THIS DAY IN SP78 HISTORY
April 15, 1988
In the first of two SP78 games played today at site SNB in San Bernardino, the Astros jumped out to an early lead against the Expos and never looked back, scoring two in the first inning on a Jose Cruz 2-run homer and one in the second on a Jimmy Sexton solo shot for a 3-0 lead and eventual 6-1 win on ‘Jacket Night’ at the Astrodome. Terry Puhl would add a third HR to the Houston stat sheet, while Andre Dawson’s home run in the fourth would account for Montreal’s only scoring. Joe Niekro (2-2) went the distance for the win, allowing just four hits; Rudy May allowed all six Houston runs and took the loss. (Game #252, 4/29/78)
After I’d recently posted a recap for a game where LA closer Terry Forster had pitched seven long innings, and was allowed to bat late in the game in a critical situation, a discussion began among SP78 fans on whether or not it was a smart managerial move to allow even a good-hitting pitcher to bat under those conditions. Or if it’s reasonable to have a pitcher pinch-hit instead of a regular bench player, especially when that pitcher holds the highest all-time batting average for any player with 50 or more at-bats, or 15 seasons in the major leagues.
With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to let Forster pinch-hit in the next Dodgers game—if a situation logically allows for it—and see what happens…is he really as good a hitter as people think he is? Will it finally prove that my brother, who managed that long-ago game and allowed Forster to hit, was right all along? Tell me what you think by voting below; results will not be final until the first FAC card of the next Dodgers game is turned, which could be anytime between next week and next September.
I’ve been working on adding game recaps to the site for a few months now, and this most recent one, featuring a Dodgers-Astros match-up from April 10th, had enough off-kilter aspects to it to make it interesting enough—and humorous enough—to share in a Flashback.
The game, the thirtieth of my SP78 season and played in 1980, had my brother Scott managing the Dodgers, his favorite team, and featured some managerial decisions that might seem a bit avant garde today (and probably even back then). But don’t think I’m using this recap to pick on or embarrass him: I made these same questionable decisions quite a few times during these early stages of my season, and I even mention one of them in the recap’s game notes.
So if you’re interested in discovering why, thirty-five years after he retired, LA reliever Terry Forster still wakes up screaming from nightmares of this game, click here.
Posted in SP78 Flashback
Tagged April, Astrodome, board game, Houston Astros, J.R. Richard, Los Angeles Dodgers, SP78 Flashback, Statis Pro 1978 Replay, Statis Pro Baseball, Terry Forster, Tommy Lasorda
Due to an undisclosed family emergency, Blue Jays backstop Rick Cerone has been placed on the temporary inactive list by the team, effective yesterday, August 22nd. He departed for his residence in Newark late last night, and will miss this evening’s doubleheader against the Tigers in Detroit. It hasn’t been determined how many games Cerone will be absent, but manager Roy Hartsfield does not expect him back before the 25th.
To fill Cerone’s spot on the roster, and serve as backup to starting catcher Alan Ashby, the Jays have recalled Ernie Whitt from the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League. Whitt went 0-for-6 with two walks and two strikeouts in three games during his short stint with the parent club earlier this season, and will be available to start in either of the two games of tonight’s twinbill.
Posted in Inside SP78
Tagged 1978, catcher, Ernie Whitt, International League, minor leagues, recall, Rick Cerone, Roy Hartsfield, SP78 Replay, Statis Pro Baseball, Syracuse Chiefs, Toronto Blue Jays
For Seattle pitcher Dick Pole, it was a chance to prove to his former team that his current numbers—a 4-10 won-lost record and a 4.52 ERA—were a fluke, and that his starting performance from a few weeks earlier—a 5-1 complete game win over the Twins—was more indicative of what he could accomplish if given the chance.
The Red Sox, however had other ideas…and none of them were good, as Pole pitched a remarkable 3-0 shutout over the struggling Bosox, allowing just seven hits and striking out seven batters on his way to his fifth win. Not bad for a PB 2-5 pitcher whose last—and up to now, only—shutout came in 1975, when he played for his pennant-winning opponents.
To read more about the game, make comments, and see a few photos, click here.