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TWISP Notes #68


March 6, 2018

• Milwaukee ace Mike Caldwell became the first SP78 pitcher to win 19 games this season when the Brewers topped the Blue Jays 4-2 at County Stadium on August 16th. Caldwell (19-4) was one out away from securing his 17th complete game, but a walk and a pair of base hits by the Jays prompted a relief appearance from Ed Farmer, who coaxed a fly out from Dave McKay to end the threat. Caldwell will go for his 20th on August 22nd, when he faces the Indians in the first game of a twinbill at Milwaukee.

• Tribe southpaw Rick Waits, going for his 17th win of the year, settled for a no-decision after departing in the eighth of a 2-2 game between the Indians and Tigers at Detroit. It took 14 innings, but the Tribe ultimately came out on top by an 11-3 count.

• With a theft of second base off Orioles starter Mike Flanagan in the sixth inning of their game at the Kingdome, Julio Cruz of the Mariners recorded his 90th steal of the season, helping the M’s top the O’s 3-2. Cruz is now just six steals shy of the AL season record of 96, held by Tiger great Ty Cobb, and barring injury has a good chance of breaking Cardinals speedster Lou Brock’s major league record of 118, set in 1974.

• The final SP78 game for August 16th, a match-up between the Twins and Indians that was won by the Tribe 9-4, was the 67th game hosted by site AZ18 in Peoria, tying it with my friend Julie’s RB11 condo in Rancho Bernardo for 7th on the all-time games hosted list.

• Mets starter Pat Zachry silenced the powerhouse Padres in front of a rabid Shea Stadium crowd with a 1-hit shutout on August 16th, the third one-hitter of his young career. The only SD hit Zachry allowed was a single to Gene Richards with two out in the sixth, ending his bid for his first no-hit game, but he shut down the Padres the rest of the way to improve to 14-9 on the year.

• In 39.1 innings pitched over five starts in July, Rangers pitcher Jon Matlack gave up just on walk, and that one was intentional.

• Royals DH Hal McRae smacked the third grand slam of his career on August 16th against the Twins at Metropolitan Stadium, a shot to left field off Dave Goltz that capped a 6-run third inning for KC in a 7-4 win. His previous slam came in 1974, off Chuck Dobson of the Angels.

• With the Game 2 loss to the Angels in an August 12th doubleheader, the Mariners became the first SP78 team to complete 75% of their scheduled games for the season. With 121 games played so far, the M’s have just 41 left to play before their season comes to a close.

• After being charged with catcher interference in the second inning, then allowing the game-tying run to score in the 10th on a passed ball, Indians catcher Bo Diaz finally blew his top in the 13th, screaming at home plate umpire Ron Luciano over balls and strikes calls and prompting his second ejection of the season. The Indians won the game 11-3 in 14.

• The Brewers called up pitcher Mark Bomback from their PCL affiliate in Spokane, filling the spot vacated by pitcher Willie Mueller, who was sent down to AAA after going 0-2 with no saves and a 6.74 ERA over seven relief appearances in July and August.

• Season statistics through July have been completed for the remaining AL teams, and the process of loading these stats onto the SP78 blog site will commence immediately, beginning with the Tigers tonight. Look for a post detailing Detroit highlights in July later this week.

SP78 Fans! August 20th is Cards Jacket Day at Busch Memorial Stadium!



July Another Positive Month for Halos

The California Angels enjoyed their second straight winning month in July, going 15-14 and moving from sixth to fifth place in the AL West with an overall record of 48-58. However, they’re still quite a long way from first, as they dropped to 16½ games behind the front-running Rangers, and three games back of the fourth place A’s. In contrast, the 1978 club at this point in the season was in second place with a mark of 56-50, just four games behind the Kansas City Royals, who went on to capture the division crown.

Third baseman Carney Lansford continued his bid for AL Rookie of the Year honors, batting .339 for the month with a team-leading 38 hits and nine doubles; for the season he has 144 hits in 102 games, good for a .335 mark. Designated hitter Don Baylor hit nine HRs and drove in 21 runners in July to lead California in the power department, and by the end of the month had reached the 30-HR plateau for the first time in his career; he also added a second 3-HR game to his list of SP78 achievements. And newcomer Dave Machemer made a statement after his mid-season call-up from Salt Lake City by hitting four home runs (two of them grand slams), collecting 14 RBI, and hitting .368 in just seven games with the parent club. On the mound, starter Dave Frost went 4-1 with a 2.43 ERA, and reliever Dave LaRoche went 2-0 with three saves and a 0.47 ERA, to lead an otherwise underachieving Angels pitching staff.

To check out the Angels statistics page for totals 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 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