1978 Philadelphia Phillies

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1978 Philadelphia Phillies / Franchise: Philadelphia Phillies / BR Team Page[edit]

Record: 90-72, Finished 1st in NL Eastern Division (1978 NL)

Clinched Division: September 30, 1978, At Pittsburgh Pirates

Managed by Danny Ozark

Coaches: C.B. Beringer, Billy DeMars, Ray Rippelmeyer, Tony Taylor and Bobby Wine

Ballpark: Veterans Stadium

History, Comments, Contributions[edit]

After two 100-win seasons and two exits in the League Championship Series, the 1978 Philadelphia Phillies entered the season as plausible favorites to win the National League pennant. They spent the offseason mainly standing pat and not tinkering with a strong core. Even in mid-season, their only notable move was a pair of trades that replaced Gene Garber with Rawly Eastwick in a well-stocked bullpen, while adding Dick Ruthven to the rotation, at the cost of a few spare position players.

The Phillies broke well from the gate and by mid-June were battling the surprising Chicago Cubs for first place in the NL East. In a key pair of series in late June and early July, the Phillies beat Chicago in 8 of 9 games to take over the lead. Even indifferent play later in July and through August didn't unlatch the Phillies' hold on the division lead, despite a furious August rush by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Phillies finally clinched the division on the next-to-last day of the season, beating Pittsburgh 10-8, in a game where Phillies' pitcher Randy Lerch led the offense with two home runs.

Slumps and injuries bedeviled Mike Schmidt all year, but Greg Luzinski had a splendid season (.265, 35, 101 with 100 walks), the bullpen was terrific, and Ruthven and Steve Carlton led a strong rotation.

The Phillies entered the playoffs hoping to avenge their 1977 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The first two games of the National League Championship Series in Philadelphia were nightmarish, however, resulting in easy L.A. victories. Carlton won Game 3 in California, but Game 4 went to ten innings before the Dodgers, thanks to a dropped fly ball by the usually sure-handed Garry Maddox, clinched their second straight pennant.

The Phillies' balanced attack meant a dearth of award candidates in 1978, although Gold Gloves went to Schmidt, Bob Boone, Larry Bowa, and Maddox.

Awards and Honors[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • 2022 Philadelphia Phillies Media Guide, pg. 218

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NL Championship Series (3-1) Dodgers over Phillies

World Series (4-2) Yankees over Dodgers

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