Category Archives: TWISP Notes

TWISP Notes #77

TWISP Notes
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!

TWISP Notes #76

TWISP Notes
December 13, 2021

• There are seven days and 82 games remaining in the August schedule.

• Tigers second baseman Steve Dillard was placed on the 30-day disabled list after he collided with outfielder Ron LeFlore in Game 1 of a twinbill between Toronto and Detroit at Tiger Stadium. LeFlore was also injured on the play, and will be out for at least a week.

• The Reds will experiment with a new lineup on August 25th, when they’ll revert back to one that was used during their 4-game sweep of the Yankees in the 1976 World Series. Dan Driessen will now bat clean-up, George Foster will be bumped down to fifth, and Johnny Bench will bat sixth, with Cesar Geronimo returning to center field on an everyday basis. If the experiment is a success, the lineup will continue to be used for the remainder of August, and possibly into and through September.

• The stage has been set for the final Guidry-Palmer match-up of the season, on August 31st at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. It will the fourth time the two have squared off against each other this season, with New York winning two of the three contests.

• Phillies outfielder Garry Maddox became the second player in the NL – and the eighth overall – to steal home this season, doing so against Rick Rhoden of the Dodgers on August 24th.

• While managing in a game during a recent visit to Arizona, my friend Steve P created his ‘Legends of Statis Pro’ list of his most memorable players from my SP78 season. On the list were Steve Ontiveros (CHI-N), Julio Cruz (SEA), Reggie Smith (LA), Sixto Lezcano (MIL), Ron Guidry (NY-A), Mike Caldwell (MIL), and Lou Whitaker (DET).

• Rangers outfielder Al Oliver extended his current SP78-leading hitting streak to 16 games.

• Outfielder Charlie Spikes of the Evansville Triplets was called up by the Tigers to fill the roster spot left vacant by the month-long injury to second baseman Steve Dillard. He’ll platoon with Tim Corcoran in center field until Ron LeFlore returns from injury at the end of the month.

• Dave Chalk of the Angels was suspended one game by the AL office for using an illegal bat during the NY-CAL game of August 23rd, and will serve the suspension on August 25th. He’s the fourth Angels player to be charged with illegal bat use this season, but only the first to be suspended.

• The Cardinals swept their 3-game series with the Reds this week, and by doing so have taken sole possession of fifth place in the NL East, dropping the Mets a game back after their extra-inning loss on Sunday. The Cards have now set their sights on the fourth-place Expos (five games ahead) and third-place Cubs (six games ahead).

Hey Fans! August 26th is Hardee’s Backpack Nite at Memorial Stadium!

TWISP Notes #75

TWISP Notes
May 5, 2021

• Tigers second baseman Lou Whitaker returned from his 27-year suspension in Game 2 of a Detroit-Toronto doubleheader on August 23rd, and with his squad down by one in the last of the ninth, and the tying and winning runs on base, he stroked a triple to the gap to score both runners and win it for Detroit; it was his first hit of the game, and first since June 10th.

• Don Baylor of the Angels and Roy Smalley of the Twins went into their August 23rd games tied for the American League lead in RBI, at 99. With a solo home run off Rangers starter Dock Ellis in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Metropolitan Stadium, Smalley thus became the first AL player to reach 100; it was also the first time in his career he’d reached that milestone. Dodgers outfielder Reggie Smith still leads the major leagues, with 107.

• With a hit in both games of that Rangers-Twins twinbill, Texas designated hitter Al Oliver extended his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest current streak in the majors.

• After each sitting out a handful of days due to minor injuries, outfielder Steve Kemp of the Tigers, pitcher Larry Sorensen of the Brewers, and outfielder Juan Beniquez of the Rangers will return to action with their respective clubs on August 24th.

• While working on adding all SP78 player names to an Excel spreadsheet, so I could begin posting league leaders for every day of games played, I noticed the Montreal Expos had only three position players on their AAA team in Denver, and all three were catchers: Ed Herrmann, Bobby Ramos, and Jerry Fry. Ramos and Fry, who played only a few games between them in ’78, have horrible cards: Ramos strikes out 11-88 and Fry strikes out 11-76, while both are ‘E’ runners and have ‘C’ arms. The rest of the team is made up of five pitchers, all with PB ratings of 2-5.

• In a match-up between the Giants and Mets on August 23rd, SF pitcher Bob Knepper tied an SP78 record—shared with hurlers Tom Seaver of the Reds and Don Sutton of the Dodgers—for sacrifices in a game, with three.

• With its 146th game played, site AZ18 in Peoria, Arizona moved past site AZ7 into third place on the all-time SP78 games hosted list.

• Phillies slugger Greg Luzinski connected for his 30th home run—and first grand slam—of the season, in Philadelphia’s 7-1 win over the Padres on August 23rd.

• Also on the 23rd, Yankees outfielder Mickey Rivers drilled his first career grand slam, off Angels starter Chris Knapp, in a 6-0 New York win over California.

• In Kansas City’s 12-1 drubbing of Chicago on August 23rd, all nine KC batters who came to the plate in the ninth scored.

Fans! August 25th is Publix Back-to-School Night at Comiskey Park!

TWISP Notes #74


TWISP Notes

November 7, 2020

• Tigers second baseman Lou Whitaker makes his long-awaited return from the SP78 suspended list on August 23rd, and will start the second game of a doubleheader against the Blue Jays at Tiger Stadium that night. It will mark the first time in 64 games – since June 10, 1994 – that the Detroit rookie has seen major league action. Steve Dillard and Mark Wagner, the two utility infielders who took over for Whitaker during his suspension, will split second base duties in Game 1 of the twinbill.

• To make room for Whitaker on the team’s 25-man roster, the Tigers sent slumping third baseman Aurelio Rodriguez to their AAA club at Evansville. Rodriguez, hitting just .224 in 84 games this season, will return to the parent club on September 1st, when all clubs expand their rosters to forty players. Until then, Phil Mankowski will take over at third for Detroit.

• Mike Caldwell of the Brewers became the first pitcher this season to reach the 20-win mark, doing so August 22nd against the Indians at County Stadium. Caldwell (20-4)  topped the Tribe 9-1, and saw his ERA drop to 1.46.

• With an infield single in his fourth and final at-bat against the Red Sox on August 22nd, Seattle catcher Bob Stinson reached the 100-hit mark in a season for the first time in his 12-year career.

• A’s pitcher Steve Renko returned from the 15-day disabled list on August 22nd and started in that day’s match-up against the Orioles, where he pitched an outstanding game, allowing just four hits and one run over 6.2 innings, but came out on the losing end of a 1-0 O’s shutout.

• Tigers outfielder Steve Kemp was injured when he dove awkwardly for a fly ball off the bat of Twins hitter Hosken Powell in their August 22nd game at Metropolitan Stadium; the ball fell for a triple, and Kemp left the game with minor injuries. He’s expected to return to action in a few days.

• Bobby Murcer of the Cubs and Al Oliver of the Rangers will take 13-game hitting streaks into their respective games on August 23rd. Both are currently the longest active streaks in the SP78 season.

• The White Sox are the first SP78 team this season to lose 80 games.

• The Cubs activated outfielder Greg Gross from the 21-day disabled list, and sent outfielder Gene Clines to their minor league affiliate in Wichita.

• Despite his 6-3 win over the Padres on August 22nd, Phillies starter Jim Lonborg (5-9) is still the only pitcher on the squad who has a losing record.

Fans! August 24th is 7-Up Junior Padres Night at San Diego Stadium!