I am currently playing a Detroit Tigers & Cincinnati Reds 1981 season replays, as mentioned before in a previous blog piece 1981 Revisited. Just like the Tigers, the Reds had a strong record throughout the 1981 season, but could not win either half-season division titles for that particular season. The 1981 MLB Season suffered a mid-season strike, as the fans would witness the first LDS style format that we witnessed from 1995 through 2011.
The Reds opener is an interesting one for so many reasons. The pitching match-up features two eventual Hall of Fame pitchers in Steve Carlton (Phillies) and Tom Seaver (Reds), who both would go onto 300+ wins & 3,500+ strikeouts. Pete Rose, a long-time Red, is starting his 3rd season in a Phillies uniform, while the Philadelphia Phillies are the defending champions.
On a separate note, I joined a league named the No Expansion Professional League (NXPL), two of my starting pitchers for the Detroit Tigers were Seaver & Manny Soto -- So I am familiar with their early 80's seasons, and its interesting to see them once again heading my Reds rotation now. My 1982 NXPL Tigers would reach the 1982 World Series, only to lose to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Game #1 / April 8th (at Riverfront Stadium)
The Cincinnati Reds were the first team to draw blood in the Hall-of-Fame pitcher duel, as George Foster took Carlton yard, for a two-run HR during the bottom of the 1st Inning.
The game would go on with 4 scoreless innings, until the Philadelphia Phillies tied the game up in the top of the 6th, with their premier slugger, Mike Schmidt, hitting a two-run blast off of Seaver.
|Lonnie got things started in the 8th for Phils.|
Phillies would add to their lead, as Larry Bowa's RBI single in the 9th, made it a 4-2 Phillies lead.
As I mentioned earlier, on art possibly imitating life... Phillies closer, Tug McGraw with bases loaded (after walking pinch-hitter Joe Nolan), and the score now, 4-3 Phillies (George Foster had RBI double off of Ron Reed, earlier in inning) -- would go on and strike out pinch-hitter Sam Mejias.... in real-life with bases loaded, he walked Ken Griffey to lose the ball-game, he had a chance in this replay to possibly walk-in the tying run, but pulled off the save in this scenario...
Similar, but not quite, but it's things like this, that I love in APBA -- A little difference here & there, can create an alternative ending.... what will be the alternative ending to this 1981 Season?
We will have to find out...
NEXT: Off-Day, followed by 3-game road trip to face the Atlanta.