Mets’ Zachry Stymies Padres With 1-Hit Gem

A Senior Citizens Day crowd was on hand at Shea Stadium on Wednesday afternoon to witness Pat Zachry pitch the 13th one-hitter in Mets history, a sparkling 4-0 shutout win over the Padres at a windswept Shea Stadium in New York. The victory improved Zachry’s season record to 14-9, and it was the first one-hit gem thrown by a Mets pitcher since former staff ace Tom Seaver blanked the Cubs 6-0 on April 17th of last year.

The only hit allowed by Zachry was a solid single by Gene Richards with two out in the sixth; Richards then stole second, but was left stranded when Ozzie Smith popped out to Zachry to end the frame. Beyond that, only two other Padres batters were able to reach base: lead-off hitter Richards opened the game with a walk, and pinch-hitter Derrel Thomas coaxed another walk from Zachry to lead off the eighth.

To read more about the game, and to find out why I included a photo of Mets pitcher Jerry Koosman on the recap page, click here.

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Dismal July Dooms Fading Mets

It was a disappointing and frustrating July for the New York Mets, who went 9-18 for the month and plummeted from five games under .500 and eight games out of first place on June 30th, to fifteen games under and 20½ out just one month later. And with the last-place Cardinals on a hot streak, the Mets are in danger of losing their grip on fifth place and dropping into the cellar of the NL East.

Batting slumps and skyrocketing ERA’s plagued the Mets all month long, but it was the abundance of injuries that affected the team the most. Their star player, Lee Mazzilli, went out with injuries twice (the first time was for six days, but the second earned him a visit to the 15-day disabled list), while infielder Doug Flynn and outfielder Bruce Boisclair were also knocked out of action, for a combined 35 games. As a team, the Mets batted just .245, but their average through July 31st wasn’t much better, at .250, good for last in the National League.

Adding to the Mets woes is the fact that, through July, they’re the only SP78 team, in either league, not to be managed by an opponent this season.

The month was not without its positives, however. Though he only played in 14 games, Mazzilli contributed with seven home runs and 15 RBI, and led the club with a .358 average; his season mark of .369 ranks among the league’s leaders. And while the Met pitching staff was crumbling around him, Craig Swan was mowing down opponents at a startling rate, going 4-0 in four starts with a 0.55 ERA, which improved his season won-lost record to 12-5.

To take a look at the Mets statistics page 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 New York. 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.

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Clark Scores Only Run As Giants Clip Expos 1-0

Roger Metzger’s two-out single to center in the top of the seventh sent Jack Clark home from second with the tie-breaking run, and John Montefusco shut down the Expos the rest of the way to collect his third shutout of the season, as the visiting Giants captured a close 1-0 game from the Expos at Montreal.

To read more about the game, and to check out some cool photos and make some cool comments, click here.

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.

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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.

 

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