The St Louis Cardinals are hoping to bounce back from a disappointing 11-16 record in July, where the team ERA was a staggering 4.09, and with a handful of pitchers and a 15-year-old rookie phenom waiting for a call-up from AAA Springfield in August, they seem to be primed and ready to move out of the cellar and into fifth—and maybe even fourth—place in the NL East. With an overall record of 40-65 and just a 5½ game gap between them and the fifth-place Mets, that goal seems more than possible.
Though Cardinal batters seemed to be living up to expectations (team batting for July was .270, with catcher Ted Simmons leading the squad with a .394 mark), team pitching was definitely on the skids. Bob Forsch’s ERA was a lofty 8.00, and he completed no games over six starts (the staff as a whole completed only four), while Card starters could muster only one July shutout, when reliever Tom Bruno made a rare start and blanked the Padres 2-0 on the 28th. Meanwhile, spot starter Pete Falcone’s ERA ballooned to 7.82 for the year after he allowed 11 runs over six innings pitched in July, prompting a demotion to Springfield.
To check out the Cardinals stat page for numbers 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, both of which will be very soon.
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.
Posted in Inside SP78
Tagged board game, Giants, Jack Clark, July, National League, NL West, San Francisco, SP78 Replay, Statis Pro Baseball, statistics, Willie McCovey
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.
Posted in Inside SP78
Tagged 1978, board game, Bob Owchinko, Dave Winfield, Gene Richards, July, NL West, Padres, San Diego, SP78 Replay, Statis Pro Baseball, statistics
After posting an impressive 18-10 won-lost record in June, the Pittsburgh Pirates slumped to 10-18 in July, putting a momentary damper on their chances at the top spot in the Phillies-controlled NL East. The good news is, the two teams blocking their path, the Cubs and Expos, also had disappointing records in July. The bad news: the two teams trailing them, the Mets and Cardinals, are closing in fast, setting up a possible 5-team August logjam for second place in the East. And along with that, one glaring fact remains: the Bucs are still in fourth place, 18 games back of first place, with just two months to go in the regular season.
Outfielder Bill Robinson led the squad in July with a .366 average, and his 26 hits were second best behind Dave Parker, who had 28. But as a team the Pirates hit just .234, and Parker’s four home runs were—sadly—enough to lead the Bucs’ power-deficient offense. Starter Jim Rooker had an earned run average of 2.12 in five starts, and a trio of relievers (Kent Tekulve, Bruce Kison, and Grant Jackson) all had ERA’s hovering around 1.75. But the team lost 18 games in July, tied for the NL lead, and they carry a 4-game losing streak heading into August.
To check out the Pirates 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.
Posted in Inside SP78
Tagged Bill Robinson, board game, Dave Parker, Jim Rooker, July, NL East, Pirates, Pittsburgh, SP78 Replay, Statis Pro Baseball, statistics
The Philadelphia Phillies continued their rampant supremacy of the NL East through the first four months of the SP78 season, posting a 22-6 record in July and solidifying their hold on first place in the division, while increasing their lead over the second place Cubs to a demoralizing 15 games. Their season record improved to 65-38, good for second-best in the major leagues; they’re the only team from either league to have stayed in the top spot of their division for the entire season. From a statistical standpoint, the Phils led all NL teams in batting average and slugging percentage in July, and were third in team ERA.
Individual player numbers were staggering as well. Richie Hebner hit .419 for the month, tops in the NL, while Larry Bowa’s league-leading 153 hits for the season has helped him to a team-best .342 average over 99 games played. Greg Luzinski leads the Phils in home runs with 27 and RBI with 65, while Hebner and team captain Mike Schmidt have contributed in the HR department with 20 round-trippers each. On the mound, Larry Christenson leads the Phils’ staff with 13 wins, while reliever Ron Reed’s 12 saves and 0.57 ERA rank among the best in the NL.
To take a look at the Phillies statistics page 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 after July award winners have been picked.