November 30, 1998

After pitching 42 consecutive scoreless innings to open the season, LA relief ace Terry Forster finally allowed his first run, after a two-out RBI double by Reds veteran Pete Rose in the eighth scored Dave Concepcion from second, snapping a 5-5 tie and sending Cincinnati to a comeback 6-5 win at my ESC11 studio apartment in Escondido, California. The loss was also Forster’s first of the season, dropping his record to 4-1, while Manny Sarmiento went two innings of middle relief to secure his second win. Rose had three hits in the game, while Ron Cey and Reggie Smith powered home runs for the Dodgers; for Smith, it was his league-leading 26th HR of the year.  (Game #925,  6/24/78)

Major League Baseball

TWISP Notes #64

November 3, 2015

• A total of nine SP78 games were played by my friend Steve P and I during our minor league baseball tour throughout New England this past summer, at least a game a day between June 22nd and June 29th. After three games were played in New Mexico to begin the trip (at Steve’s home in Las Cruces), four took place at hotels in Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine, one was hosted by the University of Vermont in Burlington, and the last—an exhibition game between the Tigers and Mets—was played at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. The won-lost between the two managers over the course of the trip was an even 4-4, with Steve abstaining from one of the NM2 match-ups.

• The past few weeks have been tough ones for the Mets; they’ve gone 3-11 over that span, are currently mired in a 3-game losing streak, and for three games were without their starting outfield of Lee Mazzilli, Steve Henderson, and Bruce Boisclair. Mazzilli came off the 15-day disabled list on the 7th, while Boisclair returned on the 9th after missing a month with a head injury. Left fielder Henderson has been out since the 4th, and will likely return to action in the next few days.

• A’s speedster Mike Edwards stole home for the second time this season, doing so August 5th against the Mariners at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The theft came in the first inning off M’s pitcher Tom House, after Edwards had singled, stole second, and advanced to third on a groundout. Edwards also stole home on July 27th against the White Sox, after stealing second and third off Ross Baumgarten in the same inning. Edwards becomes the first SP78 player this season to collect two home thefts.

• Cleveland hurler Rick Waits won his 15th for the sixth-place Indians in a close 2-1 victory over Fergie Jenkins and the Rangers at Arlington Stadium on August 5th. In his four years in the major leagues, Waits has never won more than nine games in a season, and with plenty of starts remaining, he stands a good chance of reaching 20 before the SP78 season is out.

• Though the Phillies have the best record in the major leagues, catcher Bob Boone still has something to be angry about, notching his SP78-leading fifth ejection of the season in a game against St Louis on August 8th. With the Phils leading the Cards 5-4 in the last of the 11th, Boone became incensed over a safe call at first by umpire Terry Tata, which put the tying run on with one out. After Boone’s dismissal, the Cardinals went on to score twice and win the game 6-5.

• Reggie Smith of the Dodgers became the first player in either league to reach the 40 home run plateau, doing so August 6th against the Giants at Candlestick Park. The hit came off rookie pitcher Phil Nastu, who was making his major league debut after an emergency call-up earlier in the day. It’s the first 40-HR season of Smith’s career, topping his 1977 career-best of 32, and puts him 14 games behind Roger Maris’ pace for his record-setting 61 home runs slugged during the 1961 season.

• Also in the August 6th LA-SF match-up, Don Sutton of the Dodgers tied an SP78 record by laying down three sacrifices against the Giants, equaling the mark set by Cincinnati’s Tom Seaver in April.

• Fans! August 12th is Backpack Night at the Astrodome! Kids 14 and under who attend the Saturday night contest between the Astros and Braves will receive a free Astros backpack, courtesy of Rainbo Bread and the Houston Astros! Tickets available at the Astrodome ticket office and all First National Bank outlets.

AL League Leaders Have Also Arrived!

On the heels of the NL league leaders, which were released last weekend, come the Top 5 leaders for the American League, which reflect a surprising number of non-contending squads and their players occupying spots in many of the team and individual batting categories. Most impressive are the Indians, who have representatives in all six individual batting lists, and are featured in five of the six team batting lists; not bad for a team rooted in sixth place in the AL East.

As far as individual numbers go, it seems to me that many of the players leading in both the NL and AL are well behind the pace of their 1978 namesakes. For example, through the end of July in SP78, J.R. Richard and Nolan Ryan lead in strikeouts in their respective leagues, with 172 and 138 K’s, yet during the actual ’78 season they finished with 303 and 260! Right now, they’d have to almost double their four-month SP78 output in just two months!

Also, it’s nice to see a little variety in the names that grace the American League lists; not just the big names and All-Stars, but secondary players like Jim Norris, Leon Roberts, Dave Rozema, and Ruppert Jones. Hopefully these minor stars, as well as a few others, will be found among the leaders once the season ends.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I made sure to check the stats for pitchers who batted in the AL—all six of them—and add their numbers to the team totals.

Ask Statistor

Statistor, Baseball Robot

Developed by Sperry Rand in 1963, Statistor is a robotic information-gathering and data storage system, later modified by Texas Instruments specifically for use by Statis Pro 1978 Replay. Statistor will answer any and all SP78-related questions, either bi-monthly or whenever the mood strikes him.


Yo, Statistor!

What is the expected drop in batting average for Lefty vs. Lefty, and is there a corresponding decline in extra base hits also?

Steve P.
Las Cruces, NM

Dear Steve,

With your use of two capitalized proper nouns, Statistor deduced that you were referring to pitchers Lefty Grove and Lefty Gomez, major league baseball stars of the first half of the twentieth century, and the lack of hitting—and power hitting—that transpired during games where the two pitched against each other. Unfortunately, Statistor will only answer questions related to Statis Pro 1978 Replay; those queries involving the sport of baseball itself, or its history and strategies, will not be answered.

Dear Statistor,

During SP78 play, does a left-handed-hitting batter who is facing a left-handed pitcher have less of a chance for a base hit (or extra-base hit) than a right-handed-hitting batter does? Overall, does SP78 experience a drop in batting average when a lefty batter squares off against a lefty pitcher?

Eric K.
Athens, GA

Interesting question, Eric. The Statis Pro Baseball game makes allowances for at-bats where a LH batter meets a LH pitcher, or a RH batter meets a RH pitcher, by taking Fast-Action card draws that usually go for base hits and turning them into outs. For example, in a LH vs LH scenario, random number draws of 11-15, which are normally singles, become outs (and out draws of 87-88 become hits). So to answer your question, yes, the left-handed-hitting batter has about a 20% less chance of securing a base hit than a right-handed-hitting batter does, when the PB result of a FAC draw favors a left-handed pitcher. Extra-base hits do not factor in this scenario, as all left-vs-right variables allow for singles, and nothing more.


They Bat Pitchers, Don’t They?

If you’ve had the chance to check out those league leader lists I posted yesterday, did you wonder, like me, how the Cubs as a team hit .295? Or why those other Top 5 teams were doing so well at whacking the horsehide? Well, how about this: maybe it’s because I forgot to include pitcher batting numbers along with the position player statistics!

I woke up this morning and began work on the Orioles’ stats for the American League leaders, and marveled at the fact that I didn’t have to worry about AL pitcher stats for batting; I realized then that I hadn’t bothered to worry about NL pitcher stats for batting, either. So I went through the stat pages for all twelve NL teams and re-calculated those team leader numbers, and just now made the corrections on the leader boards on the site. Continue reading