Friday, August 11th, 1978 at Fenway Park
Game 1512 – 3/25/16

Right now, Mike Torrez may not be having the best season of his career, but last night, in front of a near-sellout crowd at Fenway Park, he most certainly experienced his best game.

Torrez, in his first year in a Red Sox uniform, completely shut down the vaunted Milwaukee power-hitting attack, allowing just two singles to Robin Yount in the fourth and ninth innings, as the Bosox cruised to a 16-0 whitewash of the Brewers in the opening game of their 4-game set at Boston. It was the 12th shutout of Torrez’ career and his first of the season, improving his current won-lost record to 8-9.

“It was the best I felt on the mound all year,” said Torrez following the game. “Too bad Robin didn’t get knocked out of the game early somehow…I might’ve had my first no-hitter.”

The game belonged to Boston after just two innings, when Milwaukee starter Andy Replogle (4-4) opened the second by serving up a single to Carl Yastrzemski, a walk to Carlton Fisk, and a deep-center triple to Fred Lynn, which scored two of Lynn’s seven RBI in the game. Two frames later, a slim 2-0 Sox lead become a comfortable 5-0 advantage when Butch Hobson cleared the bases with a gap double to left, a hit that confounded outfielders Larry Hisle and Gorman Thomas when the ball took an awkward bounce off the Green Monster near Section 34.

That brought an end to Replogle’s night, and manager George Bamberger summoned Willie Mueller from the visitor bullpen to stop the mayhem, which he did by retiring the next three batters—Dwight Evans, Jack Brohamer, and Jerry Remy—to end the inning. But Boston quickly got to Mueller in the fifth, scoring five times off the nervous 21-year-old rookie for a 10-0 lead; the Sox batted around off Mueller, with the death-blow coming off the bat of Evans, another bases-emptying double that came with two out. Singles by Remy and Rick Burleson would round out the frame’s run-scoring flood.

The home squad was far from done, however. In the seventh, with former starter Jerry Augustine now on in relief for the Brewers, the Sox capitalized on the first of two dropped third strikes in the game by catcher Buck Martinez, as Brohamer reached first on the misplay with two out, moved to third on another Remy base hit, and scored easily on Burleson’s seeing-eye squibbler to left. One inning later, with Bob McClure on the hill in place of Augustine, Boston would enjoy another five-run outburst, thanks to a 3-run blast from Lynn and a 2-run shot by pinch-hitter Bob Bailey, which put a capper on the 16-0 final.

Is the win a portent of good things to come for the Red Sox? With 17 hits and 16 runs scored in the game (the latter topping this season’s previous best of 11), it appears the Beantowners have finally broken free of whatever run-producing bonds were holding them down in the tough AL East. But with just 47 games remaining in their ’78 campaign, and the club 16 games back of the front-running Yankees, it’ll take more than one good game to make their comeback dream a reality.

BOS - Mike Torrez pose
Game Notes

• The game was played at night at site AZ18, at the living room table while I listened to Windham Hill songs on my HP Mini laptop.

• This was the 18th game played at AZ18, one shy of tying CA14 for 21st on the all-time games hosted list.

• This was the third game played on this date, and the first since I played Steve P at his ESC5 condo in 1995.

• Start time for the game was 11:38 pm, about an hour after my friend Justin and I wrapped up a Barro’s pizza & wings take-out dinner and a few episodes of Rick and Morty.

• Talk about clutch hitting: three times Fred Lynn came to bat with two men on, and three times he knocked them all in, with a double, triple, and his 14th home run of the season. He was one single shy of hitting for the cycle.

• Unfortunately for Milwaukee catcher Buck Martinez, he was saddled with the same ‘dropped third strike’ Z-play twice in the same game. Both times, the players who reached base due to the miscues ended up scoring.

• During the actual 1978 season, Willie Mueller would make his major league debut one day after this one, on August 12th against the Red Sox, where he mopped up for starter Mike Caldwell in an 11-4 loss. Mueller went 3.2 innings, allowing three runs on three hits and striking out four. He would play one more year with the Brewers, in 1981, before retiring with a 1-0 won-lost record and a 6.14 ERA in six career games.

• Boston pitchers have allowed just two earned runs in their last four games.

• The real August 11, 1978 game was won by the Brewers 10-5, with Ed Rodriguez earning the win over Luis Tiant. Milwaukee pounded 19 hits off three Bosox pitchers, with four of those hits supplied by Ben Oglivie and his 4-for-5 night, and one courtesy of Gorman Thomas’ 26th home run of the season.

• With the display fading on my stopwatch, I thought I’d experiment with timekeeping by using the stopwatch feature on my cell phone; the photo below shows the phone—with the final game time on display—in the left field section of the playing field shortly after the final out. Also seen are 1978 media guides for both the Red Sox and Brewers.

SP78 #1512

4 responses to “

  1. Nice work Commissioner!! 🙂

  2. The left field stopwatch reminds me of the pitch clocks we saw on our minor league trip last year. Are you employing the much-heralded pitch clock for the remainder of the SP78 season? Perhaps if the offensive manager takes longer than 30 seconds to turn over an FAC, then the next card automatically becomes a clutch defense play? Come to think of it, since each play begins with the pitcher – why do you have the batting team turn over the FAC’s?

    • Yeah, the phone does bring back memories of that stupid pitch clock…which seemed to be ignored half the time by minor league umpires anyway. I haven’t seen any current news on the clock at all, so maybe they’ve done away with it, thank heavens. But that would be funny to have a 30-second timer to force a FAC turn…I’m sure that would drop the time it took to play SP78 games from 40-50 minutes to 10-11 minutes.

      And why do I have the batting team’s manager turn the FACs? Well, when was the last time you heard a ballpark PA announcer say, before each batter approached the plate, something like “Now pitching, number thirty-four, Nolan Ryan”? (And I’ll beat you to the comeback comment: not for twenty-three years, when he last pitched in the major leagues before retiring).

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