Tag Archives: National League

NL League Leaders Updated

If you scroll down the main page of this site, and check out the left-hand column, you’ll find that the League Leaders and Team League Leaders have been updated for the National League, for games played through August 23rd. And though the numbers have obviously changed, many of the players and teams have not; for the most part, the leaders have stayed the same, save for a few swaps in their order among the Top 5.

Triple Crown candidate Reggie Smith of the Dodgers still has a comfortable lead in the HR and RBI departments, but Reds third sacker Pete Rose has overtaken him in the batting average race, albeit by just a few percentage points, .375 to .372. Larry Bowa of the Phillies finds himself just eight hits away from the first 200-hit season of his career (and if he makes it, it’ll be the only 200-hit season during his 16 years in the majors), but Rose is not far behind at 185, and LA iron man Steve Garvey has a decent chance—if he doesn’t suddenly slump—at 171.

Somehow, Mets starter Craig Swan leads the NL—and possibly the majors—in earned run average, at 1.69, but as I just discovered, he actually won the NL ERA title in 1978! Way to go, Swannie! Bucs reliever Kent Tekulve still leads both leagues with 26 saves, and if he reaches 31, it’ll be a career high (he reached that total in both 1978 and 1979). And Houston fireballer J.R. Richard could very well be the only SP78 pitcher to reach 200 strikeouts this season; he’s nine shy at 191, and the next closest NL hurler is Steve Carlton of the Phillies, who’s well back of Richard at 143.

The Dodgers and Phillies still occupy most of the team leader categories, with the occasional aberration—the Cubs leading in batting, the Cardinals leading in doubles—standing out. I’m working on the AL leaders now, and will hopefully have those updates posted in a few weeks. The next league-wide update will take place in an SP78 calendar week, on August 31st.

The Forster Anomoly

After I’d recently posted a recap for a game where LA closer Terry Forster had pitched seven long innings, and was allowed to bat late in the game in a critical situation, a discussion began among SP78 fans on whether or not it was a smart managerial move to allow even a good-hitting pitcher to bat under those conditions. Or if it’s reasonable to have a pitcher pinch-hit instead of a regular bench player, especially when that pitcher holds the highest all-time batting average for any player with 50 or more at-bats, or 15 seasons in the major leagues.

With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to let Forster pinch-hit in the next Dodgers game—if a situation logically allows for it—and see what happens…is he really as good a hitter as people think he is? Will it finally prove that my brother, who managed that long-ago game and allowed Forster to hit, was right all along? Tell me what you think by voting below; results will not be final until the first FAC card of the next Dodgers game is turned, which could be anytime between next week and next September.

 

The Grease Game

For those of you visiting this post because you happened to see the heading above, thinking this was an article about a charity softball game with teams managed by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, I apologize…this is definitely not that article. Instead, this is a story about a Statis Pro baseball game played nearly forty years ago, outside of the confines of my SP78 Replay season, between two teams managed by my brother and his friend, and played while they snacked on a decidedly non SP78-sanctioned snack item.

The date was July 8, 1981. My brother Scott was at our house on Palacio Place in Rancho Bernardo, California, hanging out with his friend Matt, while I was at a screening of Superman II at our local multiplex with my friend Brent. At some point during the evening, the two decided to play my Statis Pro Baseball board game, with Scott taking the reins of his favorite team, the Dodgers, against Matt and the hometown Padres. Continue reading

LA’s Smith First to Reach 100 RBI

With his 41st home run of the season, a two-run shot off Phillies right-hander Jim Lonborg in the third inning of an August 17th game at Veterans Stadium, Dodgers slugger Reggie Smith became the first player in either league to collect one hundred RBI during the SP78 season. It was the second time Smith has achieved that coveted plateau in his career; he last reached the mark in 1974, hitting an even 100 as a member of the Cardinals. He’s also the SP78 single-game record holder for runs batted in, having collected ten in the first game of a doubleheader against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 16th.

No other National League player is even close to one hundred (George Foster of the Reds is in second place with 86), and with a league-leading 41 home runs and a robust .366 average, Smith is a serious contender for the Triple Crown award, with just under a month and a half remaining in the season. It would be the first Triple Crown in the major leagues since Boston outfielder Carl Yastrzemski won the award in 1967, and the first in the National League since Joe Medwick turned the trick for the Cardinals forty years earlier, in 1937.

What makes this particular RBI milestone even more amazing is that Smith has missed three weeks of the season due to injury; if he stays healthy, he’ll still have a whopping 42 games remaining in the LA schedule to add to his total. At his current pace of one RBI per game, he’d finish the 1978 campaign with 142 (and at one HR hit every 2.4 games, he’d break Roger Maris’ home run record of 61 by one). The question now is, will he remain healthy?

Said Smith in the locker room after the game in Philadelphia, “Oh yeah…I’m done with all this injury crap.”