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.
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.
Posted in Inside SP78
Tagged baseball, board game, Burt Hooton, Davey Lopes, July, LA, Los Angeles Dodgers, NL West, Reggie Smith, Ron Cey, Statis Pro 1978 Replay
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