March 6, 2018
• Milwaukee ace Mike Caldwell became the first SP78 pitcher to win 19 games this season when the Brewers topped the Blue Jays 4-2 at County Stadium on August 16th. Caldwell (19-4) was one out away from securing his 17th complete game, but a walk and a pair of base hits by the Jays prompted a relief appearance from Ed Farmer, who coaxed a fly out from Dave McKay to end the threat. Caldwell will go for his 20th on August 22nd, when he faces the Indians in the first game of a twinbill at Milwaukee.
• Tribe southpaw Rick Waits, going for his 17th win of the year, settled for a no-decision after departing in the eighth of a 2-2 game between the Indians and Tigers at Detroit. It took 14 innings, but the Tribe ultimately came out on top by an 11-3 count.
• With a theft of second base off Orioles starter Mike Flanagan in the sixth inning of their game at the Kingdome, Julio Cruz of the Mariners recorded his 90th steal of the season, helping the M’s top the O’s 3-2. Cruz is now just six steals shy of the AL season record of 96, held by Tiger great Ty Cobb, and barring injury has a good chance of breaking Cardinals speedster Lou Brock’s major league record of 118, set in 1974.
• The final SP78 game for August 16th, a match-up between the Twins and Indians that was won by the Tribe 9-4, was the 67th game hosted by site AZ18 in Peoria, tying it with my friend Julie’s RB11 condo in Rancho Bernardo for 7th on the all-time games hosted list.
• Mets starter Pat Zachry silenced the powerhouse Padres in front of a rabid Shea Stadium crowd with a 1-hit shutout on August 16th, the third one-hitter of his young career. The only SD hit Zachry allowed was a single to Gene Richards with two out in the sixth, ending his bid for his first no-hit game, but he shut down the Padres the rest of the way to improve to 14-9 on the year.
• In 39.1 innings pitched over five starts in July, Rangers pitcher Jon Matlack gave up just on walk, and that one was intentional.
• Royals DH Hal McRae smacked the third grand slam of his career on August 16th against the Twins at Metropolitan Stadium, a shot to left field off Dave Goltz that capped a 6-run third inning for KC in a 7-4 win. His previous slam came in 1974, off Chuck Dobson of the Angels.
• With the Game 2 loss to the Angels in an August 12th doubleheader, the Mariners became the first SP78 team to complete 75% of their scheduled games for the season. With 121 games played so far, the M’s have just 41 left to play before their season comes to a close.
• After being charged with catcher interference in the second inning, then allowing the game-tying run to score in the 10th on a passed ball, Indians catcher Bo Diaz finally blew his top in the 13th, screaming at home plate umpire Ron Luciano over balls and strikes calls and prompting his second ejection of the season. The Indians won the game 11-3 in 14.
• The Brewers called up pitcher Mark Bomback from their PCL affiliate in Spokane, filling the spot vacated by pitcher Willie Mueller, who was sent down to AAA after going 0-2 with no saves and a 6.74 ERA over seven relief appearances in July and August.
• Season statistics through July have been completed for the remaining AL teams, and the process of loading these stats onto the SP78 blog site will commence immediately, beginning with the Tigers tonight. Look for a post detailing Detroit highlights in July later this week.
SP78 Fans! August 20th is Cards Jacket Day at Busch Memorial Stadium!