Tag Archives: July

Giants Remain in NL West Hunt Through July

While the Dodgers and Padres have been battling each other for first place in the NL West, the Giants have been quietly biding their time in the third place position, never straying more than five games back and hoping to make a move if the top two teams happen to implode. With an SP78 won-lost record of 63-42, the Giants’ mark is nearly identical to that of their 1978 counterparts, who were 63-43 and sitting atop the West by the end of July, just a stone’s throw ahead of the Reds and Dodgers. And with six games scheduled against LA during the first half of August, the Giants may find themselves leading the division at some point over the next few weeks.

Keeping the Giants alive in July were their pitching staff, whose team ERA topped the National League with an eye-popping 1.58. Randy Moffitt and Charlie Williams both went 4-0 for the month, and John Montefusco led all starters with a 0.87 mark (only two members of the staff had an ERA higher than 1.89). At the plate, Mike Ivie’s .339 average was tops on the team, and his .389 BA for the season ranks among the league leaders in the NL. Jack Clark leads the squad with 20 home runs and 60 runs batted in through July, while Willie McCovey is still waiting for his elusive 500th career home run; with just three HRs hit this season, he’s still four pokes short of the milestone.

To take a look at how the Giants are doing 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.

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Padres Keep Pace with Dodgers in July

The surprising San Diego Padres kept pace in the NL West with the front-running Dodgers throughout the month of July, posting a respectable 17-12 record and remaining just two games out of first place by the end of the month (and doing this despite leading the NL with 40 errors, nine ejections, and ten runners picked off base). At this time during the actual 1978 season, the Padres had a record of 54-52 (compared to 65-40 in SP78) and were in fourth place, nine games behind the first-place Giants.

Gene Richards led the team with a .340 average for the month, while Dave Winfield connected for eight home runs and collected 17 RBI to lead in the power department. And though Gaylord Perry led the starting rotation with a 1.80 ERA (and is currently 14-4 for the season), it was Bob Owchinko who dominated the won-lost column, going 4-0 in six starts and posting an impressive 2.16 ERA. Relief ace Rollie Fingers was 1-0 with five saves and a 0.63 earned run average over 12 relief appearances, and is a solid contender for the NL Fire Chief Trophy.

To peruse the Padres page for stats 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, which will be soon.

Bucs’ Subpar July Hinders NL East Chances

After posting an impressive 18-10 won-lost record in June, the Pittsburgh Pirates slumped to 10-18 in July, putting a momentary damper on their chances at the top spot in the Phillies-controlled NL East. The good news is, the two teams blocking their path, the Cubs and Expos, also had disappointing records in July. The bad news: the two teams trailing them, the Mets and Cardinals, are closing in fast, setting up a possible 5-team August logjam for second place in the East. And along with that, one glaring fact remains: the Bucs are still in fourth place, 18 games back of first place, with just two months to go in the regular season.

Outfielder Bill Robinson led the squad in July with a .366 average, and his 26 hits were second best behind Dave Parker, who had 28. But as a team the Pirates hit just .234, and Parker’s four home runs were—sadly—enough to lead the Bucs’ power-deficient offense. Starter Jim Rooker had an earned run average of 2.12 in five starts, and a trio of relievers (Kent Tekulve, Bruce Kison, and Grant Jackson) all had ERA’s hovering around 1.75. But the team lost 18 games in July, tied for the NL lead, and they carry a 4-game losing streak heading into August.

To check out the Pirates page for stats 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.

Phillies Dominate NL East Through July

The Philadelphia Phillies continued their rampant supremacy of the NL East through the first four months of the SP78 season, posting a 22-6 record in July and solidifying their hold on first place in the division, while increasing their lead over the second place Cubs to a demoralizing 15 games. Their season record improved to 65-38, good for second-best in the major leagues; they’re the only team from either league to have stayed in the top spot of their division for the entire season. From a statistical standpoint, the Phils led all NL teams in batting average and slugging percentage in July, and were third in team ERA.

Individual player numbers were staggering as well. Richie Hebner hit .419 for the month, tops in the NL, while Larry Bowa’s league-leading 153 hits for the season has helped him to a team-best .342 average over 99 games played. Greg Luzinski leads the Phils in home runs with 27 and RBI with 65, while Hebner and team captain Mike Schmidt have contributed in the HR department with 20 round-trippers each. On the mound, Larry Christenson leads the Phils’ staff with 13 wins, while reliever Ron Reed’s 12 saves and 0.57 ERA rank among the best in the NL.

To take a look at the Phillies statistics page 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 after July award winners have been picked.

Dismal July Dooms Fading Mets

It was a disappointing and frustrating July for the New York Mets, who went 9-18 for the month and plummeted from five games under .500 and eight games out of first place on June 30th, to fifteen games under and 20½ out just one month later. And with the last-place Cardinals on a hot streak, the Mets are in danger of losing their grip on fifth place and dropping into the cellar of the NL East.

Batting slumps and skyrocketing ERA’s plagued the Mets all month long, but it was the abundance of injuries that affected the team the most. Their star player, Lee Mazzilli, went out with injuries twice (the first time was for six days, but the second earned him a visit to the 15-day disabled list), while infielder Doug Flynn and outfielder Bruce Boisclair were also knocked out of action, for a combined 35 games. As a team, the Mets batted just .245, but their average through July 31st wasn’t much better, at .250, good for last in the National League.

Adding to the Mets woes is the fact that, through July, they’re the only SP78 team, in either league, not to be managed by an opponent this season.

The month was not without its positives, however. Though he only played in 14 games, Mazzilli contributed with seven home runs and 15 RBI, and led the club with a .358 average; his season mark of .369 ranks among the league’s leaders. And while the Met pitching staff was crumbling around him, Craig Swan was mowing down opponents at a startling rate, going 4-0 in four starts with a 0.55 ERA, which improved his season won-lost record to 12-5.

To take a look at the Mets statistics page through July, click here. The boxes for team rankings have now been finalized, and now appear on the July stat pages of every previous NL team, including New York. However, boxes for league leaders and award winners are still blank, and numbers will be added after all NL team statistics have been finalized, and July award recipients have been picked.

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