Mel M is halfway through his 1967 National League replay. At the All-Star break, Mel thought he would send me a recap of the first half of the season.
Clemente pacing the league with a .384 average
NL standings 7/9/1967. The All-Star break
1) St. Louis Cardinals…51-34
The Cardinals are a hard hitting team with a deep pitching staff. They had a 4 game lead after sweeping the Mets in a double header on Sunday July 2nd, but lost 3 out 4 to the visiting Reds and 2 out of 3 in Philadelphia. Lead off man Lou Brock is hitting .342 with 16 HR’s and 48 RBI, he has 42 steals in 54 attempts and has scored 68 runs. Orlando Cepeda (.353-24-68) had a monster first half. Second baseman Julian Javier (280-14-50) is fond of the three run homer. Curt Flood (.359-4-35) has been a base hit machine. Bob Gibson (12-3. 3.07) has been dominant. Young lefty Larry Jaster (10-2 2.59) has been a pleasant surprise. Dick Hughes (7-2) with a league leading 1.60 era.
2) San Francisco Giants…50-36 1 1/2 GB
Willie McCovey has been the best hitter (.323-17-58). Two of his HR were pinch hit grand slams. Jim Ray Hart (.254-16-49) and Tom Haller (.261-7-42) have been good RBI men. Willie Mays (.241-8-27) is finally starting to hit, but is only sixth on the team in RBI. Starting pitchers Mike McCormick (12-2, 2.31) and Ray Sadecki (10-7, 2.01) are the best, so far. Gaylord Perry (9-7, 2.87) and Juan Marichal (6-10, 3.07) have been inconsistent. Relief specialist Frank Linzy (4-2, 10 saves 1.42) is the bullpen leader. The Giants pitching staff is their best hope to keep pace with the Cardinals as their defense is weak and the lineup isn’t very deep.
3) Atlanta Braves…48-39 4 GB
Hammerin’ Hank Aaron leads the Braves potent offense (.327-17-74). His RBI total leads the league and his 31 doubles are tied for the lead. Clete Boyer (.286-22-66) and Joe Torre (.308-12-56) have kept the Braves in contention. The pitching staff is led by Denny Lemaster (10-5, 3.55) Ken Johnson (9-6, 2.93) and Phil Niekro (9-3, 2.17. 9 saves). Niekro was the best reliever in the league before joining the starting rotation, he’s 4-1 in five starts. The Braves have been the over achievers so far, but have been consistent all season.
4) Cincinnati Reds…47-40 5 GB
Vada Pinson has been hot all year (.343-12-51),he leads the league in triples with 13 and has 17 steals. Tony Perez (.280-14-52) is heating up, but the rest of the lineup is mediocre at best. Pete Rose is slumping (.254-7-42). Tommy Harper is struggling (.185-6-17) as is Deron Johnson (.179-7-26) and Lee May (.219-6-23).
On the mound, nineteen year old Gary Nolan (9-5, 2.39) and converted outfielder Mel Queen (8-2. 2.31) are leading the way. Milt Pappas (7-6, 3.86) has cooled off after a strong April and May. Sammy Ellis (5-6, 4.60) has been a decent fifth starter, but Jim Maloney (4-10, 4.08) has struggled all year. Ted Abernathy (6-3, 2.46-9 saves) and Don Nottebart (7-3. 2.07-4 saves) lead the bullpen. Unless the bats come around I don’t see the Reds contending for the pennant. Queen had 15 strikeouts vs. the Cardinals on July 5 (won 6-2)
5T) Chicago Cubs…44-41 7 GB
The Cubs are a hard hitting team that lacks pitching depth. Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks (.314-19-55) leads the offense. Ron Santo (.307-12-48) Randy Hundley (.313-9-50) and Adolfo Phillips (.278-12-43) keep the runs crossing the plate, even leadoff man Don Kessinger (.229-1-32) has 32 ribbies. Billy Williams (.244-14-50) hasn’t hit for average but is still driving runners in. Ferguson Jenkins (12-7, 2.77) leads the staff. Rich Nye (8-7, 2.91) has been a good number two, but the rest of the starters Ray Culp (1-4, 8.79), Joe Niekro (0-8, 5.21) Rob Gardener (3-5, 5.42) and Bob Shaw (1-3, 7.74) leave a lot to be desired. In the bullpen Chuck Hartenstein (3-0, 1.38, 5 saves) and Billie Hands (5-3, 2.41, 1 save) have been excellent.
Ken Holtzman was limited to 12 starts in ’67 because of military duty, but I think I’m going to declare world peace so he can rejoin the rotation. The real life Holtzman was 9-0 in his twelve starts, in my replay thus far he is (5-1. 2.80) in eight starts. So, he’s rejoining the team after the all-star break. Bill Stoneman (3-0, 3.38) has pitched well in his 8 games with three starts. With their hard hitting lineup the Cubs could contend if the pitching comes around.
5T) Philadelphia Phillies…44-41 7 GB
The Phillies lack of power, weak bench and shallow bullpen should see them stay around fifth place. Richie Allen (.297-13-50) with 22 steals, Johnny Callison (.279-8-50) and Tony Gonzalez (.308-2-28) lead the offense. Jim Bunning (11-6, 2.41) Chris Short (8-7, 2.64), Larry Jackson (7-9, 2.76) and Rick Wise (6-4, 3.44) make a solid starting rotation. The bullpen duo of Turk Farrell (3-4, 3.39-4 saves) and Dick Hall (4-1, 1.75-2 svs) get most of the work.
7T) Los Angeles Dodgers…41-43 9 1/2 GB
The retirement of Sandy Koufax and the trade of Maury Wills has dropped LA into the second division. A trade was made in APBA ’67 that brought Felipe Alou (.299-9-45) and Felix Millan (.240-1-9) over from the Braves for Ron Hunt And Wes Parker. Alou has been outstanding as the Dodgers regular first baseman, Millan missed 23 games after being hit by a pitch. Al Ferrara (.300-9-35) Willie Davis (.276-4-34) Lou Johnson (.281-9-31) Jim Lefebvre (.278-6-28) and Johnny Roseboro (.283-3-24) have led the offense.
Claude Osteen (13-7, 2.53) has 5 shutouts including a one hitter and a two hitter in July. Don Drysdale (11-9, 2.29) has been tough, with 15 complete games and 3 shutouts, including a July 4th 2 hitter against the Pirates. Ron Perranoski (0-5, 3.10, 10 saves) leads the bullpen. Don Sutton (4-11, 6.20) has been hit hard all year. Bill Singer (7-6, 3.84) has been steady. The Dodgers should remain in the second division.
7T) Pittsburgh Pirates…41-43 9 1/2 GB
My favorite team has been having a tough year, heavy hitting but light on the pitching side. Roberto Clemente (.384-15-63) leads the league in batting average and Matty Alou (.371-2-17) is second. Off season acquisition Maury Wills (.294-0-23) has 20 steals and 50 runs scored. Fourth outfielder Manny Mota (.365-5-26) is red hot. Gene Alley (.270-3-35) has 7 triples. Bill Mazeroski (.220-3-37) is good in the clutch despite the low average. Willie Stargell (.281-9-41) needs to start hitting more homers. Manny Jimenez (.220-4-9) has 3 pinch hit home runs.
Pitcher Bob Veale, (8-7, 4.87) the flame throwing lefty, is having a tough season. He had two 1-hit shutouts early in the year, but has struggled since then. Tommie Sisk (5-8, 2.90) doesn’t get the runs. Vernon Law (6-5, 5.02) started off well, but is getting knocked around now. Dennis Ribant (6-6. 3.56) has 3 shutouts. The Baron of the bullpen, Elroy Face (3-2, 1.08. 10 svs) is having a great year. Al McBean (5-2, 2.91. 4 svs) has a complete game shutout in his only start. The Pirates have had great fielding, not many 53 dice rolls against them. That caught up to them on the 4th of July when they made six errors against the Dodgers. LA didn’t need much help as they pounded out 19 hits and won 13-0. Drysdale threw a two hitter. At this point in the real life season the Bucs fired manager Harry "the hat" Walker, they were 42-42 at the time. They rehired Danny Murtaugh but finished with a .500 record. That is all I expect in my season too.
9) New York Mets…31-55 20 1/2 GB
Tommy Davis (.356-9-36) just had his 27 game hitting streak stopped on July 9th. Ron Swoboda (.324-13-47) has been raking all season. Bud Harrelson (.267-0-17) has 91 hits and 31 base on balls. Ed Kranepool (.246-9-36) overcame a slow start. Cleon Jones (.259-5-21) has 10 steals in 11 attempts. Jerry Buchek (.249-11-31) hit a grand slam and has K’d 90 times. Super-sub Bon Johnson (.329-0-13) hit 3 doubles in one game.
Tom Seaver (10-6. 2.81) has ten complete games in 18 starts. At the other end of the spectrum, Don Cardwell is (1-8, 7.41). Thankfully the Mets have a deep bullpen, Ron Taylor (0-4, 3.63, 7 svs). Don Shaw (1-1, 2.01, 1 Sv). Hal Reniff (2-2, 2.19, 0svs) and Cal Koonce (1-1, 2.87) have been stingy. The Davis hitting streak was fun. I was sorry to see it end. The Mets are an ok team to play, some decent offense and Tom Seaver.
10) Houston Astros…31-56 21GB
Rusty Staub (.351-9-59) had a 16 game hitting streak. Jim Wynn (.239-16-48) has 20 steals and 57 runs scored. Joe Morgan (.244-5-34) has 24 steals, 55 runs and 10 triples. Bob Aspromonte (.314-5-39) had a great June. Ron Davis (.211-10-29) has shown surprising power. Sonny Jackson, (.184-0-6) 16 steals, has been batting ninth.
The starting pitchers get a lot of innings pitched because of the unreliable bullpen. Don Wilson (7-9, 3.06) has 4 shutouts and is Houston’s best pitcher. Dave Giusti (8-10, 5.47) has hit 3 home runs. Mike Cuellar (6-12, 4.03) has disappointed. Larry Dierker (6-6, 4.55) also was limited due to military service. He has 6 complete games in 13 starts, 2 shutouts. He’ll be back in there after the all-star break. The bullpen is bad Larry Sherry (1-4, 3.46. 3 svs) is the best. Houston’s only goal is to get out of last place. Some nice offensive players but no pitching.
Good stuff, Mel! I love reading these kind of replay summaries.