1984 Twins Replay Summary

Greetings!

I’ve done a few full-season replays using one team.  My hope is to post summaries of the ones I’ve finished.  I just recently competed my 1984 Minnesota Twins Replay using the APBA Baseball Master Game.  After doing three Oakland replays in the late 80’s, it was time to try something different.  My goal was to take an 81-81 team that finished just three games out and take them to a division title.  It was a neck-and-neck race between the Twins, Royals, and Angels into the final weekend of the regular season.  The Twins edged the Royals by one game, finishing with an 86-76 record with a win and a KC loss on the final day of the season. It narrowly happened, and long story short, it was the most enjoyable full season replay to date.  This replay began in mid-October of 2015 and was finished in February of 2017 with several months in-between games due to “life” getting in the way.  Below you will find game summaries of games played down the stretch, regular season statistics, and recaps of the ALCS games against the 1984 Detroit Tigers.


AL AWARD WINNERS

AL MVP – Kent Hrbek: .351/.422/.568, 32 HR, 105 RBI

AL CY YOUNG – John Butcher: 20-5, 1 SV, 1.95 ERA, 0.978 WHIP, 262 IP, 10 CG, 8 SHO


GAME RECAPS DOWN THE STRETCH IN SEPTEMBER

Minnesota was brutally swept in a three game series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Exhibition Stadium. Dave Stieb (BYZ, MG 15) and Dennis Lamp (D, MG 5) tossed back-to-back shutouts in the first two games to help the Jays. With 26 games to go, the Twins are clinging to a one game lead in the AL West. Mired in a six game losing skid, the Twins travel to Kansas City for a big three game series at Royals Stadium.

Minnesota 71-65
California 70-66
Kansas City 69-67


John Butcher (BZ, 11) outdueled Bud Black (BYZ, 15) before a big crowd in Kansas City as the Twins beat the Royals 2-1. Tom Brunansky’s two run single in the 1st was all the offense Butcher needed. Carrying a shutout into the 9th with two outs, back-to-back doubles by Jorge Orta and Frank White narrowed the gap to 2-1. Gardner summoned Rick Lysander (C, 9) from the pen to retire Dane Iorg to pick up his first save while a disgruntled Ron Davis looked on from the bullpen. Butcher lowered his ERA to 1.94, picking up his 16th victory while Brunansky went over the 100 RBI mark in the win.

MN – 2-6-1
KC – 1-6-1

WP-Butcher (16-4)
LP-Black (14-11)
SV-Lysander (1)

AL West Standings as of Sept. 3

Minnesota 72-65
California 70-67
Kansas City 69-68


It took 16 starts, but back-end rotation starter Ken Schrom (DZ) finally earned his first win in a 5-1 Twins triumph over the Royals. Schrom ousted fellow “D” hurler Mark Gubizca, but the big blow came in the top of the 8th. With Joe Beckwith (CYZ, MG 9) on in relief, John Castino singled in Mickey Hatcher for the go-ahead run. Later, Ron Washington belted a two-out bases loaded double to plate three more runs, all unearned because an unsuccessful dropped third strike putout when Kent Hrbek reached safely on Don Slaught’s second passed ball of the game. Ron Davis (CX, 6) threw two scoreless innings of relief as Minnesota maintained their slim lead atop the AL West.

MN – 5-7-0
KC – 1-10-1

WP – Ken Schrom (1-4)
LP – Joe Beckwith (7-3)

AL West Standings as of Sept. 4th

Minnesota 73-65
California 71-67
Kansas City 69-69

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It was evident Charlie Leibrandt was wearing a Royals jersey at not a Braves uniform this evening. The crafty lefty pitched into the 8th inning, scattering 10 hits and two runs behind a potent Royals offensive attack as Kansas City beat the Twins 7-2. Darryl Motley’s three run homer in the 5th capped off a productive day at the plate for the home team at Royals Stadium. The Twins will have an off day before a six game homestand against the Texas Rangers and later the Royals. The Angels won again and now trail by just one game with the Royals still in range.

MN – 2-12-0
KC – 7-11-0

WP-Leibrandt (9-6)
LP-Smithson (13-10)

HR-Brunansky (MN), Motley, Iorg (KC)

AL West Standings Thru Sept. 5th

Minnesota 73-66
California 72-67
Kansas City 70-69


In the first game of a six-game homestand, the Twins pulled out a come from behind win against the Texas Rangers. Minnesota plated an unearned run in the first on a rare error by Buddy Bell and held a 1-0 lead thru 6 innings behind Frank Viola (BYZ, 14). Texas scored a run each in the 7th and 8th, hoping to make Mike Mason (CZ, 7) a winner behind an 8 inning, 10 strikeout performance. Dave Schmidt (BYZ, 15) was brought on to close it for the Rangers. After two quick outs, little-used Dave Meier, who got the start in left field, was called back to the dugout by Manager Billy Gardner. Andre David, a sparingly-used outfielder with 30 plate appearances on the season, was sent to the dish. His 66-0, 11-1 was sent high into the upper reaches of the Metrodome for a game-tying solo homerun, his first homer of the season. Ron Davis threw a scoreless 10th to relieve Viola. Tom Brunansky’s single to center scored Kirby Puckett for a thrilling walk-off victory in the bottom of the 10th.

TEX – 2-8-2
MN – 3-10-0

WP-Davis (1-9)
LP-Jones (2-4)
HR-David (1)

AL West Standings as of September 7th

Minnesota 74-66
California 73-67
Kansas City 71-69


 

Game two of the series with Texas featured quite possibly the best pitcher’s duel in this 1984 replay. Minnesota’s John Butcher, 16-4 with a 1.94 ERA, faced off against lefty. Frank Tanana (BYZ, 13). Both men threw shutout ball thru ten innings of work, allowing a combined 8 hits and two walks, and neither pitcher allowed a runner past second base. Manager Gardner summoned Rick Lysander (CY, 9) from the pen to start the 11th. With two outs, Curtis Wilkerson and Mickey Rivers hit singles to bring up former Twin Gary Ward. Ward hit a shallow pop-up to left fielder Mickey Hatcher. The ball dropped for a single, but caromed off of Hatcher’s glove into the left field corner. Both runners scored to give Texas a 2-0 lead. Dave Schmidt allowed a run in the bottom of the 11th on an RBI single by Kent Hrbek. Darrell Brown pinch ran and stole second. With two outs, Andre David was brought in again and he pinch hit for Gary Gaetti, hoping to rekindle his magic from the night before. David popped out to shortstop Wayne Tolleson to end the game. With California and Kansas City winning, all three teams are separated by two games. After the game, Hatcher was seen trying out a new glove for future games…

TEX – 2-5-1
MN – 1-8-3

WP-Tanana (14-13)
LP-Lysander (0-6)

AL West Standings as of September 8th

Minnesota 74-67
California 74-67
Kansas City 72-69


Minnesota and Texas gave the Metrodome fans another entertaining ballgame in the series finale. Ken Schrom (DZ, 5) was looking to double his win total after earning his first win in his last start. Knuckleballer Charlie Hough (C, 10) toed the rubber for Texas. Schrom allowed three runs thru the first three innings and settled in. Hough was his classic self, scattering a hit and a walk here and there while giving up to runs heading into the bottom of the 8th ahead 3-2. With two outs, Darrell Brown at second and Kent Hrbek at first, John Castino’s bloop single to right scored Brown to tie the game. Gary Gaetti, mired in a season-long hitting slump, laced a Hough-knuckler to left with Hrbek chugging home for the go ahead run. Manager Gardner kept Schrom in to finish the game which he did, giving Minnesota a series-clinching win.

TEX – 3-6-0
MN – 4-8-2

WP-Schrom (2-4)
LP-Hough (14-13)
HR-Ward

AL West Standings Thru September 9th

Minnesota 75-67
California 74-68
Kansas City 73-69


In the biggest series of the season, Minnesota hosted a three-game set at the Metrodome against the Kansas City Royals. Mike Smithson, who had been roughed up in his last two starts, took the mound against a young Mark Gubizca. The Twins put three runs up in the second inning. Light-hitting shortstop Houston Jimenez erupted the crowd with a two-run triple. He later scored on a double by Kirby Puckett. Meanwhile, Smithson was in the zone, taking a no-hitter into the 8th inning. Don Slaught broke it up with a single, and he scored on a double by George Brett. Smithson threw 8 innings while Ron Davis pitched a scoreless 9th, saving an important Twins victory.

KC – 1-2-0
MN – 4-8-1

WP-Smithson (14-10)
LP-Gubizca (10-12)
SV-Davis (31)

AL West Standings as of Sept. 10th

Minnesota 76-67
California 74-68
Kansas City 73-70


The Royals built up a 4-0 lead, squandered it in the 8th inning, then used a deep homerun in the 9th to steal back the lead and the game. Charlie Leibrandt and Frank Viola dueled in this battle of southpaws. The Royals led 4-0 heading into the bottom of the 7th, aided by a two run homer by Frank White and RBI singles by Darryl Motley and Lynn Jones. Leibrandt finally cracked in the 7th, giving up three runs. In the 8th, Dan Quisenberry (BYZ, 15) blew a save opportunity as Houston Jimenez’s double scored Ron Washington, tying the game at 4-4. Len Whitehouse, working his second inning of relief in the 9th, hung a breaking ball to Steve Balboni, who deposited the pitch into the stands in left field for a go-ahead solo homerun. Quisenberry struck out the side in the 9th, holding on to the lead to give the Royals a huge one-run win.

KC – 5-9-0
MN – 4-14-0

WP-Quisenberry (5-2)
LP-Whitehouse (6-5)

HR-White, Balboni

AL West Standings as of September 11th

Minnesota 76-68
California 74-69
Kansas City 74-70

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In the series finale, the Royals made quick work of John Butcher, forcing the Twins ace into his shortest outing of the season en route to a 6-1 win. Willie Wilson hit two triples, Jorge Orta also added a triple, and Darryl Motley added two RBI, giving KC a 4-0 lead after three innings. A two-run error by right fielder Tom Brunansky in the sixth inning was Butcher’s back breaker as Billy Gardner let Pete Filson (D, 5) and Bobby Castillo (CW, 8) finish the game in the bullpen. Bud Black (BYZ, 14) was in command all day, allowing just one run on a groundout in the 9th. The Royals left Minneapolis with a series win, trailing the Twins by one game in the AL West race.

KC – 6-8-0
MN – 1-7-1

WP-Black (15-11)
LP-Butcher (16-5)

AL West Standings as of September 12th

Minnesota 76-69
Kansas City 75-70
California 74-70

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The balmy Texas climate came up big at the right time for the 1984 Minnesota Twins. The Twins began a quick three game road trip in Texas by pummeling the Rangers 11-4 at Arlington Stadium. Minnesota scores runs in the first six innings in a game that saw a combined six home runs by both teams. Kent Hrbek and Tom Brunansky connected on back to back home runs in the first off Charlie Hough (CY, 10), and both hit their 30th HR’s of the year. Ron Washington went 4-5 and “Big” Al Williams (DZ, 1) threw seven sparking innings, allowing three earned runs to earn the win.

MN – 11-18-0
TEX – 4-7-1

WP-Williams (9-5)
LP-Hough (14-14)

HR-Hrbek (30), Brunansky (30), Bush (10), Wright 2 (8), Scott (2)

AL West Standings as of Sept. 14

Minnesota 77-69
California 76-70
Kansas City 75-71

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Minnesota narrowly defeated Texas in the second game of their three-game set at Arlington Stadium to continue to cling onto their lead in the AL West. The Twins looked prime to rough up Danny Darwin (CY, 6), plating three runs in the first inning, including another big homerun by Tom Brunansky. Buddy Bell blasted a two-run shot as Texas refused to go away. Mike Smithson lasted six arduous innings, but held a 5-4 lead once he exited. Rick Lysander (C, 9) tossed two scoreless innings, getting through the meat of the Rangers order unscathed. Ron Davis (CX, 6) retired the first two men in the 9th, but a single by pinch hitter Pete O’Brien and a full-count walk by Billy Sample put the winning runs on for the Rangers. Davis faced former Twin Gary Ward, a solid candidate to play hero, but in this day his 46-13 resulted in a game-ending strikeout.

MN – 5-11-0
TEX – 4-10-0

WP-Smithson (15-10)
LP-Darwin (8-11)
SV-Davis (32)
HR-Brunansky (31), Bell (10)

AL West Standings – September 15th

Minnesota 78-69
California 77-70
Kansas City 76-71

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Tom Brunansky (jokingly) asked the Twins front office after today’s game if they club could play their remaining games at Arlington Stadium. Why? It likely had to do with Brunansky hitting his third straight two-run homerun in the first inning as Minnesota swept an important three-game series in Texas. Tim Teufel and Tim Laudner also hit solo homers off Dave Stewart (DZ, 3). Laudner (.137/.190/.239) is doing al he can to keep himself on the 40-man roster. Frank Viola was dialed in, tossing 8 effective innings. Ron Davis, after allowing a hit and a walk to bring up the tying run with no outs, was able to pitch out of trouble to pick up the save. Both California and Kansas City won to keep the pressure on the Twins to continue winning. Minnesota heads back to the Metrodome for the start of a seven-game home stand (4 games against the White Sox, 3 versus Cleveland).

MN – 4-9-2
TEX – 1-9-0

WP-Viola (16-11)
LP-Stewart (5-14)
SV-Davis (33)
HR-Brunansky (32), Teufel (13), Laudner (4)

Standings as of September 16th

Minnesota 79-69
California 78-60
Kansas City 77-71

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The final home stand began the way the Minnesota Twinswanted: with a win! Tim Teufel jumpstarted the offense a three run homerun off the left field foul pole off LaMarr Hoyt. John Butcher went seven strong innings allowing one earned run in five hits and Randy Bush launched a pair of homers into the upper deck in right field. Kansas City ripped the Angels 10-1 to tie California for second place in the division.

CHW – 2-9-0
MN – 5-11-2

WP-John Butcher (17-5)
LP-LaMarr Hoyt (12-16)
SV-Davis (34)

HR-Teufel (14), Bush 2 (12)

AL West Standings thru Sept. 17th

Minnesota 80-69
California 78-71
Kansas City 78-71

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Ron Kittle helped the White Sox in a big way, blasting a three run homer and driving in four altogether leading Chicago to a narrow 5-4 win over the Twins. Pete Filson (D, 5) sailed threw the White Sox lineup until the 5th inning when Kittle’s bomb landed in the center field seats. Britt Burns (DZ, 2) gave the Twins fits in his seven innings of work. The home team managed to score four runs late in the game, but Juan Agosto (B, 13) retired Kent Hrbek on a groundout with the tying runner, Mickey Hatcher, on second base. The Royals beat the Angels 10-0 and are now one game behind Minnesota in the AL West.

CHW–5-8-2
MN–4-10-0

WP-Britt Burns (4-12)
LP-Pete Filson (3-5)
SV-Juan Agosto (6)

HR-Kittle (30), Hatcher (5)

AL West Standings as of Sept. 18th

Minnesota 80-70
Kansas City 79-71
California 78-72

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A poor start and quiet bats left the Twins in agony in the third game of their four game series with the White Sox at the Metrodome. Harold Baines touched Mike Smithson (CYZ, 10) for a two run homer in a three run first for Chicago. An error by Mickey Hatcher in the second inning plates another run for the visitors. The Twins had nothing doing against lefty Floyd Bannister (CY, 6) as he threw seven innings allowing just one run, no walks, and five hits. Agosto threw two scoreless innings to shut the Twins down. The Angels nipped the Royals 4-3 in 11 innings with Minnesota still holding on to the AL West lead.

CHW–5-8-1
MN–1-7-1

WP-Floyd Bannister (13-10)
LP-Mike Smithson (15-11)

HR-Baines (27), Hairston (4)

AL West Standings Thru Sept. 19th

Minnesota 80-71
Kansas City 79-72
California 79-72

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In a game touted “Teacher vs. Pupil,” the teacher was the one to claim victor in the final game of this series. Tom Seaver (CYZ, 7) pitches a complete game allowing two runs scattering nine hits, prevailing over young lefty Frank Viola (BYZ, 14). Harold Baines’ two-run triple put Chicago up 2-0 in the 3rd. Minnesota tied it up on an RBI single by Mickey Hatcher and a double play groundout by Kent Hrbek. Tony LaRussa’s small ball tactics in the very next inning proved to be the game-winner. Greg Walker doubled and Greg Luzinski walked to begin the 4th. Vance Law’s sac bunt moved the runners over. Marc Hill’s deep sac fly to right field scored Walker to put the White Sox up 3-2. The Twins could do nothing off Seaver when given the chance. Minnesota had two men on with no outs in both the 6th and 7th innings and failed to score the tying run. The Angels edged the Royals 2-0 and are now tied with the Twins atop the AL West.

CHW–3-5-0
MN–2-9-0

WP-Tom Seaver (14-11)
LP-Frank Viola (16-12)

AL West Standings Thru September 20th

Minnesota 80-72
California 80-72
Kansas City 79-73

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In front of over 45,000 fans at the Metrodome, the Twins and Cleveland Indians provided plenty of thrills for the crowd. In the end, it was the hometown nine that survived an epic battle to break a three game skid. Tom Brunansky’s two run homer to center put the Twins up in the first inning. As part of a five-run fifth, Bruno hit another two run homer off Don Schulze (DZ, 2), sending him to the Metrodome showers. Cleveland would go down quietly as the my chipped away, trailing 8-5 in the 8th. Randy Bush provided some punch for Minnesota by smashing a three run shot off the upper deck in right field off Roy Smith to put the Twins up 11-5. The Indians mounted one more comeback in the 9th. Joe Carter hit a solo homer off reliever Ed Hodge (DZ, 2). With two outs, pinch hitter Chris Bando bombed a two -run triple to make it 11-8. Manager Billy Gardner summoned Ron Davis (CX, 6) from the pen. Davis retired Andre Thornton on a called third strike fastball to save the win. The Angels and Royals both won their respective games, keeping things status quo.

CLE–8-12-2
MN–11-20-0

WP–John Butcher (18-5)
LP–Don Schulze (3-6)
SV–Davis (35)

HR–Tom Brunansky 2 (34), Randy Bush (13), Joe Carter (12), Andre Thornton (29), Julio Franco (2)

AL West Standings as of Sept. 21st

Minnesota 81-72
California 81-72
Kansas City 80-73

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After an exciting win the night before, Minnesota suffered its most deflating lost of the 1984 rebooted season. Facing Bert Blyleven (BYZ, 15), the Twins and Ken Schrom (DZ, 3) faced a tall task. Both men went on to pitch valiantly for their respective teams as the score was 0-0 after six innings. With two outs and no one on the the top of the 7th, George Vukovich singled to center off Schrom (now upgraded to a BZ, 13). Mel Hall came onto pinch run for Vukovich. Pat Tabler connected on the next pitch for a single right-center field. Rookie Kirby Puckett (OF-3) charged in overran the ball as it caromed off his glove. The error alowed Hall to score all the way from first while Tabler made it to third. Schrom retired Jerry Willard to end the 7th. With just two hits off Blyleven thru 6 innings, Kent Hrbek drew a lead off walk. Tom Brunansky flew out to deep LF and Mickey Hatcher grounded into a 6-4-3 DP to end the inning. Blyleven slammed the door in the 8th and 9th as Cleveland nipped the Twins 1-0. The Angels lost but the Royals won, creating a three-way for first place in the West.

CLE–1-8-0
MN–0-2-1

WP–Bert Blyleven (18-6)
LP–Ken Schrom (2-5)

AL West Standings Thru Sept. 22nd

Minnesota 81-73
Kansas City 81-73
California 81-73

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A four year MLB veteran and native Minnesotan, but now relegated to a September call-up by the Indians, Jerry Ujdur (D, 1) out pitched Mike Smithson (CYZ, 10) to defeat the Twins in another head-scratching loss for Minnesota at the Metrodome. Leading 1-0 in the top of the 3rd, Joe Carter’s three run homer to left-center put Smithson behind the 8-ball again on this final homestand. Ujdur held the Twins scoreless thru the first six innings. Minnesota finally broke through in the 7th by scoring three runs. The big clutch hit came from pinch hitter Ron Washington, who’s two-run triple cut the deficit to a run. Unfortunately, reliever Rick Lysander gave those three runs right back in the top of the 8th thanks to triples by Mike Fischlin and Brett Butler. Ernie Camacho (AZ, 16) pitched 2 2/3 innings of relief to save the game, making Ujder an unlikely winner. Despite the loss, the Twins are still tied for first in the West as KC lost at home to Oakland while the Angels lost 2-1 in ten innings at home versus Texas. Minnesota will now leave the Metrodome and its disgruntled fans for the season’s final seven games: 3 at Comiskey Park and 4 at Municipal
Stadium.

CLE–7-11-0
MN–4-10-2

WP-Jerry Ujdur (2-1)
LP-Mike Smithson (15-12)
SV-Ernie Camacho (21)

HR-Carter (13)

AL West Standings Thru Sept. 23rd

Minnesota 81-74
California 81-74
Kansas City 81-74

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Minnesota began its seven-game seasons-ending road trip with a flair for the dramatic. Minnesota used a four-run first inning helped by a three run homer by Kent Hrbek. The Twins rode the arm of Frank Viola through 8 somewhat rocky innings. Ron Kittle’s two homeruns and allowing three runs in the 7th brought the ChiSox within striking distance. Ahead 7-5 in the 9th, the Twins had Dave Engle on third with two outs. Reliever Gene Nelson balked to score Engle, making it an 8-5 game. A trivial run perhaps? HARDLY! Ron Davis was brought in to try and save a three run lead while facing the bottom of the White Sox lineup. A single, walk, infield single, and a bases loaded walk forced in a run, and forced Manager Billy Gardner to make a change.Rick Lysander was summoned and he retired Scott Fletcher on a shallow flyout to Kirby Puckett in center, but then walked Tom Paciorek to force in another run, making it 8-7 with the bases still loaded and just one out. With Harold Baines up, Gardner brought lefty Len Whitehouse in, and he fanned Baines on thee pitches for the second out. With Carlton Fisk due up, Gardner made an improbable call to the bullpen. Out went Whitehouse, and in came John Butcher, the starter for the next game. Butcher made his manager look like a genius as after falling behind 2-0, he struck Fisk out looking to preserve an intense ballgame in Minnesota’s favor. “When you’re in the situation our team is in, you can’t play for tomorrow,” said Gardner after the win. “You win today and worry about tomorrow when it comes. Johnnie will be just fine for tomorrow’s ballgame.” The Royals beat the Angels to break the three-way tie atop the division with six games to play.

MN–8-18-1
CHW–7-7-0

WP-Frank Viola (17-12)
LP-Floyd Bannister (13-11)
SV-John Butcher (1)

HR-Hrbek (31), Kittle 2 (31, 32)

AL West Standings Thru Sept. 24th

Minnesota 82-74
Kansas City 82-74
California 81-75

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The Twins continued to play with ice in their veins at Comiskey Park, winning another tight game against the White Sox. Tom Brunansky, who took extra batting practice before the game, kept up his first inning heroics, launching a two-run homer off veteran hurler Tom Seaver. Kent Hrbek added a pair of RBI singles to help the Twins build a 4-0 lead. John Butcher, fresh off his first career save, was effective again, going 8 innings allowing two runs (one earned). Ron Davis was given the ball, hoping to make amends for last game’s debacle. He retired Roy Smalley, Darryl Boston, and Marc Hill in order to save it. KC beat the Angels again, maintaining its tie with Minnesota.

MN–4-11-1
CHW–2-5-1

WP–John Butcher (19-5)
LP–Tom Seaver (14-12)
SV–Ron Davis (36)

HR–Brunansky (35)

AL West Standings Thru Sept. 25

Minnesota 83-74
Kansas City 83-74
California 81-76

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In the series finale, Richard Dotson (B, MG 12) took his team’s frustration out on the Minnesota offense. He held the Twins to one run and six hits, but the game was in the balance until the game’s final pitch. Former (and future) Twin Roy Smalley hit a solo homer in the 4th off Ken Schrom for a 1-0 White Sox lead. It stayed that way until the top of the 8th when Ron Washington tripled and scored on Dave Engle’s sac fly. Tied at 1-1 with two outs in the 9th, Scott Fletcher’s Tex-League single to center drove in pinch-runner Vance Law, making Chicago a walk-off winner. Schrom lasted 7.33 IP in another solid performance by a DZ pitcher. The Royals lost to the Angels, keeping both KC and MN tied for first as the Twins head to Cleveland for the final four games of the 1984 rebooted baseball season.

MN–1-6-1
CHW–2-6-0

WP–Dotson (14-14)
LP–Whitehouse (6-6)

HR–Smalley (11)

AL West Standings Thru September 26th

Minnesota 83-75
Kansas City 83-75
California 82-76

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With their final four games taking place at venerable old Municipal Stadium, a rookie came through with the key hit that swung the pendulum in his team’s favor. The Twins took a 5-0 lead in the 3rd inning, helped out by Ron Washington’s three-run blast to give Mike Smithson a sizable lead. Credit Cleveland for taking advantage of a few walks by Smithson. In the 6th, Joe Carter’s two-run blast narrowed the deficit. The Twins lead was erased entirely in the 7th when Jerry Willard launched a three run shot to dead center, making it a 5-5 game. In the top of the 8th with runners on second and third, Kirby Puckett slapped a single down the right field line plating Tim Teufel and Darrell Brown off reliever Mike Jeffcoat (BZ, MG 13). Ron Davis threw a scoreless 9th to earn another save down the stretch, giving the Twins the close win! The Royals beat the Angels in their series finale, keeping the top of the divison deadlocked.

Puckett was mobbed by reporters following the game after his game-winning hit. “I’m just tryin’ to help the team, man,” Puckett said of his hit. “I’m havin’ the best time of my life wit’ these guys!”

MN–7-11-0
CLE–5-8-1

WP–Mike Smithson (16-12)
LP–Don Schulze (3-7)
SV–Ron Davis (37)

HR–Washington (2), Carter (14), Willard (10).

AL West Standings Thru September 27th

Minnesota (84-75)
Kansas City (84-75)
California (82-77)

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With Frank Viola (BYZ, MG 14) on the hill, Minnesota liked their chances with so much on the line. Jerry Ujdur (D, MG 1), who beat the Twinsearlier in the week at a rabid Metrodome, toed the rubber for the Tribe in front of a sparse crowd at Municipal. Joe Carter gave the home team the early lead with a solo shot to left in the first inning. Trailing 3-1 in the top of the 6th, Ron Washington’s two-run double tied the game up. In the bottom of the sixth, the first pitch Viola threw was one he’d regret….a fastball down the pipe to Chris abandon, who smacked a solo homerun to left field pushing Cleveland ahead 4-3. Viola would retire the next 9 men he’d face. Meanwhile, Minnesota succeeded at stranding runners in scoring position in the 7th-9th innings. In th 7th, Tim Teufel walked and Houston Jimenez doubled, putting runners at second and third with no outs. Puckett struck out, Mickey Hatcher grounded out to the pitcher, and Kent Hrbek hit a two out sac fly to left to end the threat. With two outs in the 8th, Dave Engle doubled, but Gary Gaetti struck out stranding Engle. In the 9th, pinch hitter Randy Bush hit a double with one out, but Puckett and Hatcher failed to come though off Ernie Camacho (AZ, MG 16) dealing the Twins a big blow. The Royals beat the A’s to take a one game lead in the West while the Angels lost in Texas.

Ujdur was in shock again, beating the Twins as they strive to clinch a post-season berth. After the game, a number of T-Shirts were being sold in downtown outside of the Metrodome in Minneapolis, leaving serious questions about the Twins’ ability to win the division.

MN–3-9-0
CLE–4-8-0

WP–Jerry Ujdur (3-1)
LP–Frank Viola (17-13)
SV–Ernie Camacho (23)

HR–Carter (15), Bando (12)

AL West Standings Thru September 28th

Kansas City 85-75
Minnesota 84-76
California 82-78

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With two games to go and out of first by a game, the Twins‘ fate is not entirely in their hands. Two KC wins and that’s it, regardless of what Minnesota does. As they have all year, when the club has been in need of a boost, the Twins have turned to John Butcher (BZ, MG 11). Owner of 19 wins, an ERA of around 2.00, and who earlier had a scoreless innings streak of 39, none of that mattered in his final start of the regular season. Going up against Neal Heaton (D, MG 3), the Twins couldn’t afford another offensive collapse against a lower-echelon pitcher. The game was scoreless into the 3rd inning. Houston Jimenez doubled and later scored on a single by Mickey Hatcher, putting the Twins up 1-0. Butcher breezed through the Cleveland lineup, surrendering a walk in the 3rd and had a no hitter into the 5th inning. Still clinging to a 1-0 lead after six innings, Butcher needed some breathing room. With one out in the top of the 7th, Jimenez and Kirby Puckett hit singles. Jimenez later scored when Hatcher singled to right for a 2-0 lead. With the lefty Kent Hrbek due up, LHP Mike Jeffcoat came in to pitch to Hrbek. With Jeffcoat having an increased MG rating of 21 against Hrbek, the Bloomington, MN native did the one thing that no pitcher can stop. A Jeffcoat changeup (66-1) to Hrbek was belted to RF for a game-clinching 3-run homerun to put the Twins up 5-0. Butcher finished the game, his 10th CG and 8th shutout, by allowing just one hit, one walk, and struck out a season-high 8 to earn his 20th win. He ends 1984 with an ERA of 1.95 and a WHIP of 0.978. More importantly, he gives the Twins a chance to win the AL West. The Royals dropped their game in Oakland, creating a first place tie with one regular season game to go. Will there be a Game 163? Or will one of these teams rise to the top? Time will tell!

MN–5-11-1
CLE–0-1-0

WP–John Butcher (20-5)
LP–Neal Heaton (11-16)

HR–Hrbek (32)

AL West Standings Thru September 29th

Kansas City 85-76
Minnesota 85-76

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On a brisk afternoon in Cleveland, history was given a chance to be rewritten at Municipal Stadium. The 1984 rebooted baseball season had come to its final day, with the Minnesota Twins deadlocked in a first place tie with the Kansas City Royals atop the AL West. Minnesota’s game would end before the Royals’ contest, so there’d be some tense moments following regardless of the result. The Twins threw out back-of-the-end rotation hurler Ken Schrom (DZ, 3) while Cleveland’s veteran ace Bert Blyleven (BYZ, 15) was set to take the hill for the Tribe.

Three scoreless innings made for a quick start to the game. In the top of the 4th, Kent Hrbek drew a walk. After Tom Brunansky struck out, Randy Bush stepped in the box with two outs. With the count 0-2, Blyleven hung a belt-high curveball and Bush (66-1) launched it into the right field bleachers for a two-run homer. Minnesota added to its lead in the 5th when Dave Engle singled, reached second on a Houston Jimenez sac bunt, and scored when Kirby Puckett (55-7) singled to right. Cleveland finally threatened in the 5th, but stranded runners on second and third to end the threat. In the bottom of the 6th, the Indians started to turn on the heat. Julio Franco bombed a solo shot to left field to lead things off. After Joe Carter reached on an error, two straight singles, the latter by Mel Hall, plated Carter to make it a 3-2 game. Schrom was removed in favor of Rick Lysander (C, 9), who was able to end the inning.

Minnesota was in search of an insurance run in the 7th, and they received it. Engle singled to left, reached second on a groundout by Jimenez, and scored on another 55-7 single by Puckett as the Twins pulled ahead 4-2. Lysander pitched a 1-2-3 7th inning, and stranded two runners on in the 8th without scoring. Blyleven was lights out in the latter part of the game, setting the stage for a dramatic 9th inning. Minnesota manager Billy Gardner called in the unpredictable Ron Davis (CX, 6) to earn the biggest save of his life. With one out, Jerry Willard singled to put the tying run aboard. Davis induced an infield popup to Mike Fischlin for the 2nd out. Leadoff-hitter Brett Butler stepped in. Butler worked the count full, 3-2, before being jammed with a Davis fastball on the fists. The batted ball was popped up and caught by Jimenez at shortstop, preserving a most-important 4-2 win.

With the win, Minnesota quickly scampered off the field into the Municipal Stadium clubhouse to watch the Royals take on the A’s in Oakland. After two hours of intense viewing, Oakland defeated Kansas City 8-2, paving the way for the Minnesota Twins to clinch the AL Western Division! The team, coaching staff, and team officials delved into a variety of celebratory beverages as this rag-tag ball club accomplished its goal of making the 1984 ALCS. The team will take on AL East powerhouse, the Detroit Tigers. It will be a tall task for Minnesota, but they are going to enjoy the fruits of their 162 game labor for tonight before setting their sights on the Tigers.

MN–4-9-1
CLE–2-9-2

WP–Ken Schrom (3-5)
LP–Bert Blyleven (19-7)
SV–Ron Davis (38)

HR–Randy Bush (14), Julio Franco (3)

FINAL AL WEST STANDINGS

Minnesota 86-76
Kansas City 85-77

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1984 ALCS GAME PREVIEWS AND RECAPS


 

1984 ALCS GAME ONE PREVIEW

Detroit Tigers (104-58) at Minnesota Twins (86-76)

Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome

The managers have turned in their lineup cards for Game 1 of the 1984 ALCS. Sparky Anderson is sending out Minnesota’s native son, Jack Morris. Twins manager Billy Gardner elected to start Mike Smithson, who has a full four days’ rest instead of LHP Frank Viola, who has only had three. The patriotic bunting has been hung, Bob Dylan is about to sing the Star-Spangled Banner, and playoff baseball is set to be played inside the confines of the Metrodome for the first time in its history!

Jack Morris (19-11, 3.60) vs. Mike Smithson (16-12, 3.61)

Detroit Lineup

Lou Whitaker – 2B (13/56/.289)
Alan Trammell – SS (14/69/.314)
Kirk Gibson – RF (27/91/.282)
Lance Parrish – C (33/98/.237)
Darrell Evans – 3B (16/63.232)
Rupert Jones – LF (12/37/.284)
Johnny Grubb – DH (8/17/.267)
Chet Lemon – CF (20/76.287)
Dave Bergman – 1B (7/44/.273)

Minnesota Lineup

Kirby Puckett – CF (.313/1/48)
Mickey Hatcher – LF (.336/5/72)
Kent Hrbek – 1B (.351/32/105)
Tom Brunansky – RF (.279/35/122)
Ron Washington – 3B (.309/2/31)
John Castino – 2B (.330/1/17)
Randy Bush – DH (.249/14/49)
Dave Engle – C (.260/0/32)
Houston Jimenez – SS (.271/1/30)

Umpires

HP – Bill Deegan, 1B – Jon Bible, 2B – Randy Christal, 3B – Larry Zirbel, LF – Harold Jordan, RF – Mike O’Dell.

With a capacity crowd on hand at the HHH Metrodome, the 1984 ALCS began with a very tightly-contested opening game. One of Detroit’s goals was to try to take the boisterous Minnesota fans out of the game early. The Tigers did just that after one half-inning thanks to some contagious timely hitting without the use of an extra-base hit. Five singles and a walk off starter Mike Smithson (CYZ, MG 10) put the visitors ahead 3-0 quickly as the Tigers sent nine hitters up to the dish. Despite having double-barreled action in the bullpen, Manager Billy Gardner stayed with Smithson, and it paid off as he allowed one one single from the second inning through the sixth. Minnesota responded in the bottom of the second when Tom Brunansky hit a solo homer to left off Jack Morris (BYZ, MG 11), sending the home fans into a frenzy! Randy Bush also doubled later in the inning, but failed to score.

A huge defensive play took place in the bottom of the third. Houston Jimenez singled to begin the inning, and reached second on an error in right by Kirk Gibson. Jimenez advanced to third on a Kirby Puckett groundout. With the infield playing back, Mickey Hatcher hit a sharp grounder to second baseman Lou Whitaker. Seeing Jimenez was breaking for home, Whitaker threw a dart to catcher Lance Parrish who applied the tag to Jimenez for an out! Kent Hrbek singled to put the tying run aboard, but Brunansky popped out to left. Between the 4th-7th innings, Morris gave up a pair of singles and that was it!

Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the 8th, the Twins were burdened not only by a deficit, but also with having to deal with Tigers’ closer Willie Hernandez (AXZ, MG 20). Even so, Minnesota put the heat on the closer for Detroit. Puckett led off the 8th with a walk, but was quickly erased when Hatcher hit into a 1-6-3 double play while Hrbek struck out to end the 8th. The score remained the same in the bottom of the 9th, and this time the Twins put the winning run to the plate. Brunansky led off with a double off the top of the left field fence. After Hernandez struck out Ron Washington, John Castino drew a walk as Randy Bush stepped into the box as the go ahead run. Hernandez induced Bush into a pop-up to Darrell Evans at third while Dave Engle grounded out to Alan Trammell at short to end the ballgame.

Morris went seven innings allowing one run on six hits and no walks to earn the win. Smithson took the loss going seven innings allowing three runs on seven hits. Lance Parrish, Rupert Jones, and Chet Lemon each had RBI singles in the 1st inning. Other than the homer by Bruno, there wasn’t much to cheer about in Game 1 for the Twins.

DET–3-9-1
MN–1-7-0

WP-Jack Morris
LP-Mike Smithson
SV-Willie Hernandez

HR-Brunansky

The Tigers lead the series 1-0. Game Two will be played at the Metrodome.

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1984 ALCS GAME TWO PREVIEW

Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins

Detroit leads the series 1-0

The Tigers nipped the Twins in the series opener and will look to take a hearty series lead back to Detroit with a win today. Minnesota, meanwhile, will turn to its young lefty to throw the best game of his short career in hopes of evening the series. Another sellout crowd is on hand down at the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis.

Dan Petry (18-8, 3.24, BYZ, 13) vs. Frank Viola (17-13, 3.20, BYZ, 14)

Detroit Lineup

Lou Whitaker – 2B
Alan Trammell – SS
Kirk Gibson – RF
Lance Parrish – C
Larry Herndon – LF
Barbaro Garbey – DH
Chet Lemon – CF
Darrell Evans – 1B
Marty Castillo – 3B

Minnesota Lineup

Kirby Puckett – CF
Mickey Hatcher – LF
Kent Hrbek – 1B
Tom Brunansky – RF
Ron Washington – 3B
John Castino – 2B
Randy Bush – DH
Dave Engle – C
Houston Jimenez – SS

HP – Bill Deegan, 1B – Jon Bible, 2B – Randy Christal, 3B – Bob Jones, LF – Richard Denny, RF – Carl Nothnagel.

With Game Two under the Teflon roof of the HHH Metrodome, the Twins were again in a position to use the noise and excitement of 55,000 rabid fans to their advantage. The best way to cancel out that noise? A home run. With two outs and Lou Whitaker on first, Lance Parrish bombed a Viola 2-0 fastball WAY up into the left field seats for an early Tigers’ lead, silencing the Twins’ faithful. After a quiet second inning, Viola allowed two one-out singles to Alan Trammell and Kirk Gibson. Parrish was thinking long ball again, but a nicely turned double play by Ron Washington, John Castino, and Kent Hrbek ended the threat. Dave Engle led off the bottom of the 3rd with a standup double. Three straight popouts left Engle stranded.

With two outs and no one on in the top of the 4th, Detroit’s savviness was put on full display. Chet Lemon doubled and Darrell Evans drew a walk. Marty Castillo laced a 1-1 changeup into the right-center gap for a double to drive in two runs to put the Tigers ahead 4-0. The AL East winners put another run up in the 5th on a two out single by Barbaro Garbey scoring Gibson from third as Viola was having a hard time of it out on the mound.

Dan Petry on the other hand sailed along after the third, retiring nine straight hitters through the 6th. Minnesota’s fans had something to cheer about in the bottom of the 7th when Bloomington’s son Kent Hrbek bombed a solo shot off the facing of the upper deck in right field, making it a 5-1 ballgame. In the bottom of the 8th, Kirby Puckett singled off Petry with two outs. With the heart of the order coming up, Sparky summoned Aurelio Lopez (BY, 14) from the pen. Hatcher popped out to Parrish on the first pitch to end the inning. The Tigers added two unearned runs in the top of the 9th on errors by Castino at second and Hatcher in left, adding more salt to the wounds. With less than half of the capacity crowd on hand, one more bright spot occurred for Minnesota in the bottom of the 9th. With two outs and Hrbek on 1st, pinch hitter Tim Teufel drilled a two-run homer to straight-away center as the crowed was temporarily brought back from the dead. Randy Bush flew out to the warning track in right to end the game as Detroit takes a 2-0 series lead.

Perry was the man of the hour for the Tigers, throwing 7 2/3 innings to earn the win. He gave up just one earned run on four hits and struck out six. Between Petry’s prowess on the hill and Parrish’s homer, the Twins were doomed from the start of Game 2. Viola struggled in his post-season debut while he lasted through his seven innings of work. He allowed five earned runs, eight hits, four walks, and struck out five in defeat. The Tigers have shown why they are the favorites in this series. The Twins will travel to Detroit hoping to right their ship before it sinks.

DET–7-12-0
MN–3-5-3

WP–Dan Petry
LP–Frank Viola

HR–Parrish (DET), Hrbek, Teufel (MN)

Detroit leads the series 2-0. Game Three will be held at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, MI.

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1984 ALCS – GAME THREE PREVIEW

Minnesota Twins (86-76) at Detroit Tigers (104-58)

Tiger Stadium

Detroit Leads Series 2-0

After sweeping the first two games from the Twins in their raucous home ballpark, the Tigers return to “The Corner” for Game 3 of the ALCS. Minnesota will need a jumpstart at the top of their lineup as Kirby Puckett and Mickey Hatcher, who BOTH had over 200 hits during the regular season, have one hit combined thus far. The Tigers have benefitted from strong pitching and their well-rounded lineup to put up runs. This will be the first home playoff game in Detroit since losing Game 5 of the 1972 ALCS, a 2-1 loss to the Oakland A’s. 50,000 strong are awaiting the first pitch as Tiger Stadium is ready to host some post-season baseball! Twinsmanager Billy Gardner has made a few changes in his lineup, returning Tim Teufel and Gary Gaetti to the starting lineup.

John Butcher (20-5, 1.95) vs. Milt Wilcox (17-8, 4.00)

Minnesota Lineup

Kirby Puckett – CF
Mickey Hatcher – LF
Kent Hrbek – 1B
Tom Brunansky – RF
Randy Bush – DH
Dave Engle – C
Tim Teufel – 2B
Gary Gaetti – 3B
Houston Jimenez – SS

Detroit Lineup

Lou Whitaker – 2B
Alan Trammell – SS
Kirk Gibson – RF
Lance Parrish – C
Darrell Evans – 3B
Rupert Jones – LF
Johnny Grubb – DH
Chet Lemon – CF
Dave Bergman – 1B

Umpires – HP – Bill Deegan, 1B – Jon Bible, 2B – Randy Christal, 3B – Doug Cossey, LF – Dick Runchey, RF – Dick Zivic.

Game 3 of the Alternate 1984 ALCS using the APBA Master Game took less than 20 minutes to play. John Butcher (BZ, 11) and Milt Wilcox (CYZ, 9) put on a pitching display with the Twins on the brink and the Tigers on the cusp of a pennant. Minnesota’s manager Billy Gardner tinkered with the lineup as he reinserted Tim Teufel and Gary Gaetti. Teufel and Gaetti struggled mightily in September at the plate. Tigers’ skipper Sparky Anderson’s lineup and bench was amped up and ready to bring Butcher back down to Earth after his “out-of-this-world” season for the Twins. Detroit looked to drop the hammer right away in the bottom of the first. Lou Whitaker and Kirk Gibson singled. With two outs, Butcher walked Darrell Evans (back-to-back rolls of 45-14). Rupert Jones stepped in with the bases loaded, and he drilled a Butcher fastball in the air right at Teufel at second for the third out of the inning.

It would be Teufel and Gaetti that’d help Minnesota with that all important first run of the game. With two outs and no one on in the top of the second inning, Teufel lined a double down the left field line. Gaetti’s Tex-League single in shallow right-center brought Teufel home to make it 1-0, Twins. Randy Bush did his part in the top of the 4th by launching a solo homer to right off the facade of the upper deck as the Twins led 2-0. Detroit’s fans, after being quiet for most of the game, erupted in the bottom of the 5th when Dave Bergman, the most feared #9 hitter in the league, lined a Butcher fastball off the RF foul pole, cutting the Twins lead to 2-1. Wilcox zoned in and didn’t allow another hit until the top of the 9th, a leadoff single by Tom Brunansky. Willie Hernandez (AXZ, 20) came in and retired the next three batters. Butcher, still in the game and holding onto a one run lead, picked the perfect time to have his one 1-2-3 inning of the game as he struck out Chet Lemon and retired Bergman and Whitaker on groundouts, making Minnesota a 2-1 winner.

Butcher continued his storybook season into the ALCS by throwing a complete game (11th of the season). In nine innings, he allowed seven hits, three walks, one earned run, and struck out seven. Wilcox was just as great as he tossed eight innings, five hits, two earned runs, two walks, and struck out five. Kirby Puckett and Mickey Hatcher went a combined 0-8, and so their slumps continue (one hit between them in three games). Detroit left 10 runners on base for the third time this series. Was this a mere speed bump for the almighty Tigers in their hallowed home? Or could this be a sign of further carnage to come? Game Four will tell the story.

MN–2-5-1
DET–1-7-0

WP–John Butcher
LP–Milt Wilcox

HR–Randy Bush (MN), Dave Bergman (DET).

Detroit leads series 2-1.

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1984 ALCS GAME FOUR PREVIEW

Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers

Tiger Stadium – Detroit, MI — Detroit Leads Series 2-1

The Minnesota Twins were hanging on for dear life after two straight losses at the Metrodome to begin this best-of-five ALCS. RHP John Butcher’s epic performance in the Twins‘ Game 3 victory has given theTwins a glimmer of hope as the stage gets set for Game 4. The Tigers, however, are in no position to press the panic button. With still having to win just one of two games clinch the pennant with both games at home, things look promising as team ace Jack Morris is set to take the mound for the Tigers. With one win already under his belt in the series, Morris is determined to bring his manager to the World Series. Sparky Anderson came to the park calm, cool, and relaxed. On the other side of the the field, Twins skipper Billy Gardner is having a hard time keeping it together, finding every which way to bargain with the umpires in hopes of an added break here or there. The Twins‘ faithful are counting on a big start by Mike Smithson while waiting to see if MVP candidate Kent Hrbek can jumpstart the offense that’s hitting just .170 in the series. Tiger Stadium is packed to the rafters again in this APBA Master Game Game 4 of the Alternate 1984 ALCS.

Mike Smithson (CYZ, MG 10) vs. Jack Morris (BYZ, MG 11)

Minnesota Lineup

Kirby Puckett – CF
Mickey Hatcher – LF
Kent Hrbek – 1B
Tom Brunansky – RF
Randy Bush – DH
Dave Engle – C
Tim Teufel – 2B
Gary Gaetti – 3B
Houston Jimenez – SS

Detroit Lineup

Lou Whitaker – 2B
Alan Trammell – SS
Kirk Gibson – RF
Lance Parrish – C
Darrell Evans – 3B
Rupert Jones – LF
Johnny Grubb – DH
Chet Lemon – CF
Dave Bergman – 1B

Umpires: HP – Bill Deegan, 1B – Jon Bible, 2B – Randy Christal, 3B – Doug Cossey, LF – Dick Runchey, RF – Dick Zivic.

Game 4 of the 1984 ALCS proved to be another game that would go down to the wire. Jack Morris and Mike Smithson were both in the zone from the get-go on the mound. Through the first six innings, Morris had allowed just a pair of infield singles and no walks. Smithson was able to get out of the early innings untouched. A single here and a walk there gave Detroit chances, but the key hit eluded them until the bottom of the 6th. Kirk Gibson and Lance Parrish hit back-to-back singles to begin the inning. With one out, Rupert Jones ripped a single to right as Gibson scored ahead of Tom Brunansky’s throw to the plate to put Detroit up 1-0. Smithson regrouped to strikeout both Johnny Grubb and Chet Lemon to halt further damage. Minnesota was able to tie the game in the 7th when Kent Hrbek’s solo homer to right off Morris made it 1-1. With one out, Randy Bush walked and Dave Engle singled to put the go-ahead run on second. Tim Teufel and Gary Gaetti each flew out to center to end the threat. Smithson dialed up a 1-2-3 bottom of the 7th.

With one out in the 8th, Kirby Puckett reached on a single to left and later to second on a Mickey Hatcher groundout. Hrbek stepped in and drilled a single to right to plate Puckett, putting Minnesota ahead 2-1. Detroit would set themselves up for some opportune chances to tie or win the game down the stretch. In the bottom of the 8th, smiths was still in the zone, retiring Gibson and Parrish to begin the inning. A walk to Darrell Evans (with Tom Brookens pinch running) forced Billy Gardner to bring in a lefty, Len Whitehouse (C, 7) to face Lefty Rupert Jones. Sparky Anderson called Jones back to the dugout and elected to have Larry Herndon pinch hit. Herndon singled to left, moving Brookens to second. Sparky then brought in Barbaro Garbey to hit for Grubb, but Gardner countered and brought in Rick Lysander (CY, 9). On the first pitch, Garbey singled to right field. RF Tom Brunansky grabbed the ball and came up firing a bullet to Dave Engle, who applied the tag to Brookens to end the inning with the Twins still up 2-1.

The Tigers showed off their outfield prowess in the top of the 9th. With two outs, Teufel singled to right. Gaetti followed up with a single to right as Teufel rounded second, heading for third. Gibson was ready and threw a frozen rope to Brookens at third, nailing Teufel for the third out. Holding onto a one run lead and feeling the momentum of the inning before, Gardner left Lysander in to begin the 9th. With one out, he walked both Dave Bergman and Lou Whitaker. Lysander then induced a 3-unassisted grounder to Hrbek at first, advancing both runners for none other than Kirk Gibson. With runners on second and third, Lysander’s 1-2 fastball was ripped down the RF line. Brunansky charged over and made a diving catch just short of the fence to end the game in dramatic fashion, resulting in the Twins 2-1 win.

The Twins quickly celebrated and later escaped into the Tiger Stadium visitors’ clubhouse while the Tigers fans and players were again befuddled, being held to one lone run for the second straight game. The Tigers left 11 runners on base, and all 9 of their hits were singles. Hrbek lived up to his MVP-caliber season driving in the two necessary runs when the Twins needed them! This series will come to a close after the 5th and final game. It’s sure to be a doozy!

MN–2-8-0
DET–1-9-1

WP–Smithson
LP–Morris
SV–Lysander

HR–Hrbek

The series is tied at 2-2. Game Five will decide the 1984 American League Pennant. Tiger Stadium will be the place to be when the time comes!

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GAME 5 PREVIEW — 1984 ALCS

Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers

Series is tied at 2-2.

It all comes down to this — a decisive Game 5 at venerable Tiger Stadium. Detroit was victorious in two games at The Metrodome, only to come home and drop the next two in front of Tiger Nation. It will be a matchup of the team’s best-rated pitchers in terms of APBA ratings. Will it be another pitcher’s duel as the theme so far in this series has been? Will one team pound the other team into submission? I hope I can shake my nerves so I can get this game rolled — I’ve never been more excited to roll a game of APBA before!! The winner claims the league pennant and a trip to the World Series to take on the San Diego Padres.

Frank Viola (17-13, 3.20 – BYZ, MG14) vs. Dan Petry (18-8, 3.24 – BYZ, MG13)

Minnesota Lineup

Kirby Puckett – CF
Mickey Hatcher – LF
Kent Hrbek – 1B
Tom Brunansky – RF
Randy Bush – DH
Ron Washington – 2B
Dave Engle – C
Gary Gaetti – 3B
Houston Jimenez – SS

Detroit Lineup

Lou Whitaker – 2B
Alan Trammell – SS
Kirk Gibson – RF
Lance Parrish – C
Larry Herndon – LF
Barbaro Garbey – DH
Chet Lemon – CF
Darrell Evans – 1B
Marty Castillo – 3B

With a trip to the World Series on the line, both teams entered Tiger Stadium with an immense amount of focus and concentration. The Detroit faithful were ready to blow the rafters off the old stadium. The Corner was abuzz with talk about this series being one of the best in LCS history. Who would come through in the clutch? Who would be the black sheep?

In the top of the 1st inning, the Twins Mickey Hatcher broke a dubious mark – an 0-16 LCS skid by slapping a Petry single to left (55-7) with one out. He never made it past first base after two quick outs. Neither team was in position to score until the third inning. Gary Gaetti drew a leadoff walk. Knowing that runs would be at a premium, Twins skipper Billy Gardner elected to have the light-hitting Houston Jimenez bunt – which he did, moving Gaetti to second to bring up Kirby Puckett and Mickey Hatcher. With over 400 hits combined in the regular season, and needing just one to plate the game’s first run, both batters were retired to end the inning.

Detroit caught a monumental break later in the bottom of the 3rd. With one out, #9 hitter Marty Castillo was up. He stroked a line-drive single to center. Puckett overcompensated when running up to the ball, allowing it to go under his legs. The ball rolled all the way to the 440 sign in center. Brunansky was there to retrieve the ball, but Castillo galloped around the bases for the game’s first run on a three-base error by Puckett, just his second error of the season.

Minnesota did what it has done all year – they fought back. Ron Washington, inserted back into the starting lineup in place of Tim Teufel, led off with a single. With one out, Gaetti singled and Jimenez walked to fill the bases, Puckett drilled a Petry fastball to left scoring Washington with Hatcher and Hrbek due up. With the game tied 1-1 and the team’s best two hitters set to hit, this was the moment of truth for Minnesota. Hatcher battled, but popped out to Chet Lemon in shallow CF. Hrbek battled Petry to a full count before lining out to Lemon in CF. The Twins had tied the game, but had their time run out?

With the pendulum swinging back their way, Darrell Evans did his part in keeping momentum in the bottom of the 5th by blasting a Viola fastball into the upper deck in RF for a solo homer. Barbara Garbey added another run for the Tigers in the 6th with a two-out double scoring Alan Trammell. The Twins made another attempt in the 7th to tie things up. Dave Engle singled off Petry to center. Gaetti lined out to Kirk Gibson in right. Teufel came on to pinch hit for Jimenez, but struck out on three pitches. Petry finished his night on the mound by fanning Puckett to end the 7th, walking off the field to thunderous applause. Viola, meanwhile, was able to fend off the Tigers offense just barely as Detroit left men on second and third base without scoring in the 7th and 8th innings.

Willie Hernandez (AXZ, MG 20) came on to throw and attempt to save it for Detroit. He had very little trouble against a Twins team now on their heels. He retired Minnesota’s big three of Hatcher, Hrbek, and Brunansky all in order in the 8th, setting up the climactic 9th. Pinch hitter and Twins veteran John Castino, playing in his final season, popped out to Lance Parrish to start the 9th. Washington struck out on three pitches for out #2. Engle swung at the first pitch he saw, a hard grounder to the left side of the infield. Trammell scooped it up, fired it over to Evans at first in time for the game and series-clinching out! It was beldam to say the least immediately after that play with the Tigers and their fans in complete jubilation. For Minnesota, it was bittersweet knowing they had their chances. At the same time, it was obvious that Detroit was the better team, but the Twins felt solace in knowing it gave them all they had.

MN–1-5-1
DET–3-10-1

WP–Petry
LP–Viola
SV–Hernandez

HR–Evans (DET)

Detroit Wins Series 3-2

Series MVP — Dan Petry — 2-0, 1.23 ERA, 0.818 WHIP

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1984 REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS

 


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