Sunday, May 14, 2017

Games 2-4 / Cincinnati at Atlanta (April 10-12)

The Cincinnati Reds lost their season opener against the Philadelphia Phillies, and now travel to Atlanta Fulton County Stadium to face the Atlanta Braves. In the season opener, we experienced a Hall of Fame match-up between Tom Seaver (Reds) and Steve Carlton (Phillies) -- In this series, we will witness a team with two more of the 3,000 Strikeout Club, in Phil Niekro & Gaylord Perry; Niekro & Seaver, won't be involved this series, but Perry will be.

The Braves in real-life, took this series 2-1... We will see if Cincinnati can reverse history, and walk out of this series on the plus side.

Game #2 / April 10th (at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium)

The Atlanta Braves send out Tommy Boggs (Grade D-Y) to be their #2 slot starting pitcher for the season, or that was the intention at least. He would go onto a 3-13 record with a 4.10 ERA & 81 K's in 142.2 innings. Atlanta was hoping that Boggs would follow up his breakout 1980 season, in which he went 12-9 with a 3.42 ERA & 84 K's in 192.1 innings -- including 4 complete games.

Boggs was a former 1st Round Draft Pick (2nd overall) for the Texas Rangers in 1974 at 19 years of age. Boggs up to 1980 was looking like a complete bust, and it appeared that Atlanta may finally be reaping in the benefits from the big 4-team trade that took place on December 8th, 1977; That trade involved Al Oliver (Pittsburgh to Texas), Jon Matlock (Mets to Texas) & Tom Grieve (Texas to Mets)... with the Braves also acquiring Adrian Devine and Eddie Miller.

Foster strong out of the gates.

The Reds meanwhile sent Mario Soto (Grade B-XZ) to counter the Braves' Boggs.

In what was starting to look like a 1-2-3 inning in the works, the Reds' Dave Conception (with two outs) would hit a 1st Inning double, followed by an RBI single by George Foster. Dan Driessen took it one step further, by hitting a two-run homer to left, giving Cincy a 3-0 lead.

Boggs would settle down and not allow another run, the next four innings.

Atlanta starts to scratch at the lead in the bottom of the 5th, with a solo home run to right by leftfielder Rufino Linares. Atlanta would add another run with a pinch-hit RBI double by Jerry Royster during the bottom of the 7th Inning.

Soto would go 7 good & efficient innings, allowing 6 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) & 1 walk, while striking out 4 Braves in the process; Bullpen (Joe Price & Tom Hume) takes over, with Hume collecting his first save of the season.

George Foster collects 3 hits, making him 5-for-7 (.714) with 1 HR & 4 RBI (2 runs) for the season.

Game #002 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
CINCINNATI 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 10 1
ATLANTA 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 X 2 6 1
WP: Mario Soto (1-0) / LP: Tommy Boggs / SV: Tom Hume (1)

Real 1981 Game Result: Reds lost 5-3
My 1981 Reds: 1-1
Real 1981 Reds: 1-1
Replay Scoring Differential: 0
Real 1981 Game Record Differential: 0

Game #3 / April 11th (at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium)

The Reds send out Bruce Berenyi (Grade C-YW) to face off against eventual Hall of Fame Gaylord Perry of the Braves. The game started off messy for both starters, with a 3-3 score after one innings. The Reds scoring came off scattered hits RBI singles by Dan Driessen (1st Inning) and Ken Griffey (2nd inning), while Reds' starter Berenyi contributed towards his own cause with an RBI double. The Braves' scoring came off 1st Inning RBI singles by Bob Horner & Dale Murphy, while Gaylord Perry (who also had a double like his pitching counterpart) scored off of an error (botched fly ball by George Foster in left).

The two starting pitchers would get through the 3rd & 4th innings comfortably, no runs allowed.

The Braves' Glenn Hubbard would break up the 3-3 tie with a solo HR in the bottom of the 5th, Chris Chambliss would eventually score from 3rd on a ground out to 2nd by Rufino Linares.

Atlanta would start to break away with the game, by scoring a run in each of the next three innings (6th, 7th & 8th), as the Reds' bats would remain quiet. The Braves' bullpen closed out the last 3 innings with the combination of Gene Garber, John Montefusco & Rick Camp.

The Reds' Dave Collins recorded 2 hits, and is batting 4-for-8 (.500) against Atlanta, he also has recorded two stolen bases & a walk this series; Glenn Hubbard (Atlanta) went 4-for-5, with HR, 2B, RBI & 3 runs in this game, falling a triple short of the cycle.

Reds were sloppy with 3 errors (2 by Foster).

Game #003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
CINCINNATI 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 7 3
ATLANTA 2 1 0 0 2 1 1 1 X 8 12 0
WP: Gaylord Perry / LP: Bruce Berenyi (0-1)

Real 1981 Game Result: Reds won 3-2
My 1981 Reds: 1-2
Real 1981 Reds: 2-1
Replay Scoring Differential: -5
Real 1981 Game Record Differential: -1

Game #4 / April 12th (at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium)

The Reds send Frank Pastore (Grade D-YZ) to go against the Braves' Rick Mahler (Grade C). Pastore's Baseball career for the most part was nothing special, although he was a 2nd Round Draft Pick by the Reds in 1975, he never went on to huge success in the majors. His best season was 1980, in which he put together a strong 13-7 record, sporting a 3.27 ERA & strong 1.099 WHIP (He also had a 111 ERA+ for the season) in 184.2 innings.

For the strike year, Pastore's Grade D-YZ may seem a bit harsh, considering his 1.212 WHIP is normally (especially from the 1990's on) is respectable as a starting pitcher... but he did have only a 4-9 record with 4.02 ERA in 1981.

Pastore's next two seasons (82' & 83') were nearly identical...

  • 1982:  8-13 record, 3.97 ERA, 94 K's, 1.418 WHIP (93 ERA+) in 188.1 innings (29 starts).
  • 1983:  9-12 record, 4.88 ERA, 93 K's, 1.470 WHIP (78 ERA+) in 184.1 innings (29 starts).
His career would finish with a 48-58 record, 4.29 ERA & 1.348 WHIP in 986.1 innings (mostly for Reds, with 33 games in Minnesota). 

His post-baseball career would feature him as one of the most popular Christian-Radio hosts, until his bizarre self-predicted motorcycle fatality in December 2012; He mentioned on the air, just hours before his eventual death of the possibilities of winding up a bike casualty... talk about spooky.

To the game action...

For the 4th consecutive game, the Reds would score before their opponent, with a RBI single by Dave Conception (scoring in Ken Griffey, who had a one-out double). 

Hubbard hitting big for Braves.
The Reds' Pastore would fall apart quickly though, walking the lead-off batter Dale Murphy in the 2nd, followed by Rufino Linares and Bruce Benedict singles, loading up the bases with no outs. Pastore would plunk Rafael Ramirez with a pitch (HBP), scoring in Murphy. Braves' pitcher Rick Mahler would help Braves take the lead, with Sac fly, scoring in Linares.

Same inning, with two outs, runners on 1st & 2nd, Glenn Hubbard would deliver his 2nd HR of the series, with a three-run blast over Dave Collins' head in right, making it a 5-run inning off of Pastore. Atlanta would struggle to keep up after that, as Rufino Linares, also hits his 2nd HR of the series, with a solo HR to right in the 6th Inning off of Reds' reliever Mike LaCoss

The Reds lose another game by 5 runs, falling to 1-3 with a -10 scoring differential.

Rick Mahler of the Braves, goes 6.1 strong innings, allowing 4 hits, 2 runs & 2 walks, while collecting 4 K's against the Reds' lineup; Frank Pastore: 2.1 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 4 K & 2 BB.

Game #004 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
CINCINNATI 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 0
ATLANTA 0 5 1 0 0 1 0 0 X 7 9 0
WP: Rick Mahler / LP: Frank Pastore (0-1)

Real 1981 Game Result: Reds lost 3-2

My 1981 Reds: 1-3
Real 1981 Reds: 2-2
Replay Scoring Differential: -10
Real 1981 Game Record Differential: -1

Next: The Reds travel out west to face the San Diego Padres (April 13-15th). 

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