The Astros experienced yet another sub-.500 record in July, going 12-16 for the month and dropping to fifth place in the NL West, a full 20 games behind the division-leading Dodgers. Houston has yet to have a winning month this season, and saw their fortunes take a downward turn late in July when three players—Art Howe, Terry Puhl, and Denny Walling—went on the 15-day disabled list with injuries. Ace starter J.R. Richard is also having a rough time; though his ERA is a respectable 2.42, his won-lost record stands at 9-9, and his chances of repeating his 20-win season of 1976 are looking more and more slim as the SP78 campaign progresses.
On a positive note, Enos Cabell is among the league leaders in hits, with 139, and he went 16-for-18 in steal attempts for the month (the team’s 161 total stolen bases leads the National League). Also worth mentioning is the fact that SP78 manager Steve P. has taken part in piloting the Astros in two games this season—including one game in July—and has won them both.
To check out the Astros page for statistics 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.
The Cincinnati Reds enjoyed their best month of the SP78 campaign in July, going 17-11 and finishing the month in fourth place in the NL West, 3½ games ahead of the fifth-place Astros, but no closer to the division-leading Dodgers than they were on June 30th, when they were 16½ games back. In head-to-head match-ups, the Reds went 10-2 against the Mets and Expos of the NL East, but sadly will face neither team in August; instead, they’ll meet up with the red-hot Padres and Pirates—who are a combined 10-2 against Cincinnati in SP78—a total of 13 times that month.
Individually, third baseman Pete Rose was tied for the National League lead in hits for July with 45, and his .378 average for the season ranks him among the NL batting leaders. Bullpen ace Doug Bair led relief pitchers with nine saves and 16 mound appearances, good for a 0.68 ERA for the month and a 1.35 mark for the year, while reliever Pedro Borbon went 3-0 in ten games (and this despite a 4.63 ERA over those ten games). On the negative side, catcher Johnny Bench had four passed balls in July—including three in one game—to bring his season total to nine, the most he’s had in one year since he fumbled that same amount back in 1970.
Also, the new stolen base/caught stealing stat box, which shows separate SB and CS totals for each player, is now available on all Reds stat pages (including July), as well as those for the Braves and Cubs. Click here to see all Cincinnati statistics for July, and when doing so keep in mind that some stats—such as league leaders, award winners, and team batting and pitching rankings—will not be available until all team stats for the month have been finalized.
For pitcher Ken Holtzman, it’s a moment from his past he’s not likely to forget: standing in the Cubs’ bullpen between innings, staring up at the scoreboard looming high over the center field seats, and suddenly feeling a misty coolness settle softly on his face, neck, and arms. Above him, leaning over a railing surrounding the bleacher section, was a fan holding a large cup of soda, its bubbly carbonation splattering down onto Holtzman like a drizzly, sticky rain. And before he could do anything about it—before he knew it was even happening, actually—Holtzman had become permanently marked, like a man whose adult case of chicken pox had left his body riddled with scars.
And so it was with my pristine Statis Pro player card of Holtzman, who during an SP78 match-up that was played sometime in the early-1990s, had been situated a little too close to the rocks glass of cola I’d been drinking during the game, and whose white cardstock had thus become stained with dozens upon dozens of tiny caramel-colored pinprick dots. And like so many other player cards damaged during my season—from creases to rubber band marks to potato chip stains—his was now stricken with this unique blemish for the remainder of his career, a constant and ugly reminder that taking part in a baseball board game is not always as safe as it looks.
Since that fateful day, whenever I’d play a game and would have a glass of Pepsi or Coke Classic with me at the desk or table, I would always make sure to place it at a reasonably safe distance from the board and cards. Thankfully, after 2008, when I stopped drinking soda altogether, the game and its players were never again in danger of accidental carbonation damage. Of course, that’s of little consolation to our tainted friend Mr. Holtzman:
Posted in The Wacky World of Statis Pro
Tagged 1990s, board game, carbonation, Coke, Cubs, Ken Holtzman, Pepsi, pitcher, SP78 Replay, spray, Statis Pro Baseball
Player and team statistics for all fourteen American League teams through the month of June have been completed, and are now available for review. The AL pages took a bit longer to complete than the NL (c’mon, I had two extra teams to deal with!), but now with both leagues finished, I can now begin work on July stats, which for the most part are already done and ready to be added to the site. Only stolen base statistics need to be compiled, and I already began work on those today. Look for July stats to be posted here soon.
Also updated on each team’s page were league leaders in many offensive and defensive categories (red fonts for leader, orange if tied for a lead), as well as team rankings for attendance, batting average, slugging percentage, and earned run average.
As mentioned in the previous NL June stats post, three new monthly award categories have been created for each league: the Crystal Slugger Award (individual slugging percentage leader), the Barnes Memorial Trophy (highest batting average for the month), and the Bradley Memorial Trophy (lowest ERA for the month). The winners of these three awards for April and May have been included as well.
Which June stats done, and July nearly ready to go up, it won’t be long until I’m able to add August numbers to the site, which would make my SP78 season stats current for the first time since the late-1980s…nearly thirty freaking years ago. Trust me, it’ll be nice to finally be able to reference stats that are truly up-to-date for that day’s slate of games, and have them up-to-date for you as well. From there, I’ll begin updating, adding to, and creating other sections of the SP78 site.
Player and team statistics for all twelve National League teams through the month of June have been completed, and are now available for review. Also updated on each team’s page were league leaders in many offensive and defensive categories (red fonts for leader, orange if tied for a lead), as well as team rankings for attendance, batting average, slugging percentage, and earned run average.
As you may already know, three new monthly award categories have been created for each league: the Crystal Slugger Award (individual slugging percentage leader), the Barnes Memorial Trophy (highest batting average for the month), and the Bradley Memorial Trophy (lowest ERA for the month). The winners of these three awards for April and May have been included as well.
Work has already begun on June stats for the American League; these pages will be completed alphabetically on team-by-team basis, leading off with the Baltimore Orioles and wrapping up with the Toronto Blue Jays. The entire AL process should take 2-3 weeks to complete.