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Comet Beaned, Cards Respond in 12-3 Melee

After last week’s series-ending brawl between the Cardinals and Braves in St Louis, everyone was waiting for the simmering anger to bubble over between these two teams in the follow-up series at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. It didn’t happen in the opening game on Friday, but in Saturday’s meeting, all hell broke loose when 15-year-old rookie Todd Benefiel was hit in the head by a pitch from reliever Dave Campbell, sparking a brawl that saw six players ejected from the game, in what would be an eventual 12-3 Cards victory.

Tensions were already on high when St Louis opened the game with three quick runs off Atlanta starter Eddie Solomon (4-10), thanks to singles from Benefiel and Garry Templeton, and a three-run blast over the wall in right by Keith Hernandez, his tenth home run of the season. The Braves would counter with a run in the second, when Gary Matthews tripled home Jeff Burroughs with one out; Matthews would be left stranded at third, however, as Cards right-hander Silvio Martinez (9-11) retired the next two batters on easy infield outs to end the threat.

To read the entire recap, make comments, and see an important section of the scoresheet, click here.

Home Run Stats Completed

After spending a handful of days gathering home run data from the scoresheets of all 1,696 games played so far during my SP78 season, I’ve finished adding those numbers to the eight home run sub-categories listed on this site, and they’re now ready to be accessed. These sub-categories can be found by clicking the Statistics header at the top of any page, then hovering over the Miscellaneous Stats and Home Runs drop-downs before clicking on a particular sub-category title.

These sub-categories include home run totals for pitchers, pinch-hits, grand slams, 2-HR and 3-HR games, and inside-the-park, pinch-hit, and game-ending shots. All totals in each category are broken down by National League and American League batters; one table in the AL, for pitcher home runs, is of course blank, because no AL pitcher has yet hit one (only one pitcher, Steve Busby of the Royals, even has a hit…a single).

Having now seen the results of these compilations, it’s interesting to note that Dodgers slugger Reggie Smith, who leads both leagues in home runs and 2-HR games by considerable margins, has yet to hit a grand slam. And speaking of which…if anyone can tell me why there’s such a discrepancy between the NL and AL in grand slams, I’d appreciate it. I mean, it can’t strictly be because of the DH, can it?

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!