Category Archives: Inside SP78

Expos Going Through The Motions In July

After hitting their high-water won-lost mark of 17-12 in May, the Expos seemingly gave up hope of catching the front-running Phillies in the NL East, going 11-17 in June and 13-18 in July to drop from 3½ to a whopping 18 games back of first place in the Eastern division. Having played the most games in July in the National League, with 31, the Expos also found themselves leaders in losses and innings pitched, and these numbers were reflected in the sub-par won-lost totals of their six main starters (Rogers, Schatzeder, Grimsley, May, and Sanderson), who were a combined 8-11 for the month and served up a league-leading 270 hits. A 7-game losing streak towards the end of the month didn’t help matters, either.

At the plate, Dave Cash led the regulars in July with a .303 batting average, while Warren Cromartie leads the team at .302 for the season. Andre Dawson and Ellis Valentine were the squad’s production leaders, sharing the top statistical spots for Montreal in doubles, home runs, and RBI, with Dawson also leading in triples and stolen bases.

Bright spots for Montreal included utility infielder Pepe Frias, who as a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement in July hit .443 and led the NL in triples with seven (despite just 61 at-bats for the month), and newcomer Bill Atkinson, who in eight games as a reliever went 2-2 with one save and a 1.46 ERA, after being called up to the Expos from the Denver Bears on July 1st.

To check out the Expos page for statistics through July, click here. The boxes for team rankings have now been finalized, and now appear on the July stat pages of every previous NL team, including Montreal. However, boxes for league leaders and award winners are still blank, and numbers will be added after all NL team statistics have been finalized, and July award recipients have been picked.

a

Dodgers End July With Best Record In Majors

The Los Angeles Dodgers wrapped up July with a 17-11 won-lost mark and a four-game winning streak, which not only put them two games ahead of the second-place Padres in the NL West, but gave them a 66-37 record for the season, which in turn was the best record of all 26 teams in the major leagues as the SP78 campaign headed into August. Surprisingly, this was accomplished without the full-time services of Triple Crown contender Reggie Smith, who was limited to just 18 games played after a shoulder injury knocked him out of action for two weeks during the second half of the month.

Helping the Dodgers cause were starting right-hander Burt Hooton, who went 4-0 in July with a 2.22 earned run average and twenty strikeouts, and bullpen ace Terry Forster, who collected five saves while limiting opposing batters to just five hits and one run over nine games, good for a 0.85 ERA. Also making an impact on the mound was rookie Bob Welch, who successfully converted from reliever to starter in July and went 3-1 with a 2.21 ERA in five starts.

At the plate, Smith led LA with a .408 average, eight home runs, and 23 RBI. Lopes’ 34 hits led the team, while Ron Cey was tops in the NL with eleven doubles. However, the most jaw-dropping stat again belongs to Smith, who has an SP78-leading seven 2-HR games this season, to go along with his 37 home runs and 90 runs batted in. The month also saw an old-timer’s game played between the ’62 Dodgers and ’62 Giants, a 7-inning contest won by LA 10-5 in front of a nostalgic crowd at Dodger Stadium.

To see the Dodgers stat page for July, click here. And remember, the boxes for league leaders, team rankings, and award totals have been purposely left blank; these figures will be added after all NL team statistics have been finalized, and July award winners have been picked.

 

a

July Continues Downward Spiral for Astros

The Astros experienced yet another sub-.500 record in July, going 12-16 for the month and dropping to fifth place in the NL West, a full 20 games behind the division-leading Dodgers. Houston has yet to have a winning month this season, and saw their fortunes take a downward turn late in July when three players—Art Howe, Terry Puhl, and Denny Walling—went on the 15-day disabled list with injuries. Ace starter J.R. Richard is also having a rough time; though his ERA is a respectable 2.42, his won-lost record stands at 9-9, and his chances of repeating his 20-win season of 1976 are looking more and more slim as the SP78 campaign progresses.

On a positive note, Enos Cabell is among the league leaders in hits, with 139, and he went 16-for-18 in steal attempts for the month (the team’s 161 total stolen bases leads the National League). Also worth mentioning is the fact that SP78 manager Steve P. has taken part in piloting the Astros in two games this season—including one game in July—and has won them both.

To check out the Astros page for statistics through July, click here. The boxes for league leaders, team rankings, and award totals have been left blank; these numbers will be added after all NL team statistics have been finalized, and July award winners have been picked.

July Stats Up for Resurgent Reds

The Cincinnati Reds enjoyed their best month of the SP78 campaign in July, going 17-11 and finishing the month in fourth place in the NL West, 3½ games ahead of the fifth-place Astros, but no closer to the division-leading Dodgers than they were on June 30th, when they were 16½ games back. In head-to-head match-ups, the Reds went 10-2 against the Mets and Expos of the NL East, but sadly will face neither team in August; instead, they’ll meet up with the red-hot Padres and Pirates—who are a combined 10-2 against Cincinnati in SP78—a total of 13 times that month.

Individually, third baseman Pete Rose was tied for the National League lead in hits for July with 45, and his .378 average for the season ranks him among the NL batting leaders. Bullpen ace Doug Bair led relief pitchers with nine saves and 16 mound appearances, good for a 0.68 ERA for the month and a 1.35 mark for the year, while reliever Pedro Borbon went 3-0 in ten games (and this despite a 4.63 ERA over those ten games). On the negative side, catcher Johnny Bench had four passed balls in July—including three in one game—to bring his season total to nine, the most he’s had in one year since he fumbled that same amount back in 1970.

Also, the new stolen base/caught stealing stat box, which shows separate SB and CS totals for each player, is now available on all Reds stat pages (including July), as well as those for the Braves and Cubs. Click here to see all Cincinnati statistics for July, and when doing so keep in mind that some stats—such as league leaders, award winners, and team batting and pitching rankings—will not be available until all team stats for the month have been finalized.

a

Cubs Stats For July Are Done!

Season stats through July are now finished for the Cubs, who held on to second place in the NL East despite an underwhelming 11-17 record for the month, and a 50-53 record for the year, which put them 15 games behind the first-place Phillies. Dennis Lamp remained the ace of the staff with a 12-4 mark and a 2.43 ERA, while slugger Dave Kingman’s 27 home runs and 74 RBI ranked him among the league leaders in the National League. Chicago had some trouble with the NL West this month, going 6-13 against the teams of that division; unfortunately, their August slate of games is dominated by NL West opponents as well.

Though you won’t see it yet on the July pages, I’ve begun adding a new stat box to every team page: a SB/CS breakdown for each player, showing separate results for stolen bases and caught stealing of second, third, and home, plus each player’s steal rating (designated by a letter between A and E). Currently these boxes are complete and posted for every team in April, and all NL teams in May; for a sample box, check the Astros page here, and look beneath ‘Games Played by Position’.

And to take a look at the Cubs stat page for July, click here. And remember, the boxes for league leaders, team rankings, and award totals have been left blank; these numbers will be added after all NL team statistics have been finalized, and July award winners have been picked.

a