The virtual 1969-76 Phillies, Cardinals, and Mets (Part 5:  1972-73)

We’re passing the half-way point in our imaginary tour through the National League East in the era of bell-bottoms. So far it’s been our Cardinals having the most fun.

          Phillies:  Actual         Cardinals:  Actual        Mets:  Actual
 Year     W    L  Pos   RS   RA     W    L  Pos   RS   RA     W    L  Pos   RS   RA
 1969    63   99  5    645  745    87   75  4    595  540   100   62  1    632  541
 1970    73   88  5    594  730    76   86  4    744  747    83   79  3    695  630
 1971    67   95  6    558  688    90   72  2    739  699    83   79  3    588  550
 1972    59   97  6    503  625    75   81  4    568  600    83   73  3    528  578

          Phillies:  Virtual        Cardinals:  Virtual       Mets:  Virtual
 Year     W    L  Pos   RS   RA     W    L  Pos   RS   RA     W    L  Pos   RS   RA
 1969    64   98  5    611  691    98   64  2    659  528   101   61  1    638  550
 1970    77   84  5    596  691    80   82  4    742  703    84   78  3    687  619
 1971    86   76  4    629  598   102   60  1    787  647    89   73  3    643  561
 1972    68   88  5    585  638   105   51  1    675  478    93   63  2    551  523

But our Mets still have Amos Otis, Nolan Ryan, and Ken Singleton. Might this be the year they give St. Louis a serious fight?

The 1972-73 offseason: Actual deals we will make

Oct. 26, 1972: The St. Louis Cardinals traded pitchers Rudy Arroyo and Greg Millikan to the Los Angeles Dodgers for outfielder Larry Hisle.

Hisle flopped in Philadelphia. But he had a good year in Triple-A for the Dodgers in 1972, he’s still got highly impressive tools, he’s still just 25, and this isn’t much of a price.

Oct. 31, 1972: The Philadelphia Phillies traded infielders Don Money and John Vukovich and pitcher Billy Champion to the Milwaukee Brewers for pitchers Jim Lonborg, Ken Brett, Ken Sanders and Earl Stephenson.

Money, expected to become a star, has failed to develop with the bat, and with some rookie named Mike Schmidt coming along at third base, it’s sensible for the Phillies to play the Money market. This offer of, count ‘em, four pitchers from Milwaukee is more than sufficient.

Nov. 27, 1972: The New York Mets traded pitchers Brent Strom and Bob Rauch to the Cleveland Indians for pitcher Phil Hennigan.

Neither Strom nor Rauch is a good bet to make our staff in ’73. Our Mets are better off giving the journeyman Hennigan a chance at a bullpen spot.

Nov. 27, 1972: The New York Mets traded outfielder Tommie Agee to the Houston Astros for outfielder Rich Chiles and pitcher Buddy Harris.

He’s had a fine run in New York, but the injuries are rapidly piling up on Agee.

The 1972-73 offseason: Actual deals we will not make

Nov. 6, 1972: The St. Louis Cardinals traded outfielder Jorge Roque to the Montreal Expos for catcher Tim McCarver.

In our scenario, both Roque and McCarver belong to the Phillies at this point.

Nov. 13, 1972: The Philadelphia Phillies signed infielder Jose Pagan as a free agent.

We don’t see a need for this veteran.

Nov. 29, 1972: The St. Louis Cardinals traded outfielder Larry Hisle and pitcher John Cumberland to the Minnesota Twins for pitcher Wayne Granger.

Unlike the real-life Cardinals, our version’s bullpen is well-stocked. No need for us to re-acquire the sidearming Granger.

Nov. 30, 1972: The Philadelphia Phillies traded pitchers Ken Reynolds and Ken Sanders and outfielder-first baseman Joe Lis to the Minnesota Twins for outfielder-infielder Cesar Tovar.

Tovar’s been a real good player, but our Phillies aren’t interested in investing in his decline phase.

Nov. 30, 1972: The Philadelphia Phillies traded outfielders Oscar Gamble and Roger Freed to the Cleveland Indians for outfielder Del Unser and infielder Terry Wedgewood.

And our Phillies have neither Gamble nor Freed.

The 1972-73 offseason: Deals we will invoke

Nov. 2, 1972: The New York Mets traded pitcher Gary Gentry to the Atlanta Braves for second baseman Felix Millan.

Nov. 2, 1972: The Philadelphia Phillies traded pitcher Danny Frisella to the Atlanta Braves for pitcher George Stone.

The actual deal was Gentry and Frisella from the Mets to the Braves for Millan and Stone. We’ll break it into two halves.

Nov. 6, 1972: The Philadelphia Phillies traded pitcher Steve Renko and outfielder Jorge Roque to the Montreal Expos for pitcher Carl Morton.

Actually in this offseason, the Expos traded Morton to Atlanta straight-up for declining veteran pitcher Pat Jarvis. Though Morton has largely struggled following his Rookie of the Year season in 1970, that’s an awfully meager price. Our Phillies will do better than that.

Nov. 28, 1972: The St. Louis Cardinals traded catcher Mike Ryan to the Houston Astros for infielder Bobby Fenwick.

Actually the Astros acquired catcher Skip Jutze from the Cardinals on this date. Our Cards will let them have the veteran Ryan instead, and we’ll give Jutze the opportunity to replace Ryan as backup catcher.

Nov. 29, 1972: The New York Mets traded outfielder Cleon Jones to the California Angels for catcher Jack Hiatt, pitchers Rickey Clark and Mike Strahler, and cash.

Though he’s just turned 30 years old, Jones’ injury history and inconsistency suggest that he doesn’t have a lot of future. We’ll cash him in for spare parts while we can, and open up left field for some younger alternatives.

Dec., 1972: The St. Louis Cardinals traded outfielder Luis Melendez to the New York Mets for second baseman Ken Boswell.

Boswell had a poor year with the bat in 1972, but he’s capable of bouncing back and plugging our Cardinals’ hole at second base. And Melendez is another one of those younger outfield alternatives for our Mets.

Feb. 1, 1973: The New York Mets traded pitcher Charlie Hudson to the Texas Rangers for a player to be named later. (On March 31, 1973, the Rangers sent pitcher Mike Thompson to the Mets, completing the deal.)

Actually this essential deal was executed between the Rangers and the Cardinals, but in our scenario the Cards hadn’t previously acquired Hudson from New York. So our Mets will take the prospect Thompson instead.

February, 1973: The St. Louis Cardinals sold shortstop Dal Maxvill to the Oakland Athletics.

We think it’s time to let rookie Mike Tyson take over for this veteran.

March 27, 1973: The New York Mets traded infielder Teddy Martinez and outfielder Rich Chiles to the Montreal Expos for outfielder Jim Fairey, infielder Dalton Jones and cash.

Neither Martinez nor Chiles is making our Opening Day roster, but the Expos can use them. We’ll put Fairey and Jones in Triple-A just in case, and pocket the cash.

March 27, 1973: The Philadelphia Phillies traded pitcher Ken Reynolds to the Milwaukee Brewers for third baseman Mike Ferraro and cash.

March, 1973: The Philadelphia Phillies sold pitcher Ken Sanders to the Minnesota Twins.

March, 1973: The Philadelphia Phillies traded pitcher Barry Lersch to the Atlanta Braves for pitcher Tom Phoebus and cash.

March, 1973: The Philadelphia Phillies sold outfielder Don Hahn to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

March, 1973: The St. Louis Cardinals sold pitcher Joe Hoerner to the Atlanta Braves.

March, 1973: The New York Mets sold pitcher Billy Wilson to the Chicago Cubs.

March, 1973: The New York Mets sold pitcher Rich Folkers to the Baltimore Orioles.

More roster-culling.

The 1973 season: Actual deals we will make

July 16, 1973: The New York Mets selected pitcher John Strohmayer off waivers from the Montreal Expos.

In hope that he can help out a bullpen in need.

Sept. 6, 1973: The St. Louis Cardinals purchased outfielder Matty Alou from the New York Yankees.

Sept. 23, 1973: The New York Mets purchased pitcher Bob Miller from the Detroit Tigers.

A couple of veterans to shore up the stretch-run depth.

Sept. 25, 1973: The St. Louis Cardinals traded infielder-outfielder Bill Stein to the California Angels for infielder Jerry DaVanon.

This one’s with an eye toward next year: We think DaVanon will likely be a better fit for our bench than Stein.

The 1973 season: Actual deals we will not make

April 5, 1973: The St. Louis Cardinals purchased pitcher Alan Foster from the California Angels.

May 8, 1973: The St. Louis Cardinals traded pitcher Al Santorini to the Kansas City Royals for pitcher Tom Murphy.

Our Cards don’t have Santorini, and don’t see a need for Foster or Murphy.

May 14, 1973: The New York Mets purchased catcher Jerry May from the Kansas City Royals.

Nor do our Mets need May.

June 6, 1973: The St. Louis Cardinals traded pitcher Jim Bibby to the Texas Rangers for pitcher Mike Nagy and catcher-outfielder John Wockenfuss.

Our Cardinals don’t have Bibby. Our Mets do, and they aren’t giving him up for this kind of price.

June 7, 1973: The St. Louis Cardinals traded infielder Dwain Anderson to the San Diego Padres for infielder Dave Campbell.

We don’t have Anderson, and don’t want Campbell.

June 15, 1973: The St. Louis Cardinals purchased pitcher Orlando Peña from the Baltimore Orioles.

In our scenario, with Bob Reynolds in St. Louis instead of Baltimore, the Orioles aren’t selling Peña, and our Cardinals don’t have a need for him.

July 11, 1973: The New York Mets sold infielder Jim Fregosi to the Texas Rangers.

Oh, heck, our Mets can’t do this. Darn it all.

July 27, 1973: The St. Louis Cardinals traded infielder Ed Crosby and catcher Gene Dusan to the Cincinnati Reds for pitcher Ed Sprague and a player to be named later. (On Sept 30, 1973, the Reds sent first baseman Roe Skidmore to the Cardinals, completing the deal.)

St. Louis GM Bing Devine was sure making a lot of pointless marginal deals this season.

Aug. 14, 1973: The Philadelphia Phillies traded a player to be named later to the California Angels for infielder Billy Grabarkewitz and players to be named later. (On Dec. 6, 1973, the Phillies sent second baseman Denny Doyle to the Angels, and the Angels sent outfielder Chris Coletta and pitcher Aurelio Monteagudo to the Phillies, completing the deal.)

Our Phils don’t see the need for Grabarkewitz.

Aug. 18, 1973: The St. Louis Cardinals traded infielder Dave Campbell and cash to the Houston Astros for outfielder Tommie Agee.

We don’t have Campbell, and aren’t all that interested in Agee.

The 1973 season: Deals we will invoke

April 19, 1973: The New York Mets traded pitcher Mike Strahler to the Detroit Tigers for catcher Charlie Sands.

Actually the Tigers traded Sands to the Angels for Strahler. Sands has defensive issues, but he’s a left-handed batter with power and he draws lots of walks. We can find a spot for that kind of backup catcher.

Aug. 10, 1973: The New York Mets selected pitcher George Culver off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In reality it was the Phillies claiming Culver. Our Mets have the greater need.

Aug. 29 1973: The New York Mets purchased pitcher Eddie Fisher from the Chicago White Sox.

And in reality it was the Cardinals picking up Fisher, but, yes, our Mets still have the greater need in a troublesome bullpen.

Aug. 29, 1973: The New York Mets released pitcher Jack Aker.

To make room for Fisher.

1973 season results

Phillies

Following a disappointing 1972 season, we’ll give two rookies starting-lineup opportunities, with Schmidt taking over for Money at third base, and Bob Boone stepping ahead of Tim McCarver behind the plate. And we’ve imported a lot of new pitching talent; competing for starting roles will be Lonborg, Brett, Stone and Morton.

1973 Philadelphia Phillies     Won 93    Lost 69    Finished 1st

 Pos  Player        Age    G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
  1B  G. Luzinski    22  153 549  70 157  23   4  26  87  46 121 .286 .346 .485 .831  127
2B-3B T. Sizemore    28  142 521  71 154  22   1   1  52  66  34 .296 .359 .347 .707   96
  SS  L. Bowa#       27  122 401  39  84  10   3   0  19  22  28 .209 .250 .249 .499   38
  3B  M. Schmidt     23  132 367  45  72  11   0  18  52  62 136 .196 .323 .373 .696   91
  RF  B. Carbo*      25  111 308  44  89  17   0   9  40  56  52 .289 .396 .432 .827  128
CF-RF B. Robinson    30  124 452  64 130  32   1  25  65  27  91 .288 .324 .529 .853  131
  LF  J. Briggs*     29  128 392  64  98  17   6  14  42  70  66 .250 .363 .431 .794  118
  C   B. Boone       25  130 417  35 111  16   2   8  49  34  30 .266 .315 .372 .686   89

OF-1B W. Montanez*   25  122 368  48  96  11   3   7  39  30  54 .261 .320 .364 .684   88
  UT  B. Sudakis#    27   82 235  33  63  11   0  15  39  23  53 .268 .327 .506 .833  126
  OF  M. Anderson    22   87 193  33  49   9   1   9  28  19  53 .254 .321 .451 .772  110
  2B  D. Doyle*      29   77 185  24  49   5   2   1  13  15  17 .265 .314 .330 .643   78
  LF  J. Lis         26   86 169  25  40   7   1   6  15  19  44 .237 .319 .396 .716   96
  C   T. McCarver*   31   87 166  16  44   8   2   2  23  17  17 .265 .326 .373 .700   92
  IF  T. Harmon      29   72 148  18  31   3   0   0   8  13  14 .209 .273 .230 .502   40
  SS  C. Robinson    24   46 146  12  33   7   0   0   7   0  25 .226 .223 .274 .497   36
 P-PH K. Brett*      24   37  72   5  18   4   0   4  14   4  15 .250 .286 .472 .758  105
  CF  R. Gaspar#     27   14  25   3   6   1   0   0   1   3   3 .240 .310 .280 .590   64

      Others                  34   3   7   3   0   0   2   6   9 .206 .325 .294 .619   72

      Pitchers               329  28  58  10   1   5  32  11 119 .176 .197 .257 .454   24

      Total                5477 680 1389 227  27 150 627 543 981 .254 .318 .387 .705   94

      * Bats left
      # Bats both

      Pitcher       Age    G  GS  CG   W   L  SV  IP   H   R  ER   HR   BB   SO  ERA ERA+
      R. Wise        27   35  34  14  16  12   0 259 262 114 101   20   59  141 3.51  109
      W. Twitchell   25   34  28  10  13   9   0 223 172  71  62   16   99  169 2.50  152
      K. Brett*      24   31  25   8  12   8   0 191 184  81  72   17   67  101 3.39  112
      C. Morton      29   28  25   6   9   8   0 171 160  67  59    9   49   78 3.11  123
      G. Stone*      26   27  20   1  11   5   1 133 144  47  42   13   29   69 2.84  134
      R. Sadecki*    32   31  11   1   5   4   1 105 102  42  41   10   38   78 3.51  108
      J. Lonborg     31   21  15   2   7   7   0  90  93  51  45   10   36   51 4.50   85

      D. Giusti      33   67   0   0   9   5  27  99  94  32  28   10   37   63 2.55  150
      B. Johnson     30   50   2   0   4   5   4  92 105  42  40   13   34   67 3.91   97
      G. Jackson*    30   45   0   0   6   4  10  64  45  14  13    4   19   39 1.83  208

      Others                   2   0   1   2   1  23  22  11   9    1   15   18 3.52  108

      Total                  162  42  93  69 44 1450 1383 572 512 123  482  874 3.18  120

      * Throws left

The ballyhooed Schmidt finds major league pitching a perplexing challenge. Shortstop Larry Bowa struggles through a really bad year with the bat, and the veteran Lonborg doesn’t do well.

But that’s about the sum of the things that don’t go well. Bill Robinson finally blossoms at the age of 30, and muscles his way into a regular outfield job. Sophomore first baseman Greg Luzinski delivers power as well. Our offense isn’t great, but it’s deep and well-balanced, featuring a remarkably productive bench.

And our pitching is simply terrific. Familiar reliables Rick Wise, Dave Giusti, and Ray Sadecki all deliver as expected, and then the pleasant surprises begin. Twenty-five year-old right-hander Wayne Twitchell takes a big step forward, finishing third in the league in ERA. The newcomers Brett, Morton and Stone all come through wonderfully, and old friend Grant Jackson chips in with a marvelous performance as the lefty in the bullpen.

It adds up to the league’s best overall staff, and in a thrillingly close race, it carries us to the division title. Claiming the first Phillie championship since 1950, we’re a fresh young team that recalls those Whiz Kids in several ways. The pain of 1964 is finally eased.

Cardinals

Coming off back-to-back 100+-win romps, we’ve seen no need for dramatic adjustments, but neither are we standing pat. Boswell is on board to shore up second base, and Tyson takes over for Maxvill in the shortstop competition. Hisle replaces Melendez as a right-handed bat in the outfield mix. Slick-fielding rookie Ken Reitz will back up Joe Torre at third base, and rookie Harry Parker replaces Hoerner in the bullpen.

1973 St. Louis Cardinals     Won 80    Lost 82    Finished 3rd

 Pos  Player        Age    G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
  1B  D. Allen       31   72 250  36  76  20   4  15  45  33  51 .304 .382 .596 .978  168
  2B  K. Boswell*    27  114 373  48  90  12   3   5  29  37  37 .241 .307 .330 .637   77
  SS  M. Tyson       23  130 375  35  90  13   3   1  27  18  53 .240 .272 .299 .570   58
3B-1B J. Torre       32  141 519  64 149  17   2  13  70  65  78 .287 .376 .403 .779  116
RF-CF J. Cruz*       25  104 318  45  68  19   5   6  38  43  52 .214 .300 .362 .662   83
CF-RF B. Tolan*      27  116 366  34  77  11   2   7  30  22  53 .210 .251 .309 .560   55
  LF  L. Brock*      34  160 650 107 193  29   8   7  64  71 112 .297 .363 .398 .762  112
 C-1B T. Simmons#    23  161 619  59 192  36   2  13  92  61  47 .310 .370 .438 .807  124

  OF  L. Hisle       26   95 273  37  71  13   3   7  28  31  65 .260 .337 .407 .743  106
  1B  T. Hutton*     27   95 222  28  58  10   0   4  25  31  28 .261 .348 .360 .708   97
  3B  K. Reitz       22   98 213  16  48  10   1   3  22   4  14 .225 .242 .324 .566   56
RF-LF L. Lee*        25   55 173  14  43   4   1   2  19  18  37 .249 .321 .318 .639   78
  IF  E. Crosby*     24   92 164  12  32   5   2   0  12  17  23 .195 .281 .250 .531   49
  IF  S. Huntz#      27   62 120  10  23   4   0   1  10  13  21 .192 .272 .250 .522   46
2B-3B T. Heintzelman 26   44 111  11  29   3   1   0   9   9  22 .261 .317 .306 .623   74
  OF  J. Dwyer*      23   41 109  12  29   3   2   0   6   7  15 .266 .316 .330 .647   80
  UT  B. Stein       26   43  96   8  22   3   0   0   6   8  28 .229 .286 .260 .546   53
  CF  B. McBride*    24   46  86  11  24   4   0   1   7   5  13 .279 .326 .360 .687   91
  C   S. Jutze       27   25  42   3   8   1   0   0   3   2   6 .190 .222 .214 .437   22

      Others                  35   3   5   1   0   0   2   3   7 .143 .205 .171 .377    6

      Pitchers               397  28  64   9   0   5  28  15 122 .161 .180 .222 .401   11

      Total                5511 621 1391 227  39  90 572 513 884 .252 .314 .357 .671   86

      * Bats left
      # Bats both

      Pitcher       Age    G  GS  CG   W   L  SV  IP   H   R  ER   HR   BB   SO  ERA ERA+
      S. Carlton*    28   35  35  15  11  18   0 251 251 123 104   23   95  198 3.73   99
      R. Cleveland   25   32  32   6  13  11   0 224 211  88  75   13   61  122 3.01  122
      J. Reuss*      24   33  32  10  12  11   0 223 221  97  93   13   92  147 3.75   98
      B. Gibson      37   25  25  13  11  10   0 195 159  71  60   12   57  142 2.77  133
      N. Briles      29   33  21   5   8   9   0 146 139  57  46   11   33   65 2.84  130
      F. Norman*     30   36  12   2   4   4   0 108  93  45  41    9   46   80 3.42  108

      D. Segui       35   59   0   0   5   5  13  80  61  27  24    5   42   75 2.70  137
      T. Hall*       25   49   2   0   6   6   8  78  59  35  32   12   39   73 3.69  100
      B. Reynolds    26   42   1   0   4   4   5  74  60  18  16    2   21   58 1.95  190
      H. Parker      25   31   2   0   5   3   3  59  45  20  18    3   19   38 2.75  134
      B. Forsch      23    9   0   0   1   0   0  14  15   9   8    1    7    8 5.14   72

      Others         23        0   0   0   1   1  11   9   3   3    0    4   11 2.45  150

      Total                  162  51  80  82 30 1463 1323 593 520 104  516 1017 3.20  115

      * Throws left

A whole lot of things go wrong. Dick Allen misses half the season with a broken leg. Third-year outfielder Jose Cruz’s severe batting slump continues (we even send him back to the minors for awhile in an attempt to get him straightened out), and he’s joined in offensive misery by a disastrously-performing Bobby Tolan. These blows are enough to turn our offense from one of the league’s best to one of its worst.

Ace starter Steve Carlton suffers a big letdown year following his stupendous 1972. Thirty-seven-year-old Bob Gibson spends some time on the disabled list for the first time in his career. Still, our pitching staff is deep enough to remain among the league’s best, but with meager run support (and the misfortune of underperforming against Pythag by five wins) we slip all the way to 80-82. It’s effectively a repeat of our severely disappointing 1970 performance.

Mets

We’ve undertaken two changes to the starting lineup. At second base, Millan replaces Boswell, and in left field, sophomore John Milner will have the inside track to take over for Cleon Jones. In the bullpen, Hennigan replaces the retired Ted Abernathy.

1973 New York Mets     Won 91    Lost 70    Finished 2nd

 Pos  Player        Age    G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
  1B  M. Jorgensen*  24  138 413  46  92  15   2   9  44  67  46 .223 .331 .334 .665   87
  2B  F. Millan      29  153 638  82 185  23   4   3  37  35  22 .290 .323 .353 .676   89
  SS  B. Harrelson#  29  106 356  33  92  12   3   0  20  48  49 .258 .346 .309 .655   85
  3B  W. Garrett*    25  140 504  74 129  20   3  16  58  72  74 .256 .343 .403 .746  108
  RF  K. Singleton#  26  162 560  95 163  25   2  23  98 128  86 .291 .420 .466 .886  148
  CF  A. Otis        26  148 583  80 166  22   5  25  81  63  47 .285 .353 .468 .822  128
LF-1B J. Milner*     23  129 451  60 108  12   3  23  72  62  84 .239 .329 .432 .762  112
  C   J. Grote       30   84 285  17  73  10   2   1  32  13  23 .256 .285 .316 .601   68

  IF  T. Foli        22   84 229  18  52   5   0   1  17  14  20 .227 .267 .262 .529   49
  1B  W. Mays        42   66 167  19  36   8   0   5  20  23  37 .216 .307 .353 .661   85
  OF  L. Melendez    23   81 171  17  43   8   1   2  16  12  25 .251 .294 .345 .639   79
  C   D. Dyer        27   54 153   7  24   5   1   0   7   7  34 .157 .204 .203 .406   14
  3B  T. Taylor      37   61 138  13  29   5   1   2  11   8  16 .210 .245 .304 .549   53
  C   C. Sands*      25   55 119  12  28   6   1   4  15  19  28 .235 .340 .403 .744  108
  OF  L. Stanton     27   60 102  12  23   3   1   3  10   8  30 .225 .277 .363 .640   78
  C   J. Hiatt       30   41  63   5  13   3   0   1   5   9  22 .206 .301 .302 .603   70
1B-LF G. Theodore    26   23  39   5   9   1   0   0   5   3   5 .231 .273 .256 .529   49
  SS  B. Ostrosser*  24   13  19   1   3   0   0   0   1   2   4 .158 .273 .158 .431   24

      Others                  29   3   7   0   0   0   2   2   4 .241 .290 .241 .532   51

      Pitchers               392  26  51   5   1   1  17  32 173 .130 .176 .156 .333   -6

      Total                5411 625 1326 188  30 119 568 627 829 .245 .319 .357 .676   89

      * Bats left
      # Bats both

      Pitcher       Age    G  GS  CG   W   L  SV  IP   H   R  ER   HR   BB   SO  ERA ERA+
      N. Ryan        26   37  35  23  20  14   1 293 228 104  99   17  146  347 3.04  120
      T. Seaver      28   36  36  18  20  10   0 290 219  74  67   23   64  251 2.08  175
      J. Koosman*    30   35  35  12  15  15   0 263 234  93  83   18   76  156 2.84  128
      J. Matlack*    23   34  34  14  15  16   0 242 210  93  86   16   99  205 3.20  114
      J. Bibby       28   27  13   4   6   4   1  98  67  37  36    6   62   89 3.31  110

      T. McGraw*     28   53   1   0   3   4  14  79  68  33  32    7   37   56 3.65  100
      W. Fryman*     33   39   1   0   3   2   0  57  57  25  25    5   21   47 3.95   92
      J. Aker        32   30   0   0   3   1   2  37  41  18  15    4   13   15 3.65  100
      B. Capra       25   25   6   1   2   2   1  55  53  28  26    8   31   44 4.25   86
      P. Hennigan    27   17   0   0   0   1   1  22  25  15  15    3    8   11 6.14   59
      G. Culver      29    8   0   0   2   0   0  10  13   5   5    0    7    4 4.50   81
      E. Fisher      36    6   0   0   2   1   0   7   3   1   1    1    1    1 1.29  283
      J. Strohmayer  26    4   0   0   0   0   0   5   7   5   5    1    2    3 9.00   40

      Others                   0   0   0   0   0   7   9   8   7    2    6    3 9.00   40

      Total                  161  72  91  70 20 1465 1234 539 502 111  573 1232 3.08  118

      * Throws left

We enjoy several positive developments. Ken Singleton puts it together at the age of 26, seizing the right field job. Milner proves worthy of everyday play, and with the ever-excellent Amos Otis between them, our outfield robustly produces runs.

But the overall attack doesn’t match up. Our first base platoon of Mike Jorgensen and Willie Mays doesn’t hit well, and backup players Tim Foli at shortstop and Duffy Dyer at catcher, pressed into service by injuries, fail to hit at all. Our bottom-line production remains below average.

With Jerry Koosman healthy again after iffy performances in 1971 and ’72, our four-man front of Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Jon Matlack and Koosman is one of the greatest ever. That’s fortunate, because Tug McGraw slumps, Hennigan fizzles, and the bullpen is a year-long headache.

We have genuine and significant strengths. However, the few weaknesses we display prevent us from getting all the way there. We fall just short to the Phillies, in an exciting but ultimately frustrating campaign.

Next time

We understand that both the Red Sox and Pirates are intending to be quite active in the trade market. Perhaps one or more of our ball clubs might engage.

          Phillies:  Actual         Cardinals:  Actual        Mets:  Actual
 Year     W    L  Pos   RS   RA     W    L  Pos   RS   RA     W    L  Pos   RS   RA
 1969    63   99  5    645  745    87   75  4    595  540   100   62  1    632  541
 1970    73   88  5    594  730    76   86  4    744  747    83   79  3    695  630
 1971    67   95  6    558  688    90   72  2    739  699    83   79  3    588  550
 1972    59   97  6    503  625    75   81  4    568  600    83   73  3    528  578
 1973    71   91  6    642  717    81   81  2    643  603    82   79  1    608  588

          Phillies:  Virtual        Cardinals:  Virtual       Mets:  Virtual
 Year     W    L  Pos   RS   RA     W    L  Pos   RS   RA     W    L  Pos   RS   RA
 1969    64   98  5    611  691    98   64  2    659  528   101   61  1    638  550
 1970    77   84  5    596  691    80   82  4    742  703    84   78  3    687  619
 1971    86   76  4    629  598   102   60  1    787  647    89   73  3    643  561
 1972    68   88  5    585  638   105   51  1    675  478    93   63  2    551  523
 1973    93   69  1    680  572    80   82  3    621  593    91   70  2    625  539
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Comments

  1. Paul G. said...

    I didn’t see that coming.  82 wins was not nearly enough!

    It is also amazing how the Cardinals somehow managed to be slightly worse in this virtual season than they were in real life.  That may be a bigger shocker than the Phillies putting it together.

  2. Steve Treder said...

    “I didn’t see that coming.”

    Me neither.  The Phillies have surprised me a couple of times in this thing.

  3. Philip said...

    Under this scenario, rookie skipper Danny Ozark surely would easily win the annual Sporting News Major League Manager of the Year honors with his 25-win improvement for the Phillies. (Ironically, it was Gene Mauch, the Phils’ manager in that 1964 collapse, who won the actual award in 1973.)

    Somehow it just wouldn’t seem right if Tim McCarver doesn’t end up back with St. Louis so he can be behind the plate when Steve Carlton pitches.

    In real-life, the 1973 Mets (82-79) upset the Cincinnati Reds (99-63) in the NLCS and had the Oakland Athletics on the verge of elimination before dropping games 6 and 7 in Oakland.

    But, in Steve’s scenario, it’s the Phillies who surprising win the N.L. East. But, unlike the Mets, they won’t be playing Cincinnati.

    Without Fred Norman, the Reds don’t go anywhere close to the 18-6 record they compiled in his 24 starts after he’s acquired from San Diego for next to nothing.

    Los Angeles, therefore, manages to hold off the Reds’ late surge in September and win the N.L. West.

    After a late start, on October 10th when the clock strikes twelve midnight in Philadelphia, the Phillies’ Cinderella season finally comes to and end as the Dodgers’ Tommy John pitches a complete game victory … in the rain.

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

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