Archive for the '1984 Diary' Category

The Detroit Tigers are World Champions

1984 World Series Game 5

October 14, 1984 Tigers 8, Padres 4 Tigers Win Best of Seven Series 4-1

The score looks like a blowout, but what a game. The Tigers took the series in five, and beat the Padres to win the World Series at Tiger Stadium. In all, they went 4-0 in the playoffs in front of their home fans.

For the fourth straight game, the Tigers got to the Padres very early. Lou Whitaker led off the game with a single, and was forced out on a fielders choice by Alan Trammell. Kirk Gibson then hit the first of two big blasts to put the Tigers up 2-0. Lance Parrish then singled and stole second, was moved to third on a single by Larry Herndon, and was then driven in on a single by Chet Lemon. Starter Mark Thurmond was then pulled after only 1/3 of an inning in which he gave up five hits.

Reliever Andy Hawkins would get the Padres out of that jam. Larry Herndon was caught stealing third, and Barbero Garbey popped out to end the inning. Starter Dan Petry had a nice three run cushion to work with.

After giving up a single in each of the first two innings, Dan Petry gave up his first run in the third on an RBI single by Steve Garvey. In the fourth, he gave up a lead off walk to Kurt Bevacqua. Garry Templeton doubled to put men at second and third when Bobby Brown drove in Bevacqua on a sacrafice fly. Alan Wiggins singled to drive in Garry Templeton, and all of a sudden, we had a tie ball game. Sparky had seen enough, and went to Bill Scherrer in his pen, who got Tony Gwynn to fly out for the final out of the inning.

The Tigers would strike back in the bottom of the fifth. Kirk Gibson, who did it all in this game, singled and moved to second on a fly out by Lance Parrish. Larry Herndon and Chet Lemon walked to load the bases. Gibby then scored on a sac. fly (it was actually a pop out to second base) to put the Tigers up 4-3.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers added a run on a solo homerun by Lance Parrish. With two innings left to play, the Tigers had a two run cushion that was short lived as the Padres put another run on the board with a solo shot by Kurt Bevacqua. The Tigers now had a razor thin one run margin, and they had one chance to put up some insurance runs for Willie Hernandez.

And insurance he got. In the bottom of the eighth, Marty Castillo walked, and Lou Whitaker bunted himself on. Alan Trammell moved them both over with a bunt of his own before one of the memorable at bats in Tiger’s history happened. Kirk Gibson came to the plate and hit a massive three run shot off of Goose Gossage to give the Tigers a comfortable four run lead. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was shown often during rain outs, where Goose Gossage talked the pitching coach down from intentionally walking Gibby, claiming he would strike him out. Gibson would finish the game three for four, with three runs and five RBIs.

The Padres managed a single in the ninth, but never really threatened. Willie Hernandez earned the save, the Tigers won the World Series. They were World Champions.

Tigers Edge Padres, Now One Win Away From World Championship

1984 World Series Game 4

October 13, 1984 Tigers 4, Padres 2 Tigers Lead Best of Seven Series 3-1

Jack Morris had a an incredible first half in 1984. He had an equally poor second half as he got roughed up start after start. But once the playoffs started, Morris was rock solid, and definitely could be mentioned as a potential MVP candidate. This game was basically the Alan Trammell and Jack Morris show.

The Tigers struck quickly once again. In the bottom of the first, Lou Whitaker reached base on an error. Alan Trammell then hit a two run shot. After only two batters, the Tigers were up 2-0.

In the third, it was deja vu, as Lou Whitaker singled with one out, and then Alan Trammell hit a two run shot, his second homer of the game, to give the Tigers a 4-1 lead. They’d threaten more in the inning, getting two more baserunners on, before starter Eric Show got the hook.

As good as Trammell was with the bat, Jack Morris was as good on the mound. Jack went the distance, giving up only five hits and two runs (one of which didn’t come until the ninth). He struck out four, and carried the Tigers to within a game of winning the championship.

Tigers Get By Padres, Take 2-1 World Series Lead

1984 World Series Game 3

October 12, 1984 Tigers 5, Padres 2 Tigers Lead Best of Seven Series 2-1

Milt Wilcox got the nod in game three after pitching an incredible game a week before in the ALCS. He started out this game on a decent note. He let a baserunner on in each of the first two innings, but neither crossed the plate.

In the bottom of the third, the Tigers once again gave their starter a nice cushion. Chet Lemon got a one out single, and moved over to second on a Tim Lollar wild pitch. Darrell Evans moved him over to third base on a deep fly, and then Marty Castillo came up big, and hit a two run shot to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.

The home team wasn’t done though. Lou Whitaker drew a walk, and was driven in on an Alan Trammell double. A Kirk Gibson walk and a Lance Parrish infield single loaded the bases beforeTim Lollar got yanked. Reliever Greg Booker then walked in Tram, and then finally stopped the bleeding by getting Barbero Garbey to fly out (he also led off the inning with a fly out).

After only two innings, the Tigers had a 4-0 lead, and they had knocked out the Padres starter. This was a trend throughout the series, and the four runs the Tigers scored actually stood. The Tigers added a run in the third when Kirk Gibson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

The Padres did manage to tag Milt Wilcox for a run in the third. He pitched six before handing the ball to Bill Scherrer who gave up a run in the seventh. Willie Hernandez then summarily ended any chance of the Padres coming back by throwing 2 1/3 innings of one hit ball.

With the win, the tide had once again turned in the Tiger’s favor. For the second straight game, they forced the Padres to work deep into their pen, and never really gave them a chance to come back with strong pitching.

Padres Even Series as Tigers Come Home to Detroit

1984 World Series Game 2

October 10, 1984 Padres 5, Tigers 3 Best of Seven Series Tied 1-1

If there’s one thing the Tigers did well in this series, it was getting out to early leads and knocking out the starting pitcher. This game was no exception, as the Tigers got through Padres’ starter Ed Whitson in the first inning.

Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammell, and Kirk Gibson led of the game with consecutive singles to score a run. Gibson stole second to put runners at second and third when Lance Parrish knocked in Trammell with a sacrafice fly. Darrell Evans then drove in Gibby with a single, and the Tigers were out to comfortable 3-0 lead. Ed Whitson would get one more out before giving up another single to John Grubb, and would be summarily pulled.

But the Padres wouldn’t roll over. Alan Wiggins came around to score on a sacrafice fly by Graig Nettles to cut the lead down to two runs after one inning of play.

The Padres wouldn’t strike again until the fourth inning. Like the first inning, starer Dan Petry let the lead off man, Kurt Bevacqua, get on with a single. He’d score on a groundout by Gary Templeton to cut the lead down to a razor thing margin of one run.

The big blow came in the fifth. After getting the leadoff man out, Dan Petry gave up a walk and a single, then Kurt Bevacqua hit a three run homerun to put the Padres up by two runs.

The Padres took a page out the Tigers book by coming up with some great pen work. Andy Hawkins went 5 1/3 innings and gave up only one hit. Craig Lefferts did the same over three innings as they both shutdown the Tigers for the final eight innings of the game.

The Tigers pen would be as good, going 3 2/3 and giving up only two hits. The four relievers kept the Tigers in the game, but they just couldn’t get the bats going.

So they left San Diego tied 1-1. If they had lost the first and won the second, I would have said I was happy, but I wasn’t. The Tigers let this one slip from their fingers and hopefully they’d be able to wrap the series up at home.

Tigers Take Game One, Extend Playoff Win Streak to Four

1984 World Series – Game One

October 9, 1984 Tigers 3, Padres 2 Tigers Lead Best of Seven Series 1-0

For the third time in four playoff games, the Tigers put a run on the board in the first inning. Lou Whitaker led off with a single, and Alan Trammell drove him in with a double. It’s always nice to have a lead before the other team even gets to swing their bats.

Unfortunately, the lead was short lived. Terry Kennedy drove in two runs with a double in the bottom half of the first off of starter Jack Morris. For the first time in the playoffs, the Tigers were down.

The next three innings saw each team getting only hit a piece. What looked like a game that could turn into a shoot out had settled down. Jack Morris had calmed down, and Padres starter Mark Thurmond was equally effective.

Then the Tigers pounced. In the top of the fifth, Larry Herndon came up big and hit a two out, two run homer to give the Tigers the lead for good.

Jack Morris went the distance, giving up only five hits after getting roughed up in the first inning. The Padres threatened in the sixth by getting their first two men on base with singles, but Morris summarily shutdown the rally by striking out the next three batters.

With the win, the Tigers won home field advantage. Dan Petry would get the ball in game two, and everyone hoped he would be equally as effective as Jack Morris was.

The Gem

1984 American League Championship Series

October 5, 1984 Tigers 1, Royals 0 Tigers Win Best of Five Series 3-0

I really enjoy a good old pitching duel. One of my favorite games was Jack Morris’ 10 inning shutout in the 1992 World Series. This one was just as good, and it send the Tigers to the World Series for the first time in 16 years.

Things started out innocently enough. The Tigers drew first blood in the second. Barbero Garbey led off with a single, and was forced out at second by Chet Lemon. Darrell Evans singled, sending Lemon to third. And then Marty Castillo hit into a fielders choice that scored Chet Lemon.

And that was it. The Tigers managed only one other hit the rest of the game, as Charlie Leibrandt threw the game of his life. Unfortunately, it wasn’t good enough.

Milt Wilcox went eight innings, giving up only two hits, two walks, and he struck out eight Royals. The Royals first hit came in the fourth, and the second came in the eighth. They were both singles, and no Royal made it past first base off of Milt.

In the ninth, Willie Hernandez came in to finish things out. He gave up a single to Hal McRae with two outs, but like Wilcox, he didn’t let the runner past first base. The Tigers were going to the World Series, and they did it grand fashion.

Things did not go as well for the Chicago Cubs. After taking a 2-0 lead in the NLCS, the San Diego Padres won all three home games to earn the right to face the Tigers in the series.

Tigers Take Game Two in Eleven Innings, One Win Away From World Series

American League Championship Series Game 2

October 3, 1984 Tigers 5, Royals 3 Tigers Lead Best of Five Series 2-0

While the first game was over pretty much after the first inning, this game showed why the Kansas City Royals walked away with the AL West division title.

Like Game 1, the Tigers went up quickly in the first to take a 2-0 lead. Lou Whitaker reached on an error, and moved over to second on a deep out to center by Alan Trammell. Mr. Clutch, Kirk Gibson drove in Lou with a double, and then was driven in himself on a double by Lance Parrish.

The Tigers extended their lead to 3-0 when Kirk Gibson hit a solo homerun in the top half of the third. Up 3-0, the Tigers looked to be comfortably in control, but the Royals were poised for a comeback.

It started in the bottom of the fourth off of starter Dan Petry. Pat Sheridan was driven in with a sac fly to cut the lead to 3-1. They added one more run in the seventh on an RBI single by pinch hitter Dane Iorg, then tied the game up off of Willie Hernandez in the eighth on a Hal McRae RBI double.

Neither team would score in the ninth or tenth innings, and it was finally in the eleventh when the Tigers sealed the game up. Lance Parrish led off with a single, and moved to second on an error committed while Darrell Evans was trying to move him over. Ruppert Jones forced out Lance Parrish at third to make it once again first and second with one out. Then John Grubb came up with the big hit, and drove in both baserunners with a two run double.

The Royals made an attempt in the bottom of the eleventh to come back by getting two men on, but Aurelio Lopez pitched out of the jam to earn the win.

And now the Tigers were heading home for two chances at home to take the series. Over in the NLCS, the Cubs had cruised to a similar 2-0 lead, and it appeared we’d have a rematch of the 1945 series.

Tigers Win Game One, Usual Suspects Contribute

American League Championship Series Game 1

October 2, 1984 Tigers 8, Royals 1 (Tigers Lead Best of Five Series 1-0)

Big players produce during big moments, and two of the Tiger’s bread winners, Jack Morris and Alan Trammell, came up huge in game one to give the Detroit Tigers a 1-0 lead in their quest for a world championship.

The Tigers started things off early. Lou Whitaker led off the inning with a single, and was summarily driven in by Alan Trammell on his triple. A sacrafice fly by Lance Parrish put the Tigers up 2-0 without the Royals even touching their bats.

The Tigers added a run in fourth on a Larry Herndon homerun, and another run in the fifth as Alan Trammell struck again, hitting a homerun of his own. Tram wasn’t done, because in the seventh, he drove in Lou Whitaker on a single, his third hit of the game.

In the meantime, Jack Morris looked like his April self. He cruised through the first six innings, and it wasn’t until the seventh inning when the Royals finally tagged him for a run. He’d go seven innings, giving up only five hits, the one run, and he struck out four.

One run singles by Barbero Garbey and Darrell Evans in the eighth put the Tigers up 7-1, and Willie Hernandez closed out the game by pitching two perfect innings. The Tigers would add one more run in the top of the ninth on a Lance Parrish homerun, but this game was over with after the Tigers batted in the first inning.

It was an all around dominating performance by the Tigers. Good pitching and good hitting. Can’t ask for more then that, especially in a five game series where anything can happen.

Tigers Drop Final Game of Season, Rest Starters

September 30, 1984 Yankees 9, Tigers 2 (104-58)

Sparky rested most of his starters, and gave his pen a final tune up game before the playoff run. Starter Randy O’Neal was shelled for seven runs, and didn’t escape the fifth inning. Four of the five innings he threw in resulted in runs by the Yankees.

Doug Baker and Barbero Garbey drove in the only runs for the Tigers. The bright spot of the game were shutout innings by Bill Scherrer, Aurelio Lopez, and Willie Hernandez. It was nice to see the pen more calm going into the playoffs after a rough week.

With the loss, the Detroit Tiger’s regular season ended. They’d be playing in the playoffs for the first time since 1972 when they lost to the Oakland A’s in the ALCS.

Tigers Hammer Yanks, Set Franchise Win Mark

September 29, 1984 Tigers 11, Yankees 3 (104-57)

With a strong offensive performance, and with only one game left in the season, the 1984 Detroit Tigers won their 104th game, setting the franchise record. The game was actually close for a while, but with the game tied 1-1, the Tigers scored five runs in the sixth to bust the game open. They added five more in the ninth to seal the game up.

Juan Berenguer pitched another nice game to improve to 11-10. He went six innings, giving up only one run on two hits. His six walks were a concern, but he pitched out out of a bases loaded jam in the second and the third innings to walk away with a winning record on the season. Roger Mason finished the game off, going three innings and earning his first career save.

Larry Herndon, Lance Parrish, and Dwight Lowry hit homeruns, and Howard Johnson hit a three run double.

It was a historic day for the franchise, and fitting for what most people feel was the greatest Tiger’s season of all time.

Tigers Top Yankees in Twelve, Tie 1968 Tiger’s Win Mark

September 28, 1984 Tigers 4, Yankees 2 (103-57)

The Detroit Tigers tied the team record with their 103rd win of the season. Dan Petry pitched six solid innings before giving way to the pen with the game tied 1-1. The Tigers took the lead back in the seventh on an RBI single by Lance Parrish, but in the bottom of the eighth, the Yankees tied it back up on a sacrafice fly by Bobby Meacham.

Doug Bair did the job in this game by pitching four shutout innings, giving up no hits and only two walks. It allowed the Tigers to finally tag reliever Joe Cowley for two runs in the twelth inning on a two run shot by Lou Whitaker to win the game.

The Tigers ended the game with sixteen hits, but only four runs crossed the plate. They left seventeen men on base through out the game. The Tigers had two more chances to set the franchise win record and it was too bad they had to do all this on the road.

Tigers Drop Series Opener to Yankees, Bullpen Loses Again

September 27, 1984 Yankees 2, Tigers 1 (102-57)

The duo of Willie Hernandez and Aurelio Lopez lost four games all season. This same duo lost two of those game in a row in the final week of the season. Good from the stand point of how dominating they were for so long, but not good from the stand point of Sparky being worried about his best arms going out on him.

Jack Morris had one his best starts in a long time. Possibly his best start of the season outside of no-hitter. He pitched seven innings of two hit ball. Six walks came back to haunt him though, as the Yankees’ Bobby Meacham walked to lead off the sixth, and was eventually driven in by Dave Winfield to tie the game at 1-1.

Then with the game still tied in the bottom of the eighth, Bobby Meacham scored again on a single by Don Baylor off of Willie Hernandez. Darrell Evans had a chance to pull together a comeback, but he flew out with runners on first and second with two outs.

The Tigers needed to split the series to tie the 1968 Detroit Tigers mark for wins in a season, and they got off to a tough start. Now they needed to win two of three.

Tigers Pen Fails, Still One Win Short of Record

September 26, 1984 Brewers 7, Tigers 5 (102-56)

The Tigers would have to wait for another game to have a shot at tying the 1968 Detroit Tigers 103 wins, and the for one of the few times this season, it was the bullpen to blame.

Milt Wilcox cruised through first five innings, giving up only one run on four hits. Roger Mason gave up two runs in the sixth to narrow the Tigers lead to 4-3. Then with the Tigers up 5-3 in the bottom of the eighth, Aurelio Lopez gave up four runs on three hits and walk, which included a two run double by Ben Oglivie. After 68 games pitched and 136 1/3 innings, Aurelio Lopez finally lost a game.

Chet Lemon went three for five, and was a homerun short of hitting for the cycle. Rookie Nelson Simmons added two RBIs in going three for five.

Tigers Win Fourth Straight, One Shy of 1968 Win Record

September 25, 1984 Tigers 9, Brewers 1 (102-55)

Four runs in the first inning put this game away pretty quickly as Howard Johnson hit a grandslam, his twelth of the season. Lance Parrish followed this with a solo shot in the third, and the Tigers coasted to their 102nd win of the season.

Sparky went with the kids on the mound, and Randy O’Neal improved to 2-0 by pitching five shutout innings, giving up only two hits, and striking out three. Sid Monge, Bill Scherrer, Aurelio Lopez, and Willie Hernandez pitched an inning a piece, with the Brewers tagging Lopez for a run in the eighth. In total, the Brewers only managed six hits against the five pitchers.

And now they stood one win short of the record 103 wins set by the 1968 team. With five games left, the record was definitely within reach.

Back and Forth

Because of the problems related to Florida hurricanes (I can’t even remember which caused the scheduling problem, probably Frances), the Tiger’s schedule down the stretch is interesting.

They’re going to be playing in Baltimore this weekend. They’ll then come home for a three game series against the White Sox, before heading to Tampa Bay for one day to play a double header. Both teams then have to jump on a plane to Detroit, where they’ll square off in the final series of the season.

The Tigers lost two straight one run games against Cleveland earlier this week. They’re record in one run games now stands at 12-27, or 15 games below .500. Ironically, this is exactly how many games the Tigers are below .500 in the overall standings.

None of the teams the Tigers play down the stretch are in the playoff hunt, so we should see a lot of new faces. I always thought the expanded rosters in September made the final month of the season more fun for those teams that aren’t going to make the postseason.

The only division races that haven’t been tied up are out west. Oakland holds on to a two game lead over both Anaheim and a surging Rangers team. The National League race is a little more complicated because it’s almost turned into a three team race for two playoff spots. I’ll defer to the experts over at The Cub Reporter, because he wrote a nice piece on the ins and outs of what can happen there.

The Giants and the Dodgers square off this weekend, as do the Oakland and Anaheim. Some big series with some big implications.

Tigers, Berenguer Tops Brewers

September 24, 1984 Tigers 7, Brewers 3 (101-55)

Juan Berenguer joined fellow Detroit Tigers Jack Morris, Milt Wilcox, Dan Petry, and Aurelio Lopez as pitchers who achieved ten or more wins. He pitched five solid innings, giving up only five hits and one run, before yielding to the pen.

Chet Lemon hit his twentieth homer of the season, and Lou Whitaker hit his twelth en route to going two for four. Dave Bergman also went three for five with a run.

Morris, Hernandez Lead Tigers To Win 100

September 23, 1984 Tigers 4, Yankees 1 (100-55)

It seemed fitting that both Jack Morris and Willie Hernandez would be key in the Tiger’s 100th victory. Morris pitched six shutout innings of two hit ball before handing the ball over to Bill Scherrer. After he pitched a perfect inning, Willie Hernandez finished the game off pitching the eighth and ninth. He gave up a run in the eighth, but he earned his 33rd and final save of the season.

Marty Castillo had the big game for the Detroit Tigers as he went two for three, with a solo shot and two RBIs. Kirk Gibson added a solo shot of his own, his twenty seventh of the season.

And for the first time since 1968, the Tigers won 100 games. Nearly 40,000 fans made it out to see the Tigers get it done once again.

Petry Shuts Downs Yanks, Tigers Win 99th

September 22, 1984 Tigers 6, Yankees 0 (99-55)

Other then Jack Morris’ no-hitter, Dan Petry had probably the next five best pitching performances for the 1984 Tigers. And he saved some of his best stuff for last, as he went the distance, gave up only four hits, and struck out nine. He won his eighteenth of the season, and was his final start of the regular season.

Chet Lemon drove the nail into the coffin by hitting a three run shot in the bottom of the eighth inning. Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell both had two hits.

Yankees Beat Tigers, Ends Winning Streak

September 21, 1984 Yankees 5, Tigers 3 (98-55)

The Tigers got off to a hot start, scoring three runs on an Alan Trammell homer and a Ruppert Jones double. All three runs came off of starter John Montefusco, but that’s all they’d get the entire game as they’d only get three more hits

Milt Wilcox gave up three in the third and then two in the sixth. He gave up five hits, but walked five en route to the loss.

Tigers Go Through The Motions, Beat Brewers

September 19, 1984 Tigers 4, Brewers 2 (98-54)

Despite the rest of the regular season basically being meaningless, there were a few more things for the Tigers to play for. One hundred wins was within their reach. Only four times had the Tigers won a 100 games prior to the 1984 seasons, and they were all good ones. 1968, 1961, 1934, and 1915. They also had a shot at the 1968 Tiger’s record 103 wins.

Jack Morris took them one step closer to both of those marks with a strong performance. It was nice to see he pitched well down the stretch after an up and down season. Jack pitched six solid innings en route to his eighteenth win of the season untl the pen took over. Willie Hernandez pitched a shutout ninth inning to earn his thirty first save.

Sparky was also trying out some of the kids. Nelson Simmons made the most of his start in right field by going to three for four. Howard Johnson scored twice.

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