Category Archives: Game of the Week

‘Steve Ontiveros Day’ Celebrates 35th Tonight

It was on this date in 1988 that SP78 Replay marked the return of Cubs third baseman Steve Ontiveros from the 15-day disabled list, with ‘Steve Ontiveros Day’ festivities held at a sold-out Wrigley Field. This evening, SP78 will celebrate the 35th anniversary of that game with a match-up between the Cubs and Braves at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta.

Ontiveros, who spent eight years on the DL with a separated shoulder, will again make the start at third base for Chicago, as he did in 1988 when he went 2-for-4 with three RBI in a 5-2 Cubs win over the Dodgers. In 56 games this season, Ontiveros is batting .263 with four doubles, a triple, and 20 runs batted in.

The starting pitchers for tonight’s game will be Rick Reuschel for Chicago (12-10, 2.51 ERA) and Frank LaCorte for Atlanta (3-1, 3.44 ERA). It will be the twelfth and final meeting of the season between the two clubs, with the Braves holding the advantage 6-5.

SP78’s 8th Exhibition Set for Next Thursday

With a day off from their regular schedule on August 28th, the Minnesota Twins will travel to Toledo to face their AAA club, the Mud Hens, in an afternoon contest at the Lucas County Recreation Center in Maumee, Ohio. The 7-inning match-up, originally slated for June 5th but postponed due to inclement weather, will be the eighth and final exhibition contest of the SP78 season.

Each team will be represented by 20 players: one starting pitcher, five relievers, and 14 fielders. With only one starter needed for the game, Twins management has sent the squad’s other three starters—Dave Goltz, Geoff Zahn, and Roger Erickson—on to neighboring Detroit, where the team will open a quick two-game series against the Tigers the following day. Manager Gene Mauch will also send reliever Mike Marshall ahead to Detroit, preferring to keep his star closer rested for the upcoming Tiger series.

Starting on the mound for the Twins will be rookie left-hander Darrell Jackson (6-5, 5.97), working on just two-days rest, while the Mud Hens will counter with a left-hander of their own, Kevin Stanfield (7-6, 3.48), who spent the previous year with Visalia of the California ‘A’ League. Both hurlers will bring a PB rating of 2-6 into the game, with Jackson scheduled to pitch no more than three innings, and his relief corps no more than two innings apiece.

While Mud Hens manager Cal Ermer is looking forward to this meeting with the parent club, his managerial counterpart is not. In fact, Twins skipper Mauch would rather his players be resting in Detroit than playing a trivial game in a minor league ballpark in Ohio. “I think this whole (expletive) idea is ridiculous,” he told reporters over the weekend. “We’re in the middle of damn pennant race, and we don’t need the distraction, or the risk…I mean, look what happened to (expletive) Houston!” An irate Mauch was referring to an August 3rd exhibition contest involving the Astros, who lost starting outfielder Jose Cruz to a fluke injury late in the game, costing him a week’s playing time.

Barring another cancellation, the game can be heard in the Twin Cities on Twins flagship WCCO, while in the Toledo area Jim Weber will call all the action on WSPD 1370. And for those of you attending the game, be sure to pick up a Mud Hens program at all gate kiosks and souvenir stands inside the stadium.

Saturday Tripleheader on NBC

It’s a Saturday full of SP78 baseball on NBC today, as the A’s take on the division-leading Yankees at Yankee Stadium, the Mariners meet the red-hot Orioles in Baltimore, and the Twins battle it out with the Blue Jays in Toronto.

Joe Garagiola and Tony Kubek will be in New York for the opening game, while Charlie Jones and Wes Parker will call the action from Baltimore, and Dick Enberg and Hank Aaron will wrap up the broadcast tripleheader tonight at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto.

It will also be the first time in SP78 history that a trio of games will have start times spread out over an entire day: one in the morning, one in the evening, and one at night. The evening Twins-Jays contest will wrap up the slate of games for August 26th.

Comet Beaned, Cards Respond in 12-3 Melee

After last week’s series-ending brawl between the Cardinals and Braves in St Louis, everyone was waiting for the simmering anger to bubble over between these two teams in the follow-up series at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. It didn’t happen in the opening game on Friday, but in Saturday’s meeting, all hell broke loose when 15-year-old rookie Todd Benefiel was hit in the head by a pitch from reliever Dave Campbell, sparking a brawl that saw six players ejected from the game, in what would be an eventual 12-3 Cards victory.

Tensions were already on high when St Louis opened the game with three quick runs off Atlanta starter Eddie Solomon (4-10), thanks to singles from Benefiel and Garry Templeton, and a three-run blast over the wall in right by Keith Hernandez, his tenth home run of the season. The Braves would counter with a run in the second, when Gary Matthews tripled home Jeff Burroughs with one out; Matthews would be left stranded at third, however, as Cards right-hander Silvio Martinez (9-11) retired the next two batters on easy infield outs to end the threat.

To read the entire recap, make comments, and see an important section of the scoresheet, click here.