THIS DAY IN SP78 HISTORY
November 20, 2014

In the first game of a doubleheader at Candlestick Park, four Giants pitchers – Vida Blue, Randy Moffitt, Charlie Williams, and Gary Lavelle – combined to blank the Dodgers on five hits in a 1-0 win at site AZ14 in Gilbert, Arizona. The game’s only run was scored by Blue when he reached first on an error by LA starter Doug Rau, advanced to second on a balk, went to third on a base hit by Bill Madlock, then trotted home on Larry Herndon’s single to right. Blue improved to 12-5 with the win, and Lavelle earned his eighth save by pitching one inning of perfect relief. SF infielder Tom Heintzelman played his first game of the SP78 campaign after his call up from AAA Phoenix, taking over at third for Darrell Evans in the ninth.  (Game #1409,  8/3/78)

Major League Baseball

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1,770 responses to “

  1. I realize I’m 34 years late, but given that Forsch was a 20 game winner in ’77 and Vuckovich was new to the Redbirds, I think I’d have started Forsch on Opening Day and saved Vuckovich for the home opener instead of Silvio. Probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference – the Pirates had a lot of clout in their lineup, but I think that’s what Vern Rapp should’ve done.

    • I’m guessing that, at that early point in the SP78 season, I had no idea it was the Cards’ home opener at Busch Memorial Stadium. All I had for reference was that Kessler’s Baseball Guide, and since the schedules didn’t make it super crystal clear when a team had a home opener (or exhibition game), I wouldn’t have been paying attention. Besides, Silvio would fire a 1-hitter later in the SP78 season…no doubt the result of the confidence boost he received when Rapp chose him to pitch the home opener.

  2. The rookie Wortham and the veteran Schueler combining for a rare Chisox win, and a decent night for Mr. Orta as well. By the next season, Schueler had retired to become the Pale Hose pitching coach. As a sign of their desperation, the ’79 Sox had 22 different pitchers on the roster at one time or another.

    • Yeah, but those 22 pitchers won a total of 102 games, leading the Chisox to a division title, a playoff sweep of the Phillies, and a 4-0 World Series win over the Yankees. Wait, I’m thinking of the ’76 Reds. Never mind.

  3. Was Scott under the impression that substitutions weren’t allowed in SP78? Seven steals off of Yeager? Forster did finally come in for Hooton, I guess. And Bannister pulling off a Nolan Ryanesque performance, 12 K’s and a loss.

    • As in, why didn’t he substitute a relief pitcher for Bannister? Hell, he’s a Dodger fan…why would he? I’m more surprised he didn’t bring Puhl or Walling in to pitch, just to play it safe. Also, I think Yeager had taken a bat to the throat earlier in that game, explaining his inability to throw out would-be base stealers like he used to. And finally, even Ryan is being Ryanesque this season; he can’t seem to complete many games, but he’s still right up there with the K leaders in the NL (and probably the AL, too). Just think if he was pitching well, and went all nine innings every game: he’d probably have 300 strikeouts now, and possibly 400 by year’s end!

  4. Wow. I am on game 263 and still haven’t reached April 21. You were on the twenty-first by game 161. What a difference 4 expansion teams can make!

    • Nearly a 100-game difference! I figure with four expansion teams added to the schedule, that would mean maybe 20-30 more games for you during those first few weeks of April, and if your season started before mine (April 5th), you might be adding 1-4 days worth of games onto that. When you play, do you allow for games postponed due to rain, or do you just skip the Z-play rainouts and continue with the game?

  5. I turn them into rain delays unless the game is “official”. Then I call the game. And yes, mine started March 31, so that’s where most of them came from I guess.

    • The sounds like a good system for rain games…the mistake I made was allowing for tie games that were rained out after 4½ innings, and were thus suspended, which caused me a whole mess of statistical trouble later on. In hindsight, I should’ve ignored the rainout ‘Z’ in those instances and played on. And it’s still strange to me that a major league regular season could start in March!

      • Yeah, and having played high school ball in March, I can say it isn’t always the best of weather.

      • My Z-Play chart had a few opportunities for strictly April games to be rained out…did yours have the same? Later in the season I grew weary of no games ever being called before they started, so I initiated a ‘first-card Z’, where a Z draw on the first play resulted in an automatic pre-game rainout.

  6. In his major league career, Zachry reached base 55 times and never once attempted to steal a base. Enjoy that steal, Mr. Zachry. You’re only 1405 behind Rickey Henderson now!

    • Hey, welcome back! And the funny thing about Zachry’s steal is, he was the trailing runner, so a play wasn’t even made on him…he was basically ignored. Yet I’m sure he still bragged to everyone in the Met clubhouse afterwards about his fabulous theft. And he’s just 1405 steals behind…wait, did you know Nolan Ryan threw his seventh and final no-hitter on May 1, 1991?

  7. This twin bill represents just two of the 23 games played during SP78’s Tenth Anniversary Week in 1990, matching the frenetic pace of the “Pray for May” campaign of 1988.

    • That week also included the record-setting eight SP78 games played in one day, to pave the way for the Padres and Reds to meet in the 10th Anniversary Game. Hard to believe I played 23 in a week’s time, but then, its seven-straight days of games played doesn’t beat the eight straight I played during our New England trip a few months back! But the ‘Pray for May’ campaign: unless I’m imprisoned and can take my game with me, I doubt I’ll ever play that many games in that time frame ever again.

  8. So, I’m still debating whether or not to do trades in my season. If I would, they would occur using the same players and same teams on the same date as in real life, but then what if a team that was selling at the deadline is a contender at the deadline, or vice versa? What are your thoughts Mr. Commissioner of the 1978 Statis-Pro Replay Season?

    • Well, it was my plan from the start to NOT have any trades whatsoever, because I didn’t want to deal with player stats on more than one team, and also because I wanted to see how the teams did with their Opening Day players all season long. Little did I know that Avalon Hill had already made a gazillion trades beforehand, denying me the opportunity (which I didn’t discover ’til years after my season started) to have the real Opening Day rosters in place for my SP78 season. AH really fouled it up, too: two players traded for each other were on the same team, many players who spent the first several months of the season with one team, then were traded in September, wound up starting the season on that second team, and on and on.

      So to answer your question: I’d say no, just keep things the way they are. Did you start your season with all the players on their Opening Day teams? If not, AH may have made a few trades already, making your trade situations even more difficult to sift through later. And your ‘contender at deadline’ theory is a good one; a first-place team suddenly loses its best hitter to a trade that made sense in one reality, but not this one!

      • Yes, I did start the season with as close as possible to the opening day rosters. I guess I will not do any, and do what u are doing. It seems more simple that way. And, yes, my z plays have April only rainouts (I am using the 1988 board and out charts, but found the 2011 cards online)

      • Cool, Ben…I’m glad SP78 could contribute in some small way to your SP11 season!

  9. Hmmm, I never thought about the World Series being played at the Maricopa County Maximum Security Correctional Facility For Men. Interesting venue choice!

    • Good lord, it took me FOREVER to figure out what you were referring to with this comment! I studied today’s TDISH about five times, looking for comments about jail or errors in spelling or player names or whatever. Then I checked out Ben’s comments, to see if you were maybe referencing them. Finally, I stumbled upon my TDISH response from yesterday, and everything fell into place. And I’m guessing this correctional facility is the one on State Farm Road #31 in Tempe, right?