1984 Tigers Tribute Site

Paying Tribute to the Greatest Tiger Team of My Generation

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February 23, 2005

The Great Debate – 1975 Reds vs. 1984 Tigers – Aurelio Lopez

by @ 9:05 pm. Filed under Aurelio Lopez, Debate

Senior Smoke had one of the more underappreciated careers of any Tiger in 1980s. He emerged as the Tigers’ closer in the last 70s, and his best season might have been 1979, when he finished seventh in the Cy Young. By 1981, he had lost the closer job to Kevin Saucier, and later, Dave Tobik until he picked it back up in 1983 and made the All-Star team.

His 1984 season was nothing short of fantastic. He set a career high by pitching in 137 2/3 innings (unheard of by a reliever these days), and posted a near perfect 10-1 record, with his only loss coming in the final week of the season. If there was one fault to Lopez’s game, it was his propensity to give up the long ball. But he finished his career with an impressive 62-36 career record, while racking up 93 saves.

Here’s Lopez’s 1984 numbers:

Innings Pitched 137 2/3
Wins 10

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Losses 1
Saves 14

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ERA 2.94
ERA+ 133

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WHIP 1.169
H/9 7.13
BB/9 3.40
SO/9 6.15
HR/9 1.05
Pitching Runs Above Replacement 43
Stuff 4

Both his PRAR and his Stuff were hurt because of his homer rate, but this is an impressive season for a reliever by any standard. The fact that he was the second best reliever on the team that year means Sparky had two outstanding arms coming out of the pen.

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Will McEnaney, while having a solid season, doesn’t really match up. Lopez was better, and he did it over several more innings. So it looks like we’re tied going into the homestretch.

Scorecard – 1975 Reds 7, 1984 Tigers 7

You can read Blade’s analysis of Will McEnaney at Reds Cutting Edge.

February 20, 2005

The Great Debate – 1975 Reds vs. 1984 Tigers – Doug Bair

by @ 10:14 pm. Filed under Willie Hernandez

Sparky loved his relievers. Throughout “Bless You Boys,” the one thing Sparky constantly talks about is how he needs Bill Lajoie to go out and get him another left handed reliever. And in my opinion, nobody knew how to utilize his bullpen better then Captain Hook.

Through the end of July, Doug Bair was right there with Aurelio Lopez, and to a lesser extent, was as effective as Willie Hernandez. Through 65 innings, he had a 1.077 WHIP and an ERA of 3.05. Then in his first game in August, the wheels fell off the wagon, and he gave up two runs in only 1/3 of an inning. He had three more rough outings before recovering near the middle of the month. Fortunately during his rough stretch, the Tigers had a lead over the Blue Jays of just under ten games, but he ended the month with a 2.152 WHIP and an 8.80 ERA. He then went on to be lights out in September.

Let’s take a look at Bair’s season numbers..

Innings Pitched 93 2/3
Wins 5
Losses 3
Saves 4

ERA 3.75

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ERA+ 105
WHIP 1.260
H/9 7.88
BB/9 3.46
SO/9 5.48
HR/9 0.96
Pitching Runs Above Replacement 21
Stuff -1

On the face of things, I’d say Clay Carroll looks better. But Bair was as good, if not better, when things counted during the beginning of the year. Since we’re looking at the entire season, I guess I have to concede.

Scorecard – 1975 Reds 7, 1984 Tigers 6

You can read Blade’s analysis of Clay Carroll at Reds Cutting Edge.

February 5, 2005

The Great Debate – 1975 Reds vs. 1984 Tigers – Juan Berenguer

by @ 9:41 pm. Filed under Juan Berenguer

A part of just about any championship team includes a career year or two. Juan Berenguer fell into that mix. Berenguer’s career spanned fifteen years and was pretty unspectacular. He played for seven different teams, and went from being a starter, to a spot starter/middle reliever, to a reliever, doing well but not exceptional everywhere he went. His best role seemed to be as a reliever, when he pitched for Twins and helped them win their championship in 1987.

While he didn’t log an inning in the post season, Juan Berenguer started 27 games for Sparky and won 11 of them. He looked great at times, but also took his share of beatings. But in the end, he had one of the better strikeout rates on the team, and was one of Sparky’s hardest throwers.

Let’s take a look at the numbers:

Innings Pitched 168 1/3
Wins 11
Losses 10
ERA 3.48
ERA+ 113
WHIP 1.337
H/9 7.81
BB/9 4.22
SO/9 6.30
HR/9 0.74
Pitching Runs Above Replacement 43
Stuff 13

Berenguer gave up his share of walks, but he also was pretty good at not letting the ball go over the fence. All in all, he gave the Tigers a nice option as a number four starter, and in my opinion, would mop the floor with Fred Norman if they went head to head.

Scorecard – 1975 Reds 6, 1984 Tigers 6

You can read Blade’s analysis of Fred Norman at Reds Cutting Edge.

Also, a quick postscript. Berenguer pitched in four of the five games for the Twins in the ALCS, taking the Tigers to task. I’ve never completely forgiven him for this.

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