October 19, 2007

In the second game of a doubleheader, a night game at AZ8 called due to storm warnings in the sixth inning, the Dodgers made it a twinbill sweep by topping the Cubs 7-3 in Game 2 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Down 2-1 with two out in the fifth, LA scored six times on six consecutive hits—which included back-to-back home runs from Ron Cey and Vic Davalillo to round out the barrage—to make a winner of Bob Welch (7-2) and keep the Dodgers one game ahead of the Padres for the NL West lead. Reggie Smith also homered, his 33rd of the season, after homering twice in Game 1. (Game #1185,  7/16/78)

Major League Baseball

Just Another Day at the SP78 D.O.S.

If you follow this site, I’m sure you’ve seen comments referencing the SP78 Department of Statistics, located on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. There is actually a Department of Statistics at NU, but any connection to my Statis Pro 1978 Replay season is strictly in the demented minds of my friend Steve P and I; we happened upon the location during our Chicago-Milwaukee baseball trip back in 1993, and immediately converted it into an SP78  information center.

I mention this because, over the past few months, I could’ve used a Department of Statistics of my own, whether they were based out of Northwestern, or North Dakota, or even North Korea; getting caught up on both my at-home statistics and the stats and pages for this blog site has become quite the workload, to say the least. I spend nearly every waking hour dealing with these chores, so you, the Statis Pro 1978 Replay fanatic, won’t jump ship and form an allegiance with that guy running the over-hyped Stratego blog.

Just so everyone is aware of what I’m up against, here are a few of the tasks and projects I’ve been slaving over for what seems like forever. And yes, that’s my purple Northwestern Wildcats cup on the table below, surrounded by notes, player stats, scoresheets, and the dreaded blue Z-play chart:

Work Area at the AZ D.O.S. Continue reading

Cards Rookie To Wear Lucky #13

The jersey that St Louis Cardinals rookie Todd Benefiel will wear when he makes his major league debut August 3rd in Chicago was unveiled today by the NL club, and echoing his uniforms with the minor league Arkansas Travelers and Springfield Redbirds, his jersey with the Cards will also display #13:

STL - Todd Benefiel #13 road jersey
The number became available when catcher Joe Ferguson was traded from the Cardinals to the Astros after the 1976 season. When asked the significance of the number, Benefiel offered a shrug while waiting to take his cuts in the Wrigley Field batting cage on Wednesday. “It’s what I was assigned in Little League…I just got used to it, I guess, and for me, it’s a lucky number.”

August Preliminary Report: Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays
• The Blue Jays enjoyed their first winning month of the season in July, going 15-13 and climbing to just 2½ game behind the sixth-place Indians in the AL East. The Jays will wrap up a 2-game series with Detroit on August 1st before taking two days off and traveling to Kansas City for a 3-game weekend set with the Royals.

• Jesse Jefferson was the toast of the Toronto starting staff last month, going 4-1 with a 2.87 ERA; in contrast, he was 4-9 with a 4.82 ERA through June. Another pleasant surprise was Jerry Garvin, a PB 2-5 starter who went 3-2 with a 2.48 ERA and three complete games in July.

• At the other end of the spectrum, reliever Mike Willis allowed four runs in 1/3 of an inning pitched, for an ERA of 120.00, before he was sent to AAA Syracuse. Continue reading

August Preliminary Report: Rangers

Texas Rangers
• The Rangers are the hottest team in the AL, having finished July with a 20-9 record for the month (and that after a 19-10 mark in June).  They’ll open August against the Yankees to wrap up a quick two-game series at Yankee Stadium. The game will feature a pitching match-up of Ron Guidry and Jon Matlack, both of whom have records of 16-3, and will be televised nationally on C-SPAN, with local coverage on KXAS in the Fort Worth-Dallas area and WPIX in New York.

• With Doyle Alexander getting roughed up as a starter (5-7 with a 7.03 ERA this season), the Rangers will switch to a 4-man rotation for August, with Alexander shifting to the bullpen. The starting four will consist of Matlack, Fergie Jenkins, Doc Medich, and Dock Ellis, with Jim Umbarger making spot starts throughout the month.

• Matlack, Jenkins, and Medich all went 4-1 in July, with a combined ERA of 2.81. Continue reading

August Preliminary Review: Mariners

Seattle Mariners
• After the Mariners enjoyed their miracle 16-game winning streak in April and May, they seemed to lose their footing a bit, winning just 21 of their next 68 to finish July in sixth place in the AL West, with a 48-59 mark. Granted, they’re only 17 games out of first place, which is not insurmountable with two whole months left in the season, but things are looking grim, and the M’s will need another miracle to finish ahead of Texas, Minnesota, and Kansas City.

• How valuable is outfielder Tom Paciorek to the Mariners? Besides the team’s drop from second place to sixth while he was on the 30-day DL in May and June, he was the only Seattle player in July to hit above .300 (.355, to be exact), and he currently leads the Mariners with a .328 average on the year.

• First baseman Dan Meyer, who was injured July 29th at Tiger Stadium when he ran into the M’s dugout chasing a foul in the first inning of their 10-7 win over the Tigers, will likely return to action when Seattle travels to Minnesota to face the Twins on August 7th. Bob Robertson will handle first base duties in the interim. Continue reading