With the prior day off, Spark Anderson gave Jack Morris the start for the 4th game of the season (coming off 4 days rest), I decided to do the same in this case.
The defending A.L. Champion Kansas City Royals split their previous series with the Baltimore Orioles, standing at 1-1, while the Detroit Tigers stand at 2-1 for the season.
Game #4 / April 14th (at Royals Stadium)
So it will be the Detroit Tigers' Jack Morris (Grade B) against Paul Splittorff (Grade D-Z). Not only was this game a mismatch with the APBA cards, the game would play out that way as well.
The Tigers' great double-play combination of Lou Whitaker & Alan Trammell, kicked off the game with back-to-back doubles; Lance Parrish would knock in Trammell on a RBI single.
The top of the second, at first, did not appear that it would amount to much, after Richie Hebner's lead-off single, Champ Summers would hit into a fielder's choice (getting Hebner out at second), followed by Tom Brookens striking out against Splittorff. Then the Tigers' bats lit up Splittorff with 5 consecutive singles by Whitaker, Trammell, Steve Kemp, Kirk Gibson & Lance Parrish -- Trammell, Kemp, Gibson & Parrish all collected an RBI each, and all 5 would score. The Royals would do a quick hook of Splittorff, by replacing him with pitcher Juan Berenguer (future Tiger), which Berenguer would allow two more RBI singles to Al Cowens & Richie Hebner (Hebner's 2nd single in the same inning); 7 consecutive hits all together, amounting to 6 runs & an early 8-0 lead after two innings!
The Royals would score on a error in the 5th, but that's the most that they would get off Morris. Morris would go all the way in this one, allowing only 4 hits, 1 unearned run & 2 walks, while striking out 4 Royals in the process.
Clint Hurdle, K.C.'s "future star" would get injured for 26 games, sliding into second. For Hurdle, 1980 & 1981 would be the peak of his baseball career; In limited play, he did have an outstanding APBA card in 1981 (.329 BA, 4 HR, 15 RBI & .980 OPS) although it was only in 28 games & 76 at-bats.
The Tigers would clobber K.C. pitching for 20 total hits & 11 runs, with Alan Trammell leading the way, going 4-for-6, 2B, 4 RBI & 2 runs. Lou Whitaker added 3 hits & 3 runs, while Lynn Jones came off the bench, and went 2-for-2 & 2 runs, including his 9th Inning home run.
The Tigers' Top 5 of the batting order (through 4 games):
- Lou Whitaker: 7-for-16 (.438 AVG), HR, 3 RBI, 4 R & 4 BB.
- Alan Trammell: 7-for-17 (.412 AVG), 3B, 4 RBI, 5 R & 3 BB.
- Steve Kemp: 5-for-16 (.313 AVG), 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R & 3 BB.
- Kirk Gibson: 6-for-17 (.353 AVG), HR, 3 RBI & 3 R.
- Lance Parrish: 5-for-17 (.294 AVG), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R & 1 BB.
|WP: Jack Morris
(1-0) (CG) / LP: Paul Splittorff
Real 1981 Game Result: Tigers won 6-5
My 1981 Tigers: 3-1
Real 1981 Tigers: 3-1
Replay Scoring Differential: +12
Real 1981 Game Record Differential: 0
Game # 5 / April 15th (at Royals Stadium)
The Detroit Tigers' power display during the previous game, seemed to have suffered a power outage, as the bats went completely cold.
The game featured an even pitching match-up between Milt Wilcox (Grade B-Z) of the Tigers, facing Larry Gura (Grade B-Z) of the Royals, but it would be Gura that kept control throughout this one.
The game remained close entering the bottom of the 6th, until Cesar Geronimo's two-run single, made it a 4-0 affair.
Steve Kemp would collect 2 of the Tigers' 5 hits, including a triple.
Wilcox would allow 9 hits, 4 runs & a walk, through 5.1 innings (collecting only 1 K), while Gura owned the Tigers, on his way to a 5-hit shutout. In real life, the game result was reversed with Dave Rozema pitching a 6-hit shutout, towards a 4-0 Tigers win (same score).
|WP: Larry Gura (CG/SHO) / LP: Milt Wilcox (0-2)|
Real 1981 Game Result: Tigers won 4-0
My 1981 Tigers: 3-2
Real 1981 Tigers: 4-1
Replay Scoring Differential: +8
Real 1981 Game Record Differential: -1
NEXT: Detroit travels to Toronto for a 4-game series (April 16-19th).