Thanks to a dominate 29-11 won-lost mark to open the season, the Minnesota Twins were able to weather an 11-12 June and a 13-15 July to remain in solid contention in the AL West, finishing the month in third place with a record of 57-47, just 6½ games behind the division-leading Rangers and 1½ games behind the Royals. And with an upcoming schedule that pits the Twins against sub-.500 teams in 22 of their next 30 games, they might find themselves sitting in first place—for the first time since before the All-Star break—by the end of August.
Hosken Powell (.306) and Mike Cubbage (.304) were the only Twins batters to hit above .300 in July, and though Rod Carew led the team with 32 hits, his batting average for the month dipped to an uncharacteristic .271. For the season, shortstop Roy Smalley leads the squad in average (.328), runs (67), home runs (16), and runs batted in (73), while Carew once again leads in hits, with 134. On the mound, Dave Goltz returned to his early-season form with a 2.61 ERA for the month, but a lack of run support left him with a 2-2 mark in six starts. Gary Serum went 3-1 with one save as a spot starter (and is 11-4 for the season, tops on the Twins), while reliever Mike Marshall saved more than half of his team’s wins for July, with seven. And July also saw my friend Joe S play his first-ever SP78 game, piloting Minnesota to an 8-6 loss to the Yankees back in 2012.
To visit the Twins team page for stats and results 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 AL team statistics have been finalized, and July award winners have been picked.
Posted in Inside SP78
Tagged 1978, AL West, American League, Dave Goltz, Gary Serum, July, Mike Cubbage, Minnesota Twins, Rod Carew, Roy Smalley, Statis Pro 1978 Replay, Statis Pro Baseball, stats
The Milwaukee Brewers ended the month of June in second place in the AL East, just one game behind the first-place Yankees; one month later, they were still in second, but had dropped to five games back, after a disappointing 13-14 July. With the Yanks still going strong in July, the Brewers really needed to keep pace, but instead they now find themselves not only in danger of slipping further away from first, but also losing their hold on second place to the resurgent Tigers, now nipping at their heels in third place, just 3½ games back.
Helping to keep the Brewers afloat was the stellar pitching of starting ace Mike Caldwell, playing in his first full season with Milwaukee, who went 4-0 for the month with a 0.68 earned run average and four complete games in five starts. His season record stands at 16-4, and with two full months left to play, he should be a shoo-in for his first career 20-win season, and possibly his first Cy Young Award. Also making an impact was reliever Ed Farmer, called up from AAA in early July, who finished the month with a 1-0 record, three saves, and an ERA of 1.29. At the plate, utility player Don Money led struggling Milwaukee batters with a .329 average, while starting in nearly every game at either first, third, or DH. Paul Molitor had 33 hits to add to his team-leading total of 111, and Gorman Thomas powered eight HRs to boost his season tally to 19.
To check out the Brewers’ team page for statistics and results 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 AL team statistics have been finalized, and July award winners have been picked.
Posted in Inside SP78
Tagged 1978, AL East, American League, Ed Farmer, July, Mike Caldwell, Milwaukee Brewers, Paul Molitor, Statis Pro 1978 Replay, Statis Pro Baseball, stats
The defending AL West champion Kansas City Royals have not spent one day in first place in their division this season, yet they’ve managed to quietly remain within striking distance of the front-running Rangers and Twins throughout the SP78 campaign. The Royals finished July in second place with a record of 58-45, five games behind the Rangers and 1½ ahead of the Twins, and after All-Star MVP George Brett and ace reliever Al Hrabosky were placed on the disabled list in July, KC was still able to round out the month with a decent 17-11 mark, their best won-lost of the year. And with both injured players set to return to the lineup in mid-August, the Royals seem ready to come out of hiding and make a move for the West flag.
Before he was lost to injury, Brett led all Royals starters for the month with a .340 average, and tied Hal McRae for the team lead in hits, with 33; his 125 hits, 42 doubles, and 66 RBI leads the team overall. Amos Otis led the squad with just five home runs in July, and his 16 for the season ties Hal McRae for best on the team for the season. On the mound, Dennis Leonard and Paul Splittorff each recorded four victories for the month, and Leonard’s 14 wins has him on pace to win 20 for the second straight year. As for team stats, KC is 18-3 in shutout wins for the season, and has a perfect 8-0 mark in games where a team has scored ten runs or more; they also finished July winning nine of their last eleven games.
To take a look at the Royals team page for results 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 AL team statistics have been finalized, and July award winners have been picked.
Posted in Inside SP78
Tagged 1978, Al Hrabosky, AL West, American League, Dennis Leonard, George Brett, July, Kansas City Royals, Statis Pro 1978 Replay, Statis Pro Baseball, stats
The Detroit Tigers finished July with a middling 15-14 mark, but managed to stay glued to third place in the AL East, where they began the month with a 41-35 record and were just 6½ games out of first. Now, they remain in third with a won-lost of 56-48, but have dropped two games to 8½ back of the front-running Yankees. The month ahead looks at least somewhat promising, however; nearly half of their schedule pits Detroit against the second-division Blue Jays, White Sox, and Indians. The bad news is, the other half of the docket consists of games against the Brewers, Twins, and Rangers.
The Tigers displayed some solid individual performances in July that helped offset their mediocre won-lost total. Part-time player Tim Corcoran returned as a starter in right field and responded with a .409 average for the month, while Steve Kemp continued to wield a hot bat, hitting .327 for July and currently leading the team overall with 18 home runs and 63 RBI. Phil Mankowski played a majority of the squad’s games at third, hitting .308 in 23 games. Almost forgotten in the stolen base race was Ron LeFlore, who swiped 20 in July and has 57 on the year; another pair of 20-steal months will allow LeFlore to break Cobb’s AL record of 96, if Seattle’s Julio Cruz doesn’t do it first.
On the mound, starter Dave Rozema went 4-1 with a 1.35 earned run average for the month, while veteran John Hiller had four saves and a 1.15 ERA in a relief capacity. Rozema’s season mark of 13-5 leads all starters, as does his 1.85 ERA; Hiller’s 6-0 won-lost, 12 saves and 0.53 ERA for ’78 puts him in the running for the Rolaids Relief Man Award in the American League. And the return of Mark Fidrych from injuries sustained in 1977 seems to be a success; his 4-2 mark and 2.07 ERA have helped keep the Tigers in hot pursuit of the AL East flag.
To check out the Tigers team 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 AL team statistics have been finalized, and July award winners have been picked.
Posted in Inside SP78
Tagged 1978, American League, Chicago White Sox, Chisox, Don Kessinger, July, Rich Wortham, Statis Pro 1978 Replay, Statis Pro Baseball, stats, Steve Stone
Legendary manager Connie Mack of the Philadelphia A’s once said that pitching is 75% of baseball. The SP78 edition of the Cleveland Indians are trying their best to prove him right: through July, the Tribe are batting .294 as a team, with five regulars hitting over .300 for the season, and Buddy Bell, Bernie Carbo, and Jim Norris all hitting over .350 in July. Why then did the team finish the month with a 13-17 mark, good for sixth place in the AL East and a current record of 47-59? One only has to look at the pitching staff for the answer: a 4.43 staff earned run average for the year, with three pitchers—Mike Paxton, David Clyde, and Paul Reuschel—stuck with ERA’s over 5.00.
Starting southpaw Rick Waits remains the only bright spot on the Indians staff, going 14-5 through July with a 2.73 ERA, 12 complete games, and five shutouts. In his three seasons with the Cleveland organization, he’s never had more than nine wins, and with two months left in the SP78 campaign, he has a good chance of reaching the coveted 20-win mark. Tribe bats remain hot, with Carbo leading the squad in average (.368), Bell in hits (141), and Andre Thornton in HR (21) and RBI (72), and Bell leading the AL in triples, with 14. But unless Indians hurlers can make a quick turnaround, the final two months of the season could be frustrating ones for Tribe fans.
To take a look at the Indians team page for results 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 AL team statistics have been finalized, and July award winners have been picked.