The 1974 National League Championship Series was a best-of-five series that matched the East Division champion Pittsburgh Pirates against the West Division champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers won the Series three games to one and lost the 1974 World Series to the Oakland Athletics.
|1974 National League Championship Series|
|Umpires||Nick Colosi, Paul Pryor, Lee Weyer, John McSherry, Shag Crawford, Satch Davidson|
|TV announcers||Jim Simpson and Maury Wills (Game 1)|
Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek (Games 3–4)
NBC did not televise Game 2 due to conflicts with its NFL coverage.
Los Angeles won the series, 3–1.
|1||October 5||Los Angeles Dodgers – 3, Pittsburgh Pirates – 0||Three Rivers Stadium||2:25||40,638|
|2||October 6||Los Angeles Dodgers – 5, Pittsburgh Pirates – 2||Three Rivers Stadium||2:44||49,247|
|3||October 8||Pittsburgh Pirates – 7, Los Angeles Dodgers – 0||Dodger Stadium||2:41||55,953|
|4||October 9||Pittsburgh Pirates – 1, Los Angeles Dodgers – 12||Dodger Stadium||2:36||54,424|
|WP: Don Sutton (1–0) LP: Jerry Reuss (0–1)|
The Dodgers had been winless in six games played at Pittsburgh during the regular season but they remedied that situation in postseason play. In the opening game, Don Sutton of the Dodgers was opposed to Jerry Reuss. The Pirate lefty yielded just one run in seven innings (on a bases-loaded walk to Davey Lopes in the second), but left the game in favor of an ineffectual pinch-hitter. Dave Giusti came on in the eighth inning and gave up two insurance runs in the ninth on Jim Wynn's RBI double with one on, followed by Joe Ferguson's RBI single. Meanwhile, Sutton set the Pittsburgh club down on four hits and no runs.
|WP: Andy Messersmith (1–0) LP: Dave Giusti (0–1)|
LAD: Ron Cey (1)
The Dodgers struck first in Game 2 on Steve Garvey's RBI single in the first with two on off of Jim Rooker. Ron Cey's leadoff home run in the fourth extended their lead to 2–1. The Pittsburgh string of scoreless innings was extended to 15 before the Pirates finally got on the board in the seventh inning off of Andy Messersmith. After two leadoff singles and sacrifice bunt, one run came in on a Richie Hebner groundout and the other on an Al Oliver high bouncer that escaped third baseman Cey's glove and was scored on a single. With the game tied going into the eighth inning, it was a battle between ace relievers Mike Marshall, of Los Angeles, and Dave Giusti. Giusti could not retire even one batter. After a leadoff double and subsequent single, back-to-back RBI singles by Willie Crawford and Manny Mota aided by an error by catcher Manny Sanguillén put the Dodgers back in front 4–2. Davey Lopes's RBI single off of Larry Demery extended their lead to 5–2 while Marshall retired six straight batters in the last two innings to give the Dodgers a 2–0 series lead heading to Los Angeles.
|WP: Bruce Kison (1–0) LP: Doug Rau (0–1)|
PIT: Willie Stargell (1), Richie Hebner (1)
A record crowd for Dodger Stadium (55,953) showed up for Game 3 with the home team one win away from the World Series, but the Pirates hammered starter Doug Rau in the top of the first. After a leadoff single and one-out walk, Willie Stargell's three-run home run put the Pirates up 3–0. One out later, an error, the first of five the Dodgers committed in the game, allowed Bob Robertson to reach base before Richie Hebner's two-run home run extended the lead to 5–0. In the fourth, back-to-back two-out RBI singles by Hebner and Mario Mendoza with two on off of Charlie Hough made it 7–0 Pirates. Bruce Kison gave up only two hits in the six and two-thirds innings he worked and his reliever Ramón Hernández, slammed the door on the Dodgers the rest of the way as the Pirates staved off elimination.
|WP: Don Sutton (2–0) LP: Jerry Reuss (0–2)|
PIT: Willie Stargell (2)
LAD: Steve Garvey 2 (2)
Don Sutton and Jerry Reuss, as in the opener, were the opposing pitchers in the fourth game. Sutton was just as good as he ever was, permitting but one run (on Willie Stargell's home run in the seventh) and three hits and striking out seven in eight innings of work before allowing the ubiquitous Mike Marshall to close.
Reuss and three relievers, on the other hand, were hammered. Davey Lopes walked to lead off the first, stole second and scored on Jim Wynn's double. In the third, Steve Garvey's home run after a walk made it 3–0. In the fifth, Garvey's second home run of the game, also after a walk off of Ken Brett, extended the lead to 5–0. Next inning, Steve Yeager drew a leadoff walk off of Larry Demery, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a triple by Davey Lopes, who himself scored on second baseman Rennie Stennett's errant throw to third. Next inning, after a leadoff single and walk, Dave Giusti relieved Demery and allowed RBI singles to Bill Russell and Don Sutton to extend the Dodgers' lead to 9–1. In the eighth, Giusti allowed a one-out single and walk before Joe Ferguson's RBI single made it 10–1 Dodgers. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Russell's two-run single capped the game's scoring at 12–1 as the Dodgers advanced to the 1974 World Series with the largest margin of victory in a championship series game.
|Los Angeles Dodgers||2||1||2||1||2||2||2||6||2||20||37||7|
|Total attendance: 200,262 Average attendance: 50,066|
The 1974 Los Angeles Dodgers won the National League West by four games over the Cincinnati Reds, then beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1974 National League Championship Series before losing to the Oakland Athletics in the 1974 World Series.1974 Pittsburgh Pirates season
The 1974 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 93rd season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; the 88th in the National League. The Pirates finished first in the National League East with a record of 88–74. The Pirates were defeated three games to one by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1974 National League Championship Series.Bruce Kison
Bruce Eugene Kison (February 18, 1950 – June 2, 2018) was an American professional baseball pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball. He pitched from 1971–85 for three teams, the Pittsburgh Pirates (1971–79), California Angels (1980–84) and Boston Red Sox (1985). Kison won two World Series championships with the Pirates, both over the Baltimore Orioles. He batted and threw right-handed.
During a 15-year career, Kison compiled 115 wins with 88 losses, 1,073 strikeouts, and a 3.66 ERA.Gene Clines
Eugene Anthony Clines (born October 6, 1946) is an American former professional baseball outfielder and coach in Major League Baseball from 1970 to 1979 for the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets, Texas Rangers, and Chicago Cubs. He was also the hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs from 2005 to 2006. From 2003 to 2004, he was the team's first base coach before being promoted to hitting coach. He batted and threw right-handed. He is a 1966 graduate of Harry Ells High School in Richmond, California.Juan Pizarro (baseball)
Juan Pizarro a.k.a. "Terín" (born February 7, 1937) is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher. He played for 18 seasons on 9 teams, from 1957 through 1974. In 1964, he won 19 games (19–9) and pitched 4 shutouts for the Chicago White Sox. He also was an All-Star player in 1963 and 1964.Ken McMullen (baseball)
Kenneth Lee McMullen (born June 1, 1942) is a former Major League Baseball third baseman. He batted and threw right-handed.Mario Mendoza
Mario Mendoza Aizpuru (born December 26, 1950) is a Mexican former professional baseball infielder. Mendoza, a lifetime .215 hitter, is best known for being the source of the name for the threshold for batting ineptitude, the "Mendoza Line", meaning a batting average of .200. Mendoza managed in the minor leagues and in Mexico after his Major League Baseball (MLB) playing career. He is a member of the Mexican League Hall of Fame.Phillies–Pirates rivalry
The Phillies–Pirates rivalry is a Major League Baseball (MLB) rivalry between the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates. Both clubs are members of MLB's National League (NL); the Phillies are members of the NL East division, while the Pirates are members of the NL Central division. The rivalry was considered by some to be one of the best in the NL. The rivalry started when the Pittsburgh Pirates entered NL play in their fifth season of 1887, four years after the Phillies.The Phillies and Pirates had remained together after the NL split into two divisions in 1969. During the period of two-division play (1969–1993), the two NL East division rivals won the two highest numbers of division championships, reigning almost exclusively as NL East champions in the 1970s and again in the early 1990s, the Pirates 9, the Phillies 6; together, the two teams' 15 championships accounted for more than half of the 25 NL East championships during that span.After the Pirates moved to the NL Central in 1994, the teams face each other only in two series each year and the rivalry has diminished. However, many fans, especially older ones, retain their dislike for the other team and regional differences between Eastern and Western Pennsylvania still fuel the rivalry. The rivalry is mirrored in the National Hockey League (NHL)'s so-called "Battle of Pennsylvania".