It doesn’t get much better than a 4-0 week. That’s what we had for you in our last installment of Historical Heroes and Goats. The 1989 Cubs played four games and won them all during the second week of the season. Mitch Williams achieved what is, I’d imagine, a rare feat in saving every game played by a team in a single week. Certainly, a number of relievers have accomplished four or more games in a single calendar week, but having them be all of the games played? That’s unusual.
Those four wins added on top of four wins and two losses the first week gave the Cubs eight wins in their first 10 games. It also gave them a two-game lead in the division. For a team that had been under .500 a year earlier and finished more than 20 games off of the pace in their division, that was an awesome start.
Week three saw the Cubs play seven games, all on the road. Things will start with three games in Montreal and then continue with four in New York. Would they be able to build off of their hot start? Would they tread water? Or would they come crashing back to Earth?
We’ll wrap things up today with a look at Pat Perry. If you are like me, he was one of the names that had escaped your memory bank. Al, being the historian that he is, reminded me quickly of who he was and how he got here. But I’ll save that for the end and do a deeper dive to introduce or remind you all of the Cub that was Pat Perry.
Game 11, April 17: Expos 2, Cubs 1 (8-3)
We’ve talked over the first two parts of this series that Greg Maddux didn’t get off to a particularly great start to the 1989 season. But this one wasn’t a bad one at all. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning. Unfortunately, that sixth inning saw Greg allow a one-out single and then the “Big Cat” Andres Galarraga stepped to the plate and took one deep. The Cubs would string three singles together in the seventh, getting one back, but Tim Burke slammed the door for the Expos, sending the Cubs to defeat and snapping a six game winning streak.
- Superhero: Mitch Webster (.078). 2-5, RBI, K
- Hero: Steve Wilson (.048). 1⅓IP, 0H, 0BB, 0R, 1K
- Honorable Mention: Greg Maddux (.026) 1-2, K
- Sidekick: Curtis Wilkerson (.025). (This is a first for H&G. He pinch ran and advanced on a passed ball)
- Billy Goat: Ryne Sandber (-.161). 1-4, 2K
- Goat: Mark Grace (-.104). 1-4, K
- Kid: Andre Dawson (-.099). 0-3, BB
Game 11, April 18: Expos 11, Cubs 2 (8-4)
This one wasn’t close. Paul Kilgus got the start for the Cubs and after two very good ones to start the season, this one was a nightmare. Paul faced seven hitters and six of them scored. He allowed five hits and a walk. The bullpen made the most of it, with three relievers combining for 7⅔ innings of work and allowing nine hits, four walks and five runs. This was one of those games that made you want to turn the page as fast as possible.
- Superhero: Mitch Webster (.056). 2-3, 2B, BB, 2RBI, K
- Hero: Pat Perry (.016). 3⅔IP, 2H, 1BB, 0R, 1K
- Honorable Mention: Pat Perry (.009). 1-1, R
- Sidekick: Shawon Dunston (.000). 1-4, SB, DP
- Billy Goat: Paul Kilgus (-.383). ⅓IP, 5H, 1BB, 6R, 0K (L, 1-2)
- Goat: Gary Varsho (-.044). 0-4
- Kid: Mark Grace (-.042). 1-4, 2B
Game 13, April 19: Expos 3, Cubs 2 (8-5)
The Cubs did manage their first lead in the series. That came by way of a Ryne Sandberg homer off of Dennis Martinez in the fourth inning for the game’s first run. Unfortunately, the Expos answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning on back to back homers by Tom Foley (with a man on) and Nelson Santovenia. The Cubs put together three singles in the sixth against Martinez to pull within one, but that was as close as they got. Tim Burke closed it out again in the ninth. The Cubs were swept away in Montreal.
- Superhero: Mark Grace (.163). 2-3, BB, SB
- Hero: Curtis Wilkerson (.109). 1-1
- Sidekick: Calvin Schiraldi (.062). 2IP, 0H, 2BB, 0R, 3K
- Billy Goat: Joe Girardi (-.246). 0-4, K
- Goat: Jerome Walton (-.186). 1-5, 2B, K
- Kid: Scott Sanderson (-.152). 6IP, 4H, 2BB, 3R, 5K (L 1-1)
Game 14, April 20: Mets 4, Cubs 3 (8-6)
This was the first one that really stung on the trip. Three losses is never great and two of them were close. But in this one, Andre Dawson had a two-run double in the first off of Dwight Gooden. He added an RBI single in the third inning and the Cubs were up 3-0. Cubs starter Mike Bielecki was tagged for two runs in the fifth, aided by an error by Vance Law, but the Cubs continued to lead.
The Cubs went to Mitch Williams with a runner on first and one out in the seventh inning. He proceeded to walk Lenny Dykstra and then allow a Greg Jeffries single to tie the game. With runners on first and third, Mitch got a grounder off of the bat of Mookie Wilson but the Cubs were unable to complete the double play and the Mets had the lead. They held on with their closer Roger McDowell retiring all six batters he faced.
- Superhero: Andre Dawson (.137). 2-4, 2B, 3RBI
- Hero: Mike Bielecki (.102). 6IP, 4H, 2BB, 2R (1ER), 4K
- Sidekick: Mitch Webster (.053). 1-3, 2B, BB, 2R, SB
- Billy Goat: Mitch WIlliams (-.411). 1⅔IP, 2H, 2BB, 1R, 0K (L 0-1)
- Goat: Vance Law (-.119). 0-4, K
- Kid: Jerome Walton (-.082). 0-4, K
Game 15, April 21: Cubs 8 at Mets 4 (9-6)
The Cubs combined a double, three singles, a sacrifice fly and two stolen bases into three first inning runs. Howard Johnson homered for the Mets in the second. Then the Cubs combined three singles, a double, a stolen base, a walk and a sacrifice fly into three more runs, all charged to Mets starter Bob Ojeda who didn’t survive the inning. Sutcliffe did allow a par of runs in the seventh and a Mookie Wilson homer before leaving with one out in the eighth, but the performance was good enough to snap a four game losing streak and for him to move to 4-0 on the season.
- Superhero: Mitch Webster (.122). 3-5, 2R, RBI, K
- Hero: Mark Grace (.084). 1-3, BB, R, RBI, SB
- Sidekick: Jerome Walton (-.065). 2-4, 2 2B,HBP, 2R, K
- Billy Goat: Vance Law (-.016). 0-3, RBI, K
- Goat: Gary Varsho (-.001). 0-1, K
- Kid: Shawon Dunston (.013). 1-1, 2B, R
Game 16, April 22: Mets 3, Cubs 1 (9-7)
Greg Maddux started this one. He had an RBI groundout in the third that gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. But then in the bottom of the inning, he walked the leadoff hitter and a Lenny Dykstra double tied the game. After a second walk, a Kevin McReynolds single gave the Expos a 2-1 lead. A Keith Hernandez sixth inning homer capped the scoring and Roger McDowell recorded the final three outs for his second save of the series.
- Superhero: Pat Perry (.078). 1⅔IP, 0H, 2BB, 0R, 3K
- Hero: Rick Wrona (.074). 1-3
- Sidekick: Mark Grace (.031). 1-4, K
- Billy Goat: Greg Maddux (-.197). 5⅓ IP, 6H, 3BB, 3R, 1K (L 0-3)
- Goat: Andre Dawson (-.170). 0-4
- Kid: Curtis Wilkerson (-.076). 1-4, 2B, 2K
Game 17, April 23: Mets 4, Cubs 2 (9-8)
This was the second really frustrating loss of the trip. It always hurts when you let a lead get away. The Cubs also wasted several opportunities. They had the bases loaded no outs in the second and came up empty, scored a run but left them loaded again in the third, and led 2-0 heading to the bottom of the seventh. The 2-0 lead came off of an Andre Dawson homer in the seventh.
Paul Kilgus bounced back nicely from his rough start early in the week and held the Mets scoreless through sixth. Unfortunately, he went back out for the seventh. He allowed back to back singles for Keith Hernandez and Howard Johnson before leaving. Calvin Schiraldi followed him and allowed a two-out bases loaded single to Mookie Wilson for the Mets first run. Schiraldi went back out for the eighth and issued a walk to Tim Teufel and Kevin McReynolds followed with a two run homer. Mitch Williams came in and two outs later allowed a solo homer to Gary Carter and that was pretty much it. Future Cub Rick Aguilera pitched a scoreless ninth for the save.
- Superhero: Paul Kilgus (.187). 6IP, 6H, 0BB, 1R, 4K
- Hero: Andre Dawson (.155). 2-3, HR, BB, R, RBI
- Sidekick: Mark Grace (.142). 1-3, 2B, BB, RBI
- Billy Goat: Calvin Schiraldi (-.480). 1IP, 2H, 2BB, 2R, 1K (L 1-1)
*8th worst WPA game score of the year
- Goat: Ryne Sandberg (-.149). 0-5, K
- Kid: Joe Girardi (-.126). 0-4, K
Certainly, a six-loss week was not the ideal way to follow up an 8-2 start. The Cubs basically gave back the vast majority of their six game winning streak during this week. They did start the trip with two wins at the tail end of the previous week, so the net was a 3-6 trip which made it look a little less bad. Somewhat remarkably, the Cubs never fell out of first place during the week. They finished each of the last five days of the week tied for first after losing a game each of the first two days.
The tie was with the Phillies who’d actually end up finishing up in a distant sixth place and losing 95 games. But they got off to a decent enough start to be in first place as late as April 25. After that date, they’d never be higher than fifth place and once they reached sixth on May 25, the Phillies never left sixth place the remainder of the year.
Historical Heroes and Goats Player of the Week: Pat Perry
With respect to Mitch Webster, this seemed like a good time to look at Pat Perry. He gave the Cubs 5⅓ innings of scoreless relief that week and even had a single and scored a run. Perry is one of many examples of the contribution the Cubs got up and down the roster in 1989. He didn’t contribute to a win in either game, but he gave a bit of length out of the pen without allowing any damage. The hit was his only hit of the year and one of two as a Cub and four in his career. That other hit as a Cub? A solo homer in 1988.
So who was Pat Perry? Pat was drafted by the Astros in the second round in 1978. He had gone to Taylorville High School near Springfield and was drafted out of Lincoln Land Community College. The lefthander didn’t reach the major leagues until September of 1985. He appeared in six games that year and then 46 more the following year with the Cardinals. During the 1987 season, he pitched in 45 more games for the Cardinals and 12 for the Reds after an August trade. He pitched in 1988 again for the Reds until he was traded by the Reds in May to the Cubs in exchange for Leon Durham, clearing the way for Mark Grace to take over first base.
Perry pitched in 182 games and 263 innings across parts of six major league seasons. All of his work was in relief. He carried a 3.46 ERA over his career, but the best of that work was with the Cubs. As a Cub, he had a 2.57 ERA over 54 games and 73⅔ innings of work. In 1989, Pat had a 1.77 ERA in 19 games covering 35⅔ innings. He was extremely effective as a Cub. After the Cubs, he signed with the Dodgers at 31 years of age and made seven appearances with an 8.10 ERA and never pitched again in the majors, his career cut short by rotator cuff surgery.
Did you remember Pat Perry?
This poll is closed
Yes, but I didn’t remember how effective he was as a Cub
Yes, and I remembered he made some contributions to the 1989 team