NL League Leaders Updated

If you scroll down the main page of this site, and check out the left-hand column, you’ll find that the League Leaders and Team League Leaders have been updated for the National League, for games played through August 23rd. And though the numbers have obviously changed, many of the players and teams have not; for the most part, the leaders have stayed the same, save for a few swaps in their order among the Top 5.

Triple Crown candidate Reggie Smith of the Dodgers still has a comfortable lead in the HR and RBI departments, but Reds third sacker Pete Rose has overtaken him in the batting average race, albeit by just a few percentage points, .375 to .372. Larry Bowa of the Phillies finds himself just eight hits away from the first 200-hit season of his career (and if he makes it, it’ll be the only 200-hit season during his 16 years in the majors), but Rose is not far behind at 185, and LA iron man Steve Garvey has a decent chance—if he doesn’t suddenly slump—at 171.

Somehow, Mets starter Craig Swan leads the NL—and possibly the majors—in earned run average, at 1.69, but as I just discovered, he actually won the NL ERA title in 1978! Way to go, Swannie! Bucs reliever Kent Tekulve still leads both leagues with 26 saves, and if he reaches 31, it’ll be a career high (he reached that total in both 1978 and 1979). And Houston fireballer J.R. Richard could very well be the only SP78 pitcher to reach 200 strikeouts this season; he’s nine shy at 191, and the next closest NL hurler is Steve Carlton of the Phillies, who’s well back of Richard at 143.

The Dodgers and Phillies still occupy most of the team leader categories, with the occasional aberration—the Cubs leading in batting, the Cardinals leading in doubles—standing out. I’m working on the AL leaders now, and will hopefully have those updates posted in a few weeks. The next league-wide update will take place in an SP78 calendar week, on August 31st.

6 responses to “NL League Leaders Updated

  1. The ’78 campaign marked a career high for Steve Garvey with 9 triples, so it’s not a surprise that his FAC is loaded with three-bag opportunities. With 12 in late August of the SP78 season, Mr. Clean could still catch leader Pepe Frias, who in real life had 1 triple in a total of 15 at bats in ’78. Frias is rewarding the confidence that Expos’ SP78 skipper Dick Williams has shown him by batting near .400 and hitting a triple every 10 at bats!

    • Yeah, it should be a battle to the wire between Garvey and Frias for the SP78 triples crown, but with a triple range of 32-42, Frias should have the advantage over Garvey’s 37-38. But with Garvey playing in all 162 games in ’78, he should thus have the advantage over Frias’ 64. But I can’t exactly let Frias ride the pine with that .399 batting average…but how did he even get into four games in real life, much less 64? Dave Cash played 159 games at 2B for the Expos in 1978…somehow, Frias played in 61! Was he really a late-inning replacement in that many games? His error rating is zero, so maybe so…but Cash was only an E1, so that theory really doesn’t hold water, either.

      In case you’re wondering, Cash has played in all but one of Montreal’s 128 games this season, while Frias has played in 103 (with 51 as a pinch-hitter). And with Cash hitting just .261 so far, maybe it’s time to put Frias into the mix full time and see what happens; the ML record for triples in a season is 36, so who knows what he might do over the remaining 34 games.

  2. Nice summary. Can you imagine anybody today closing in on a .400 batting average? Today they only swing for the fence, no clutch singles, only clutch strikeouts. Lots of big names as the leaders, the SP cards must be pretty accurate.

    • I have a hard time believing a player in today’s game closing in on .300, much less .400. And for the most part, the SP78 leaders are doing as well as they did in the actual 1978 season; I’m still bamboozled by the fact that Craig Swan won the ERA title in ’78, and might do so in SP78; I thought his current NL lead was a total fluke!

      And I liked your term ‘clutch strikeouts’…if it goes viral, you saw it here first!

  3. Just noticed Craig Swan went to ASU and I don’t mean Appalachian State University.

    And the term “clutch strikeout” is to be used for the lame arse batters, not a compliment for a pitcher.

    • Yes, I’d already established the term was a batter put-down…though I don’t know if I’d have reason to use it with anyone in SP78!

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