The 1978 National League Championship Series was a best-of-five matchup for the second straight year between the West Division champion Los Angeles Dodgers and the East Division champion Philadelphia Phillies. The Dodgers beat the Phillies three games to one once again and lost the World Series to the New York Yankees, as they had the year before.
|1978 National League Championship Series|
|MVP||Steve Garvey (Los Angeles)|
|Umpires||Lee Weyer, Nick Colosi, Andy Olsen, Satch Davidson, Billy Williams, John McSherry|
|TV announcers||Al Michaels, Don Drysdale and Johnny Bench|
|Radio announcers||Ralph Kiner and Jerry Coleman|
Los Angeles won the series, 3–1.
|1||October 4||Los Angeles Dodgers – 9, Philadelphia Phillies – 5||Veterans Stadium||2:37||63,460|
|2||October 5||Los Angeles Dodgers – 4, Philadelphia Phillies – 0||Veterans Stadium||2:06||60,642|
|3||October 6||Philadelphia Phillies – 9, Los Angeles Dodgers – 4||Dodger Stadium||2:18||55,043|
|4||October 7||Philadelphia Phillies – 3, Los Angeles Dodgers – 4 (10 innings)||Dodger Stadium||2:53||55,124|
|WP: Bob Welch (1–0) LP: Larry Christenson (0–1)|
LAD: Steve Garvey 2 (2), Davey Lopes (1), Steve Yeager (1)
PHI: Jerry Martin (1)
Because of having to start an NL East-clinching game a few days earlier, Phillies ace Steve Carlton was not available for the start of the series, leaving the task to Larry Christenson, who did not fare well. After the Phillies scored a run in the second when Greg Luzinski hit a leadoff triple and scored on Mike Schmidt's sacrifice fly off of Burt Hooton, a double and error by third baseman Schmidt put runners on first and second with one out for the Dodgers in the third. Reggie Smith's RBI single tied the game before n a three-run homer by Steve Garvey put the Dodgers up 4–1. A two-run homer by Davey Lopes in the fourth made it 6–1 Dodgers. Next inning, Garvey tripled with one out off of Christenson, who was relieved by Warren Brusstar. Ron Cey's RBI single then made it 7–1 Dodgers. In the bottom of the inning, three singles loaded the bases with one out before Garry Maddox drove in two runs with a single. One out later, Richie Hebner's RBI single made it 7–4 Dodgers. In the sixth, Steve Yeager's home run off of Rawly Eastwick made it 8–4 Dodgers. In the ninth, Garvey's leadoff home run off of Tug McGraw made it 9–4 Dodgers. The Phillies got that run back in the bottom of the inning on Jerry Martin's home run off of rookie Bob Welch, but with one out, Welch struck out Maddox looking to end the game, earning the win, as the Dodgers took a 1–0 series lead.
|WP: Tommy John (1–0) LP: Dick Ruthven (0–1)|
LAD: Davey Lopes (2)
The Dodgers won their second straight on the road in this series on the strength of a complete-game four-hit shutout by Tommy John. Davey Lopes's home run leading off the fourth off of Dick Ruthven made it 1–0 Dodgers. Dusty Baker doubled to lead off the next inning, then scored on Steve Yeager's one-out single. After stealing second, Yeager scored on Lopes's single to make it 3–0 Dodgers. Lopes capped the scoring in the seventh with an RBI triple off of Ron Reed as the Dodgers took a 2–0 series with the 4–0 win.
|WP: Steve Carlton (1–0) LP: Don Sutton (0–1)|
PHI: Steve Carlton (1), Greg Luzinski (1)
LAD: Steve Garvey (3)
With Steve Carlton finally available to pitch, the Phillies cut the series deficit to 2–1 at Dodger Stadium, pitching a complete game. In the top of the second, a two-out double and walk was followed by an RBI single by Ted Sizemore before Carlton helped himself with the bat by hitting a three-run homer off Don Sutton. The Dodgers got on the board in the bottom of the inning when Bill Russell followed back-to-back one-out walks with an RBI double, but a fan reached over the railing to touch the ball, resulting in a ground rule double, forcing Dusty Baker, who was at first, to return to the third base. Next inning, Reggie Smith singled with two outs and scored on Steve Garvey's double, then Ron Cey's RBI single made it 4–3 Phillies. In the sixth, though, after a two-out error and single put runners on first and second. Carlton's two-run single made it 6–3 Phillies and knock Sutton out of the game. Carlton then scored on a double by Jerry Martin off of Lance Rautzhan. Next inning, Tim McCarver's RBI groundout with the bases loaded made it 8–3 Phillies. Garvey's home run in the eighth made it 8–4 Phillies, who got that run back in the ninth off of Charlie Hough on Greg Luzinski's home run.
|WP: Terry Forster (1–0) LP: Tug McGraw (0–1)|
PHI: Greg Luzinski (2), Bake McBride (1)
LAD: Ron Cey (1), Steve Garvey (4)
The Phillies fought for their playoff lives in Game 4. They loaded the bases with nobody out in the first inning but could not score. The Dodgers then struck first in the second inning on a double by Ron Cey and an RBI single by Dusty Baker, the first of four hits he would collect in this game. Greg Luzinski put the Phillies back on top with a two-run homer in the third.
Cey tied it in the fourth with a home run, then Steve Garvey gave the Dodgers the lead with a homer, his fourth of the series, in the sixth. The home run was also his fifth extra base hit of the Series and tied Bob Robertson's 1971 NLCS records for home runs and extra base hits in a League Championship Series. But, Bake McBride tied it once again for the Phillies in the seventh with a home run of his own.
In the bottom of the tenth, Tug McGraw retired the first two Dodger batters, but then surrendered a walk to Cey. Baker then hit a soft line drive to center field. Garry Maddox (who by 1978 had won the fourth of his eight gold gloves) got a late break on the ball, appeared to recover in time, but dropped the ball. Now, Cey was on second and Baker on first. The next batter, Bill Russell, lined a base hit to center. With Cey running because there were two out, Maddox faced a do or die play to get the ball and fire home; Maddox charged, but the ball skipped past him, enabling Cey to score the winning run.
|Los Angeles Dodgers||0||2||6||4||3||2||1||1||1||1||21||42||3|
|Total attendance: 234,269 Average attendance: 58,567|
The 1978 season ended with the Los Angeles Dodgers winning their second straight National League pennant and losing to the New York Yankees in the World Series again. Dodger coach Jim Gilliam died at the end of the season and his uniform number, 19, was retired by the team prior to Game 1 of the World Series; the team also wore a black memorial patch with Gilliam's number during the World Series. Unlike the previous Dodger team, no member of the team hit 30 home runs after seeing four members hit that mark the previous season (the team leader was Reggie Smith, with 29).1978 Major League Baseball season
The 1978 Major League Baseball season saw the New York Yankees defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers to win their second consecutive World Series, and 22nd overall, in a rematch of the prior season's Fall Classic. The Yankees overcame clubhouse turmoil, a mid-season managerial change, and a 14-game mid-July deficit in the American League East en route to the championship. All four teams that made the playoffs in 1977 returned for this postseason; none of the four would return to the postseason in 1979.1978 Philadelphia Phillies season
The 1978 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 96th season in the history of the franchise. The Phillies won their third straight National League East title with a record of 90-72, a game and a half over the Pittsburgh Pirates, as the Phillies defeated the Pirates in Pittsburgh on the next to last day of the season. For the third consecutive season the Phillies came up short in the NLCS, as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated them three games to one, as they had the previous season. The Phillies were managed by Danny Ozark and played their home games at Veterans Stadium.Barry Foote
Barry Clifton Foote (born February 16, 1952), is an American former professional baseball catcher, scout, coach, and minor league manager, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Montreal Expos (1973–1977), Philadelphia Phillies (1977–1978), Chicago Cubs (1979–1981), and New York Yankees (1981–1982). Foote spent most of his baseball career as a reserve player.Dick Ruthven
Richard David Ruthven (born March 27, 1951) is an American former professional baseball pitcher who played 14 years (1973-1986) in Major League Baseball (MLB), with the National League Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, and Chicago Cubs. His career marks include a win-loss record of 123-127, 4.14 ERA, and 1145 career strikeouts. While his 1978 Phillies won the National League East title and the 1980 World Series, his Cubs went on to win the 1984 NL East title.
He attended Irvington High School, Fremont, and California State University, Fresno. He has three children, Erik, Sean, and Tyler Ruthven.Jim Gilliam
James William "Junior" Gilliam (October 17, 1928 – October 8, 1978) was an American second baseman, third baseman, and coach in Negro League and Major League Baseball who spent his entire major league career with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was named the 1953 National League Rookie of the Year, and was a key member of ten National League championship teams from 1953 to 1978. As the Dodgers' leadoff hitter for most of the 1950s, he scored over 100 runs in each of his first four seasons and led the National League in triples in 1953 and walks in 1959. Upon retirement, he became one of the first African-American coaches in the major leagues.Johnny Oates
Johnny Lane Oates (January 21, 1946 – December 24, 2004) was an American professional baseball catcher, coach, and manager, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, and New York Yankees from 1970 to 1981. During his playing career, He was a light-hitting player who was valued for his defensive skills and played most of his career as a reserve player. It was as a big league manager that Oates experienced his greatest success, when, under his leadership, the Texas Rangers won three American League Western Division titles.Larry Christenson
Larry Richard Christenson (born November 10, 1953)), nicknamed "L.C.", is an American former professional baseball pitcher, who played his entire Major League Baseball (MLB) career for the Philadelphia Phillies, from 1973–1983.
During his high school years, Christenson was noted more for his basketball than baseball skills. In 1972, he graduated from Marysville High School. As Philadelphia’s first-round draft pick in the 1972 draft, Christenson was selected third, overall. A short time later, he began his professional career with the Phillies’ Minor League Baseball (MiLB) Pulaski Phillies of the Appalachian League. Both his first MiLB and MLB hits were home runs and he is tied with Rick Wise for most home runs (11) by a pitcher in Phillies history.
Christenson made his MLB debut on April 13, 1973, beating the National League (NL)-rival New York Mets, 7–1, while pitching a complete game. At the time, he was the youngest player in MLB at age 19; he would remain so until 18-year-old David Clyde debuted for the Texas Rangers, that June 27.
Christenson would bounce back and forth from the majors to the minors until 1975, when the Phillies called him up to stay. He went 11–6 that season and would become a key cog on Phillies teams that would win three straight NL Eastern Division titles, from 1976 to 1978. Christenson would have his best seasons those three years: 1976, going 13–8 with a 3.68 earned run average (ERA); 1977 (his best season), when he went 19–6 with a 4.06 ERA, winning 15 of his last 16 decisions; and 1978, where he slipped to 13–14, despite posting a career-best ERA of 3.24. In the 1978 National League Championship Series, Christenson was the Phillies’ Game 1 starter.
Thereafter, injuries would begin to plague Christenson's career. He began the 1979 season on the disabled list (DL), with elbow problems, missing the first month. Later, that June, Christenson broke his collarbone during a charity bicycle ride and missed several weeks. He ended up with a 5–10 record that season. In 1980, Christenson started off 3–0, but went on the DL, again, and had elbow surgery. He recovered to finish the season 5–1 and start Game 4 of the 1980 World Series, but was knocked out of the game in the first inning.
In 1981, Christenson posted a less-than-stellar 4–7 record, but notched a win in the 1981 National League Division Series, against the Montreal Expos. His last injury-free season was 1982, when he made 32 starts and went 9–10.
In 1983, Christenson went under the knife for elbow surgery for the final time, after a 2–4 start. He failed to make the postseason roster and the Phillies gave him his unconditional release on November 10 of that year, his 30th birthday.
Christensen tried for several years, spent in his home state of Washington, to rehabilitate from his numerous surgeries, but was unable to return to baseball. He began a career in institutional investing in 1985, and currently is president of Christenson Investment Partners, which works with institutional asset managers and investors. Christenson resides in the Philadelphia area. He has two adult daughters; Claire and Libby. Christenson maintains his ties with the Phillies and is well known locally for his work on behalf of numerous charities.List of Major League Baseball pitchers who have hit home runs in the postseason
Relatively few Major League Baseball pitchers have hit home runs in the postseason. Through the 2018 World Series, only 24 home runs have been hit, by 22 different pitchers.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".Ron Reed
Ronald Lee Reed (born November 2, 1942) is a former two sport star who spent two seasons as a forward in the National Basketball Association before spending nearly two decades as a Major League Baseball pitcher.Steve Garvey
Steven Patrick Garvey (born December 22, 1948) is an American former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a first baseman, most notably for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Nicknamed "Mr. Clean" because of his wholesome image during his career in baseball, Garvey was the 1974 National League Most Valuable Player Award winner, a two-time National League Championship Series MVP (1978 and 1984), a 10-time All-Star, and a two-time MVP of the All-Star Game (1974 and 1978). He holds the National League record for consecutive games played (1,207).Ted Sizemore
Ted Crawford Sizemore (born April 15, 1945) is a former Major League Baseball second baseman. He was named the National League's Rookie of the Year in 1969.