Hope is the best of things – SPECIAL DIAMONDMIND BASEBALL EDITION

For Those Geeks Who Love Computer Baseball

For those of you who are interested in Diamond-Mind Baseball, I replayed the 1988 season with the Mets, since that was my favorite Mets team of all-time.  Strawberry SHOULD have won MVP (hit 39 HR and drove in 101 runs), McMeaningless hit 27 HR with 99 RBI.   Doc has his last good season with the Mets winning 18 games and Craig Jefferies hit .321 after a late August call up.

The 1988 Mets easily won the NL East in the Diamondmind season replay

Here are some season stats for my Diamond-Mind team.   By the way, the Mets won the NL East with a 115-45 record.   Four players drove in over 100 runs (Strawberry 152, McReynolds 128, Carter 112 and Hojo 101.)  In addition to hitting 54 HR and driving in 152 runs, Strawberry also stole 53 bases to become the majors first 50-50 player.   McReynolds and Hojo also had 30-30 seasons.

Doc led the Mets in all pitching categories going 31-3 with a 1.82 ERA while finishing with 28 CG and 4 shutouts.

Mets pitchers dominate

On the mound Doc (31-3), Ojeda (20-6) and Cone (21-3) all won 20 games while Ron Darling won 18 and Sid Fernandez won 17. The Mets led the league with 66 complete games as Gooden had 28 of them.  Gooden led the team with a 1.82 ERA and 4 shutouts, while Fernandez and Darling each had 3 shutouts.  Randy Myers led the bullpen with 26 saves and also led the team with 42 appearances as I very rarely would use the bullpen.

The Mets will get the NL West Wild Card winner (I put 4 teams in each league in the playoffs) in the Cincinnati Reds who took off after trading for Julio Franco in late July, in the first round of the playoffs.  The San Francisco Giants won the West, thanks to trading for Bryan Harvey in late July to sure up their bullpen. The Chicago Cubs, thanks to picking up John Tudor midway through the season, who the NL East Wild Card and will play the Giants in the first round.

NL First Round Playoff Matchups (Best-of-five)

New York Mets vs Cincinnati Reds (Mets have home field)

San Francisco Giants vs Chicago Cubs (Giants have home field)

Other key stats:  Wally Backman led the Mets with a .338 BA. The Mets led the majors with 257 stolen bases as 6 players finished with at least 30 SB (Strawberry 53, Backman 40, McReynolds 33, Wilson/Johnson 32 and Dykstra 30).  The Mets finished 7 runs shy of scoring 1,000 runs as 3 Mets scored over 100 runs (Strawberry 140, McReynolds 119 and Johnson 106) while the Mets also led the majors with 246 HR.

Darryl Strawberry led the majors in HR, RBI and runs scored while becoming the first 50-50 player in MLB history.

Leaders Around the Majors

Overall Mark Grace of the Cubs led the majors with a .378 BA while Kirby Puckett led the majors with 241 hits.  Strawberry led the majors in runs (140), HR (54) and RBI (152) and tied for the majors lead with Andres Galarraga for most extra-base hits (91).

Mark Grace led the majors with a .378 BA while the Cubs won the NL East Wild Card.

On the mound, Teddy Higuera (21-3) and Frank Viola (21-7) each finished with 20 wins along with Gooden, Cone and Ojeda.  Roger Clemens led the majors with 265 Ks.  Dennis Eckersley led the majors converting 35 of 38 save opportunities.

In the American League, the Milwaukee Brewers thanks to a mid-June blockbuster trade with California that saw Johnny Ray, Wally Joyner and Chili Davis join the team (the Angels received Gary Sheffield, Bill Schroeder, Jim Ganter, Glenn Braggs and Greg Brock) won the AL East with a 103-59 record.  In the West, the Twins behind Frank Viola and Kirby Puckett, easily won the division finishing with 96 wins.

Robin Yount and Paul Molitor along with new additions Wally Joyner, Johnny Ray and Chili Davis, helped the Brewers win the AL East.

American League Wild Card Drama

The AL Wild Cards in the East and West came down to the final day of the season.   In the East, the Blue Jays led by Mike Flanagan shut out the Orioles, 4-0 to clinch the Wild Card over the Red Sox who had won behind a brilliant pitching performance by Bruce Hurst.

In the West, the Oakland A’s entered the final day 1-and-a-half games behind the Kansas City Royals.  The A’s needed to win their game, while the Royals had to lose which would set up a make-up game in the Kingdome between the Royals and the Mariners.  If the Royals lost that game as well then the Royals and A’s would play in Kansas City in a one-game playoff.  In Oakland, Bob Welch won his 16th game with a 4-1 complete game victory.  In Kansas City, Nolan Ryan (who was acquired at the trade deadline) took on the White Sox and Bill Long.  Behind 8 strong innings of 7-hit pitching, the Royals defeated the White Sox 5-3 to clinch the AL West Wild Card.  The Royals were 7 and-a-half games back on September 3rd, but finished the season 22-5 including taking 6 of 7 games from the A’s.  Along with obtaining Ryan, the Royals also acquired Fred Lynn and Eddie Murray from the Orioles on the final day of July.  Lynn hit 14 HR and drove in 35 runs while manning the lead-off spot for the Royals in his 45 games with the team.

Trading deadline acquisition Fred Lynn's 14 HR and 35 RBI in 45 games for the Royals helped them rally from 7.5 games back on September 3 to win the Wild Card in the AL West.

AL First Round Playoff Matchups (best-of-five)

Milwaukee Brewers vs Kansas City Royals (Brewers have HF)

Minnesota Twins vs Toronto Blue Jays (Twins have HF)

Inside the numbers

Two players who were both traded this season were the only players to have multiple walk-off hits.  Glenn Braggs defeated Jerry Reed and the Seattle Mariners on August 8th on a walk-off single as a member of the California Angels.  Then on June 20th when he was a member of the Milwaukee Brewers, Braggs defeated Eric Plunk and the Oakland A’s on a walk-off HR.   Mitch Webster did the same thing as a member of both the Montreal Expos (hit a walk-off HR against Todd Worrell on August 10) and the Chicago Cubs (hit a walk-off HR against Atlee Hammaker on July 18).

Mitch Webster collected walk-off HR with 2 different teams

Four pitchers threw no-hitters.  Frank Viola defeated the Rangers 3-0 on June 1.  Floyd Bannister of the Royals defeated the Athletics 4-0 on September 18.  Jim Deshaies of the Astros defeated the Braves 4-0 on September 27, and Jose Guzman of the Texas Rangers defeated the Mariners 6-0 on September 29.

Frank Viola was one of four pitchers to toss a no-hitter

Barry Bonds of the Pirates hit 4 homers in a game on September 18 vs the Phillies (this was the pre-steroid Bonds mind you).     Dave Martinez of the Cubs and Rickey Henderson of the Yankees were the only players to collect 6 hits in a game.  Keith Hernandez drove in 10 runs in a game for the Mets on June 5.  David Cone and Roger Clemens each struck out a season-high 14 batters in a game.

Barry Bonds (pre-steroid) tied a major league record when he hit 4 homers in a game on September 18.

I will keep you updated on what happens in the playoffs.  I just though some of you real baseball geeks out there (you know who you are!) would appreciate this thread.

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About Mark Kelly - CKMagicSports

Sports Historian that is well versed at the four major sports first, then College Hoops, Football, Olympics, Tennis, Golf and NASCAR. Former ESPN Researcher in Bristol, CT. After a 10-year career working in everything from SportsCenter to ESPNNEWS to Cold Pizza. Had to retire due to complications from Cancer treatment. I am a now 25-year survivor that still suffers everyday from the side effects of chemotherapy & radiation. Suffer from Crohn's disease and Lymphedema everyday and started a website called CKMagicSports.com that I do podcasts on that you can help support by clicking on KNOCKOUTCANCER link on my CKMagicSports website. https://www.gofundme.com/KOCANCER Read more about my 25-year battle with the disgusting side effects of this disease here. http://www.ckmagicsports.com/marks-story/
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