This game of APBA Baseball came about during my search for a pitcher in the 1984 season I could use to work on a Season Pitcher Play-through.
I originally chose Ray Burris of the Oakland A’s. The first game of his Season Pitcher Play-through was very interesting and left me with a lot to think about.
I then thought I would test out my thoughts.
Part of my research meant I would have to play out at least one National League game (from 1984).
I searched through so possible pitchers who would be good candidates for a Season Pitcher Play-through and found Nolan Ryan on the staff of the Houston Astros.
My interest was secured when I found Ryan’s first start of the 1984 Season was at home against the Montreal Expos.
I wrote out the scoresheet, filled in the lineups, added the fielding score together and was set to go.
It was great to see the Expos again and I had forgotten Tim Raines was on that team (my brother would be mad at me - he sometimes played as Tim Raines in our backyard Wiffle Ball games) along with Terry Francona. Pete Rose was on that squad too, but for some reason the set of team cards I have did not include his (gone missing, maybe?).
The Astros lineup brought back memories as well. Bill Doran, Terry Puhl (always playing), Denny Walling and Jose Cruz who was one of the first players my Dad pointed out to me to notice how he played the game in the outfield and running the bases as well as at the plate.
Houston’s starting pitcher for the game was Bill Gullickson. I remembered his name and he always seemed to be playing somewhere for someone as I followed baseball back then.
Ryan escaped trouble and his own error in First Inning then got into a jam in the Fourth Inning when he gave up a run after a double from Gary Carter, a walk to Wallach and a double from Francona.
After six innings, Montreal led 1-0.
I checked the rules and because Gullikson was rated a C pitcher and had not allowed a run for six consecutive innings, his Grade is increased (if I wanted to follow that rule, and why not?). So Gullikson became a B pitcher.
I looked over the boxscore. To that point, Gullikson had only allowed one hit - a Second Inning single to Alan Ashby. Hmm.
Ryan got into more trouble in the Seventh Inning. Mike Stenhouse doubled, Raines drew a walk, Andre Dawson legged out an infield hit and the bases were loaded. Ryan was lifted for Dave Smith who coaxed Carter fly out to center field and end the inning.
Houston worked up a bit of threat in the bottom of the Seventh Inning when Cruz walked with one out and moved over the second base by a Jerry Humphrey ground out. Enos Cabell flied out for the last out.
Smith had a rough Eighth Inning. Tim Wallach led off with a double. Francona immediately singled to drive in Wallach and the Expo lead increased to 2-0. Wallach worked his way over to third base with two outs before Stenhouse popped out to right field for the third out.
In the Astros Eighth Inning, Phil Garner pinch hit for Smith and drew a walk, Gullikson’s second free pass of the game. Bill Doran reached and moved Garner to second base on an Angel Salazar boot and kick of a ground ball that could have led to a double play. Terry Puhl then got a hold of one but it was reeled in by Raines in centerfield.
Gullikson then set the Astros down in order in the Ninth Inning to preserve his One-Hit Complete Game Shutout.
Montreal 2 (1-0-1)
Houston 0 (1-0-1)
Gullikson’s statistics: 9.0 Innings 1 Hit 1 BB 3 K 0 Runs 0 Earned Runs Win
Ryan’s statistics: 6.2 Innings 7 Hits 4 BB 5 K 1 Run 1 Earned Run Loss
This was another great game.
I did not expect it to go this way. Gullickson was never seriously threatened.
This did help me a lot in my research: it reminded me how much I like baseball and how much I like baseball when the pitcher bats - it adds so much more strategy and necessary thought to the game.
This game also helped me in determining how I’d like to play APBA Baseball going forward: No DH in American League games - this will resolve pitcher usage/stamina issues I think because at some point in the game a starting pitcher will need to be pinch hit for if his team is behind OR the starting pitcher can stay in the game if he is ahead…simple enough. I’ll find out how that goes.
Montreal Charlie Lea
Houston Joe Niekro
Rose 0-2 3 Walks
Raines 2-4 Homerun 2 Runs RBI
Dawson 1-4 3 Strikeouts
Francona 2-4 Walk 2RBI
Lea 5.1 IP 3 Hits 3 Walks 5 Runs 4 Earned Runs
Pull 2-4 2B 3B 2 Runs 2 PBI
Cruz 0-2 3 Walks 2 Runs
Ashby 2-4 2 2B Run 2 RBI
Niekro 8.1 IP 8 Hits 6 Walks 4 Strikeouts
Montreal 4 (0-0-1)
Houston 9 (1-0-0)
The lines for each starting pitcher is odd considering the final score of the game.
Lea left in the middle of the Fifth Inning with Houston up 4-1 with two runners on base.
Niekro surrendered two homers, solo shots to Raines and Carter, and the rest of his baserunners look to have been spread out enough to not put him under pressure.
What This Is
These are write-ups and statistics from a 1984 Season replay using APBA Baseball. I am using some modified replay rules as well.