The current League Leaders and Team Leaders for the American League have now been updated for games played through August 23rd, and can be found by scrolling down the right-hand column of this page. And like the National League leaders posted a month ago, most of the players and teams among the Top 5 categories have remained the same, with a few notable exceptions.
Royals third baseman George Brett moved into the Top 5 for batting average, displacing NY catcher Thurman Munson, and Twins star Rod Carew jumped from the fifth spot to first in the hits category; he’ll need 31 more to reach 200 for the fourth time in his career. Also, a pair of milestones were achieved, as Minnesota’s Roy Smalley was the first in the AL to reach the 100 RBI mark, and Brewers ace Mike Caldwell was the first in either league to reach 20 wins, with Jon Matlack and Scott McGregor close behind at 18.
M’s speedster Julio Cruz stole three more bases this past week, giving him 92 for the year…just four shy of Ty Cobb’s AL record of 96, established in 1915. Also during the week, A’s DH Rico Carty slugged three home runs to move within two of 30 and three of his 1978 total of 31; Don Baylor of the Angels still leads in that department, with 35. And though he’s struggled of late, going 1-2 over his last four starts, Yankees starter Ron Guidry still leads SP78 in earned run average, with 1.28.
Kansas City and Minnesota continue to dominate the team categories, while Baltimore still holds the lead in the team HR department, with 135, just nineteen away from their 1978 season total. And somehow, the Indians are still leading in team batting average and total hits, though they’re still mired in sixth place in the AL East; they also made the Top 5 in doubles and triples, as well as pitcher strikeouts.
The next league-wide update will take place in one SP78 calendar week, after games have been completed for August 31, 1978.
Posted in Inside SP78
Tagged 1978, American League, August, board game, Cleveland Indians, George Brett, Julio Cruz, Kansas City Royals, league leaders, Minnesota Twins, Rico Carty, Rod Carew, Ron Guidry, Statis Pro 1978 Replay, Statis Pro Baseball
If you scroll down the main page of this site, and check out the left-hand column, you’ll find that the League Leaders and Team League Leaders have been updated for the National League, for games played through August 23rd. And though the numbers have obviously changed, many of the players and teams have not; for the most part, the leaders have stayed the same, save for a few swaps in their order among the Top 5.
Triple Crown candidate Reggie Smith of the Dodgers still has a comfortable lead in the HR and RBI departments, but Reds third sacker Pete Rose has overtaken him in the batting average race, albeit by just a few percentage points, .375 to .372. Larry Bowa of the Phillies finds himself just eight hits away from the first 200-hit season of his career (and if he makes it, it’ll be the only 200-hit season during his 16 years in the majors), but Rose is not far behind at 185, and LA iron man Steve Garvey has a decent chance—if he doesn’t suddenly slump—at 171.
Somehow, Mets starter Craig Swan leads the NL—and possibly the majors—in earned run average, at 1.69, but as I just discovered, he actually won the NL ERA title in 1978! Way to go, Swannie! Bucs reliever Kent Tekulve still leads both leagues with 26 saves, and if he reaches 31, it’ll be a career high (he reached that total in both 1978 and 1979). And Houston fireballer J.R. Richard could very well be the only SP78 pitcher to reach 200 strikeouts this season; he’s nine shy at 191, and the next closest NL hurler is Steve Carlton of the Phillies, who’s well back of Richard at 143.
The Dodgers and Phillies still occupy most of the team leader categories, with the occasional aberration—the Cubs leading in batting, the Cardinals leading in doubles—standing out. I’m working on the AL leaders now, and will hopefully have those updates posted in a few weeks. The next league-wide update will take place in an SP78 calendar week, on August 31st.
Posted in Inside SP78
Tagged 1978, August, Craig Swan, Dodgers, Kent Tekulve, Larry Bowa, league leaders, National League, NL, Pete Rose, Phillies, Reggie Smith, SP78 Replay, Statis Pro Baseball
After I’d recently posted a recap for a game where LA closer Terry Forster had pitched seven long innings, and was allowed to bat late in the game in a critical situation, a discussion began among SP78 fans on whether or not it was a smart managerial move to allow even a good-hitting pitcher to bat under those conditions. Or if it’s reasonable to have a pitcher pinch-hit instead of a regular bench player, especially when that pitcher holds the highest all-time batting average for any player with 50 or more at-bats, or 15 seasons in the major leagues.
With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to let Forster pinch-hit in the next Dodgers game—if a situation logically allows for it—and see what happens…is he really as good a hitter as people think he is? Will it finally prove that my brother, who managed that long-ago game and allowed Forster to hit, was right all along? Tell me what you think by voting below; results will not be final until the first FAC card of the next Dodgers game is turned, which could be anytime between next week and next September.
I’ve been working on adding game recaps to the site for a few months now, and this most recent one, featuring a Dodgers-Astros match-up from April 10th, had enough off-kilter aspects to it to make it interesting enough—and humorous enough—to share in a Flashback.
The game, the thirtieth of my SP78 season and played in 1980, had my brother Scott managing the Dodgers, his favorite team, and featured some managerial decisions that might seem a bit avant garde today (and probably even back then). But don’t think I’m using this recap to pick on or embarrass him: I made these same questionable decisions quite a few times during these early stages of my season, and I even mention one of them in the recap’s game notes.
So if you’re interested in discovering why, thirty-five years after he retired, LA reliever Terry Forster still wakes up screaming from nightmares of this game, click here.
Posted in SP78 Flashback
Tagged April, Astrodome, board game, Houston Astros, J.R. Richard, Los Angeles Dodgers, SP78 Flashback, Statis Pro 1978 Replay, Statis Pro Baseball, Terry Forster, Tommy Lasorda