October 1, 2019
• LA starter Doug Rau was forced to leave the August 19th game against the Mets in the second inning with what Dodgers pitching coach Red Adams called ‘stiffness in his left shoulder’. Rau has been listed as day-to-day, but will likely miss his next start.
• With the Blue Jays extra-inning loss to the Twins on Saturday, which saw them without a left-handed reliever when the Twins sent four left-handed batters to the plate in the extra frame to win it, Toronto manager Roy Hartsfield will be looking to Syracuse for a southpaw to add to his all-righty bullpen. The likely candidate is Mike Willis, who in 17 games with the Jays earlier this season was 0-0 with one save and an unfortunate 7.64 ERA.
• The resurgent Pirates have suddenly found themselves in second place in the NL East, having won 10 of their last 13, which included three wins in a four-game series against the division-leading Phillies. For the moment, however, the Phils can rest easy; the Bucs are still 14½ games back.
• With voting on Tigers second baseman Lou Whitaker’s return to major league action stalling at 13 votes (11 for his return, and two for keeping him suspended), the commissioner’s office will now make a decision regarding Whitaker’s status, taking into account the preferences of SP78 voters as well as the input of other AL team administrators. No date has been set for this announcement.
• The first game of the just-completed August 19th slate, a Padres-Expos match-up at Olympic Stadium, was the 100th game to be played at site AZ18 in Peoria, Arizona. The site is the fourth to reach the coveted century mark, and with 112 games now hosted, AZ18 is just 33 games behind ESC7 for third place on the all-time list.
• Dusty Baker of the Dodgers returned from the 15-day disabled list on the 19th; to make room for him on the roster, the club sent outfielder Joe Simpson—who had one hit in two at-bats during his three-week ML stint—to the Albuquerque Dukes of the Pacific Coast League.
• Boston’s Luis Tiant tied an SP78 record for runners picked off in a game by a pitcher when he nailed Oakland’s Miguel Dilone and Mitchell Page on August 19th at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Tiant now shares the record with Geoff Zahn of the Twins and Dave Freisleben of the Indians.
• White Sox second baseman Jorge Orta slugged his first career grand slam on Saturday, in the sixth inning off Tribe starter Mike Paxton, in a 7-3 Sox win at Municipal Stadium. The blast erased a 3-1 Cleveland lead, and was Orta’s only hit of the night after collecting three walks in his other plate appearances.
• My week-long ‘check the SP78 schedule and make sure each team is on track for 162 games played’ project has been completed, and I was surprised to find I’d only made only a handful of errors overall. Twice I’d flat-out failed to schedule games, and three times I wasn’t aware that single games were actually doubleheaders (thanks to the confusing term ‘twilight night’ I’d found on some schedules). I’d also had a postponed game that I didn’t realize was the last meeting of the season between the two teams, and since I want every team to play their full 162 games, I had to wedge that contest in where both teams happened to have an off day. Now, with so many games to add into the August-September schedule, I’m thinking I might have them all played on the October 2nd ‘free day’ between the end of the regular season and the start of the post-season…and maybe even turn October 3rd into a make-up day as well.
• My next project will be scanning the remainder of classic scoresheets from my list and adding them to the site, as well as figuring out how to get them lined up properly into rows of four. I think I’ve found the solution, so we’ll see if it works.
August 21st is McDonald’s Junior Jays Day at Toronto!