th homer
of the season to pace the A's.  The A's held Baltimore
to a mere 3 hits in the contest.  Murphy, Rickey Henderson
and Tony Armas each had two hits in the game.

Game 2
Oakland: 3  Baltimore: 1
WP - Langford (8-6)  LP - McGregor (6-6)
HR - Baltimore: Crowley (4)   Oakland: None                            

Rick Langford went the distance in beating
Baltimore, running his record on the year to 8 and 6 and
lowering his ERA to 2.10.  Langford lost his shutout bid
in the 9th when he served up a bomb to Terry Crowley.
Overall though he was the star of this game as he
continues his bid for an A.L. ERA title.

Game 3
Oakland: 5  Baltimore: 1
WP - Norris (8-7)  LP - Flanagan (7-5)
HR - Baltimore: None  Oakland: None                                                        

Oakland continued a run of dominant pitching performances,
this one from Mike Norris as he pitched 8 strong innings
leading the A's to a win and a sweep of the series.
Dwayne Murphy had a couple big RBIs for Oakland and
also stole a base.

Reds sweep Mets....

August 21, 1981:  Cincinnati scored three in the first and four in the second and hold off the Mets 7-4.  Ken Griffey rapped out two hits and drove in 2 runs and George Foster smacked a two run HR to lead the offense.  Mario Soto (6-6) went 7.2 innings allowing four runs of which three were earned to pick up the win.  Joe Price picked up his second save of the season.  Former Red Pat Zachary (4-8) didn't get out of the second inning.

August 22, 1981:  Frank Pastore (5-2) out-dualed the Mets Pete Falcone (2-2) 1-0.  Pastore went the distance allowing only five hits and a walk while striking out seven.  Joe Nolan drove in the only run after Dan Driessen started the two out sixth inning rally with a double.

August 23, 1981:  Tom Seaver (8-6) provided another fine pitching performance and the Reds offense provided plenty of support in the 8-1 win.  Seaver went the distance allowing only one run on two hits with four walks and four strikeouts.  Reds catcher Joe Nolan stayed hot going 3 for 3 with 3 runs scored and 3 RBI.  Nolan doubled and hit his first home run of the season.  Ed Lynch (5-3) suffered the defeat.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Friars Condemn Bucs with 3 Losses

August 21, 1981 (Game #1)
PITTSBURGH -- Terry Kennedy put up a 5-3-4-3 line in the boxscore to power San Diego to a 8-5 DH game one winner. Gene Richards and Luis Salazar also chipped in 3 hits to the Padres attack. Steve Mura (1-8) tossed 6 innings for his first W of the season.

August 21, 1981 (Game #2)
PITTSBURGH -- Rupert Jones and Ozzie Smith smacked 3 hits each to lead SD to a 6-2 win and a double-header sweep. Tim Lollar (4-2) grabbed the win on the mound with 6 strong innings.

August 22, 1981
PITTSBURGH -- Dave Parker (7,8) went 4-4 with 2 home runs and Pittsburgh grabbed its first win of the series with a 3-1 score. Eddie Solomon (3-3) hurled 8 IP without giving up an earned run. Grant Jackson (6) nailed down the save.

August 23, 1981
PITTSBURGH -- Chris Welsh (3-8) battled through 8 IP giving up 11 hits, but it was enough for a 7-5 Friar win. Gary Lucas (2) closed down a final flourish by the Bucs in the 9th. Jones drove in 3 runs to lead the offense.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Bucs Jolt Jints

August 18, 1981
PITTSBURGH -- Jeff Leonard, Bob Brenly and Enos Cabell had RBI singles in the T11th as San Francisco topped Pittsburgh 5-2 in extras.

August 19, 1981
PITTSBURGH -- Luis Tiant gets his first start for the Bucs (I don't ever remember him as a Pirate) and pitches very well through 6 innings. He gave up 2 runs, but the Pirates remained scoreless against Ed Whitson. Pittsburgh finally busted through with 4 runs in the B8th to make a winner of Grant Jackson (3-1). Greg Minton (4-3) took the loss. Tony Pena drove in 2 to power the Bucs uprising.

August 20, 1981
PITTSBURGH -- Jason Thompson (6) blasted a 3-run shot to power a 4-run 1st inning for the Pirates. They went on to a 4-1 win. Odell Jones (1-0) in his first start of the year went 6 innings of shut out ball on just 2 hits.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Reds sweep two from Phils...

August 18, 1981:  Tom Seaver (7-6) goes the distance in shutting out the Phillies 5-0.  Seaver allowed only five hits while walking four with three strikeouts.  Leading 1-0, the Reds erupted for four runs in the bottom of fourth.  Sam Mejias went 2 for 3 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI to lead the Cincinnati offense.  Steve Carlton (7-5) was the losing pitcher of record.

August 19, 1981:  Once again the Reds scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 5-0 lead.  The Reds added another run in the bottom of the fifth, increasing their lead to 6-0.  Reds starter Bruce Berenyi was cruising with seven shutout innings.  However, Philadelphia rallied in the top of the eighth and had the go ahead run at the plate before Tom Hume was able to put out the fire.  Hume was able to retire the side in order in the top of the ninth as Cincinnati takes it 6-5.  Berenyi (6-2) was the winner with Hume a well earned eleventh save of the season.  Christenson (6-6) suffered the defeat.  Reds catcher Joe Nolan went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI.  Driessen (7) homered for Cincinnati. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Reds take 3 of 4 from Giants

August 14, 1981:  After the long layoff due to the strike, it was like the Reds never put the bats down scoring four first inning runs.  Foster had the big night hitting home runs in the first, fifth, and eighth innings.  The Reds leftfielder finished with five RBI to lead the Reds to the 10-2 win in game one of the twi-night doubleheader.  Bruce Berenyi (5-2) threw six innings of one hit and one run ball to garner the win.  Ed Whitson (4-4) was the loser.

In game two, the Reds rallied from four down, blew the lead, and rallied again for the 7-6 win in eleven innings.  With one out, Concepcion reached on a Joe Pettini error advancing to second.  After Foster was intentionally walked, Junior Kennedy singled to load the bases.  Knight grounded to third but Concepcion beat the throw home, scoring the game winning run.  Rookie Scott Brown (1-0) threw two scoreless innings of relief to pick up his first ever ARAIG win.  Lefty Bob Tufts (0-1) was pinned with the defeat.

August 15, 1981:  Trailing 2-1 heading to the top of the eighth, the Giants put together a rally of their own.  After Joe Morgan grounded out, Bergman singled, Jack Clark then lined a triple to plate Morgan and tie the score at two.  Clark scored on a Darrell Evans ground out to short.  The Reds threatened in the bottom of the ninth putting runners on first and second, but Giants reliever Greg Minton was able to pitch out of trouble.  Doyle Alexander (6-2) threw seven strong innings to pick up the win.  Doug Bair (2-2) suffered the setback in relief.  Minton picked up save number 12.

August 16, 1981:  Mario Soto threw 7.1 innings of shutout ball as the Reds took the game (and the series), 4-0. Rightfielder Dave Collins went two for three including a triple with a run scored and a RBI to lead the Cincinnati attack.  Soto (5-6) was the winner while veteran Tom Griffin (5-4) was the loser.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Strike Over - 1981 Season Resumes!

The strike ends

Luis Tiant
On July 31, 1981, a compromise was reached. In the settlement, teams that lost a "premium" free [1] The settlement gave the owners a limited victory on the compensation issue.
agent could be compensated by drawing from a pool of players left unprotected from all of the clubs rather than just the signing club. Players agree to restricting free agency to players with six or more years of major league service.
Reportedly, the negotiations were so bitter that when a settlement was finally reached, Players Association representative Marvin Miller and the owners' negotiator Ray Grebey refused to pose with each other for the traditional "peace ceremony" photograph.

The All-Star Game

Major League Baseball resumed on August 9 with the All-Star Game in Cleveland's Municipal Stadium. The All-Star Game, which was originally scheduled to be held on July 14, now served as a prelude to play resuming on August 10. The National League beat the American League 5-4.
When play resumed, attendance dropped in 17 of 24 cities and television ratings slumped sharply. Despite the disgruntled fans, the All-Star Game, which was played on a Sunday instead of the usual Tuesday, had its largest attendance (72,086), due to the large seating capacity of Municipal Stadium.

The split-season format

Due to the two-month strike, the owners tried to create an equitable solution. So on August 6, the owners decided to split the 1981 season into two halves, with the first-place teams from each half in each division (or a wild card team if the same club won both halves) meeting in a best-of-five divisional playoff series. The four survivors would then move on to the two best-of-five League Championship Series. It was the first time that Major League Baseball used a split-season format since 1892.


The split-season idea as put into practice (although garnering the league more playoff revenue) seemed to cheapen the results of the regular season. As first proposed, if a team won its division in both halves of the season, then it would play the team with the second best record overall (first and second half). A sportswriter pointed out that the arrangement would give a team with a good overall record an incentive to lose games against the first-half winner to help a division rival win both halves. On August 20, Major League Baseball revised the rules so that if a team won both halves of the season, it would face the second season runner-up instead.
Facing a playoff no matter their finish in the second half, the first-half winners lacked incentive (as opposed to the minor leagues, where if the same team did win both halves it was given a bye into the next round) to repeat, and finished the second-half of the season with a composite record of only three games above .500. To make matters worse, the Cincinnati Reds (National League West) and St. Louis Cardinals (National League East) each failed to make the playoffs. This was despite the fact that they had the two best full-season records in the National League that season (and thus would have won their divisions under normal circumstances), though the Cardinals would receive some vindication the following year when they won the 1982 World Series. In contrast to the Reds' and Cardinals' bad luck, the Kansas City Royals made the postseason despite owning the fourth-best full-season record in their division and posting a losing record overall (50–53). Notably, the format allowed the second-half National League East champion Montreal Expos to make the playoffs, the only time the Expos franchise would make the postseason in their 36-year stay in Montreal and their only postseason appearance of any kind until 2012, long after the team became theWashington Nationals.
The Pittsburgh Pirates ended up playing the fewest games of any team at 102. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants played the most at 111. Most teams finished with anywhere between 106 and 109 games.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bucs Reach .500 with Sweep of Friars

June 9, 1981
PITTSBURGH -- Rick Rhoden (2-4) and "Pops" Stargell (3 hits) did what they could to lift Pittsburgh to a .500 record before the threatened strike. Rhoden went the distance for a 7-0 blanking of the Padres, scattering just 5 hits. Dave Parker (5) contributed a long home run. Steve Mura (0-6) remained win-less for the Friars.

June 10, 1981
PITTSBURGH -- The Bucs even their record at 24-24 with fine pitching performance again from Pascual Perez (3-2) and Rod Scurry (1). The Pirates win 3-1 with 3 hitters knocking in a run, including Kurt Bevacqua's (1) first round-tripper.

ChiSox Bitten in Butt by Old Friend

June 8, 1981
CHICAGO -- Jim Clancy (2-4), born and bred on the South-Side of Chicago, turned on the team of his youth in their time of greatest need and bit them on the butt. With talk of strike dominating the news, the White Sox desperately needed every win they can get this week, trailing California by 2 1/2 games. Playing the last-place Toronto Blue Jays seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. Clancy had other ideas, he limited the ChiSox to just 2 hits through 7.2 IP. Joey McLaughlin (2) completed the heart-breaking 1-0 shut out. Lloyd Moseby's IF ground out scoring Damaso Garcia in the 1sr proved to be the only run scored. Dennis Lamp (3-1), starting his first game of the year, deserved a better fate.

June 9, 1981
CHICAGO -- Willie Upshaw's (3) 2-run blast in the 7th off Richard Dotson (5-3) was the winning shot as Toronto topped the Sox again, 5-4. Bill Almon's error opened the inning. For the game, the Pale Hose committed 3 miscues leading to 4 unearned runs charged to Dotson. It was not playoff caliber baseball. Luis Leal (5-3) started and won for the Blue Jays. Roy Lee Jackson (9) was nearly flawless in 2.2 innings of relief.

Players To Strike After June 11th Games!

1981 strike

The 1981 Baseball Strike caused a strike-shortened season. Teams played between 102 to 110 games, since games were canceled from June 12th to August 10th and not made up to even out the schedule.
The second half of the season began with the All Star Game on August 9th. The playoffs featured the winners of each half season (before and after the strike) in each division facing each other in the first round, creating an extra tier to the playoffs, much like the current Division Series.
The major issue behind the strike was that of free agent compensation, or, in other words, what compensation teams would receive if one of their star players was signed as a free agent by another team. The owners wanted a system whereby teams would receive a player of similar value, while the players were opposed, seeing that this would void their newly-acquired right to become free agents after playing out their contract. The example of the National Football League and National Hockey League, where compensation of this time had nipped free agency in the bud was very much on the players' mind. The resulting compromise was the Free agent compensation draft, which functioned for the next four years.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Expos take rubber game in 11 to take 2 of 3 from Reds.

June 5, 1981:  Steve Rogers goes eight strong innings as Montreal downs the Reds 6-2 in the series opener.  With the Expos leading 3-2 in the top of the eighth Expos rightfielder Warren Cromartie greeted Reds reliever Joe Price with a blast over the right field fence to extend the Montreal lead to 4-2.  The Expos added two more runs in the ninth for the 6-2 final.  Rogers (11-1) picked up the win while Soto (3-5) was the hard luck loser, throwing seven strong innings.

June 6, 1981:  Tom Seaver (5-5) tosses a three hit complete game shutout as the Reds down the Expos 3-0.  Seaver struck out seven while walking four.   The Reds plated all three of their runs in the second inning.  Back to back one out doubles by Concepcion and Knight gave Cincinnati their first run.  Driessen then followed with his fifth home run of the season.  Charlie Lea (0-4) suffered the defeat.

June 7, 1981:  The Expos scored four runs in the eleventh to break-up a one all deadlock and hung on for the 5-3 win.  With one out Cromartie walked, Montanez then laced a triple scoring Crow.  After Parrish flew out, Speier doubled then pinch hitter Bobby Ramos drilled a two run shot down the left field line, just clearing the fence.  Fryman picked up the win in relief while Moskau (2-3) was pinned with the loss. 

Bucs Topple Jints in 2 of 3

June 5, 1981
PITTSBURGH -- Mike Easler banged out 3 hits, including 2 doubles that drove in 3 runs, to lead Pittsburgh to a 6-1 win over the visiting Giants. Bill Madlock (6) put every muscle he had behind a massive 452-foot, 2-run home run to dead CF in the 3rd inning. Pascual Perez (2-2) evened his 1981 slate with a strong 7 innings on the bump.

June 6, 1981
PITTSBURGH --Tony Pena rapped a PH, 2-run single in the B8th as the Pirates roared from behind with 3 runs in the frame to win, 3-2. Bill North (4 hits) and Milt May (3 hits) helped the Giants to a 2-0 lead behind stellar pitching from Tom Griffin. He would eventually tire, and Greg Minton (3-2) could not hold the lead.

June 7, 1981
PITTSBURGH -- Vida Blue (3-4) was in complete charge of this game from beginning to end, yielding just 1 run on 5 hits for a CG, 5-1 victory. Jack Clark's (10) 2-run blast in the 4th was the difference-maker. Darrell Evans (3) added a solo shot.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Bucs Take "Rubber Match" and Win Series with Cubs

June 2, 1981
PITTSBURGH -- Pinch runner Rick Rhoden tagged and scored the winning run in the B8 when Steve Nicosia sent a fly deep enough to LF. Bill Madlock added a couple of RBI as the Pirates beat the Cubs, 3-2. Grant Jackson earned the win in relief with Kent Tekulve (4) adding the save. Dick Tidrow took the loss for the Cubbies.

June 3, 1981
PITTSBURGH -- Bill Buckner (7) and Jody Davis (1) hit back-to-back homers for the cubs in the 1st to power a 4-run inning. They went on to win 7-4. Randy Martz (4-4) was strong on the hill, giving up just 1 run on 3 hits in 6.2 IP. Leon Durham also chipped in 3 hits, including a pair of two-baggers.

June 4, 1981
PITTSBURGH -- Tim Foli and Willie Stargell drove in runs in the B7th and Pittsburgh held on to take the rubber match (see below), 3-2. Rhoden (1-4) started and won his first game of the year for the Bucs. Tekulve (5) helped out in the 9th.


The sporting term "rubber match" refers to the final and deciding game in any series and traces its origins back to the 16th century English game of lawn bowling. Somewhat similar to bocce ball, the object of lawn bowling is to roll wooden balls across a flat field toward a smaller white ball so they stop as close as possible to the smaller ball without hitting it. Most experts agree that the term refers either to two balls rubbing together, a game-losing mistake or to the final game's potential to "rub out" or erase the losing team.