Tag Archives: SP78 Replay

Expos Going Through The Motions In July

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.

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July Continues Downward Spiral for Astros

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.

Cubs Stats For July Are Done!

Season stats through July are now finished for the Cubs, who held on to second place in the NL East despite an underwhelming 11-17 record for the month, and a 50-53 record for the year, which put them 15 games behind the first-place Phillies. Dennis Lamp remained the ace of the staff with a 12-4 mark and a 2.43 ERA, while slugger Dave Kingman’s 27 home runs and 74 RBI ranked him among the league leaders in the National League. Chicago had some trouble with the NL West this month, going 6-13 against the teams of that division; unfortunately, their August slate of games is dominated by NL West opponents as well.

Though you won’t see it yet on the July pages, I’ve begun adding a new stat box to every team page: a SB/CS breakdown for each player, showing separate results for stolen bases and caught stealing of second, third, and home, plus each player’s steal rating (designated by a letter between A and E). Currently these boxes are complete and posted for every team in April, and all NL teams in May; for a sample box, check the Astros page here, and look beneath ‘Games Played by Position’.

And to take a look at the Cubs stat page for July, click here. And remember, 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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Braves Stats Updated Through July

Updating the SP78 season statistics through July 31st has begun, with the Atlanta Braves the first of a wave of National League teams to have their stat page for July finalized and posted. The Braves, who currently reside in the cellar of the NL West, went 10-17 for July and finished the month trapped in a 7-game losing skid. The only bright spots for the team this season are shortstop Darrel Chaney—well on his way to his best season ever, with a .318 average and 115 hits—and closer Gene Garber, who has ten saves and an ERA of 1.00 in 35 relief appearances.

Also noteworthy: the only team Atlanta has a winning record against this season —a surprising 9 wins against just 4 losses—is division-rival San Diego.

To check out the Braves stat page for 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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Carbonic Spray: The Sad Case of Ken Holtzman

CHI-N - Ken Holtzman poseFor pitcher Ken Holtzman, it’s a moment from his past he’s not likely to forget: standing in the Cubs’ bullpen between innings, staring up at the scoreboard looming high over the center field seats, and suddenly feeling a misty coolness settle softly on his face, neck, and arms. Above him, leaning over a railing surrounding the bleacher section, was a fan holding a large cup of soda, its bubbly carbonation splattering down onto Holtzman like a drizzly, sticky rain. And before he could do anything about it—before he knew it was even happening, actually—Holtzman had become permanently marked, like a man whose adult case of chicken pox had left his body riddled with scars.

sp78-carbonic-drink-80And so it was with my pristine Statis Pro player card of Holtzman, who during an SP78 match-up that was played sometime in the early-1990s, had been situated a little too close to the rocks glass of cola I’d been drinking during the game, and whose white cardstock had thus become stained with dozens upon dozens of tiny caramel-colored pinprick dots. And like so many other player cards damaged during my season—from creases to rubber band marks to potato chip stains—his was now stricken with this unique blemish for the remainder of his career, a constant and ugly reminder that taking part in a baseball board game is not always as safe as it looks.

Since that fateful day, whenever I’d play a game and would have a glass of Pepsi or Coke Classic with me at the desk or table, I would always make sure to place it at a reasonably safe distance from the board and cards. Thankfully, after 2008, when I stopped drinking soda altogether, the game and its players were never again in danger of accidental carbonation damage. Of course, that’s of little consolation to our tainted friend Mr. Holtzman:

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