As threatened, hitting in 1977 was generally through the roof, and the fact that each league only had eight teams with the eight best offenses raised those shingles even more.
But many of the big numbers were deceptive. George Foster clubbed 57 homers and knocked in 166 runs, but had an ice cold stretch for virtually the entire month of August that may have cost the Reds the pennant. Steve Garvey, who I can’t seem to rail on enough, knocked in 116 but had a dismal OPS of .743 and did most of his damage once the game score was out of reach. Ed Figueroa of New York may have been the worst 18-game winner I’ve ever pitched.
But this is a time for celebration, not dissing, so before I roll out the final stats, let’s see who won the hardware…
NL MVP: Dave Parker, Pirates
A no-brainer. Second in the league in hitting and OPS, despite negative clutch rolls all over his card. More big hits to propel the Pirates to the top than I can even count.
(runner-ups Reggie Smith, Dodgers and Johnny Bench, Reds)
AL MVP: Rod Carew, Twins
Normally wouldn’t think of picking someone on a last-place team, but Carew wasn’t exactly the 1987 Andre Dawson. First in OPS, hits and triples, a sizzling .398 average and 92 RBIs while batting leadoff much of the time, and don’t forget that 46-game hit streak to start the season. Without him the Twins may have lost 110 games.
(runner-ups Al Cowens, Royals and Carl Yastrzemski, Red Sox)
NL CY YOUNG: John Candelaria, Pirates
The Candy Man cometh. 23-8, second in ERA at 2.38, five shutouts against blistering lineups, and the ‘stache you wanted on the mound for every big game.
(runner-up, Tom Seaver, Reds)
AL CY YOUNG: Dennis Leonard, Royals
20-10, 2.92, 229 whiffs to lead the league, five shutouts and except for two lost duels in September to Blyleven, scads of great outings.
(runner up, Bill Campbell, Red Sox)
–The Expos were only hit by 11 pitches all year.
–Bruce Sutter’s K/BB ratio was 132/16
–Ray Burris: 3-20, 7.94, 255 hits in 165 innings
–The Cards did some serious gap-shopping, 57 doubles for Hernandez, 29 triples for Templeton
–Catfish Hunter gave up 36 homers in 170 innings
–Luis Tiant allowed 333 hits in 228 innings, had a 6.42 ERA, allowed 44 homers…and had a record of 14-12. Bert Blyleven gave up just 213 hits in 268 innings, had an ERA of 3.29, 209 strikeouts, four shutouts…and had a 15-16 record. Not that we need further proof “wins” are meaningless, but there you have it.
–Boston scored 944 runs without stealing one base.
–Andre Dawson and Jim Rice both went ballistic in the second half of the season. The Hawk ended up with 35 homers, after having 12 at the all-star break. It took Rice 13 games to chalk up an RBI, but he ended up leading the league with 137.
Funky World Series Week continues tomorrow with a special World Series Preview. The Live Tweetcast of Game 1, slated for Wednesday night, will start a half hour later at 9:30 p.m. eastern, due to me co-hosting the “Tumbling Dice” Seamheads/Strat podcast at 9 p.m. Busy boy these days…
FINAL TEAM RUN DIFFERENTIALS
Red Sox +56
White Sox –46
WHO DID WHAT AGAINST WHOM
1.033 Carew, MIN
1.029 Carbo, BOS
1.022 Thornton, CLE
0.988 Gamble, CHX
0.960 Fisk, BOS
0.944 Yaz, BOS
0.939 Singleton, BAL
0.927 Brett, KC
0.923 Bostock, MIN
0.922 Jackson, NYY
0.918 Hisle, MIN
0.916 Evans, BOS
0.912 Rice, BOS
0.901 Hargrove, TEX
.398-Carew, MIN, .348-Bostock, MIN, .330-Brett, KC,
.325-Yaz, BOS, .325-Fisk, BOS, .323-Cowens, KC,
.322-Hisle, MIN, .317-Singleton, BAL
39-Gamble, CHX, 37-Thornton, CLE, 36-Yaz, BOS,
34-Evans, BOS, 33-Jackson, NYY, 33-Nettles, NYY,
33-Carbo, BOS, 32-Fisk, BOS, 0-Kuiper, CLE
137-Rice, BOS, 133-Hisle, MIN, 123-Jackson, NYY,
109-Thornton, CLE, 110-Gamble, CHX, 107-Zisk, CHX,
106-Nettles, NYY, 106-Yaz, BOS
16-Singleton, BAL, 15-Rice, BOS, 14-Brett, KC, 13-Hisle, MIN,
13-Zisk, CHX, 13-Cowens, KC, 12-Jackson, NYY
255-Carew, MIN, 227-Bostock, MIN, 213-Cowens, KC,
204-Brett, KC, 197-Yaz, BOS
50-Jackson, NYY, 45-Hisle, MIN, 44-McRae, KC
16-Carew, MIN, 15-Brett, KC, 14-Rice, BOS
124-Hargrove, TEX, 95-Carbo, BOS, 95-Harrah, TEX,
90-Singleton, BAL, 87-Thornton, CLE, 82-Fisk, BOS
20-10 Leonard, KC, 20-13 Palmer, BAL, 19-10 Perry, TEX,
18-10, Figueroa, NYY, 17-14 May, BAL, 16-6 Jenkins, BOS
2.92 Leonard, KC, 2.97 Guidry, NYY
22-Campbell, BOS, 21-Littell, K.C., 17-Lyle, NYY,
229-Leonard, KC, 209-Perry, TEX, 209-Eckersley, CLE,
209-Blyleven, TEX, 207-Guidry, NY
1.071 Smith, L.A.
1.021 Parker, PIT
0.997 Foster, CIN
0.988 Stargell, PIT
0.967 Bench, CIN
0.963 Simmons, STL
0.937 Dawson, MON
0.925 Luzinski, PHL
0.914 Ferguson, HOU
0.911 Morgan, CIN
0.902 Hernandez, STL
.367-Templeton, STL, .365-Parker, PIT, .357-McBride, PHL,
.347-Simmons, STL, .329-Rose, CIN, .324-Hernandez, STL,
.324, Smith, L.A., .312-Valentine, MON, .309-Foster, CIN
57-Foster, CIN, 43-Bench, CIN, 40-Carter, MON,
38-Smith, L.A., 37-Baker, L.A., 35-Dawson, MON,
32-Parker, PIT, 32-Luzinski, PHL, 31-Schmidt, PHL,
31-Valentine, MON, 30-Watson, HOU
166-Foster, CIN, 133-Parker, PIT, 141-Bench, CIN,
121-Simmons, STL, 120-Watson, HOU, 118-Garvey, L.A.,
116-Luzinski, PHL, 115-Smith, L.A., 113-Robinson, PIT
20-Watson, HOU, 16-Rose, CIN, 16-Hernandez, STL,
14-Foster, CIN, 14-Bench, CIN, 13-Parker, PIT, 13-Cey, L.A.,
12-Simmons, STL, 12-Luzinski, PHL
256-Templeton, STL, 231-Parker, PIT, 205-Rose, CIN,
199-Simmons, STL, 192-Hernandez, STL
57-Hernandez, STL, 42-Parker, PIT, 42-Smith, L.A., 41-Watson, HOU
29-Templeton, STL, 14-Cruz, HOU, 14-Puhl, HOU, 10-Dawson, MON
120-Morgan, CIN, 108-Smith- L.A., 83-Lopes, L.A.,
82-Ontiveros, CHC, 81-Cey, L.A., 80-Schmidt, PHL
23-8 Candelaria, PIT, 22-4 Seaver, CIN, 22-9 Hooton, L.A.,
20-11 Richard, HOU, 20-11 Carlton, PHL, 19-10 John, L.A.
2.24-Richard, HOU, 2.38-Candelaria, PIT, 2.80-Seaver, CIN, 2.86-Forsch, STL
22-Gossage, PIT, 17-Hough, L.A., 15-Sambito, HOU,
15-Sutter, CHC, 14-Kerrigan, MON, 13-Garber, PHL
223-Richard, HOU, 218-Carlton, PHL, 207-Seaver, CIN,
190-Rogers, MON, 175-Candelaria, PIT, 170-Hooton, L.A.