October 24, 2003

In a game called after six innings due to storm warnings at Shea Stadium, the Cubs capitalized on some blustery wind conditions and roughed up Mike Bruhert and the Mets 6-3, in only the second game ever played at games-hosted leader AZ8 in Peoria, Arizona. A 4-run Chicago fourth, highlighted by a trio of doubles from Dave Kingman, Manny Trillo, and Ivan DeJesus, helped make a winner of Dave Roberts (4-2) and a loser of Bruhert (1-10). Mets catcher John Stearns had the only home run of the game, his 5th of the season, and Gil Hernandez picked up his 4th save in one inning of relief.  (Game #1112,  7/8/78)

Major League Baseball

Reds Celebrate 40th Anniversary, Top Bucs 5-1

1976-world-series-logoThe Reds opened the August 14th slate of games with a 5-1 victory over the Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, in a game played on the 40th anniversary of their Game 4 win over the Yankees in the 1976 World Series. A George Foster home run and a 2-run double from Johnny Bench paved the way offensively for Reds starter Paul Moskau, who allowed just five hits in winning his tenth game of the season.

The game was played at a new SP78 site, SD9 in the Scripps Ranch area of San Diego, where my friend Durand recently moved, and where I’m staying while I’m out there to attend his wedding. The game was also part of another first: the first ever played on a bed! To avoid any trouble from Durand’s pair of inquisitive cats, I played the game in the guest bedroom, with the doors closed, and the bed seemed the most logical location for placement of the board.

Later today I’ll watch a condensed replay I have of that Series-winning Game 4, that I’d recorded off ESPN Classic years ago. And tonight I’ll celebrate the Reds win with a post-rehearsal dinner at Miguel’s Cocina in Old Town.

Sparky Revamps Reds Lineup

cin-sparky-anderson-portraitWith the Reds on the verge of extinction from the NL West divisional race, 15½ games back of the front-running Dodgers, manager Sparky Anderson has decided to do what, according to a comment he made following Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Padres, “what I should’ve flippin’ done back in July, instead of panicking,” and restore the Reds lineup to its classic Big Red Machine starting eight of 1976 (with Dan Driessen at first base in place of Tony Perez, now with the Expos). This lineup will go into effect on Monday, when the Reds travel to Pittsburgh to meet the Pirates, and will continue as the everyday lineup for the remainder of the SP78 season.

“I began making changes after that doubleheader loss to LA,” said Anderson, referring to a demoralizing twinbill sweep at the hands of the Dodgers on the last day of June, “and I think that’s where our troubles began. I take full responsibility for sending us into this tailspin, and hopefully this change will pull us out of it.”

According to Anderson, the batting order will be written as follows: Rose (3B), Morgan (2B), Griffey (RF), Foster (LF), Bench (C), Driessen (1B), Concepcion (SS), and Geronimo (CF). Also, the Reds have recalled pitcher Bill Bonham from AAA Indianapolis to help their beleaguered starting rotation; he’ll make his first start Tuesday night against Don Robinson, in the second game of the 3-game set at Three Rivers Stadium.

Added Sparky, “I gave it a shot, and Rick, Champ, Junior, and the rest of the guys did admirable work filling in…but let’s see what the Machine can do now at full strength.”


A’s, Twins Split ‘Cat Mask’ Twinbill

Morris the Cart - ArtworkThe A’s and Twins met at Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis on Sunday, August 13th for the final time this season, a ‘Morris the Cat Mask Day’ doubleheader that saw the teams split their pair of games; Minnesota took the first contest by a 3-2 count, while Oakland nabbed the nightcap 5-3. Eighteen-year-old rookie pitcher Tim Conroy made his first major league appearance for the A’s in Game 2. To see a recap of Game 1, click here; to see one for Game 2, click here.

Stat Night Revisited

Stat Night, Revisited
Back in March I posted a quick update of my never-ending work on June stats, which I’d been slaving over for nearly a year: 368 total scoresheets for the month to tabulate, at about 30-45 minutes per page. At the time, I’d made it as far as the 12th of June, which translated to 133 sheets completed, with 235 more to go.

Now, five months later, I’m still hard at work getting those stats wrapped up, but I’m edging ever closer to the finish line. As of today I’ve reached June 24th, with 277 scoresheets completed, and just 91 left to compile. Of course, once I’m done with all of that, I still have to add those stats to the April and May totals, then plug all 26 teams’ worth into their respective blog pages.

And that beat-up green book on the table? A $2 thrift store copy of The Baseball Encyclopedia, given to me by a friend at work.

TWISP Notes #65

July 15, 2016

• With right-hander Nino Espinosa starting on the mound for the Mets on Sunday, the opposing Cardinals will start LH-batting rookie Todd Benefiel at short, after he sat out the past two games so that regular shortstop Garry Templeton could bat against left-handed starters. Benefiel, hitting .438 since his call-up from Springfield, will bat second behind veteran Lou Brock, who for this game will switch to the lead-off spot in hopes of sparking his dismal SP78 batting numbers. For the season, Brock is hitting an uncharacteristic .227 with only seven stolen bases, and in August just .115 with no stolen bases.

• St Louis is currently riding a 4-game winning streak, the longest such streak in the major leagues through Saturday, and a victory over the Mets will cap a sweep of their 3-game weekend series and move the Cards to within one game of fifth-place New York in the NL East.

• My year-long task of re-calculating all June statistics continues, and with work through June 21st finished, only 118 scoresheets (out of 368 total for the month) remain to be tabulated before June’s numbers are complete. The player and team stats will then be added to the site, and June award winners will announced soon thereafter.

• The current SP78 game site at AZ18 in Peoria, Arizona has now hosted 34 games since last December, good for 17th place on the all-time list, and one behind site RB1, which hosted the very first SP78 Replay game in 1980.

• With their top hitter and reliever—George Brett and Al Hrabosky—having returned from their respective disabled lists on Friday and Saturday, the second-place Royals are back to full strength and eager to make a run at the AL West lead. Utility infielder Jerry Terrell, who took over at third base for Brett during his absence, batted .255 with five RBI in fifteen games, while KC relievers were a combined 3-2 with just one save after Hrabosky was injured in mid-July.

• Twins slugger Roy Smalley has hit eight home runs in 12 games during the month of August; he now has 24 round-trippers for the season.

• In Saturday’s doubleheader against the Angels, speedster Julio Cruz of the Mariners moved two steps closer to Ty Cobb’s AL record for stolen bases in a single season, swiping a base in each game of the twinbill to climb to 88, just eight behind Cobb’s long-standing mark of 96, which he established in 1915.

• The second-place Cubs, who are 13 games behind the front-running Phillies in the NL East, received a welcome boost to their starting rotation—and their chance at catching the Phils—when Mike Krukow returned from the 21-day disabled list on August 10th. Krukow, who was 8-7 when he went on the DL on July 20th, started for the Cubs one day after his return, against Montreal, and combined with Bruce Sutter for a 4-0 shutout win at Olympic Stadium.

Fans! Sunday, August 13th is Thrifty’s Halter Top Day
at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto!