The Baltimore Orioles and California Angels have the top seeds due to being involved in the real-life 1979 American League Championship. The other teams were ranked by their Pythagorean Records.
In the N.L. Bracket, the setup is a bit different due to less teams, the top two seeds are the two 1979 National League Championship teams, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds. The rest are ranked once again, by Pythagorean Records -- but in this setup, there are two other teams with first-round byes in #3 Montreal Expos and #4 St. Louis Cardinals.
AMERICAN LEAGUE (1st Round) HIGHLIGHTS
#12 Seattle Mariners vs. #5 New York Yankees
Rod Guidry got the complete-game victory in Game 1 (allowing 7 hits), with 6 K's. The second game was not as easy for Tommy John as the 7-1 final score might indicate. John found himself on the ropes a few times in his 5 innings of work, a few times with bases loaded, yet he always found the right pitch to get him out of the inning. The Mariners had 10 hits & were walked 7 times in the second game (all 7 walks from John) -- yet, they could only manage one run! Willie Horton and Bruce Bochte led the team in hits that series, with 3 each -- including a solo HR by Horton in Game 1. The Yankees got by with ease, for most part, as predicted.
#10 Chicago White Sox vs. #7 Minnesota Twins
Game 1 was a pitchers' duel between the White Sox' Ken Kravec and the Twins' Jerry Koosman, both teams not scoring a run until the White Sox scored in the top of the 6th on a RBI single by Lamar Johnson. The unfortunate thing for Chicago, the wheels fell off Kravec's performance as the Twins' catcher Butch Wynegar smacked a two-run double in the bottom of the 7th. Chicago's reliever Ed Farmer two batters later, gave a two-run blast to Hosken Powell. It would set the tone for the rest of the series, the Twins outhit White Sox 21-11 in the two games, as the Twins won Game 1, 5-1 & Game 2, 7-2. Bombo Rivera had 2 doubles & 3 RBI in second game -- while Wynegar went 4-for-6 in the series, that included a double, 3 RBI & a walk.
#14 Oakland Athletics vs #3 Boston Red Sox
The Oakland Athletics' Rick Langford kept the A's in the game as best as he could, but could get no support from his offense. The Red Sox, with a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the 6th would get an insurance run with a solo homer run by Carlton Fisk off of Langford. Tom Burgmeier locks down the 8th & 9th for the Red Sox with 2 K's. Mike Torrez gets the win, pitching 7 solid innings, striking out four, while allowing only 5 hits, a walk & one run.
The second game was never close as the Red Sox jump to an 8-0 first inning lead, capped off with a grand slam by #9 hitter 3B- Butch Hobson. Hobson would go 2-for-5, with 6 RBI. Carl Yastrzemski, at age 40, collects four singles with a ribbie -- while Bob Watson also collects 4 singles, with 2 RBI. Jim Rice makes a run at the cycle, finishing a double short (3-for-5), with 3 RBI & 3 runs. Fred Lynn and Rick Burleson each add 3 hits as well. The pitching by Dennis Eckersley was just as brilliant as he pitched a complete game shut-out of Oakland, allowing only 4 hits, with 4 K's & 3 walks. Steve McCatty was handed the loss, pitching only one inning (plus 2 batters faced in second), allowing 9 hits & 9 runs with a walk.
The Red Sox in Game 2 -- boasted 4 MLB Hall of Famers in Carl Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk, Dennis Eckersley & Jim Rice. The Red Sox collected 33 hits, while the Athletics managed only 9 hits in the two games, while being outscored 17-1.
#11 Cleveland Indians vs. #6 Texas Rangers
|Paxton got the call in Game 2.|
The Rangers sent Steve Comer (B-Z) to the mound, while the Indians decided to hold off Rick Waits (C) for a possible Game 3 -- so they went with Mike Paxton (D-Z). Once again, the Rangers have a difficult time scoring in the first seven innings! The Indians had no problem, scoring on a two-run single by LF- Ron Pruitt in the first, Andre Thornton added two solo HR's in the 3rd & 7th, giving him 6 RBI for which resulted in a two-game sweep. Mike Hargrove went 2-for-5 with 2 RBI, while Bobby Bonds went 3-for-5 with a three-run HR, plus two stolen bases (5-for-7, 5 RBI & 4 runs in the two games combined). Paxton (improved to an A starter by 8th inning) pitched excellent through 8 innings, allowing 8 hits, 2 runs, while striking out only three.
The Indians outscored the Rangers, 23-5 on 27 hits; Rangers had 17 hits, but could not do much with those base-runners. Rangers' only highlights was a three-run HR by Richie Zisk in Game 1 & a two-run HR by Mickey Rivers in the second game.
#13 Toronto Blue Jays vs. #4 Milwaukee Brewers
|Their lineup is too big for this yearbook.|
The Brewers' bats were ice-cold entering the bottom of the 5th, reaching base 5 times on only one hit (a single), two walks & two errors. Underwood looked to have control of the ball game, until a barrage of hits & runs in the bottom of the 5th: A lead-off single by Robin Yount, followed up by RBI double from Charlie Moore, RBI triple by Paul Molitor, Sal Bando flies out & fails to advance Molitor from third, Cecil Cooper steps up with RBI double, Gorman Thomas draws walk, Ben Oglivie smacks a RBI single to right, Sixto Lezcano draws a walk, Don Money hits into a fielder's choice (failed double-play attempt by defense) while Thomas scores -- suddenly the game was tied. Yount finishes the inning, flying out for out number three.
|Carty put a spark into the series.|
Entering Game 2, it had the same look as Boston against Oakland, a potent lineup ready to snack on a D-starter in Phil Huffman. The Brewers sent Larry Sorensen (C-Z) to the mound. The Brewers jumped to a 3-0 lead, thanks to Cecil Cooper's two-run triple, which he then scored off of Gorman Thomas's sac fly. The Jays answered back as Larry Sorensen filled the sacks, only to walk Rico Carty to force in a run, and another run scoring off of John Mayberry's sac-fly.
With a 4-3 lead entering the top of the 7th, Cecil Cooper tagged up on Ben Oglivie's fly to left, to put a commanding 5-3 lead. The Brewers once again went with Jerry Augustine to close the game out for the last two innings; With one out he walked Rick Bosetti, and threw up a mistake pitch that allowed Roy Howell to tie the game up with a two-run blast. The game would go to the bottom of the 10th, as Augustine would give up a walk-off HR to Rico Carty in front of the Exhibition Stadium crowd. Series tied, 1-1.
In Game 3, the Jays call on one of their future stars in Dave Stieb (D), as the Milwaukee Brewers go with dependable Jim Slaton (C-Z) in front of a packed Milwaukee crowd. The Blue Jays would strike first with a run in the first inning on four hits, it would be the last time they led. The Jays would manage 11 hits, but could not score their base-runners in, as they managed two runs. Slaton goes 6 innings, 8 hits & 2 runs allowed, with 4 K's & a walk. Stieb would pitch 4.2 innings, allowing 8 hits, 7 runs (6 earned) with 2 K's, no walks. The Brewers got it done with the long-ball... Charlie Moore's three-run HR in the bottom of the second, gave Milwaukee a 4-1 lead, Gorman Thomas would tack on a solo HR in the third. Paul Molitor hit a HR on Milwaukee's first at-bat in the first, while a 4th HR in the game for the Brewers happened in the 8th, a three-run HR by Cecil Cooper. A strong 13-2 finish for the three-game series. Milwaukee moves on, as Toronto thinks about it's Game 1 stumble to the Brewers.
#9 Kansas City Royals vs. #8 Detroit Tigers
|Double Trouble: George Brett & Hal McRae of the Royals.|
The Royals are the under-dog due to the rankings of their Pythagorean records, but lets face it, the Detroit Tigers are the real under-dogs considering how much of a force these Kansas City Royals have been in the 1970's -- they still relatively have the same players & characters from their teams that battled for a league championship with the New York Yankees.
Game 1 had Paul Splittorff of the Royals, facing Jack Morris of the Tigers. Splittorff showed he didn't have his stuff, allowing 8 hits & 7 runs (6 earned) in only 3.2 innings of work. Morris did much better, good enough to go 7 innings, allowing 6 hits, 4 runs with 4 K's. The Tigers got rolling on a three-run HR by Lance Parrish in the bottom of the 2nd. Ron LeFlore went 3-for-3, with 2 triples, RBI & steal, while drawing two walks. Parrish added an double & RBI single, plus stolen base in four at-bats for the night. Lou Whitaker had a two-run single. Frank White was the star for Kansas City, going 2-for-4 with a two-run HR & double (two runs for the night). Tigers win 8-4.
Jason Thompson got the Tigers started early with a two-run single in the top of the first in K.C. off of Game 2 starter Dennis Leonard, giving them a 3-0 lead. The Royals answered back in the bottom-half with a two-run single by Al Cowens & two-run double by Pete LaCock, giving K.C. a 4-3 lead. Detroit would tie it up with an RBI single by Ron Leflore in the second inning, up to this point, has reached base all 7 times at the plate, on four hits & 3 walks -- he also had 3 stolen bases for the Tigers already.
|Impressive stolen base career for Ron LeFlore from 1974-1980.|
The decisive Game 3 in Detroit, with Larry Gura (Kansas City) vs Jack Billingham (Detroit), both APBA C-Z pitchers. The Tigers get off to a 4-0 lead, showcased by Lance Parrish's two-run double in the bottom of the 4th. The Royals answer back with another two-run HR by Hal McRae, George Brett would hit a one-out double & get driven in by Al Cowens, cutting it to a one-run lead for Detroit. George Brett's two-run single in the 6th would give the Royals a 5-4 lead. The Royals would tack on a few more runs in the 7th, as Jack Billingham is sent packing with 6.1 innings of work, that allowed 13 hits, 7 runs, 3 walks, while only striking out two. The Tigers called on Aurelio Lopez to try to prevent any more runs from crossing, as they now trail 7-4.
The Royals' Gura was effective for 6 innings, allowing 4 runs, so K.C. tries to go another inning with him, which ends up being a mistake. Gura walks the lead-off runner in Aurelio Rodriguez, Lou Whitaker would hit him in on a RBI double, Steve Kemp draws a walk, Champ Summers reaches on a rare Frank White error, loading the bases. Jason Thompson would hit a grand slam, to give the Tigers a 9-7 lead in the bottom of the 7th. The Royals once again, bounce back with back-to-back doubles by Pete LaCock & Frank White in the top of the 9th, White would tie it up on a ground-out by Freddie Patek.
|"Sweet Lou" comes through for Detroit.|
The game goes extras, Frank White singles to lead off the 11th, and then is thrown out stealing second -- he argues with the umpire, and gets tossed. Freddie Patek follows with a single, and Willie Wilson smacks him in on a RBI double, Wilson's 4th hit, 2nd double & 2nd RBI of the game -- he also reached on a walk. With only one out, and a man on second, the dangerous Hal McRae & Amos Otis fail to score in another run -- entering the bottom of the 11th, with a 10-9 lead.
Al Hrabosky who has pitched three solid innings for the Royals, comes out & walks the lead-off man, Aurelio Rodriguez. The Tigers go to the bench for Tom Brookens to pinch-run for Rodriguez. Alan Trammell hits a clutch RBI double, scoring in Brookens to tie the game once again, 10-10. Ron LeFlore strikes out for the first out. The Royals call on Paul Splittorff (their Game 1 starter) to come out of the bullpen, Hrabosky went 3.1 innings in relief, allowing 3 hits, a run, with 3 K's & a walk. Splittorff will face Lou Whitaker, as Whitaker hits a double into the gap to score in Trammell, the winning run! A walk-off in Motown! Detroit moves on to face the #1 seed Baltimore Orioles.
A.L. First-Round Results