THIS DAY IN SP78 HISTORY
August 26, 1993

With two out in the bottom of the 15th at Olympic Stadium, Montreal outfielder Andre Dawson—hitless in six at-bats—drove a single to right to score Pepe Frias from second with the game-winner, as the Expos edged the Giants 3-2 at ‘ESC7’ in Escondido. Expos starter Scott Sanderson was one out away from victory in the ninth, but Jose Cruz slapped an RBI single with two down to send the game into extra frames. Darold Knowles (4-3) went three hitless innings in relief for the win, while Charlie Williams gave up the final two hits of the game and took the loss.  (Game #681,  6/4/78)

Major League Baseball

August Preliminary Report: Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers
• Milwaukee is currently 58-43 and in second place in the AL East, five games behind division-leading New York. The Brewers will meet the Yankees in an important 3-game set at County Stadium beginning August 8th.

• Inconsistency plagued the Brewers pitching staff in July; Mike Caldwell (0.68 ERA), Bill Castro (0.82), Ed Farmer (1.29),  and Lary Sorensen (1.29) led the team, but they were hampered by a combined ERA of 5.10 by the rest of the staff.

• To get Caldwell and Sorensen more starts, the Brewers will switch to a 4-man rotation, which will include Bill Travers and Andy Replogle. Jerry Augustine will switch to a reliever role, but will make spot starts when needed.

• Reliever Randy Stein, with a 1-2 record in 21 games this season, was sent to Spokane of the Pacific Coast League on August 1st; Dave May, an outfielder who saw action with Brewers earlier this season, was recalled to the parent club to serve in a pinch-hitter/designated hitter role.

• Veteran catcher Andy Etchebarren, who went on the 75-day disabled list on June 22nd, will not be eligible to return to action until September 6th, matching Angels outfielder Merv Rettenmund for the longest stint on the DL by a player this season.

• With a 16-4 record at the start of August, Caldwell is a shoo-in for 20 wins this season, but a chance at 30 now appears to be a longshot; he must win seven games in each of the final two months—basically, he must win all of his remaining starts, if he gets that many—to reach the magic 30 mark.

• Shortstop Robin Yount led the Brewers  with 35 hits in July, while Don Money was tops with a .329 batting average, and Gorman Thomas led the squad in homers, with eight.

Celebrating Two Years!

SP78 2nd Anniversary - sign
Today is the 2nd anniversary of the Statis Pro 1978 Replay blog site, and it was on this date 34 years ago that the SP78 season had its humble beginnings, with an NL match-up between the Astros and Reds at Riverfront Stadium. Thanks as always for being a fan and a visitor to the site, and wherever you may be today, please be sure to stop by your local Big Boy restaurant for a complimentary slice of hot fudge cake or strawberry pie!

August Preliminary Report: Royals

KC - primary
• July was the Royals’ best month of the SP78 season, a month which saw them finish 17-11, with an overall batting average of .288 and a team ERA of 2.69. Currently, they’re in second place in the AL West, five games behind the dark-horse Rangers.

• Third baseman George Brett, catcher Darrell Porter, and reliever Al Hrabosky are all out with injuries, but with 17 out of 28 victories last month, the Royals are surviving the setback, and are proving just how deep their bench goes. Jerry Terrell has filled in ably at third, while John Wathan and recent recall Art Kusnyer have picked up the slack behind the plate.

• KC has a solid 4-man starting rotation that will not be tampered with by manager Whitey Herzog: Dennis Leonard, Paul Splittorff, Larry Gura, and Rich Gale, all of whom are PB 2-7 pitchers, and had a combined 12 complete games and a 2.52 ERA for July.

• With the return of Al Hrabosky from the disabled list on August 14th, the KC bullpen will include four PB 2-7 relievers.

• The Royals will go with the same starting lineup for both LH and RH opposing pitchers, with outfielder Willie Wilson back on a full-time basis and batting lead-off, while John Wathan and Pete LaCock will alternate between the 2nd and 6th spots in the batting order, depending on the opponent.

• Relief pitcher Steve Foucault, who quietly saw his career come to a close on August 29th of the actual 1978 season, is currently 0-1 with no saves after 17 SP78 appearances, and is the only pitcher on the KC staff without a win or save. With that in mind, he will not be considered for demotion, at any point over the next two months, unless he’s won or saved at least one game.

• While glancing through a 1978 Royals playoff program recently, I noticed that Steve Braun was listed on their roster, which caught my attention only because he’s currently playing with the Mariners in my SP78 season, as a ‘fringe’ player originally assigned to the Seattle minor league system by Avalon Hill. A check of Braun’s career transactions showed that he was traded on June 1st of the actual ’78 season to the Royals, in exchange for pitcher Jim Colborn…who Avalon Hill smartly chose to place on the Mariners as well. Thanks again, AH!

August Preliminary Report: Tigers

Detroit Tigers
• The Tigers finished July with a 15-14 won-lost record, and are currently in third place in the AL East, just 8½ games behind the first-place Yankees. Helping their cause in August will be the 18 games they play at home at Tiger Stadium, in contrast with the nine they’ll play on the road.

• Hoping to close that 8½ gap between third and first, manager Ralph Houk has decided to exploit the arms of Mark Fidrych (PB 2-8), Dave Rozema (2-7), and Kip Young (2-7) by going to a four-man rotation, with Jack Billingham (2-6) rounding out the quartet. Starters Jim Slaton and Milt Wilcox have been moved to the bullpen, where they’ll help John Hiller (2-8) put out fires.

• Besides Ron LeFlore, Johnny Wockenfuss is the only Tiger player to steal a base this season; LeFlore currently has 58, while Wockenfuss has some catching up to do, with 2.

• Since his call-up from the Evansville Triplets of the American Association on July 25th, Dave Stegman has appeared in three games, and is 3-for-3 as a pinch-hitter, with 1 home run and 2 RBI.

• Right fielder Tim Corcoran’s July batting average of .409 has catapulted him into the second spot in the batting order, beyond lead-off man Ron LeFlore, an ‘A’ runner who will benefit from Corcoran’s hit-and-run capabilities.

• Without a regular catcher available at Evansville to back up Milt May and Lance Parrish, the Tigers promoted Bruce Kimm to AAA from the AA Montgomery Rebels to serve as a safety net in case either May or Parrish are injured (although Wockenfuss could be used in a pinch, since he’d served as catcher in every one of his 12 major leagues seasons…except in 1978).

• Steve Foucault, who started the actual 1978 with Detroit and appeared in 24 games, was traded by the Tigers to the Royals on August 16th; three weeks later, he was released by KC, and his career was over. Guess where the geniuses at Avalon Hill have him playing in my season? Yep, for the Royals.

August Preliminary Report: Indians

Cleveland Indians
• Veteran pitcher Rick Wise will hope to improve on his 0-4 record in July when he opens the month of August for the Tribe against the Royals at Municipal Stadium. After their quick two-game set with KC, the Indians will then hit the road for six games against the red-hot Rangers and Red Sox.

• The Indians hit .296 as a team in July, but to better understand their 13-17 record for the month, look no further than their sub-par pitching numbers: a 4.53 team ERA, with just three complete games to the staff’s credit. Even All-Star Rick Waits was having trouble, going 2-2 with a 3.95 ERA after finishing the first three months of the season with a 12-3 mark and a 2.35 earned run average.

• Wise, Waits, Mike Paxton, and David Clyde will fill out the 4-man starting rotation for manager Jeff Torberg, with former 20-game winner Wayne Garland waiting in AAA for a possible August call-up if any of the four show signs of implosion. Continue reading