Category Archives: Inside SP78

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.

The Forster Anomoly

After I’d recently posted a recap for a game where LA closer Terry Forster had pitched seven long innings, and was allowed to bat late in the game in a critical situation, a discussion began among SP78 fans on whether or not it was a smart managerial move to allow even a good-hitting pitcher to bat under those conditions. Or if it’s reasonable to have a pitcher pinch-hit instead of a regular bench player, especially when that pitcher holds the highest all-time batting average for any player with 50 or more at-bats, or 15 seasons in the major leagues.

With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to let Forster pinch-hit in the next Dodgers game—if a situation logically allows for it—and see what happens…is he really as good a hitter as people think he is? Will it finally prove that my brother, who managed that long-ago game and allowed Forster to hit, was right all along? Tell me what you think by voting below; results will not be final until the first FAC card of the next Dodgers game is turned, which could be anytime between next week and next September.

 

Jays Catcher Whitt Recalled From Syracuse

Due to an undisclosed family emergency, Blue Jays backstop Rick Cerone has been placed on the temporary inactive list by the team, effective yesterday, August 22nd. He departed for his residence in Newark late last night, and will miss this evening’s doubleheader against the Tigers in Detroit. It hasn’t been determined how many games Cerone will be absent, but manager Roy Hartsfield does not expect him back before the 25th.

To fill Cerone’s spot on the roster, and serve as backup to starting catcher Alan Ashby, the Jays have recalled Ernie Whitt from the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League. Whitt went 0-for-6 with two walks and two strikeouts in three games during his short stint with the parent club earlier this season, and will be available to start in either of the two games of tonight’s twinbill.

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Happy 73rd Birthday, Johnny!