Thursday, July 30, 2015

The WHAT IF 1984 World Series (Games 3-5)

The series travels back to "Motown", where the Detroit Tigers are currently motoring through this series, with a commanding 2-0 series lead & now have home-field advantage to throw salt into the Cubs' wounds.

(at Tiger Stadium, Detroit)

The Chicago Cubs will call on Dennis Eckersley to start Game 3 of the World Series; Eckersley went 14-12, 3.60 ERA, with 114 K's. The Cubs' General Manager Dallas Green looked like a genius landing both Dennis Eckersley and Rick Sutcliffe in trades during the season -- both pitchers were struggling in the American League, and were polar opposites in the National League. The Detroit Tigers will send Milt Wilcox (17-8, 4.00 ERA & 119 K's) to face off against "Eck".

The Cubs' bats jump out with a three-run splash in the first, Leon Durham's two-run triple scores in both Gary Matthews and Ryne Sandberg (both on with singles), Ron Cey would score in Durham on a sacrifice fly.

Milt Wilcox would settle down for 4 scoreless innings after his first inning fiasco; Meanwhile, Dennis Eckersley is on cruise control. The Cubs would add another run in the top of the 6th, with a sac fly RBI by Jody Davis, scoring in Henry Cotto, to give Cubs a 4-0 lead.

Eckersley would prove to be too much for the Tigers, as the Tigers could only manage 3 hits, while "Eck" finished with 6 K's. Milt Wilcox was credited with the loss, in 5 innings of work -- allowing 7 hits and three runs.

TIGERS still lead series, 2-1

(at Tiger Stadium, Detroit)

Sutcliffe takes mound in Game 2 for Cubbies.
The Chicago Cubs send Rick Sutcliffe for Game 4, he pitched an excellent Game 1, in which he allowed only 4 hits & a run in 8 innings, striking out 9 Tigers -- only to watch Lee Smith blow the game. Sutcliffe will once again, face off against the Tigers' ace Jack Morris. Morris needs to be more effective than he was in
Game 1.

The Tigers got things started early in the bottom of the 2nd, with a two-run homer by Lance Parrish, Dave Bergman hit a one-out single in the inning, but the Tigers couldn't get any more runners in that inning.

Top of the 5th - The Cubs had a few opportunities in the game to get something going, but failed up to this point. Bob Dernier draws a one-out walk, followed by an RBI triple by Ryne Sandberg. Sandberg entered Game 3, 2-for-9 (.222), but has been heating up after his 2-for-4 Game 3 performance (solo HR). Gary Matthews would score in Sandberg on a sacrifice fly. Leon Durham hits a two-out double, as Keith Moreland followed with an RBI single. Cubs take 3-2 lead.

Bottom of the 5th - Tigers had runners on 1st & 2nd with no outs, but could not do any damage.

Sutcliffe proves to be too much for the Tigers, allowing only 5 hits & 2 runs in 8 innings, although he was a bit sloppy, allowing 5 walks. Lee Smith does his job this time, locking down the save for the
3-2 victory, as the Cubs tie the series, 2-2.

(at Tiger Stadium, Detroit)
Trout's 1986 Donruss baseball card.

The Detroit Tigers alter their strategy, they decide to save Dan Petry for Game 6, their best starting pitcher with control -- they want to save him in case they are in position where they have to tie the series. The Tigers go with Juan Berenguer, who pitched 3 innings of relief in Game 1, allowing 1 earned run, with 2 K's & 2 BB's. The Chicago Cubs go with Steve Trout (son of former Tiger, Dizzy Trout).

The case of two triples. During the top of the 1st, with two outs, Berenguer walks Gary Matthews, opening up the door for Leon Durham, who has been having a terrific series. Durham makes him pay the price with RBI triple. During the top of the 2nd, Ron Cey draws a walk, and Jody Davis (0-for-14) hits an RBI triple, to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead.

The Tigers' bats have cooled off the last two games (3 hits in Game 3 & 5 hits in Game 4), and did not do much better, 4 of their 8 hits would come from their #7 hitter (Rupert Jones) and #9 hitter (Barbaro Garbey). Lou Whitaker would go 0-for-5, making him 3-for-18 this series! Garbey's RBI single in the bottom of the 7th, is all the damage the Tigers could muster in this one.

Steve Trout goes 7 strong innings, allowing 7 hits, 1 ER & walk, along with 8 strikeouts. Berenguer managed well, allowing 3 hits, 2 ER's & 2 walks in 7.1 innings -- but it wasn't enough. Lee Smith comes in for his 2nd save of the series.

The CUBS lead 3-2 in the best-of-seven -- heading back to Wrigley.

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