Tag Archives: NL West

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.

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.

Dodgers End July With Best Record In Majors

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.

 

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