Tag Archives: SP78

NL League Leaders Through July are Available!

League leaders in all major categories, both player and team (and current through July 31st), have been added to all team stat pages in the National League, and are ready for your perusal. Bold red numbers indicate individual leaders in that category, while bold orange numbers designate players tied for the league lead. If you’d rather not dig through each team’s page searching for these select players, leaders in a few of the major categories are listed below. And check out that Triple Crown contender!

Batting
Batting Average: .389, Reggie Smith, LA
Runs: 80, Reggie Smith, LA
Hits: 153, Larry Bowa, PHA
Doubles: 32, Dave Concepcion, CIN
Home Runs: 37, Reggie Smith, LA
RBI: 90, Reggie Smith, LA
Walks: 70, Jeff Burroughs, ATL
Strikeouts: 117, Dave Kingman, CHI
Stolen Bases: 66, Ozzie Smith, SD
HBP: 13, Dave Cash, MON

Pitching
Games: 49, Doug Bair, CIN
Starts: 24, Pat Zachry, NY-N
Innings Pitched: 182.0, Vida Blue, SF
Wins: 14, Gaylord Perry, SD
Losses: 15, Jerry Koosman, NY-N
Saves: 20, Kent Tekulve, PIT
ERA: 1.35, Craig Swan, NY-N
Complete Games: 11, Gaylord Perry, SD
Strikeouts: 168, JR Richard, HOU
Walks: 64, Pat Zachry, NY-N

Matlack Nabs 18th As Rangers Blank Tigers

TEX - Jon MatlackRangers ace Jon Matlack tied Mike Caldwell of the Brewers for the most wins in the major leagues yesterday, cruising to his 18th victory against just three defeats with a dominating 4-0 shutout of the Tigers before a Navy Night crowd at Tiger Stadium. For Matlack, who was traded to the Rangers in December after seven seasons with the Mets, the win was not only the 100th of his major league career, but helped lift Texas to a 4-game lead over second-place Kansas City in the tight AL West pennant race.

“I hit some rough spots last year,” Matlack said, referring to his 7-15 won-lost record with the Mets in 1977, “so it feels good to turn it around and help a team make a run at a division title.”

Help also came last night in the form of slugging left fielder Richie Zisk, another freshman member of the team, who spent last season with the White Sox after seven seasons with the Pirates; his 2-run home run in the first inning off Detroit spot starter Kip Young gave Texas a quick 2-0 lead. It was Zisk’s 19th HR of the year, and the first a slumping Rangers squad had hit since July 30th, when Johnny Grubb connected off Wilbur Wood in the second game of a twinbill against Chicago.

After Young averted further first-inning damage by enticing Grubb to loft an infield fly for the third out, Matlack ran into some trouble of his own to open the home half of the frame, serving up a double to Johnny Wockenfuss and a two-out walk to Jason Thompson. But Matlack settled down and retired Alan Trammell on a fly out to center to end the threat and escape the inning unscathed. From there, the former NL Rookie of the Year was invincible, retiring nine straight Tigers before Rusty Staub singled to lead off the fifth. Continue reading

Rangers Edge Brewers 3-2 on Yount Error in 8th

Whether it was a joke, a statement of sorts, or just a harbinger of things to come for the Brewers, when Texas starting pitcher Dock Ellis held up a tiny noose he’d found on the field and allowed himself to be photographed with it before the game, his teammates wondered if Ellis would be taking his starting assignment more seriously than he was taking his pre-game preparations.

Dock Ellis displays the infamous noose he'd found on the Arlington Stadium field before Sunday's 3-2 win over the Brewers.

As it turned out, they didn’t have to worry. Ellis pitched eight strong innings, allowing just two runs in earning his eighth win, as the Rangers clipped Milwaukee 3-2, thanks in part to shortstop Robin Yount’s misplayed ground ball off the bat of Bobby Bonds in the eighth, which allowed Bump Wills to trot home from third with the go-ahead and eventual winning run. Reliever Reggie Cleveland took over for Ellis in the final frame and shut down the Brewers for his ninth save, as Texas took two of their three weekend games at Arlington Stadium.

“I have no excuse,” said Yount. “I just freaking misplayed it.”

The Brewers opened the scoring in the second inning, when a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to deep right field by Sixto Lezcano gave Milwaukee a 1-0 lead. They could do no more harm, however, as Charlie Moore flew out to left for the second out, and Don Money—trying to score from second on a single up the middle by Gorman Thomas—was nailed at home on a pinpoint throw from center fielder Juan Beniquez, ending the inning.

The Rangers would take the lead in the fourth, when a Wills triple scored both Jim Sundberg and Toby Harrah with one out. Unfortunately, the lead was short-lived, as the Brewers came back on an RBI single from Cecil Cooper, scoring leadoff man Yount from second and knotting the score at 2-2.

With the game still deadlocked, rookie pitcher Willie Mueller had come on in the seventh in relief of starter Bill Travers and quickly got himself into trouble, allowing a base hit to Nelson Norman and a walk to Sundberg; he then worked himself out of the jam by retiring the next two Ranger batters, and entered the decisive eighth with the score tied and the top of the Texas order coming up.

But singles by Wills and Johnny Grubb chased Mueller in favor of Bill Castro, who this month had given up just one run in his six appearances as a reliever. With runners at the corners, Bonds bounced what appeared to be a routine grounder to Yount at short, which ticked off his glove and rolled into shallow left as Wills jogged home with what would prove to be the game-winning run. The tally was charged to Mueller, who suffered the first loss of his rookie season.

For Yount, it was his 27th error on the year, an embarrassing amount that had the young shortstop shaking his head in disgust after the game. “Horrible,” he stated to reporters. “just plain horrible. If I don’t get my act together, I’ll be joining Sakata in Spokane before the month is out.”

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