I’ve now reached the middle of August of my SP78 season, so I thought it might be a good idea to update the current league leaders in all the major batting and pitching categories, for both players and teams. The most recent leaders were posted for July 31st, so only two SP78 weeks have passed to reach this latest update; not many names have changed for the each category’s top five spots, but the numbers definitely have. The updated leader boards can be found on this main page, in the left-hand column under the National League logo.
Dodgers outfielder Reggie Smith is still the leader in several batting categories, and if it weren’t for a pair of injuries in May and July that cost him 21 games, he could be leading in a handful of other categories as well. As it stands, he has a solid chance of winning the National League’s first Triple Crown since Joe Medwick of the Cardinals did it in 1937. And what the hell’s going on with Pepe Frias? He had just one triple during the actual 1978 season, but already has 14 in SP78! Maybe that 32-42 triple range on his player card has something to do with it (thanks again, Avalon Hill!); if so, maybe I should start playing him more, so he can be the first batter since Willie Mays in 1957 to hit twenty in a season.
And you’d think Mets pitcher Craig Swan’s current league-leading ERA of 1.58 is some sort of board game anomaly, but no, he actually was the NL’s earned run average leader in 1978! And could Gaylord Perry be this season’s only 20-game winner in the National League? (Wait, Steve Carlton has now cracked the top five in wins, so he has a chance as well). And look at Bucs reliever Kent Tekulve, about to break his own career record for saves in a season, with 31.
I’m still working on the American League leaders; those players and teams should be posted in a few weeks.
After hitting their high-water won-lost mark of 17-12 in May, the Expos seemingly gave up hope of catching the front-running Phillies in the NL East, going 11-17 in June and 13-18 in July to drop from 3½ to a whopping 18 games back of first place in the Eastern division. Having played the most games in July in the National League, with 31, the Expos also found themselves leaders in losses and innings pitched, and these numbers were reflected in the sub-par won-lost totals of their six main starters (Rogers, Schatzeder, Grimsley, May, and Sanderson), who were a combined 8-11 for the month and served up a league-leading 270 hits. A 7-game losing streak towards the end of the month didn’t help matters, either.
At the plate, Dave Cash led the regulars in July with a .303 batting average, while Warren Cromartie leads the team at .302 for the season. Andre Dawson and Ellis Valentine were the squad’s production leaders, sharing the top statistical spots for Montreal in doubles, home runs, and RBI, with Dawson also leading in triples and stolen bases.
Bright spots for Montreal included utility infielder Pepe Frias, who as a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement in July hit .443 and led the NL in triples with seven (despite just 61 at-bats for the month), and newcomer Bill Atkinson, who in eight games as a reliever went 2-2 with one save and a 1.46 ERA, after being called up to the Expos from the Denver Bears on July 1st.
To check out the Expos page for statistics 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 Montreal. 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.
Posted in Inside SP78
Tagged 1978, Bill Atkinson, Dave Cash, Expos, Gene Garber, Montreal, National League, Pepe Frias, season, SP78 Replay, statistics