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1982 Atlanta Braves season: Wikis

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1982 Atlanta Braves
1982 NL West Champions
Major league affiliations
Location
1982 information
Owner(s) Ted Turner
General manager(s) John Mullen
Manager(s) Joe Torre
Local television WTBS
Superstation WTBS
Local radio WSB
(Ernie Johnson, Pete Van Wieren, Skip Caray, Darrel Chaney)

Contents

Offseason

During the offseason, the Braves acquired manager Joe Torre from the New York Mets in hopes of bringing the Braves their first postseason appearance since 1969.

Regular season

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Season summary

The 1982 Braves started hot, winning their first 13 games (April 6-April 21) of the season, a new major league record (since equaled by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1987). The wins came at the expense of San Diego Padres (2), Houston Astros (6) and Cincinnati Reds (5). The streak began with a 1-0 victory in San Diego in the season opener and came to an end when the Reds edged the Braves 2-1 in Atlanta.

The Braves lost five straight after their record start and by the end of May they were 27-20 and struggling. Critics claimed the Braves were living on the fat of their 13-game winning streak and that they were not as good as their record showed. Some of the critics even predicted the Braves would drift slowly out of contention and would be out of the running by mid-summer. However, the Braves got hot again and won 12 of their first 15 games in June to soar to 16 games above the .500 mark (39-23). This appeared to prove that their 13-0 start was no fluke and silenced the critics, at least for awhile.

The Braves slowed again somewhat, and slipped to 43-29 on June 29 but reeled off a six game winning streak to build a 4 1/2 game lead in the division July 5. The Braves split their next four games and were 51-31 on July 9 following a 6-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. That meant the Braves were on a pace to win 100 games for the season, not so bad for a team that struggled for wins over the previous eight years. Then, on the last two days before the All Star Break, Atlanta lost to the Pirates 6-1 and 3-1. They still had a two-game lead in the division however.

A 5-1 start after the All Star Break upped Atlanta's record to 56-34 on July 20 with a six-game lead. It was the largest lead an Atlanta Brave team ever had since the Braves came to Atlanta in 1966.

However, July 21 to July 25 the Braves endured a mini-slump. They lost three of four games during this stretch, and were shut out three times (once by the St. Louis Cardinals and twice by Pittsburgh) and scored only four runs in the other game. Nevertheless, Atlanta was 20 games over the .500 mark (57-37) and were preparing themselves for an 11 game series at home, followed by a 11-game road trip, all against divisional foes. Second place San Diego was in town first (for four games) and they would be followed by the third place Los Angeles Dodgers (four games) and the fourth place San Francisco Giants (three games). Then it would be on the road for four games with Los Angeles, three more in San Francisco, and a four game series in San Diego.

Atlanta had only a five game lead when the series with San Diego began. The Braves opened the series with a doubleheader sweep of the Padres by 9-2 and an 8-6 margins. Atlanta won again the next night by an 8-6 margin. The lead had swelled to eight games, and pennant fever was palpable in Atlanta.

With a 6-2 win over San Diego on Thursday, July 29, the Braves completed a four game sweep of the second place Padres and soared to 61-37, the first time since 1969 the Braves were 24 games over the .500 mark. More important, Atlanta had a 9-game lead over San Diego (53-47) in the N.L. West Division standings, a 10 1/2 game bulge over the third place Dodgers (52-49) and a 14-game lead over the Giants (48-52). It was the largest lead an Atlanta Brave team had ever had since the Braves came to Atlanta in 1966. Dale Murphy, who had 11 hits in 16 at bats in the series, was hitting .308 with 28 homers and 74 RBI. Bob Horner was batting .289 with 20 homers. Steve Bedrosian had a 1.46 ERA and Gene Garber possessed a 2.16 ERA with 19 saves. The pitching staff had a 3.59 ERA and the offense had a .262 average with 447 runs scored.

Unfortunately, the big lead didn't last. The Braves slumped badly as they lost 19 of their next 21 games, including 11 in a row at one point and four straight twice. Eight of their losses were to the red hot Dodgers who swept the Braves in two four game series within a 10 day stretch. Wins and losses were to Los Angeles (0-8), San Francisco (1-5), San Diego (1-3) and the Montreal Expos (0-3).

On August 18 the Braves had lost their third in a row to Montreal (and fourth straight overall) and were 63-56 and 4 games behind the first place Los Angeles Dodgers, who had won 16 of their last 20. Then, beginning August 19 with a win over the Expos, the Braves came roaring back by winning 13 of 15 to move back into first place. On September 3 the Braves were 76-58 and led the Dodgers by 2 1/2 games. The Braves lost four in a row to fall back into second place, but they beat Los Angeles twice (September 8 and 9) to move back into the lead by 1 1/2 games with a 78-62 record. A 4-8 slump (including six losses to the Astros) lowered the Braves back into second by three games on September 22. It didn't look so good for the Braves at that point. The Braves didn't give up, however, winning seven of their next nine to move into the lead (for good on September 28) and they went on to win their first NL West Division Title since posting a 93-69 mark and winning it in 1969. They clinched a division tie with the Dodgers on the next to last day of the season but despite losing to San Diego 5-1 in the season finale, they backed into the title when the Giants beat the Dodgers on a homer by Joe Morgan.

The Braves were 89-73 at the end of the 1982 campaign, which meant they went only 76-73 after the record 13-0 start. The good news was they were 26-17 after August 18. It was their second winning season since finishing third and going 88-74 in 1974. Their only other winning season in that span was in 1980, when they struggled to an 81-80 finish.

Stars aplenty

Although it was Joe Torre who led the Braves back to the postseason that year, many Braves contributed to this successful season including Bob Horner, who hit .261 with 32 home runs and 97 RBI. Dale Murphy, who hit ahead of Horner in the lineup, managed a .281 average with 36 homers, 109 RBI and 23 stolen bases. Murphy won the NL MVP award.

The steady first baseman Chris Chambliss hit .270 with 20 homers and 88 RBI. Outfielder Claudell Washington had his best season yet with the Braves. He batted .266 with 16 homers and 80 RBI. He added six triples, the most on the team. Twenty-four year old infielders Glenn Hubbard and Rafael Ramírez proved to be solid on defense, turning many double-plays and providing strong defense when needed. Hubbard also hit .248 with nine homers and 59 RBI while Ramírez chipped in with a .278 average and ten homers and 52 RBI.

Jerry Royster performed well over the last two months (.322) to finish the season with a .295 average in 261 at bats. He was batting only .180 on July 29. Part-time outfielder Rufino Linares batted .298 with two homers and 17 RBI while opening day starter Brett Butler had a disappointing season when he batted .217 and hit only two doubles and no homers in 240 at bats. Catcher Bruce Benedict ended the season hitting .248 with three homers (one a grandslam off Dodger great Fernando Valenzuela in September). Backup catcher Biff Pocoroba finished with a .275 average and two homers in 120 at bats.

On the pitching side, Phil Niekro led the team in wins with a fantastic 17-4 record and a 3.61 ERA in 35 starts. Gene Garber led the bullpen with 30 saves and added a 2.34 ERA in 69 games. Steve Bedrosian was 8-6 and posted a 2.42 ERA in 64 games and three starts. Despite a big 4.87 ERA in 32 games and 27 starts, Bob Walk finished with an 11-9 won-lost record, tied for second on the team with Rick Camp (11-13, 3.85 ERA in 51 games and 21 starts). Rick Mahler was 9-10 with a 4.21 ERA in 33 starts and Pascual Pérez started 11 times in 16 appearances and finished 4-4 with a solid 3.06 ERA.

Season standings

NL West W L GB Pct.
Atlanta Braves 89 73 -- .549
Los Angeles Dodgers 88 74 1.0 .543
San Francisco Giants 87 75 2.0 .537
San Diego Padres 81 81 8.0 .500
Houston Astros 77 85 12.0 .475
Cincinnati Reds 61 101 28.0 .377

Opening Day starters

Notable transactions

Roster

1982 Atlanta Braves
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

Game Log

Game Log

Player stats

Batting

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Benedict, BruceBruce Benedict 118 386 95 .246 3 44
1B Chambliss, ChrisChris Chambliss 157 534 144 .270 20 86
2B Hubbard, GlennGlenn Hubbard 145 532 132 .248 9 59
3B Horner, BobBob Horner 140 499 130 .261 32 97
SS Ramírez, RafaelRafael Ramírez 157 609 169 .278 10 52
LF Linares, RufinoRufino Linares 77 191 57 .298 2 17
CF Murphy, DaleDale Murphy 162 598 168 .281 36 109
RF Washington, ClaudellClaudell Washington 150 563 150 .266 16 80

Other batters

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Royster, JerryJerry Royster 108 261 77 .291 2 25
Butler, BrettBrett Butler 89 240 52 .217 0 7
Whisenton, LarryLarry Whisenton 84 143 34 .238 4 17
Harper, TerryTerry Harper 48 150 43 .287 2 16
Pocoroba, BiffBiff Pocoroba 56 120 33 .275 2 22
Watson, BobBob Watson 57 114 28 .246 5 22
Sinatro, MattMatt Sinatro 37 81 11 .136 1 4
Johnson, RandyRandy Johnson 27 46 11 .239 0 6
Smith, KenKen Smith 48 41 12 .293 0 3
Porter, BobBob Porter 24 27 3 .111 0 0
Owen, LarryLarry Owen 2 3 1 .333 0 0
Runge, PaulPaul Runge 4 2 0 .000 0 0
Zuvella, PaulPaul Zuvella 2 1 0 .000 0 0
Hall, AlbertAlbert Hall 5 0 0 ---- 0 0

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Niekro, PhilPhil Niekro 35 234.1 17 4 3.61 144
Mahler, RickRick Mahler 39 205.1 9 10 4.21 105
Walk, BobBob Walk 32 164.1 11 9 4.87 84
Boggs, TommyTommy Boggs 10 46.1 2 2 3.30 29

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Camp, RickRick Camp 51 177.1 11 13 3.65 58
Pérez, PascualPascual Pérez 16 79.1 4 4 3.06 29
Dayley, KenKen Dayley 20 71.1 5 6 4.54 34
Cowley, JoeJoe Cowley 17 52.1 1 2 4.47 27

Relief pitchers

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Garber, GeneGene Garber 69 8 10 30 2.34 68
Bedrosian, SteveSteve Bedrosian 64 8 6 11 2.42 123
Hrabosky, AlAl Hrabosky 31 2 1 3 5.54 20
McWilliams, LarryLarry McWilliams 27 2 3 0 6.21 24
Hanna, PrestonPreston Hanna 20 3 0 0 3.75 17
Diaz, CarlosCarlos Diaz 19 3 2 1 4.62 16
Moore, DonnieDonnie Moore 16 3 1 1 4.23 17
Alvarez, JoseJose Alvarez 7 0 0 0 4.70 6
Hausman, TomTom Hausman 3 0 0 0 4.91 2

National League Championship Series

Game 1: Take 1

Game 1 was a wash - literally. The Braves led 1-0 behind Phil Niekro and were three outs from an official game when the umpire stopped it. When the rain did not subside, the game was canceled. Game 1 began from the start the following night in a match-up of the volatile Braves starter Pascual Pérez and longtime Cardinal starter Bob Forsch.

Game 1: Take 2

October 7, Busch Stadium

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Atlanta 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
St. Louis 0 0 1 0 0 5 0 1 X 7 13 1
W: Bob Forsch (1-0)  L: Pascual Pérez (0-1)   SV: None
HRs: ATL – None   STL – None

Game 2

October 9, Busch Stadium

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Atlanta 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 6 0
St. Louis 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 4 9 1
W: Bruce Sutter (1-0)  L: Gene Garber (0-1)   SV: None
HRs: ATL – None   STL – None

Game 3

October 10, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 0 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 12 0
Atlanta 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 6 1
W: Joaquín Andújar (1-0)  L: Rick Camp (0-1)   SV: Bruce Sutter (1)
HRs: ATL – None   STLWillie McGee (1)

Awards and honors

1982 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Richmond Braves International League Eddie Haas
AA Savannah Braves Southern League Andy Gilbert
A Durham Bulls Carolina League Bobby Dews
A Anderson Braves South Atlantic League Brian Snitker
Rookie Pulaski Braves Appalachian League Rick Albert
Rookie GCL Braves Gulf Coast League Pedro González

Notes

References

Preceded by
Los Angeles Dodgers
1981
NL West Championship Season
1982
Succeeded by
Los Angeles Dodgers
1983

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