Bosox Hoping for Miracle After Sub-Par July

During the actual 1978 season, it was the Red Sox who had the division lead at the end of July, compiling a 65-38 won-lost mark and holding a 5½ game lead over the second-place Brewers in the AL East. But things haven’t been so sweet for the Bosox during the SP78 campaign; they’re currently in fifth place, 15½ games back of the powerhouse Yankees, and saddled with an underwhelming 50-56 mark. In ’78, the miracle Yanks went from fourth to first in two months to capture the East flag; unfortunately, the Sox are going to have a much tougher time making that same turnaround.

Making matters worse was their 13-17 record in July, which included a dismal 3-12 run to round out the month. Jim Rice, Dwight Evans, and Carl Yastrzemski all batted over .300, but the team as a whole is sorely lacking in the power department, and Rice can’t seem to live up to his card’s 33-41 home run range and power rating of BD-2 (one of only two players in SP78 to carry such a rating). Their pitching is suspect as well: only three pitchers on the staff had an ERA less than 4.00 for the month, and Boston hurlers have thrown just one shutout all season. Dennis Eckersley (12-5) and Andy Hassler (6-1, one save) appear to be the only mound standouts for the Sox, and with zero help waiting in the AAA wings, it could be another long month for the Beantowners.

To take a peek at the Red Sox stat page for results through July, click here. The boxes for league leaders, team rankings, and award totals have been left blank; these numbers will be added after all NL team statistics have been finalized, and July award winners have been picked.


July W-L Record Best for O’s This Season

With a season best 16-13 won-lost mark for July, the Baltimore Orioles have remained on the edge of contention in their division, with two months left to close the 12-game gap between fourth place and the top spot in the AL East. And with nine games scheduled in August against the first-place Yankees, that gap could be shortened to a few games very quickly.

And with Ken Singleton, Eddie Murray, and Pat Kelly all hitting over .350 for the month, and starters Mike Flanagan and Scott McGregor posting identical 4-1 records (and closer Don Stanhouse contributing with a 4-0 mark and five saves), the O’s seem poised and ready for a high-flying August. But to do so, they’ll have to improve their overall mound numbers: as a team, their ERA was a shocking 5.11, and seven pitchers went winless in July (Dennis Martinez was 0-4 with an embarrassing 10.20 earned run average). McGregor and Stanhouse have been the lone bright spots through the SP78 campaign; at 16-4, McGregor is well on his way to his first 20-win season, while Stanhouse has already equaled his career-best year for saves, with ten.

To check out the Orioles stat page for the season through July, click here. The boxes for league leaders, team rankings, and award totals have been left blank; these numbers will be added after all AL team statistics have been finalized, and July award winners have been chosen.

July NL Award Winners Announced!

Finally, three years after the slate of games for July was completed, the National League award winners for that month have been selected. Check out the complete list below; for a more detailed look at prior recipients, a description of each award, and photos of the trophies and plaques awarded, check the ‘SP78 Awards’ section of the Statistics dropdown link above.

NL Player of the Month
Richie Hebner, Philadelphia Phillies
.419 BA, 39 hits, 20 runs, 23 RBI, 2-HR game

NL Pitcher of the Month
Dick Ruthven, Philadelphia Phillies
4-0, 0.23 ERA, 2 shutouts, pitched the first SP78 no-hitter

Fire Chief Trophy
Doug Bair, Cincinnati Reds
1-0, 9 saves, 0.68 ERA, league-leading 16 appearances

Crystal Slugger Award
Richie Hebner, Philadelphia Phillies
.774 slugging percentage

Barnes Memorial Trophy
Richie Hebner, Philadelphia Phillies
.419 batting average

Bradley Memorial Trophy
Dick Ruthven, Philadelphia Phillies
0.23 earned run average

Diamond Glove Award
C – Johnny Bench, Cincinnati Reds
1B – Richie Hebner, Philadelphia Phillies
2B – Manny Trillo, Chicago Cubs
SS – Larry Bowa, Philadelphia Phillies
3B – Ron Cey, Los Angeles Dodgers
OF – Dave Kingman, Chicago Cubs
OF – George Foster, Cincinnati Reds
OF – Warren Cromartie, Montreal Expos

Iron Glove Award
Bill Almon, San Diego Padres
10 errors – 3B

Hothead of the Month Award
Gene Tenace, San Diego Padres
3 ejections

Also, two additional awards that were presented during the SP78 All-Star Game were recently discovered while I was researching historical notes from the game, and have now been included on the All-Star Game awards page.


NL League Leaders Through July are Available!

League leaders in all major categories, both player and team (and current through July 31st), have been added to all team stat pages in the National League, and are ready for your perusal. Bold red numbers indicate individual leaders in that category, while bold orange numbers designate players tied for the league lead. If you’d rather not dig through each team’s page searching for these select players, leaders in a few of the major categories are listed below. And check out that Triple Crown contender!

Batting Average: .389, Reggie Smith, LA
Runs: 80, Reggie Smith, LA
Hits: 153, Larry Bowa, PHA
Doubles: 32, Dave Concepcion, CIN
Home Runs: 37, Reggie Smith, LA
RBI: 90, Reggie Smith, LA
Walks: 70, Jeff Burroughs, ATL
Strikeouts: 117, Dave Kingman, CHI
Stolen Bases: 66, Ozzie Smith, SD
HBP: 13, Dave Cash, MON

Games: 49, Doug Bair, CIN
Starts: 24, Pat Zachry, NY-N
Innings Pitched: 182.0, Vida Blue, SF
Wins: 14, Gaylord Perry, SD
Losses: 15, Jerry Koosman, NY-N
Saves: 20, Kent Tekulve, PIT
ERA: 1.35, Craig Swan, NY-N
Complete Games: 11, Gaylord Perry, SD
Strikeouts: 168, JR Richard, HOU
Walks: 64, Pat Zachry, NY-N

Cards Hope to Rebound from Rough July

The St Louis Cardinals are hoping to bounce back from a disappointing 11-16 record in July, where the team ERA was a staggering 4.09, and with a handful of pitchers and a 15-year-old rookie phenom waiting for a call-up from AAA Springfield in August, they seem to be primed and ready to move out of the cellar and into fifth—and maybe even fourth—place in the NL East. With an overall record of 40-65 and just a 5½ game gap between them and the fifth-place Mets, that goal seems more than possible.

Though Cardinal batters seemed to be living up to expectations (team batting for July was .270, with catcher Ted Simmons leading the squad with a .394 mark), team pitching was definitely on the skids. Bob Forsch’s ERA was a lofty 8.00, and he completed no games over six starts (the staff as a whole completed only four), while Card starters could muster only one July shutout, when reliever Tom Bruno made a rare start and blanked the Padres 2-0 on the 28th. Meanwhile, spot starter Pete Falcone’s ERA ballooned to 7.82 for the year after he allowed 11 runs over six innings pitched in July, prompting a demotion to Springfield.

To check out the Cardinals stat page for numbers through July, click here. The boxes for league leaders, team rankings, and award totals have been left blank; these numbers will be added after all NL team statistics have been finalized, and July award winners have been picked, both of which will be very soon.