THIS DAY IN SP78 HISTORY
June 17, 1998

In an evening match-up at site ESC10, LA starter Tommy John improved his season record to 9-1 with a 5-hit, 6-2 victory over the visiting Reds, helping the Dodgers to their tenth straight win. Steve Garvey and Joe Ferguson connected for home runs off Bill Bonham and Dave Tomlin, and Ron Cey went 3-for-4 with a trio of singles. Pete Rose had two of Cincinnati’s five hits, and Reds starter Bonham tied an SP78 record with two wild pitches in the game.  (Game #907,  6/23/78)

TWISP Notes #75

TWISP Notes
May 5, 2021

• Tigers second baseman Lou Whitaker returned from his 27-year suspension in Game 2 of a Detroit-Toronto doubleheader on August 23rd, and with his squad down by one in the last of the ninth, and the tying and winning runs on base, he stroked a triple to the gap to score both runners and win it for Detroit; it was his first hit of the game, and first since June 10th.

• Don Baylor of the Angels and Roy Smalley of the Twins went into their August 23rd games tied for the American League lead in RBI, at 99. With a solo home run off Rangers starter Dock Ellis in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Metropolitan Stadium, Smalley thus became the first AL player to reach 100; it was also the first time in his career he’d reached that milestone. Dodgers outfielder Reggie Smith still leads the major leagues, with 107.

• With a hit in both games of that Rangers-Twins twinbill, Texas designated hitter Al Oliver extended his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest current streak in the majors.

• After each sitting out a handful of days due to minor injuries, outfielder Steve Kemp of the Tigers, pitcher Larry Sorensen of the Brewers, and outfielder Juan Beniquez of the Rangers will return to action with their respective clubs on August 24th.

• While working on adding all SP78 player names to an Excel spreadsheet, so I could begin posting league leaders for every day of games played, I noticed the Montreal Expos had only three position players on their AAA team in Denver, and all three were catchers: Ed Herrmann, Bobby Ramos, and Jerry Fry. Ramos and Fry, who played only a few games between them in ’78, have horrible cards: Ramos strikes out 11-88 and Fry strikes out 11-76, while both are ‘E’ runners and have ‘C’ arms. The rest of the team is made up of five pitchers, all with PB ratings of 2-5.

• In a match-up between the Giants and Mets on August 23rd, SF pitcher Bob Knepper tied an SP78 record—shared with hurlers Tom Seaver of the Reds and Don Sutton of the Dodgers—for sacrifices in a game, with three.

• With its 146th game played, site AZ18 in Peoria, Arizona moved past site AZ7 into third place on the all-time SP78 games hosted list.

• Phillies slugger Greg Luzinski connected for his 30th home run—and first grand slam—of the season, in Philadelphia’s 7-1 win over the Padres on August 23rd.

• Also on the 23rd, Yankees outfielder Mickey Rivers drilled his first career grand slam, off Angels starter Chris Knapp, in a 6-0 New York win over California.

• In Kansas City’s 12-1 drubbing of Chicago on August 23rd, all nine KC batters who came to the plate in the ninth scored.

Fans! August 25th is Publix Back-to-School Night at Comiskey Park!

The Forster Anomoly

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.

 

SP78 Flashback: Game #30

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.

 

Jays Catcher Whitt Recalled From Syracuse

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.