May 20, 2015
• The first game at site AZ15 in Peoria, Arizona was played on March 1, 2015 between the Mets and Cardinals at Busch Memorial Stadium, an NL East match-up won by the Cards 8-7 in 15 innings. The new 1-bedroom apartment site is located in the same complex as AZ8, the all-time games hosted leader.
• With the August 5th slate of games wrapped up, AZ15 has now hosted a total of 15 games, tying it with RB8 for 21st on the all-time SP78 games hosted list. Five more games played there will bump it past CA14—my brother Scott’s former Carlsbad apartment—into the 20th spot on the list.
• Pirates backstop Ed Ott was ejected from a game for the third time this season when he argued with home plate umpire Dutch Rennert over balls and strikes calls during the first game of a doubleheader between the Bucs and Phillies at Three Rivers Stadium on August 5th. Catchers Gene Tenace of the Padres and Bob Boone of the Phillies still lead the majors in expulsions, with four apiece.
• While researching an entry for a recent This Day in SP78 History, it was discovered that the final score of a Reds-Mets game from June was incorrectly recorded, on both the SP78 site and the original scoresheet! No team or player statistics were affected, however, and the error was corrected without further incident.
• Third baseman Darrell Evans and catcher Marc Hill of the Giants were injured when they collided chasing a pop foul off the bat of Bill Russell during their game against the Dodgers on August 5th. Evans will be out for six games, while Hill was placed on the 15-day disabled list the following day. Pitcher Phil Nastu of the AAA Phoenix Giants was called up to fill Hill’s roster spot; he’ll make his major league debut on August 6th at Candlestick Park when he gets the starting nod versus LA.
• Joe Wallis of the A’s and Roy Smalley of the Twins each connected for a pair of home runs in their respective AL games on August 5th. Smalley’s latter blast was a grand slam, the second of his career and his first as a Twin.
• With individual and team statistics for May almost completed (determining league leaders is the only task remaining), work will begin soon on re-compiling June stats, which will require a complete run-through of every June scoresheet, from game numbers 644 to 1012…a total of 368 games, and about six months of work, if the time frame for May tabulations is any indication. Creating empty stat tables for June is currently in progress, and work should begin on compiling these stats this week.
• About a month from now, SP78 enthusiast Steve P and I will begin our two-week vacation to the northeast corner of the US, where we’ll see eight minor league baseball games in eight different ballparks in a span of eight days. The trip will also include a two-day stop at Cooperstown to visit the Hall of Fame, as well as an overnight stay in Hartford, Connecticut to kick off the tour. Most importantly, the trip will feature eleven games of Statis Pro played, one per day at eleven different sites; most will take place in the hotels where we’ll be staying, but hopefully a few will also be played at university libraries, one somewhere on the grounds of the Hall of Fame, and if possible, one in a luxury suite at Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton, New Jersey. The eleven contests will set a record for most consecutive days of games played, and will introduce SP78 to eight states that have never before hosted a game.
• Orioles ace Scott McGregor became the third pitcher this season to reach the 17-win mark, joining Jon Matlack (17-3) and Mike Caldwell (17-4) when he bested the Yankees 5-1 at Yankee Stadium on August 5th. After falling behind by a 1-0 score after two innings, McGregor retired the next 22 out of 23 Yankee batters over the next seven innings to improve to 17-4.