Regular Season Comes to An End With Houston Victories in Seattle

September 29: Houston 6, Seattle 3

The Mariners knew going in that the Royals had already won in Anaheim and thereby snuffed out Seattle’s meager remaining chances at ending the season in a tie for first with KC. So for the first time all season, the Mariners weren’t playing for anything besides pride.

Lance Berkman bruised that pride a bit by drilling a three-run dinger in the top of the first, and the Astros held a lead all game.

                  R H BB
HOU 310 000 020 - 6 9  5
SEA 000 001 200 - 3 5  4
HR: L. Berkman (35), A. Davis (19), K. Griffey (28)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
J.R. Richard  7.0  3  3  2  3  8  
F. Garcia     7.0  4  4  1  4  5 

HOU 70-91, SEA 82-79

ensbergOctober 1: Houston 6, Seattle 3

Something like 16 (real) months after I started this crazy season, here was game #1,134 of 1,134. That works out to something like 2.4 games per day for those 16 months. Crazy. I think the longest break I ever took was 10 days without a game. I decided I was going to take around a six-week break after playing the All-Star games, but started getting itchy dice fingers in just over a week.

Anyway, the grand finale wasn’t all that grand. Nelson Cruz concluded his ridiculous first month in the league with his 10th homer. (Cruz was on a pace that works out to 53 homers in a full season.) But Lance Berkman went dong again, a solo shot leading off the top of the fourth, and later in the same inning, Morgan Ensberg hit a bases-loaded tater that shored up the game for the ‘Stros.

Stay tuned for game one of the Kansas City vs. Boston championship series, coming soon…

                  R  H BB
HOU 000 501 000 - 6  9  5
SEA 003 000 000 - 3 10  5

HR: L. Berkman (36), M. Ensberg (12), N. Cruz (10)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Cuellar    6.1  3  3  1  2  5  
F. Hernandez  3.1  5  5  2  2  6 

HOU 71-91, SEA 82-80

 

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KANSAS CITY WINS IN ANAHEIM, TAKES EXPANSION DIVISION CROWN

September 29: Kansas City 3, Anaheim 1

The Royals needed just one win in their three-game series against last-place Anaheim to claim the Expansion Division, and they took care of business in the opening game. Starter Jose Rosado was sterling for seven innings, allowing just five baserunners and one run on a Lance Parrish solo jack.

Both catchers went ya-ya in the game. Darrell Porter’s second inning dinger plated two runs thanks to Hal McRae’s single ahead of it. The Royals tacked on an insurance run in the seventh inning on consecutive singles by Willie Wilson, John Mayberry, and George Brett.

Wade Davis and Greg Holland followed Rosado with one shutout inning apiece. Holland closed it with a strikeout of Jim Fregosi, and the Royals stormed the field for a jubilant celebration before moving into the visiting clubhouse to revel some more. They will face Boston in the league championship series beginning October 4th.

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                  R H BB
KC  020 000 100 - 3 9  2
ANA 001 000 000 - 1 6  1

HR: D. Porter (13), L. Parrish (2)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Rosado   7.0  1  1  1  1  9  
J. Lackey   6.1  3  3  1  2  7 

KC 85-75, ANA 65-95

September 30: Anaheim 4, Kansas City 2

Ned Yost gave a lot of his regulars a well-deserved day off in this one. Kevin Appier still made a short tune-up start, and is line to start championship game two with a normal four days of rest.

Danny Tartabull was one of the regulars to see action, and walked, singled, and donged to push his team-leading homer total to 26.

Troy Glaus belted his 28th dinger of the year, a three-run job against Appier that provided the winning margin.

                  R H BB
KC  000 010 010 - 2 7  4
ANA 000 301 00x - 4 6  3

HR: D. Tartabull (26), T. Glaus (28)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
K. Appier   4.0  3  3  1  2  4  
F. Tanana   7.0  2  2  1  4  4 

KC 85-76, ANA 66-95

October 1: Kansas City 2, Anaheim 1

The regular KC lineup was back at it for the regular season finale and clawed their way to two runs.

Starting pitcher Mark Gubicza has mostly gotten roughed up this season and doesn’t figure to make a start in the championship series since KC can cut their rotation down to four (likely Bret Saberhagen, Appier, Rosado, and Danny Jackson). In this game, Gubicza looked like a guy that wanted to impress team brass enough to at least be on the post-season roster. He shoved in a complete game. A George Brett error helped Anaheim to an unearned run that was the only thing keeping Gubicza from a shutout.

Bizarrely, first-place Kansas City finished 20 games ahead of last-place Anaheim despite the teams having nearly identical runs scored and allowed for the season: KC scored 688 and allowed 764 while Anaheim scored 675 and allowed 761. (The Pythagorean expected record for KC is 73-89, just two games better than Anaheim’s 71-91.)

                  R H BB
KC  010 000 010 - 2 8  5
ANA 000 000 010 - 1 5  3

HR: none

starters         IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Gubicza      9.0  1  0  0  3  9  
A. Messersmith  6.0  1  1  0  3  3

KC 86-76, ANA 66-96

 

Chicago and Detroit Finish Seasons With Tigers Series Win

gbergSeptember 29: Detroit 6, Chicago 5

The game started out as a strong duel between Johnny Rigney and Schoolboy Rowe, and ended with some offensive fireworks and multiple lead changes. The Sox tied the game at two in the top of the seventh with a Robin Ventura double and Eddie Collins triple. A Norm Cash double in the bottom of the inning drove in two and gave Detroit a 4-2 lead. Then in the top of the eighth, Ventura capped off a brilliant day at the plate with a three run homer to put the Sox in front 5-4.

Keith Foulke took the mound in the bottom of the ninth trying to protect that lead, but Charles Gehringer and Miguel Cabrera started it with back-to-back walks. Sam Crawford then GIDP’d, leaving Gehringer on third with two outs. Cash then capped off his brilliant day at the plate with a game-tying RBI single. Hoyt Wilhelm relieved Foulke, and promptly gave up a single to Ty Cobb and a walk-off double to Harry Heilmann.

                  R  H BB
CHI 000 100 130 - 5 10  2
DET 001 001 202 - 6 12  3

HR: R. Ventura (9), N. Cash (20), B. Veach (4)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Rigney   6.1  4  4  2  0  2  
S. Rowe     7.2  4  4  0  2  4 

CHI 81-79, DET 76-84

September 30: Detroit 4, Chicago 3

Chris Sale couldn’t keep the ball in the park in the second half of the season. Hank Greenberg and Alan Trammell both took him deep in the fifth inning of this one.

                  R H BB
CHI 010 010 100 - 3 8  5
DET 000 030 01x - 4 8  3

HR: H. Greenberg (5), A. Trammell (13)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Sale       7.0  4  4  2  3  7  
J. Verlander  9.0  3  3  0  5  6 

CHI 81-80, DET 77-84

October 1: Chicago 5, Detroit 4

Jose Abreu went bonkers in the final game of his team’s season and almost single-handedly won it for Chicago. He drew a walk in the first inning, hit a solo dong in the fourth, doubled and a scored a run in the sixth, and tripled and drove in two in the seventh. (He came up again in the ninth needing a single for the cycle but flew out.)

The Sox tasted first place in mid-August but fell hard from there to a sixth place finish. They won just six of their final 21 games. The Tigers, who spent most of the year alone in last, end up tied for last with Cleveland.

                  R H BB
CHI 100 101 200 - 5 9  7
DET 100 000 030 - 4 9  2
HR: J. Abreu (6)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
E. Cicotte    7.1  4  3  0  2  2  
H. Newhouser  6.0  3  3  1  3  3 

CHI 82-80, DET 77-85

 

Boston Finishes Triumphant Regular Season With Sweep of Oakland

September 29: Boston 3, Oakland 0

The unstoppable Wade Boggs cracked another three hits and Roger Clemens finished his stellar regular season with seven shutout innings.

                  R H BB
OAK 000 000 000 - 0 5  6
BOS 003 000 00x - 3 7  3

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Bender   8.0  3  3  0  3  4  
R. Clemens  7.0  0  0  0  3  7 

OAK 87-73, BOS 94-66

September 30: Boston 6, Oakland 1

Just about any other team would be thrilled to have Jon Lester in their rotation, but with Boston’s incredible starting pitcher depth, Lester only squeezed in 73 innings all year. He made an excellent spot start in this one, giving up just two hits, and concluded his season with a tidy 3.22 ERA.

Boggs and Tris Speaker each had one hit to move into a four-way tie for the league hit lead. Boggs, Speaker, Lou Gehrig, and Cleveland’s Joe Jackson all stood at 211 knocks.

                  R H BB
OAK 010 000 000 - 1 3  2
BOS 500 000 01x - 6 9  7

HR: J. Canseco (5)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Zito     7.2  6  6  0  7  6  
J. Lester   8.0  1  1  1  2  9 

OAK 87-74, BOS 95-66

speakerOctober 1: Boston 4, Oakland 1

Cy Young went the full nine and gave up just one. He was merely good for the first two-thirds of the year before shifting into next level ish. He rampaged like a runaway train through his last 10 starts, allowing 10 earned runs in 89 innings.

Carl Yastrzemski was perfect in this game with three singles and a double. Boggs went hitless while Tris Speaker slapped two more safeties to claim the hit crown with 213 on the year. Boggs leads the league in hits + walks + HBP at 310.

The limp showing by Oakland knocked them into a third place finish (tied with Baltimore) and boosted Minnesota to a second place finish.

Boston has two days off before hosting game one of the championship series on October 4th.

                  R H BB
OAK 000 000 010 - 1 5  3
BOS 012 100 00x - 4 9  4
HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Waddell  4.0  4  4  0  4  4  
C. Young    9.0  1  1  0  3  5 

OAK 87-75, BOS 96-66

 

Toronto’s Marcum & Guzman Surprise & Lead Team To Wins In Texas

September 29: Texas 8, Toronto 6

Poor Dave Stieb got hammered all year, and it wasn’t any different in his final start. Julio Franco launched a three-run dong against him in the second inning, and after Stieb allowed singles to the first three hitters in the third inning, his season was done. Duane Ward came on in relief and didn’t give up a run of his own, but all three inherited runners came around to score.

                  R  H BB
TOR 010 004 100 - 6  9  3
TEX 033 020 00x - 8 13  1

HR: J. Bautista (24), E. Whitt (12),
F. Howard (19), J. Franco (15)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Stieb     2.0  6  6  1  0  0  
F. Jenkins   6.1  4  4  0  2  4 

TOR 72-88, TEX 77-83

September 30: Toronto 2, Texas 1 (13 innings)

Shaun Marcum and Charlie Hough put on one of the most out-of-nowhere pitchers duels of the season. Marcum was laser sharp, striking out 11, walking zero, and allowing three hits and one run in nine innings. It was a dominant performance, but an Ivan Rodriguez homer kept the score tied after Marcum was done.

Hough put on a fair amount of runners, but his flutter balls vexed the Blue Jays hitters enough to limit them to one run in the first 12 innings. Devon White managed to tag Hough for a solo homer in the fifth inning.

Rubber-armed Charlie was still going in the top of the 13th when the Jays managed to bunch up enough safeties to finally break the 1-1 tie: Tony Fernandez singled, Lloyd Moseby took a walk, and Jose Bautista singled in Fernandez.

Tom Henke, Ward, Scott Downs, and Mark Eicchorn each threw a scoreless inning for Toronto.

                        R  H BB
TOR 000 010 000 000 1 - 2 10  4
TEX 001 000 000 000 0 - 1  3  0
HR: D. White (3), I. Rodriguez (13)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
S. Marcum   9.0  1  1  1  0 11  
C. Hough   12.2  2  2  1  3  7 

TOR 73-88, TEX 77-84

guzman1October 1: Toronto 9, Texas 2

Juan Guzman closed out the Jays season with a surprisingly effective start. Despite walking seven, Guzman gave up just two in a complete game.

Ernie Whitt went massive with a single, two dingers, and three RBI.

Texas finishes the year in third place and Toronto in fourth.

                  R  H BB
TOR 110 203 002 - 9 11  5
TEX 000 110 000 - 2  5  7
HR: E. Whitt-2 (14)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Guzman   9.0  2  2  0  7  5  
G. Perry    6.0  7  4  2  3  3 

TOR 74-88, TEX 77-85

 

Cleveland & Minnesota Close Out Their Seasons With Twins Series Win

carewSeptember 29: Minnesota 3, Cleveland 2

Rod Carew spanked an RBI triple in the fifth inning to drive in the winning run. Not too shabby.

                  R H BB
CLE 000 001 100 - 2 8  1
MN  020 010 00x - 3 5  2
HR: none

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
V. Gregg     7.0  3  1  0  2  2  
G. Mogridge  7.0  2  2  0  1  2 

CLE 76-84, MN 87-73

September 30: Minnesota 2, Cleveland 0

Bert Blyleven got roughed up much of the year and ended up in the  bullpen for parts of the season. He was back in the rotation at the end of the year though, and saved his two best games for last. In his previous start, Bly gave up just one run in nine innings. He one-upped himself in this one and threw his first shutout.

Tris Speaker collected half of Cleveland’s six hits. Kirby Puckett swatted three hits for Minny.

                  R H BB
CLE 000 000 000 - 0 6  2
MN  010 000 01x - 2 8  2

HR: none

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
A. Joss      8.0  2  2  0  2  2  
B. Blyleven  9.0  0  0  0  2  5 

CLE 76-85, MN 88-73

October 1: Cleveland 5, Minnesota 3

Cleveland closed out a frustrating year with a win. Despite a good run differential (803-765) the team never put it all together to pile up some wins. The biggest bright spot was outfielder Joe Jackson, who clubbed a single and a triple in this game to tie Lou Gehrig for the league lead in hits at 211. Jackson finishes with a .345 batting average, far and away tops in the league.

John Romano capped off a four-run sixth for Cleveland with a two run dinger. Carlos Carrasco squeezed in six starts at the end of the year and finishes with a 2.17 ERA. Cleveland player-manager Lou Boudreau is understandably looking forward to seeing what Carrasco can accomplish over a full season.

                  R  H BB
CLE 000 104 000 - 5 11  1
MN  100 020 000 - 3  9  2
HR: J. Romano (15)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Carrasco  7.0  3  3  0  1  9  
C. Pascual   5.2  5  5  1  1  5 

CLE 77-85, MN 88-74

 

New York and Baltimore Conclude Their Seasons With O’s Series Win

ripkenmurraySeptember 29: Baltimore 7, New York 5

Baltimore manager Earl Weaver struggled all year to wedge George Sisler, Eddie Murray, Ken Williams, and Ken Singleton into one lineup. Sisler and Singleton just got on base and hit too much to sit, which left a logjam between Murray and Williams. Weaver thought Williams had a slight edge when it came to hitting righties, and Williams was good, with a .343 wOBA in 123 games. But the Orioles missed having Murray’s bat in there everyday–he got into just 105 games but smashed his way to a .391 wOBA. “Hell of a thing leaving a hitter like Eddie on the bench as much as I have this year,” reflected Weaver after the game. “I’ll have to find a way to get him in there more next season.”

Murray was very much in this game, and got the Orioles on the board with a solo homer in the fourth. He took walks in his next two plate appearances, and then drilled a two-out walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth.

                  R  H BB
NY  000 400 100 - 5 10  9
BAL 000 103 102 - 7  8  5
HR: E. Murray-2 (20)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
O. Hernandez  5.1  4  4  1  3  5  
E. Bedard     3.1  4  4  0  5  5 

NY 83-77, BAL 86-74

September 30: New York 12, Baltimore 9

In their penultimate game, the Yankees played one of the most Yankees games of the season. Starter Herb Pennock was ineffective from the start, and his pitching and the team’s defense really fell to shambles in the fifth inning when the first eight Baltimore batters reached safely and the Orioles ran up a 9-1 lead.

But no matter how far they fell behind, the Yankees were never out of a game all season. After that disastrous bottom of the fifth, they responded with a nine-run top of the sixth. 11 Yanks reached safely in the inning, punctuated with a Robinson Cano dong shot.

                   R  H BB
NY  000 019 020 - 12 12  6
BAL 013 050 000 -  9 15  4
HR: R. Cano (15)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
H. Pennock   4.0  8  7  0  2  1  
J. Palmer    5.2  6  1  1  3  1 

NY 84-77, BAL 86-75

October 1: Baltimore 11, New York 5

Singleton, Murray, and Sisler made up the top of Baltimore’s batting order and each collected three hits. They combined for five singles, two doubles, and two triples. Cleanup hitter Frank Robinson collected only one-hit, but he made it count with a three-run dinger in the first inning.

Sisler became the fifth player to reach 200 hits on the season.

Lou Gehrig had a relatively quiet final series, though in his case that meant reaching safely five times in the three games but not hitting a homer. He was by far the most dominant hitter all season and still holds the home run lead at 40, though Texas’s Alex Rodriguez still has three games to play and is sitting at 39. Asked after the game if his individual success was a silver lining to the Yankees disappointing finish, Gehrig offered, “Not really. Doesn’t mean much if we’re not the champs.”

                   R  H BB
NY  000 002 300 -  5 12  0
BAL 310 052 00x - 11 13  3
HR: F. Robinson (31), C. Ripken (12)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
W. Hoyt     4.2  8  8  1  1  0  
J. Powell   6.1  5  5  0  0  0 

NY 84-78, BAL 87-75