Category Archives: TWISP Notes

TWISP Notes #80

December 17, 2022

• Heading into Tuesday’s slate of games, there are five players—who’ve spent time on an SP78 major league roster this season—who have yet to record a hit. That list includes Rudy Law (LA), Chuck Baker and Don Reynolds (SD), Charlie Spikes (DET), and Gary Woods (TOR). For Baker and Woods, who are currently in the minors, they’re chances should improve in September, when the major league rosters expand to 40 players.

• Gaylord Perry of the Padres is 14 strikeouts away from the 3,000th of his career.

• Jays catcher Rick Cerone has been removed from the AL inactive list, and will return to the Toronto roster tomorrow, when the team continues its two-game series against the Rangers at Arlington Stadium. Backup catcher Ernie Whitt, who caught in six games and batted .063 during Cerone’s absence, was returned to the AAA Syracuse Chiefs of the International League.

• The Blue Jays have also called up infielder Garth Iorg from Syracuse, after the team lost second baseman Dave McKay and outfielder Rick Bosetti to injuries in yesterday’s game against the Rangers. McKay will be out at least a week with a bruised thigh, while Bosetti suffered a strained shoulder and was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

• Rangers outfielder Al Oliver extended his hitting streak to 20 games on August 28th, tying the SP78 AL record held by Charlie Moore of the Brewers. Oliver’s next game is tomorrow against the Blue Jays, whose starter will be Tom Underwood (8-14, 5.24), who in his only game against Oliver this season held him hitless in four at-bats. Oliver is hitting .333 against the Jays this year, and .367 against the AL in August.

• Willie Randolph of the Yankees was removed from the lineup just before the start of the August 28th game against the Angels after suffering a sudden onset of migraine headaches during pre-game warm-ups. He’s expected to be cleared to play in tomorrow’s contest, the second in a two-game series against California at Yankee Stadium.

• With catcher Gene Tenace mired in a season-long hitting slump, the Padres will shift the veteran backstop into a platoon situation with first baseman Broderick Perkins, with Rick Sweet taking over catching duties for the remainder of August and the bulk of September. With the September 1st roster expansion only a few days away, catcher Dave Roberts will soon report from AAA Hawaii to serve as Sweet’s regular backup.

• Cardinals rookie Todd Benefiel, who was struck in the head by a pitch from Atlanta reliever Dave Campbell on August 26th, and was removed from the following day’s game for precautionary reasons, has been cleared to play by medical specialists in Atlanta, and will fly to Houston in time to join his teammates in their series-opening game at the Astrodome.

• Tony Perez of the Expos has appealed his 1-game suspension after he was found using a doctored bat during the August 28th game against the Dodgers. Perez will continue to play while the appeal is under review.

• Johnny Bench of the Reds caught in his 108th game of the season on August 20th, surpassing his total of 107 games caught during the entirety of the actual 1978 season.

• LA catcher Steve Yeager, who was injured on August 28th when he was struck by a foul tip while catching, and originally was thought to have bruised his right hand, has now been diagnosed with a slight fracture, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Joe Ferguson was recalled from AAA Albuquerque to take his spot on the roster.

Attention SP78 Fans! Get your tickets now for
the August 29th Rangers-Jays game at Arlington Stadium,
and watch Al Oliver attempt to break the SP78 AL hitting streak record!

TWISP Notes #79

September 2, 2022

• The Padres have attempted five steals of home this season, and have been caught stealing each time. The most recent victim was Bill Almon on August 23rd, when he was caught thanks to a missed squeeze bunt by pitcher Randy Jones.

• After going 0-3 with two strikeouts in yesterday’s Cards-Braves match-up, St Louis manager Ken Boyer took rookie Todd Benefiel out of the game for precautionary reasons, worried that the beanball he suffered on Saturday may have given him vision trouble, or worse. With the Cardinals off today, Benefiel was sent to a medical specialist in Atlanta, and if he’s cleared will catch up with the team in Houston for their upcoming series against the Astros.

• The Expos and Giants participated in SP78 Game #1700 on August 27th, the second game of a doubleheader at Candlestick Park, with Montreal taking both games by scores of 3-1 and 2-1. Game #1800 is scheduled to take place during the NL slate of games on September 4th.

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TWISP Notes #78

July 13, 2022

• Rangers outfielder Johnny Grubb hit his second grand slam of the season—and third of his career—in the third inning of the August 26th Texas-KC game at Arlington Stadium. The clout came at the expense of Royals starter Rich Gale, and lifted the Rangers to a 4-3 win.

• The Dodgers placed starting pitcher Doug Rau on the 15-day disabled list yesterday, retroactive to August 20th. Rau suffered a shoulder injury while pitching in the second inning of the August 19th game against the Mets. With no pitchers available in AAA, the Dodgers will shift to a 4-man starting rotation, and will call up outfielder Myron White from Albuquerque of the Pacific Coast League to serve as a pinch-hitter, and a backup outfielder during the absence of a Dusty Baker.

• The Padres have also converted to a 4-man starting rotation, returning John D’Acquisto to the bullpen, switching Bob Shirley into a spot-starter role, and keeping Gaylord Perry, Randy Jones, Bob Owchinko, and Eric Rasmussen as their starting quartet.

• Cardinals rookie speedster Todd Benefiel stole second, third, and home in the the eighth inning of the Cards’ 12-3 rout of the Braves yesterday, becoming the tenth SP78 player this season to steal home, and just the second this year to steal three bases in one inning. Mike Edwards of the A’s was the first, doing so July 27th against the White Sox.

• Roger Moret made his pitching debut for the Rangers on August 26th, allowing just two runs on six hits over six innings to earn the win in a 4-3 victory over the Royals. During the 1978 season (his last in the majors), Moret went 0-1 in seven appearances, earning one save while posting a 4.91 ERA.

• Braves reliever Dave Campbell, who’s had his share of run-ins with opposing batters this season, has been suspended by the National League office for ten games, after involving himself in another beanball incident, on August 26th. For more on this story, click here.

• The second game of the Expos-Giants doubleheader at Candlestick Park on August 27th will be Game #1700 of the SP78 Replay season.

• Phillies veteran Jim Kaat, currently 8-4 with a 2.94 ERA in 20 appearances as a starter and reliever, will be moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation for the September stretch run, while Randy Lerch (10-8, 3.04) will shift to a relief role, joining Tug McGraw as the second southpaw in the pen.

• Boston’s win on August 26th—a rain-shortened 3-0 shutout of the Angels at Fenway Park—snapped their 8-game losing streak, and was their first victory since 2017.

• Indians pitcher Wayne Garland, recently called up from the Portland Beavers of the PCL, will make his first appearance with the parent club on August 27th, against the White Sox at Comiskey Park. Garland had six starts in 1978, all in April, before missing the rest of the season following surgery for a torn rotator cuff.

• There are just five calendar days and 57 games remaining for the month of August.

Hey Fans! August 29th is Half-Price Tuesday at Candlestick Park!

TWISP Notes #77

March 4, 2022

• Mets pitcher Jerry Koosman, who’s been struggling as a starter with a record of 5-19 and a 4.18 ERA, will be moved to the bullpen in hopes a change of scenery will turn his luck around. During the actual 1978 season, Koosman made six relief appearances to go along with his 32 starts.

• Also for the Mets, starter Nino Espinosa, who’s been hampered by nagging shoulder pain, was sent to the Tidewater Tides of the International League on a rehabilitation assignment. Right-hander Tom Hausman, who is currently 5-2 with a 1.22 ERA in ten starts with the Tides, was called up to take Espinosa’s spot in the starting rotation.

• The Padres returned pitcher Mark Wiley to their AAA farm club in Hawaii, and called up rookie outfielder Don Reynolds for late-inning defense and pinch-hitting purposes. Wiley was 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA during his short stint with the parent club.

• Reds slugger George Foster clubbed his 30th home run of the season on August 24th, off St Louis starter Bob Forsch in an 8-3 loss at Riverfront. It was the second time in his career he’s reached the 30-HR mark, after connecting for 52 the previous season to lead the major leagues.

• San Diego outfielder Dave Winfield collected his second 2-HR game of the season on August 25th, good for four RBI and a 5-1 Padres win. The pair of homers gives Winfield a total of 28 for the season, already a career high.

• Willie Wilson of the Royals became the ninth SP78 player this season to steal home, doing so off Jon Matlack and the Rangers on August 25th. It was Wilson’s first career home theft.

• Pitcher Rick Honeycutt of the Mariners suffered a pulled groin muscle during the fifth inning of the M’s-Orioles match-up on August 25th, and left the game immediately, down 4-0 in what would eventually become a 7-0 M’s loss. He will likely miss his next 2-3 starts.

• In their meeting with the Red Sox on August 25th, the Angels collected five home runs – from Rick Miller, Don Baylor, Carney Lansford, and Ron Jackson twice – to tie an SP78 record, shared by four other teams. The circuit clouts helped the Halos to a 12-3 win.

• While I’ve been housesitting for my friend Julie in Tucson over the past few months, her AZ21 home has has seen 15 SP78 games played, and has jumped from 106th place – with one game played in 2020 – to 23rd on the all-time games hosted list.

• After establishing himself as the team’s best power hitter over the course of the SP78 season, Braves first baseman Dale Murphy has finally been moved up in the batting order, from the eighth spot to cleanup. His teammate, catcher Biff Pocoroba, is hitting .375 for August, and has been bumped up to fifth.

• It was announced today by the Tigers organization that second baseman Steve Dillard suffered a concussion when he collided with teammate Ron LeFlore in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Blue Jays on August 23rd, which resulted in his immediate departure from the game. Dillard was placed on the 30-day disabled list the following day, while LeFlore – who left the game with an elbow contusion – will be out for at least a week.

Attention Fans! August 27th is Beer Case Stacking Day at Comiskey Park!