THIS DAY IN SP78 HISTORY
May 28, 2000

In a night game played at my ESC11 guesthouse apartment in Escondido, California, Cards catcher Ted Simmons’ triple in the 11th inning—his third hit of the game—sent George Hendrick home with the go-ahead run, and a Mike Phillips sacrifice fly one out later allowed Simmons to jog home with an insurance run, lifting St Louis to a 7-5 win over Montreal and making a winner of rookie reliever George Frazier, who saw his record improve to 5-1. Buddy Schultz came on in the bottom half of the inning to shut down the Expos and earn the save, his first of SP78 season, while Stan Bahnsen (1-2) pitched the final two innings for the Expos, allowing both Cards runs in the 11th, and suffered the loss. Expos infielder Pepe Frias entered the game as a defensive replacement after pinch-hitting in the seventh, and had a double and triple in three at-bats.  (Game #1016,  7/1/78)

Major League Baseball

McCovey Belts #499 as Giants Down Dodgers 4-2

With the bats of Giants regulars suddenly going silent this month (Bill Madlock is hitting just .143, Jack Clark .122, and Mike Ivie .102), the team’s run production for their game last night at Dodger Stadium fell into the hands of utility players Hector Cruz, Jim Dwyer, and Willie McCovey, who all powered home runs in a 4-2 win over LA.

SF - Willie McCovey benchFor 20-year veteran McCovey, it was the 499th HR of his career, an eighth inning solo shot off Dodgers reliever Rick Sutcliffe that gave the Giants a late two-run lead, and prompted cheers—as well as some confusion—among fans and players alike. “I knew I had two more to go,” said McCovey, “and when I looked up and saw the scoreboard flashing a big 500, I thought maybe I’d forgotten one.”

To read a more in-depth recap of the game and to make comments, click here.

 

Pitcher Injury Chart Adjusted

In 2004, after 24 years of playing my SP78 season, I finally got tired of following the mandates of the Statis Pro Player Injury Chart, which ridiculously did not allow for injuries to pitchers, and put together a chart of my own which did permit such occurrences. After poring over all 26 team-issued media guides from 1978, I made note of every pitcher injury suffered the previous year, and how long each pitcher had been out of action, and put together a table made up of eight ‘levels’, with each level featuring six different injury scenarios from the guides. An 8-sided dice roll determined the ‘severity of injury’ level, while a 6-sided dice roll determined injury type.

KC - Al Hrabosky yellingMy system was purely random, however, and all results were dependent on the whims of the dice. Royals reliever Al Hrabosky, known as ‘The Mad Hungarian’, was the first pitcher stricken, when he suffered an entrapped nerve in his shoulder while pitching against the Brewers on July 13th. He was placed on the 30-day disabled list the following day, and was due to return to action on August 14th.

What I failed to remember was that Statis Pro player injuries were based on number of games played during the 1978 season, and not an arbitrary toss of the dice. When Boston’s Dennis Eckersley was lost for 45 days at the end of July, basically ending his season, I saw he still had 21 starts remaining, based on his true 1978 start total. It was then that I realized my mistake; what I needed to do was to make a pitcher’s ‘games lost to injury’ relative to the number of appearances he’d made during the 1978 season. For example, a pitcher who had 40 starts in ’78, and pitched every fourth day of the 162-game season, should not miss any games due to injury (40 x 4 = 160), while a reliever who appeared in just five games might miss any number of games up to my self-imposed limit, the 60-day disabled list.

So while retaining the same 8-level injury system, I now have each level broken down by total number of appearances in 1978, a much more logical method when compared to what I’d created previously. And to mess with the SP78 universe once again, several pitchers who were still on various disabled lists found their stays adjusted accordingly: Mike Krukow moved from the 30-day to the 21-day DL, Steve Renko from the 21-day to the 15-day, and in the biggest jump, the aforementioned Eckersley from the 45-day DL to just five days missed. Unfortunately for Chisox spot starter Jack Kucek, his relatively short visit to the 15-day disabled list was re-calculated to 45 days, thus possibly ending his season about two months early.

As for Hrabosky, according to the new system, he should never have been placed on the 30-day DL, and instead just missed the remainder of that particular game (based on his 58 relief appearances that year). But since he’s scheduled to return to the Royals lineup in just a few days, I’ll leave him right where he his until then. And for those of you who are interested, below is the actual updated pitching chart; click on it to get a better view.

Pitcher Injury Chart

Palmer Tops McNally For O’s Games Pitched Lead

Jim Palmer became Baltimore’s all-time leader BAL - Palmer portraitin games pitched yesterday when he appeared in his 413th game as an Oriole, passing former teammate Dave McNally, in a 6-5 loss to the Yankees at Memorial Stadium. For Palmer, the landmark occasion was dampened by yet another sub-par performance on the mound, a three-inning stint where he allowed four runs on six hits (and served up three walks and a hit-by-pitch as well), resulting in his ninth loss of the year. His SP78 record now stands at 9-9, a stark contrast to the 21-12 mark he finished with at the conclusion of the actual ’78 campaign.

“I can’t figure it out,” said Palmer, addressing the local Baltimore media after the game. “I have a pitcher PB rating of 2-8, yet I can’t seem to catch a break this season. And I didn’t even face Guidry tonight! Who knows, maybe I need to give up this whole ‘pancakes for breakfast’ business, and stick with sugar cereal instead.”

McNally, a 3-time All-Star, played for the O’s from 1962 to 1974, compiling a won-lost record of 181-113 before finishing his career with the Expos in 1975. He and Palmer were members of the last major league squad to boast four 20-game winners in one season, in 1971, a starting rotation that also included Mike Cuellar and Pat Dobson.

Torrez Baffles Brewers With 2-Hit, 16-0 Win

Right now, Mike Torrez may not be having the best season of his career, but last night, in front of a near-sellout crowd at Fenway Park, he most certainly experienced his best game.

BOS - Mike Torrez poseTorrez, in his first year in a Red Sox uniform, completely shut down the vaunted Milwaukee power-hitting attack, allowing just two singles to Robin Yount in the fourth and ninth innings, as the Bosox cruised to a 16-0 whitewash of the Brewers in the opening game of their 4-game set at Boston. It was the 12th shutout of Torrez’ career and his first of the season, improving his current won-lost record to 8-9.

To read a full recap of the game, and to see game notes and make comments, click here.