The Pirates are on their way to San Diego for three. They currently sport a 28-25 record and stand in fourth place, half a game behind the Phillies. They’re three and a half behind the Expos and Cards.
The series will pit John Candelaria, Bruce Kison and Jim Rooker against Gaylord Perry, Bob Owchinko and Randy Jones.
The Padres will enter the series with a record of 28-35. They have a few outstanding players but lack depth. Right fielder Dave Winfield is having a big year, with a 1.082 OPS, 14 home runs and 50 RBIs. Catcher/first baseman Gene Tenace is hitting well, with an .849 OPS. Otherwise, the lineup is nondescript. Center fielder Gene Richards is solid, but nobody else is hitting much of anything. Ozzie Smith is a spectacular defender, but he has an anemic .455 OPS. Gaylord Perry and Randy Jones are a strong 1-2 at the top of the rotation, but the Padres rely mostly on a bunch of swing men. The bullpen features ace reliever Rollie Fingers.
And now another question about future content. (I have zero interest in following the labor dispute that’s holding up plans for a possible, truncated season, so I need to find baseball subjects to think about that don’t involve current events.) I asked earlier about doing the 1925 season after 1979 “ends” and the idea seemed pretty well received. I could just pick it up in the fall and do it during the off-season, maybe starting on November 1 as if it was April 1.
A slightly different idea occurred to me, though. I thought of covering the 1969 through 1971 seasons. It struck me that the ’71 championship team started coming together in ’69. In fact, you could argue that the WS winners really started coming together with the October 1968 expansion draft, which opened up spots for the products of a powerhouse farm system. Also, 1970 was an exciting season for the Bucs in its own right. What I thought of doing was covering those seasons by summarizing a week at a time, looking for highlights of individual games rather than detailing every game. The idea would be to provide a broader look at how the ’71 team evolved. Any thoughts are welcome.