August 5, 2015

‘Joe Walsh Day II’ festivities continued throughout the NL, as the Braves met the Reds at Riverfront Stadium, in a night game played at site AZ15 in Peoria, Arizona. Atlanta starter Frank LaCorte allowed four hits and two runs over seven innings, earning his second win against no defeats, and Jeff Burroughs’ lead-off solo home run in the eighth proved to be the deciding hit, as the Braves clipped the Reds 3-2. A frustrated trio of Reds – consisting of starting pitcher Mike LaCoss, first baseman Dan Driessen, and catcher Johnny Bench – were ejected in the seventh inning for arguing with umpire Jerry Crawford over a safe call at first; for Bench, it was his second ejection in two days.  (Game #1472,  8/8/78)

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  1. Classic David v. Goliath matchup for today’s TDISH, with Caldwell taking the Pale Hose out to the woodshed. Good thing Nahorodny’s hitting .200 or there’d be a lot more fans chanting for Wayne Nordhagen.

    • I actually like both those guys for the Chisox, and even though Nahorodny played plenty more games than Nordhagen that season, I try to get Nord into games whenever I can.

      Caldwell is still well on his way to 20 – and possibly 30 – wins this season; hopefully that hiccup against the Blue Jays recently won’t be a harbinger of things to come for the former Reds enigma.

  2. The Astros snapped a 3-game Pirate win streak with this drubbing, but the Pirates would come back to score 11 to stop Houston in the rematch. Luis Pujols, Enos Cabell spoil a Stargell dinger and Ladies Night to boot? A sad evening for the lovely ladies of Pittsburgh.

    • Ahh, the Houston win was probably for the better anyway…the women at the game were getting a little rowdy, what with all the beer and brats they were consuming, so the Astros dominance probably saved stadium personnel from dealing with an estrogenical riot, not unlike Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park, or Christmas shopping at Walmart.

  3. Of the three catchers on the Bucs’ ’78 staff, Dyer had the best career SB percentage, but Sanguillen had the most career SB – and got caught a little more often than he was successful. Perhaps his ’78 return to PIT after a year in Oakland made him want to prove that he was the “Sangy” of old. It was still a crazy move . . . and a rally killer.

    • So what are you saying…I should’ve have Dyer pinch-run for Sanguillen? And where does Ed Ott fit into all this? And who made liquid soap, and why?

  4. Apparently, in 1865, William Shepphard received a patent for a liquid version of soap, although information about why he did so seems scarce. I’d suggest that it was perhaps to clean up the stains on the floor of Ford’s Theater.

    • Or perhaps to clean up the mess left when the steamboat SS Sultana exploded while traveling along the Mississippi River. But then, maybe that’s how liquid soap was invented.

  5. The only Cardinal in MLB history to go “yard” on Hal Dues? #20, Lou Brock. So Mr. Dues better thank his lucky stars that Brock was on the DL for this contest or it might not have ended the same way!

    • Brock has zero capabilities for a home run on his Statis Pro card (and none for triples, walks, or HBPs, either), so as you can probably guess, he has zero home runs so far in the SP78 season. The next Cardinals-Expos match-up is in September (two series, home and away), so I’ll make sure Dues starts in at least one of those games. Brock’s only chance for an HR would be a BD draw of 27, or a Z-play inside-the-park HR, so hopefully the SP78 gods will be smiling down on him that day.

  6. Was Richard pulled for a pinch hitter to try to get a rally started? He had 10 career HRs and 50 career RBI’s. SD shouldn’t sweat the Dodgers sweep of the Reds; The Friars have a late season surge coming – I can feel it.

    • Strangely enough, Richard was not pulled for a pinch-hitter, but was just pulled for the hell of it, apparently: seven innings, one run on four hits, and he’d just struck out four batters in a row…and I pulled him for no reason. Instead, I did a double switch in the eighth, bringing Ken Forsch in to pitch and Luis Pujols in to catch, with Pujols batting ninth. Which, now that I look more closely at the scoresheet, makes a little more sense: instead of pinch-hitting for Richard leading off the eighth, I did the double switch in the top half of the inning…but still, I could’ve had a stronger batter pinch-hit, instead of having the light-hitting Pujols enter the game a half-inning earlier.

      So far in August, the Padres are 1-2 and the Dodgers are 1-4. But wait, what’s this? The Reds are 3-0? Maybe there’s another late-season surge on the horizon!

  7. I think this game’s scoresheet should be considered a “Classic Scoresheet” and be posted in that section of the site. (Do you consider photocopies of Avalon Hill scoresheets to be “official”?) Also, can we assume through inference that today is Scott’s birthday? And perhaps that he’s a Brewers fan?

    • This game’s scoresheet IS considered a Classic Scoresheet…it’s already on the list of about fifty I plan to scan and add to the CS section. Thanks for the recommendation, and yes, photocopies are official. Not sure who Scott was rooting for at that Maryvale game, but today was indeed his b-day.

  8. All but 52 games of the Human Rain Delay’s career were played with these two teams. The exception was early in ’79 for the Padres. He is also, apparently, the only person to manage the Indians to 2 World Series. I watched a YouTube video of Hargrove’s batting ritual tonight – I think I remembered it being even worse.

    • I never realized he spent such a short time with the Padres…I thought it was at least a few years. And I also went to look at Hargrove’s batting ritual on YouTube, but instead was directed to ‘Disco Demolition Night’ and ’10-Cent Beer Night’, so I watched those videos instead. Good lord, what a collection of stupid people our planet is populated with.

  9. Stegman’s real major league debut was in September of ’78 and he hit his first career HR against the Orioles on the last day of September – the penultimate game of the Tigers’ season. He’s already ahead of that pace in the SP78 universe, even if his rookie of the year campaign is probably too little, too late.

    • That Stegman tater was an exciting one (the SP78 one, that is), and it made him 3-for-3 since his call-up from Evansville on July 25th. He’s got a pretty good player card for taterin’, too: an HR range of 32-42, which should see him hit a few more before the season is out.

  10. ‘He could be intimidating. In their last game against Richard in 1979, four Dodger regulars did not start and a fifth played half an inning in the field, then retired to the dugout for good. Manager Tom Lasorda, looking for a pinch-hitter at one point, issued a summons but the batter selected shook his head and said: “Some other time.”‘

    The above was written in an article about J. R. Richard in his prime. I’m curious if you think one bit of it is true. I can tell you, if it were me instead of Lasorda, for sure that last guy would have been gone the next day.

    • I seriously don’t believe any of it: six LA players scared to bat against Richard? I don’t think so…nobody ever refused to bat against Drysdale or Gibson or Ryan, so why suddenly are just the Dodgers afraid to bat against him? Me thinks the author is maybe taking some liberties with the truth. And like you, I’d say that sixth guy would’ve been gone, perhaps along with the first five.

  11. Compared to the overly dramatic way that Hollywood portrays baseball, a 3 strikeout 9th inning is a pretty rare and exciting feat. I can only remember a couple of times in the Season of Champions where it happened. Hats off to Mr. Gooseman for winning the battle of the seesaw.

    • And I think Gossage has done this before in my season…I should take a look back when I have time (yeah, right) and see if any other reliever has K’d three in the ninth to save a game. And I just had a thought: is there such a thing as a strikeout award for pitchers? If there is, maybe I should make a monthly version of it, and add it to the SP78 awards list.

  12. Sure, you pick my only loss between May of ’94 and August of 2000 to feature in TDISH. 10-1 during that time period, my friend. Thanks, though, for not exposing my blunder of pitching to feared slugger Smalley when perhaps I’d have been better off giving him a free pass. After the debacle in San Diego last year, giving up 16 to the Reds, my managing confidence has been shaken a bit.

    • Well, we’ll see if you’re still shaken this summer, when you manage a dozen or so games during the course of our trip; I’m sure you’ll somehow find a way to unshake yourself and win a few games during that stretch. And why did I pick this particular game to feature in today’s TDISH? Simple: it was the only game I’d ever played on a March 25th! I guess I could’ve called you ‘my opponent’, and kept things somewhat vague for my legion of 37 fans, but then, that really wouldn’t be fair to them now, would it?

      And just so you know, I played a game tonight, so next year you won’t have to suffer so much when you read that day’s TDISH.

  13. If Morgan truly gained all the attention, I’m curious (no need to look it up) how many chances he handled flawlessly that night? Not sure that it would be worth it for the Giants to try to hit balls in Morgan’s direction to try to snap the streak – having no ties to Adair, but it would be funny the Giants hoped to force Joe into a miscue – grounders to first, stealing for no reason to make him take an extra throw, etc. I suppose they were more focused on trying to win the game for the hometown crowd.

    • No, you were right the first time: the Giants – like Larry McWilliams and Gene Garber trying to stop Pete Rose’s hitting streak – were doing everything they could to stop Morgan’s streak, even going so far as to have runners on first run straight at Morgan on balls hit to him at second, in hopes of bamboozling him. And of course I had to check the scoresheet to see how many chances he had in that game: five, all ground-outs that he of course handled flawlessly.

  14. Given that it’s 13 years ago, I’ve got to ask if Stopwatch #3 is still the official timekeeper of SP78. Also, the Coyotes won that game 4-2.

    • Yes, it’s still the stopwatch of choice for SP78 play! If memory serves correct, the first stopwatch began use in the early 90s, and the second took over in the late 90s. The second also served as my script supervising stopwatch, which might explain why it didn’t last quite as long as the others.

  15. I spent many an hour in the UCSD library (now the Geisel Library) in the spring and fall of 1978. I doubt that I would have been at the library on this game day, but it’s possible. In May and early June, I spent a lot of time in La Jolla as we prepared for our Europe trip, which departed on June 18th.

    I was also supposed to be doing research for a paper on George Orwell, but mostly I spent time looking at old copies of Sports Illustrated and a couple of other magazines. I seem to remember someone who looked like Baylor knocking the dirt off his cleats just outside of the library, so maybe I was there.

    • Those were fun games at that site…I wish I could’ve played more. I found a good game table at a big window with a nice view, and after the game I’d sit in the student union working on stats ’til Julie’s class was out.

      During the summer of ’78, I was in Ohio on a vacation trip to my grandparents’ place in Clyde, a trip which interrupted my Continental League season with the Cardinals, causing me to miss the playoffs (we lost both games). And strangely enough, I was supposed to be doing a paper for George Orwell, but when I found out he’d died in 1950, I decided to listen to a Tigers-Jays game on the radio instead.

  16. As often as Baylor got HBP’d (267 in his career) it’s hard to get too excited just because he also homered. Mr. Crowd the Plate seemed to enjoy the feel of horsehide against his flesh. The AL league leader in HBP’s? ’73, ’75, ’76, ’78? Baylor. 74? Yes, it was Mr. Grich. The only year between ’73 and ’78 where it wasn’t one of these guys? 1977 – Hal McRae.

    • It seems impossible to me that a major league ballplayer—or any ballplayer—would have 267 career hit-by-pitches! And Baylor has had two 3-HR games this season, so you should at least show a little excitement for those home runs. And in the race for HBP supremacy this season, it looks like Baylor has the edge with 11, followed by Grich with 5 and—well off his ’77 league-leading pace—McRae with none.

  17. At the end of ’77, the Brewers sent Slaton and Rich Folkers to the Angels for Ben Ogilvie. At the end of ’78, Slaton signed with the Brewers again, as a free agent, with Ogilvie as a teammate. So basically, the Brewers got Ogilvie for the price of Folkers, who never played a game for the Angels (oh, and the Brewers ended up giving Slaton a 500% raise).

    • And interestingly enough, the Angels did much better in the real 1978—when they finished second with 87 wins—than they’re doing right now in SP78. With Slaton, the Angels…wait a minute: Slaton played for the Tigers in 1978! What is this, some sort of trick? And neither Folkers nor Oglivie ever played for the Angels, either! So I’m not sure what kind of ‘foul lines’ you’ve been snorting off your bathroom mirror, but it’s affecting your judgement. So stop.

  18. Yes, my mistake, but Folkers never played a game for the Tigers, either! Change that one word and we’re all good.

  19. Mickey Rivers faced 508 pitchers in his Major League career. None of them were named Dave Freisleben. One of the cool things about SP78 is that you get to see what happens when two players face off against each other that otherwise wouldn’t have (i.e. Whitey Ford vs. Mickey Mantle). On the scale of coolness, I’m not sure Freisleben v. Rivers scores too high, though.

    • It’s strange that Freisleben played 54 games in the AL in 1978 and 1979, yet never faced Mickey Rivers…maybe Rivers feared him, and asked to be benched whenever the Yanks played the Tribe (or Jays). Then again, Rivers never faced Buddy Bell either, so maybe it’s not so strange.

      And did you know that, according to Baseball Reference, Freisleben is pronounced ‘Freeze-leben’? I’ve always called him ‘Fryz-leben’, ever since his Padre days in the 1970s.

  20. Far from Joe Torre’s greatest managing moment, and with probably four switch hitters on the roster, Torre let Valentine face the young fireballer Soto with the bases jammed and down three runs. Serves you right, Joe.

    • Such bitter, bitter words for the one-time Cardinal great, whose 1971 Topps card shows him ripping a hard smash down the third-base line…or at least, that’s what I imagine he’s doing. Managing the Mets that night, Torre had two left-handed batters available to bat against the right-handed Soto: veteran Ed Kranepool and backup catcher Ron Hodges, neither of whom had better-looking cards than Valentine. Right-hander Joel Youngblood was also on the bench, but his card couldn’t improve on Valentine’s, either. But it should be mentioned that Valentine had already struck out twice in the game…and doubled two at-bats earlier.

      Serves you right, indeed. And by the way, just three switch-hitters on the roster: Lee Mazzilli and Lenny Randle, who were already in the game, and Sergio Ferrer, who had already pinch-hit in the eighth.

  21. Some days, it just doesn’t pay to get out of the guest bed at the Town & Country Hotel and Convention Center and head on over to the ballpark in Mission Valley. The Cubs should have probably just gone to Balboa Park to see Joan Embery and visit the Zoo or take in the Reuben H. Fleet. I’d imagine 17 R 21 H would’ve probably set Padre records in ’78. Perhaps you have a Media Guide that would tell us for certain.

    • According to my 1978 San Diego Padres media guide, the 17 runs broke the 9-inning record of 16 established against the Phillies on July 26, 1970 at old Connie Mack Stadium; the 21 hits snapped the record of 19 set against the Pirates at Forbes Field on June 2, 1970, just weeks before the ballpark closed in favor of Three Rivers Stadium.

  22. Had Darrell Johnson had access to the Internet in 1978, he would have realized that Carty’s average against Abbott was a whopping .538, and he might have gone deeper into the M’s ‘pen to find a Rico-stopper. But then, if Johnson was online in ’78, he might not have been looking up stats, and the whole ballgame might’ve gone in a completely different direction.

    • I don’t even wanna know what Darrell Johnson might’ve been doing on-line in ’78…but if he was doing that on-line during the game in question, I’m guessing he would’ve tried sending Debra Jensen, Christina Smith, or Pamela Jean Bryant out to pitch to Carty.

  23. It was the beginning of the Julio Cruz for SP78 MVP campaign that fizzled out too soon. By the way, I attempted to post yesterday from work, but apparently I did something incorrectly, since my post does not appear. I suppose I might also have just angered the Commissioner, who hastily deleted it, also.

    • No, I was just busy with work, dinner out at Taco Bell, an at-home screening of Alien, and an immediate trip to bed to get some much-needed sleep. Your comment did come through…I just konked out before I could get to it.

      As for Cruz, since when did his chances for MVP ‘fizzle out’? Right now he’s hitting .322 with a good chance at 200 hits, and more importantly, a probability of breaking the AL record for stolen bases in a season. And since neither Guidry, Caldwell, or Matlack are eligible for MVP, I’d say Cruz still has a decent chance at the award. That is, as long as Don Baylor doesn’t keep up his torrid pace, or Rod Carew doesn’t snap out of his doldrums and make a bid for .400.

  24. Interesting that in the “real” game, Bowa homered in the top of the 9th to cap off a 5-0 Phillies’ whitewash in a Friday night match up of lefties Steve Carlton and Randy Jones. After the shellacking, a dejected Jones headed to a car wash, where he contemplated his life after baseball.

    • And while contemplating life after the Padres, Jones said to himself, “If Rancho Bernardo ever gets its own movie theater, I’m going to go there someday, and on a busy weekend night, I’m going to skip the long lines, cut in front of anyone, and get to my seat first, because I twice won 20 games in the major leagues, and I have that right.”

  25. Hmmm . . . I wonder if one inning managed is the SP78 record for remote managing, and whether it’s a record I’d be interested in breaking. Perhaps instead, I go for the record of innings managed while wearing a Speedo. What’s the record for that, anyway?

    • Brent asked me the same question (the first one, not the second one). And the answer is no, I’ve had remote managers twice…maybe three times, but off-hand I remember two: Brent was one, and my one-time Oshman’s co-worker Jeff was the other. He also managed just one inning, during a phone conversation with me in 1988, and he helped the Brewers score a run in the bottom of the ninth to nip the Chisox 3-2.

      The record for innings managed wearing nothing but thong-like under-devices and swimwear, fishnet-styled clothing, see-through panties, and birthday suits is zero…and it’s going to stay that way. In a few months you’ll be setting the record for most consecutive games managed as an opponent…isn’t that enough?

  26. I would save this question for Statistor, but he won’t answer my first question. The TDISH states that there were 38 hits between both teams in today’s game. The Team Batting Records section of this blog states that the A’s – Tigers game of July 24th is tied for the AL record, with 39 hits for both teams. Was a Tiger batter allowed to hit after Staub’s GIDP and got a cheap single?

    • Once again, allowances must be made for having to complete this TDISH before rushing off to work, so at that moment, 21 hits and 18 hits added up to 38 hits in my sleep-hungry brain, when the sum total should’ve been 39, thus making the Team Records section of the site correct for including the A’s-Tigers game of July 24th in the ‘Hits by Both Teams in a Game’ listing.

      And hey, I’ll ask Statistor if he can answer all 18 remaining questions in one day – including yours – so all the fun can be taken out of reading a new ‘Ask Statistor’ once every two weeks for the next five months. Besides, I seriously have no control over him…he basically does what he wants, when he wants.

  27. So can we accurately call 4/8/88 the “beginning of time”?

    ’78 was Augustine’s best year in the majors with 13 wins in 30 starts. Will he get an ALCS start if the Brewers make it there?

    • For me, the beginning of time was 8/22/80…maybe we can call 4/8/88 ‘the beginning of timings’. And WHEN the Brewers make it to the ALCS, I doubt Augustine will get a start; he went 8-9 as a starter through July, with a dismal 5.68 ERA over 21 starts on a strong Brewers team. He began August in the bullpen, and unless there’s an emergency between now and October 1st (or in the playoffs), I’m sure that’s where he’ll remain.

  28. In the real ’78 match up of these teams, Bob Shirley picked up the save in relief of Randy Jones; pitching for the “cycle” in three innings with a walk, 3 strikeouts, a wild pitch and a hit batsmen. There were no HR’s, but Winfield rapped a triple and Gene Richards and Ozzie Smith both swiped a base. It would have been fun to watch the Padres if they would have had some of the guys like Perry or Lolich in their prime. They always seemed to trade away young talent and pick up aging stars in return, (although I realize Perry had a great season for the Friars).

    • I think this 1978 Padres team had a pretty good mix of young and old, and it seems to be working pretty well for them in SP78. Perry just blanked the Reds 3-0 tonight for his 15th win, so he’s looking pretty good for a 20-win season. With the win, the Padres kept pace with LA, remaining 1 game back of the front-running Dodgers in the NL West. Sadly, I managed (some might say mismanaged) the Reds out of a possible comeback scenario, and they proceeded to lose their first game of August because of it.

  29. I’m not at all surprised that Cage took Lemancyzk deep. Lemancyzk gave up 16 home runs in 1978, and nine of those were to batters with four or less letters in their last name. Three of them were named May; Milt, Lee and Dave all hit round-trippers off the man who was weighed down by the nine letters on the back of his uniform. Jorge Orta did it twice in the same game. I can not, however, explain Phil Mankowski’s HR off of Lemancyzk – a mere statistical anomaly (or perhaps he was wearing Steve Kemp’s uniform at the time).

    • Actually, what these 16 players had in common was the fact that all 16 played for teams other than the Blue Jays. That, and all were paying Lemanczyk a handsome stipend to groove them fastballs whenever they came to the plate.

  30. I think I can answer the “inexplicably pulled after just two innings” with the simple explanation “Scott-led Expos”. Darold Knowles was thankful, however, since his SP78 contract relied heavily on an innings pitched bonus. Carter, on the other hand, spent the following day in the Whirlpool.

    • I think short reliever Terry Forster of the Scott-led Dodgers had a game like this, too. But then again, Rich Gale of the Todd-led Royals once went 14.2 innings, setting an SP78 record that isn’t likely to be broken, so I shouldn’t be one to talk. Then there was this game recently with the Steve-led Braves…

  31. The Phillies would win this series with the Expos while the Cubs were losing a series to the Mets. Before and after these series, The Phillies and Cubs split two four-game series in PHI and CHI. The one game that the Phillies picked up on Chicago in this eleven game stretch may be critical when the pennant race nears its end. I’m sure Danny Ozark was relieved to get a three-hit showing out of Kaat.

    • I was surprised by Kaat’s performance, even with a near-invincible team to back him up; the 3-hitter was all his doing, as was his 2.24 ERA up to that point. And right now, the Cubs and Reds are about the same number of games out of first place in their respective divisions, and the cool thing is, they’re both starting to win consistently. And the Reds get Morgan back during our trip to New England, too. What would the odds be of the Reds and Cubs meeting in the SP78 NLCS?

  32. Any chance of the Benefiel kid being traded to a contender before the Aug 31 deadline? That way he might have a chance to come up big in the playoffs or Series. Understand, I’m not giving up on the Cardinals just yet, but if they fail to make a move by the 29th or so, you might want to think about it.

    • Hmmm, where should I go? The Padres, and take over for Ozzie Smith at short? How about the Cubs, and Ivan DeJesus? Or the Brewers and Yount, or the Royals and Patek, or maybe the Twins and Smalley? Um, on second thought, maybe not.

      Since it was my intention since Day 1 to have no trades during my season, it looks like I’m stuck with the Cardinals. But I’m okay with that…maybe I can shoot for the Rookie of the Year award!

  33. Tanana hits two Indians and gets off scott free! Hiding behind the DH rule, I say, since he never had to face the music.

    Also, I did not remember this, but if we would have gone to Wrigley just over a month later, we could have seen Tanana pitch in his final season for the Mets. Twenty one years in the bigs, and along with Rick Reuschel, the only pitchers to give up home runs to Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds and Babe Ruth. OK – I made up the Ruth part.

    • Tanana? Two hit batters? No ejection? Phttt! Child’s play! I believe Mark Lemongello of the Astros hit three batters in an SP78 game way back on May 7th, and wasn’t ejected. What’s funny is, Lemongello hits three Braves batters, then an Atlanta reliever, Adrian Devine, hits ONE Astros batter in the ninth, and gets thrown out of the game! Talk about gall!

      I wonder if Tanana knew at the time that he was going to retire…or maybe I should say, did the public know at the time? Or would we not have known the significance of the game until years later? And did you know that Pat Zachry was the only pitcher to give up a post-season home run to Jim Mason? And did you know that was Jim Mason’s only post-season at-bat? And did you know I once got a Pat Zachry autograph during a Reds-Padres game at San Diego Stadium?

  34. Carty had an interesting career path – with one organization for the first 13 years, then was a part of 13 transactions in the next 7-plus years. Additionally, his high BA years were in his early 20s and early 30s, then his later years (’78 included) his slugging percentage peaked. Was this the product of being able to do whatever his teams needed him to do – hit for average OR power?

  35. From April 25 to the end of that month, the Astros went undefeated and outscored their opponents 34-3. Given that they are now 19 games out of 1st, what got into those multi-colored Texans?

    • The Astros went 5-0 during that stretch, defeating the Padres twice and the Expos three times, and the only answer I have is, it was the same anomaly that allowed the Mariners to go 16-0 in April and May with no pitchers better than a PB 2-6. Although the Astros’ first victory over the Padres can be explained away by the presence of fireballer JR Richard, who struck out ten, the other game is not so easy to pin down: an 11-0 Houston win with a PB 2-6 Tom Dixon on the mound. Looking at the scoresheet, seven of those 11 runs were scored by the bottom four of the lineup: Art Howe, Jimmy Sexton, Luis Pujols, and starting pitcher Dixon. Again, the Seattle anomaly, or more specifically, the random luck of the Fast-Action cards.

      And keep in mind, that 5-0 run happened in April, very early in the season; we’re now in August, and the top teams in the NL West – LA, San Diego, and San Francisco – have now proved that it takes more over the course of a season than JR Richard and fortunate FAC draws to win a division.

  36. Lemon must’ve had a great PR person or a great first half of ’78 because he made the All Star team with some pretty lukewarm numbers. Oh-fer-five isn’t going to make him an SP78 legend, either. I say we trade him to the Tigers once the Commissioner’s “No Trades” policy is lifted.

    • I’d say Lemon had a great first half, at least as far as the SP78 season goes, and was worthy of his All-Star Game inclusion: a .312 average, a team-leading 81 hits, 25 doubles, and 30 RBI. One player from the Chisox had to make the All-Star team, and between Lemon and Don Kessinger (who had a .317 BA), Lemon had the better numbers overall.

      And what’s with the sudden desire to see trades in SP78? Granted, I should’ve done a MLB-wide reverse trade to start the season off, and put everyone back on their true Opening Day teams. But now? I promise you, it won’t be happening. And do you know why I made this ‘no trade’ decision back in 1980? Two reasons: I didn’t know when the trade deadlines were, and I didn’t want to deal with players having stats for two (or more) different teams. Except for Dan Spillner and Tommy Hutton, of course.

  37. Hard to believe it’s been 16 years since your Fenway trip (and 19 years since I saw a game there). I walked past Fenway several times during the Winter of 1999-2000 and took the “T” from North Station every night for about four months, many times in the midst of a drunken Bruins crowd. We will soon be back in Massachusetts – the first time in a very long time!

    • I’d forgotten that you’d seen a Sox game at Fenway…where did you sit, and what team did you see play? Scott and I took the T to North Station as well…too bad it wasn’t to see the Bruins at the Garden, though. And are we heading through Boston on the 95 when we leave Pawtucket for Portland, or are we bypassing the city and catching the 95 later? And I didn’t realize until checking a map just now how close we’ll be to Canada, and Montreal, when we arrive in Burlington. Should we bring our passports and see a Canadiens game as well?

  38. And until I “Googled” Reggie Baldwin that evening, he was my favorite Astros catcher.

    • I had to stop and think for a minute about your Googling of Baldwin, and then I remembered the results. While he was a ‘starting catcher’ for the Astros, ‘God spoke to Apostle Baldwin and told him to leave his baseball career’. Actually, I think it was more like, ‘while he was mired in the Mets minor league system, Catcher Baldwin decided to call it quits’.

      So now are you back to Mark Bailey being your favorite Astros catcher? Or is it now Alan Ashby? Perhaps Johnny Edwards? Luis Pujols? Skip Jutze?

  39. A fair gamble on Roger Craig’s part to pull Perry when he was hot, and I’m a bit surprised that Ivie, who never played an MLB game in center, gunned down a runner. Has he had any additional SP78 time in CF?

    • As you probably discovered, Ivie played 22 games in the outfield for the 1978 Giants, all of them in left. In SP78, he’s played just three games in the outfield: two in center, and one in right! And Perry was pulled when his spot in the order came up with two outs and two on in the seventh; it would’ve been a smart move if Gonzalez had scored, I guess. Interesting, though, that Gonzalez is a ‘B’ runner, and Ivie just a T-2 arm; with two out, Ivie would’ve needed a draw between 76 and 88 to throw out Gonzalez…and somehow he got it.

  40. If we ever try to add the Southern states to the SP78 Game Sites, we should see if we can get Eric K. to manage another game. He’s currently in the Athens, GA area.

    At this early stage in the season, the current most errors by a team in one game (5) had already happened in both leagues, but I’m sure that 3 in one inning hadn’t happened too often by April 22.

    • I wonder if Eric remembers the SP78 game he played that day…or if he even remembers living at Plaza Escondido. I have a vague memory of his apartment, but I couldn’t tell you where inside the game was played: the living room table, a coffee table, or maybe a counter top. And if he did manage another game, he would thus be allowed access to the Opponent Games section of the site.

      And three errors in one inning, by April 22nd? No, probably not more than that one time up to that point…but I know the Dodgers did it recently, on three different plays which allowed a baserunner to advance three times and score.

  41. Eric’s game was played on a coffee table – I remember it well.

    If Kingman gets hot, he could get close to 40 HRs. Other than R. Smith. Baylor and Kingman, does anyone else have a shot at 40?

    • Right now, through the current games of August, Greg Luzinski has 28 home runs, Dave Winfield 25, and George Foster 24 for the NL. In the AL, both Rico Carty and Leon Roberts have 23. A handful of players in both leagues have around 20, so they’ll have a good shot at 30, but besides those eight we’ve listed, I don’t think anyone else has a chance at 40 HRs this season.

      And thanks for the update on Eric’s game location; it’s too bad I didn’t take photos of those early SP78 games, or keep better track of periphery stats like game times, locations, day/night, and music listened to.

  42. What do game sites SNB, ESC7, ESC11 and CA14 have in common that no other sites can claim?

    When Forster was on this hot streak, were you wondering if he would eclipse Drysdale’s scoreless innings streak?

    Who was with me at San Diego Stadium to see Orel Hershiser break Drysdale’s record?

    • Okay, with the first question I thought maybe they were Scott-related games, because of SNB and CA14, until I remembered he didn’t actually participate in any games at CA14 (or ESC7 or ESC11, either). Three of the four sites are ranked in the top four for games hosted, but not CA14. And all four sites are, of course, located in California, but the answer goes beyond that, since many other sites are located in CA. I just went to the game sites page, and could see no correlation between the four sites there, so for the moment I’m stumped.

      The funny thing about Forster is, I had no idea he had a scoreless streak until after the fact, when I began working extensively on updating and streamlining stats for April and May (and beyond). The streak I was aware of, when it was happening, was Dennis Lamp’s scoreless innings pitched streak with the Cubs, which went into the 20s before being stopped.

      And the Orel Hershiser question I know…my brother Scott. What I didn’t remember was that you two were at San Diego Stadium for the game. Or wait, maybe you were just with Scott for Gibson’s homer in ’88, at your condo. I know for a fact I was on my patio at my apartment in Tempe, listening to the Hershiser game on the radio. Was it indeed Scott, or are my memory banks not firing on all cylinders again?

      Wait! I just realized, the only claim to fame CA14 has is that it ended the SP78 month of July…and upon further review, the three other sites ended April, May, and June! Ha! Where’s my prize?

  43. Ah, your prize is the title of “Supreme Commissioner”, as you are correct on all! Congratulations, your lordship!

    • Why, thank you, loyal subject. I accept your prize, and the bonus prize that goes with it (which I’ll collect – in hot dog form – at McCoy Stadium in June).

  44. Hey! We were just talking about this ESC11 game! Castro under pressure, comes through in the clutch! Viva Cuba!

    • Wait…who was just talking about this game? You and I? Because this game was played two games before the last game of June, 1978. Am I missing something? A conversation about a random Mariners-Brewers match-up that I’m not remembering? I just looked through some recent e-mails and site comments, but could find nothing relevant. Hep me, hep me!

      And by the way, that should be ‘Viva Santiago!’, I think.

  45. Yes, in my rush, I completely blew yesterday’s comment.

    Aase started 91 of his first 119 major league games, then pitched 329 games in the rest of his career without starting one. That might be called “Doing the ‘Eck'”, but I always find it curious when a pitcher completely changes roles mid-career. Was he OK with the change, or did they tell him it was the only way he would stay around? Now, it seems like relievers make just as much or more as starters, but I doubt it was that way in the early 80’s.

    • Right now, “Doing the ‘Eck'” means getting yourself injured during a critical pennant drive, and possibly costing your team a chance at a division crown by getting yourself placed on the 45-day disabled list. And by that I do mean Eckersley, and not Aase, who’s had 19 starts so far this season, and has gone 4-9 with just one complete game and a 6.01 ERA. Which should explain why he eventually, in real life, was relegated to the bullpen; in SP78, he suffered back spasms during a game on July 27th and was placed on the 15-day disabled list, where he now ponders his future as an Angels starter.

  46. Splittorff had about twice as many career wins as Waits, and finished 7th in the Cy Young balloting in ’78. But Waits is the more valuable SP78 property, pulling a ’72 Steve Carlton by being the pitcher of record in about half of his teams wins.

    • I’m really pulling for Waits this season, and I’m hoping he can make it to 20 wins, which would be a first for him. He went 13-15 during the real 1978 season, yet in SP78 he’s 15-5, which is especially cool since he’s playing for a not-so-hot Indians squad. And do you know which season Waits made his only career All-Star Game appearance? Why, that would be the SP78 season, where he pitched one inning and earned the win for the American League. Waits seems like a neat guy, too; check out an article about him here:

  47. I’m curious if Scott’s HR came off of Kreuger. Why? Because in his career, Kreuger gave up a total of four HRs. Exactly half of those were hit by Mr. George Scott.

    • Nope, no such luck…both home runs in that game were hit off Cleveland starter Rick Wise; Kreuger’s five hits allowed were a pair of doubles and three singles. So far this season, after his July 8th call-up from AAA, Kreuger has served up one home run, a 2-run blast to Mariners outfielder Bruce Bochte in a July 16th game at the Kingdome, which equals his total HRs allowed in 1978. Two months left in the SP78 season: will he or will he not serve up one more to surpass his actual career total of four? Keep listening to those Indians games on WWWE and C-SPAN Radio to find out!

  48. Did they rent out SP78 Reds’ highlights at Video Genesis? This would be a fun one to watch. Weird about the alternating shutouts – sometimes that happens, it just means that the pitching rotations were out of sync.

    • Or maybe microscopic alien probes had infected the players on one team, then the other, on opposite days, denying that team the ability to score runs. I doubt it had anything to do with the pitching. Seriously.

      And thanks for the shout out to Video Genesis, that little slice of movie paradise next door to McDonald’s and light years away from the promising career I’d envisioned having at that time.

  49. Dave McKay had a career high 17 GIDP’s in 1978 – where did he bat in the order, and were the baserunner(s) OBR-D’s, or should we just hang the big “L” on McKay for this game?

    • McKay batted eighth in the lineup, and the baserunner who was forced at second as part of the DP was Roy Howell, with an OBR of ‘C’. There are a few instances where an ‘A’ batter will beat out a double play throw to first (and more rare for a ‘B’ runner to do it), and any OBR batter is safe on GX results on the out chart with men on, but in routine double plays situations beyond that, the batter will always be thrown out to complete the DP.

      And is McKay to blame for the loss? I’d say no, since there were two other instances where the Jays had chances to score runs, and didn’t, and under the circumstances I think they did okay against a superior AL East opponent (outhitting them 7 to 5) with two formidable pitchers, Dave Rozema and John Hiller. In the end, it was the entire team who had the big ‘L’ handed to them by the Tigers.

  50. I had something witty to say about your error in score keeping until I realized that you didn’t make an error – rather I just read it wrong. I’ll have to save my barb for some other time. I guess I’ll ponder instead the three members of the cornfield who are mentioned in today’s TDISH, all taken far too soon.

    • Actually, Mr Redfern, you might want to use that barb right now, for your own comment, as it contains an error of its own: there are FOUR players from the cornfield mentioned in the TDISH, and I’m guessing the one you’re forgetting to recognize is former Cubs pitcher Dave Roberts, who passed away in 2009 in Short Gap, West Virginia. I will agree that they were all taken far too soon, but thankfully still live on in one man’s season replay.