Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June 3, 1984: LaPoint Earns His First Complete Game Shutout

     On June 3, 1984, Cardinals starting pitcher Dave LaPoint locked down his first complete game shutout as he blanked the Mets 1-0 at Shea Stadium in New York. The Cardinals hurler was assisted by an RBI single off the bat of Ken Oberkfell in the fourth that scored George Hendrick. The Mets starter, Mike Torrez gave up 10 hits in the contest. However, his defense bailed him out time and time again, while his offense failed to get to LaPoint. The '84 season was LaPoint's third full season at the big league level. He had posted a 9-3 record for the Birds during the Championship season of 1982, and started Game Four of the Fall Classic. He followed up the '82 campaign with back-to-back 12 wins seasons before being dealt to the San Francisco Giants in a package deal that brought Jack Clark to town.

Check out the box score here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN198406030.shtml

     While looking at the game summaries from that day I could not help but notice that John Tudor pitched the Pirates to a 4-0 victory, which locked down his first complete game shutout as a member of the National League. Tudor had spent the first five years of career in Boston, before the Pirates swung a deal for him in the Winter of '83. The Pirates saw great potential in the 30-year-old who had posted 13 wins twice in his career. Both of those 13 win seasons had at least 10 losses attached to the other side of the stat column as he had not realized his true potential just yet. After going 12-11 for the Buccos during that '84 campaign, a deal was made that made him a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1985, Tudor posted a 21-6 record for the National League Champion Cardinals, and finished second in the Cy Young balloting. He never came close to the 20 win plateau again, but was a solid pitcher on a staff that also claimed the National League Crown in 1987.

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