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.