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West Division

East Division

Series Wrapup

Story

Pete Rose served as the focal point of the 1978 National League baseball season, making history on two fronts.  After the Reds’ 37-year-old third baseman became the youngest player to amass 3,000 hits on May 5, he began a hitting streak in mid-June that lasted through the end of July.  By hitting safely in 44 consecutive games, Rose bettered Tommy Holmes’ previous modern N.L. record by seven games (Holmes collected at least one safety in 37 straight games for the Braves in 1945).  Rose also tied Willie Keeler’s all-time National League mark.  He ended the campaign with a .302 batting average, 103 runs scored, and a league-leading 51 doubles.

Rose received a considerable amount of help from Cincinnati teammate George Foster over the course of the season.  Following up his MVP performance from one year earlier, the slugging Foster batted .281 and topped the senior circuit with 40 home runs and 120 runs batted in.

Despite the efforts of Rose and Foster, the Cincinnati Reds found themselves unable to overcome the superior team balance of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who captured their second straight N.L. West title by finishing the season with a record of 95-67.  The Reds placed second in the division, 2 ½ games back, while the San Francisco Giants came in  third, six games off the pace.

Los Angeles led the National League with 727 runs scored, 149 home runs, a .264 team batting average, and a team ERA of 3.12.  Burt Hooton, Tommy John, Don Sutton, and Doug Rau formed an impressive quartet at the top of the Dodgers’ starting rotation.  Hooton led the staff with 19 victories and a 2.71 ERA.  John finished 17-10 with a 3.30 ERA.  Sutton and Rau each won 15 games. 

On offense, leadoff hitter Davey Lopes hit 17 home runs, batted .278, scored 93 runs, and stole 45 bases in 49 attempts.  Ron Cey hit 23 homers and drove in 84 runs.  Reggie Smith hit 29 round-trippers, knocked in 93 runs, and batted .295.  Steve Garvey earned a second-place finish in the MVP balloting by hitting 21 home runs, driving in 113 runs, placing second in the league with a .316 batting average, and topping the circuit with 202 hits. 

The Philadelphia Phillies also earned a return trip to the NLCS, barely edging out the Pittsburgh Pirates for their third straight N.L. East title.  The Phillies finished the regular season with a record of 90-72, just 1 ½ games ahead of the second-place Pirates.

Pittsburgh’s strong showing enabled Dave Parker to walk away with league MVP honors.  The slugging right-fielder hit 30 home runs, led the league with a .334 batting average, 340 total bases, and a .585 slugging average, and placed among the leaders with 117 runs batted in, 102 runs scored, and 194 hits.

The Phillies were the division’s most well-balanced team, though, placing third in the circuit with 708 runs scored, while also finishing fourth with a team ERA of 3.33.  Steve Carlton headed Philadelphia’s pitching staff, posting 16 victories and a 2.84 ERA.  Meanwhile, Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski, Garry Maddox, and Larry Bowa paced the offense.  Schmidt hit 21 homers and scored 93 runs.  Luzinski knocked in 101 runs and finished second in the league with 35 home runs.  Maddox batted .288 and stole 33 bases.  Bowa had the finest season of his career, earning a third-place finish in the MVP voting by batting .294, collecting 192 hits, stealing 27 bases, and leading all league shortstops with a .986 fielding percentage. 

Philadelphia faced Los Angeles in the NLCS for the second straight year, with the Dodgers again prevailing in four games.  Carlton gave the Phillies their only victory in the Series with a complete-game 9-4 win in Game Three, but the Dodgers clinched their second consecutive National League pennant the following day when Bill Russell singled home the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning.  Steve Garvey homered four times for Los Angeles in the four games.

Los Angeles subsequently faced the New York Yankees in a rematch of the 1977 World Series.  Although the Dodgers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the Series, the Yankees again defeated them in four games.  The brilliant defensive play of Graig Nettles at third base and the surprising offense supplied by middle infielders Bucky Dent and Brian Doyle proved to be the difference.  

Other outstanding performers, notable events, and points of interest from around the league follow:

• May 20 – At Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Pittsburgh’s Willie Stargell hit two home runs off Wayne Twitchell during a 6–0 Pirates’ victory.  Stargell’s second blast landed in the upper deck, some 535 feet from home plate. 

• June 14 – Pete Rose started his 44-game hitting streak by collecting two hits in Cincinnati’s 3–1 win over the Chicago Cubs.

• June 30 – In the first game of a 10–9, 10–5 doubleheader loss to the Atlanta Braves, San Francisco’s Willie McCovey hit his 500th career home run.  The milestone homer made McCovey the 12th member of the 500 home run club.

• August 1 – The Atlanta Braves trounced the Cincinnati Reds, 16–4, ending in the process Pete Rose's hitting streak at 44 games.  Larry McWilliams and Gene Garber combined to hang a 0-for-4 on Rose, who struck out in the ninth inning to end the game.  Rose went 70-for-182 (a batting average of .385) during the streak, which was the second-longest in major league history.

• October 1 - Gaylord Perry of the San Diego Padres recorded his 3,000th career strikeout.

• November 28 – The Cincinnati Reds dismissed their nine-year manager, Sparky Anderson, who led the team to five NL West titles, four NL pennants, and two World Championships (1975–76).  Anderson subsequently became the manager of the Detroit Tigers in 1979, replacing Les Moss.

• Gaylord Perry led all N.L. hurlers with 21 wins, en route to capturing N.L. Cy Young honors. 

• The National League won the All-Star Game 7-3 at San Diego for its seventh consecutive victory.

• Atlanta's Bob Horner captured N.L. Rookie of the Year honors.

• Cardinal Bob Forsch threw a no-hitter against the Phillies on April 16.

• Cincinnati's Tom Seaver tossed a no-hitter against the Cardinals on June 16.

• Cardinal Keith Hernandez won the first of his major league record 10 consecutive Gold Gloves at first base.

• Dodger coach Jim Gilliam died.

• Houston's J.R. Richard led the league with 303 strikeouts.

• Phil Niekro led the National League with 334 innings pitched and 22 complete games.

• New York’s Craig Swan compiled a league-leading 2.43 ERA.

• Rollie Fingers of San Diego led the major leagues with 37 saves.

Seasons of the National League

1876 · 1877 · 1878 · 1879 · 1880 · 1881 · 1882 · 1883 · 1884 · 1885 · 1886 · 1887 · 1888 · 1889 · 1890 · 1891 · 1892 · 1893 · 1894 · 1895 · 1896 · 1897 · 1898 · 1899 · 1900 · 1901 · 1902 · 1903 · 1904 · 1905 · 1906 · 1907 · 1908 · 1909 · 1910 · 1911 · 1912 · 1913 · 1914 · 1915 · 1916 · 1917 · 1918 · 1919 · 1920 · 1921 · 1922 · 1923 · 1924 · 1925 · 1926 · 1927 · 1928 · 1929 · 1930 · 1931 · 1932 · 1933 · 1934 · 1935 · 1936 · 1937 · 1938 · 1939 · 1940 · 1941 · 1942 · 1943 · 1944 · 1945 · 1946 · 1947 · 1948 · 1949 · 1950 · 1951 · 1952 · 1953 · 1954 · 1955 · 1956 · 1957 · 1958 · 1959 · 1960 · 1961 · 1962 · 1963 · 1964 · 1965 · 1966 · 1967 · 1968 · 1969 · 1970 · 1971 · 1972 · 1973 · 1974 · 1975 · 1976 · 1977 · 1978 · 1979 · 1980 · 1981 · 1982 · 1983 · 1984 · 1985 · 1986 · 1987 · 1988 · 1989 · 1990 · 1991 · 1992 · 1993 · 1994 · 1995 · 1996 · 1997 · 1998 · 1999 · 2000 · 2001 · 2002 · 2003 · 2004 · 2005 · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2009 · 2010  

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
ATL 2149 5381 600 1313 558 .203 191 39 123 90 65 1951 .295 .293 .613 140 47 61
CHN 2305 5532 664 1461 612 .217 224 48 72 110 58 1997 .369 .289 .692 125 59 84
CIN 2248 5392 710 1378 669 .187 270 32 136 137 58 2120 .306 .264 .605 112 54 84
HOU 2112 5458 605 1408 557 .185 231 45 70 178 59 1939 .286 .242 .565 134 44 76
LAN 2060 5437 727 1435 686 .241 251 27 149 137 52 2187 .353 .318 .716 101 47 111
MON 2133 5530 633 1404 589 .177 269 31 121 80 42 2098 .259 .237 .529 126 40 62
NYN 2099 5433 607 1332 561 .210 227 47 86 100 77 1911 .325 .287 .641 126 55 71
PHI 2114 5448 708 1404 661 .187 248 32 133 152 58 2115 .340 .262 .648 93 49 61
PIT 2045 5406 684 1390 631 .201 239 54 115 213 90 2082 .300 .292 .612 95 46 64
SDN 2163 5360 591 1349 542 .180 208 42 75 152 70 1866 .297 .234 .580 81 39 114
SFN 2096 5364 613 1331 576 .159 240 41 117 87 54 2004 .300 .232 .588 104 40 127
SLN 2056 5415 600 1351 568 .184 263 44 79 97 42 1939 .278 .246 .553 131 53 55

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
ATL 455 69 93 1439 848 624 6261 1404 132 73.820 656 750 29 7 32 67 18
CHN 489 79 83 1456 768 539 6264 1475 125 60.790 656 724 24 7 38 53 12
CIN 460 92 69 1447 908 567 6232 1437 122 58.080 615 688 16 3 46 36 17
HOU 380 74 88 1440 930 578 6140 1328 86 58.120 581 634 48 13 23 47 21
LAN 360 95 67 1439 800 440 6008 1362 107 44.020 500 573 46 13 38 35 8
MON 429 76 86 1447 740 572 6068 1332 117 76.630 550 611 42 9 32 40 13
NYN 432 66 96 1456 775 531 6165 1447 114 73.090 626 690 21 5 26 33 15
PHI 396 90 72 1437 813 393 5887 1343 118 62.560 532 586 38 9 29 29 22
PIT 433 88 73 1444 880 499 6141 1366 103 52.510 549 637 30 9 44 40 12
SDN 427 84 78 1434 744 483 6005 1385 74 78.030 523 598 21 7 55 28 20
SFN 401 89 73 1457 840 453 6090 1377 84 54.080 534 594 42 16 29 32 9
SLN 420 69 93 1437 859 600 6057 1300 94 61.940 574 657 32 10 22 61 17

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
ATL 2586 7319 5368 1774 177 .966 17286 166 57 0 32
CHN 2694 7566 5311 2091 164 .970 17463 118 62 0 9
CIN 2588 7289 5416 1711 162 .972 17378 106 60 0 17
HOU 2443 7252 5461 1637 154 .966 17285 167 59 0 22
LAN 2480 7359 5342 1852 165 .980 17285 105 56 0 10
MON 2507 7506 5492 1854 160 .947 17353 108 61 0 3
NYN 2539 7537 5539 1843 155 .968 17465 111 69 1.00 16
PHI 2518 7368 5392 1856 120 .978 17234 91 56 2.00 6
PIT 2486 7380 5465 1723 192 .957 17336 138 47 0 13
SDN 2696 7456 5314 1956 186 .964 17205 102 65 1.00 16
SFN 2514 7401 5487 1743 171 .968 17462 159 54 0 6
SLN 2496 7322 5287 1880 155 .967 17253 162 78 0 11

West

team W L Att Rk SOP
Los Angeles Dodgers 95 67 3347845 1 800
Cincinnati Reds 92 69 2532497 2 908
San Francisco Giants 89 73 1740477 3 840
San Diego Padres 84 78 1670107 4 744
Houston Astros 74 88 1126145 5 930
Atlanta Braves 69 93 904494 6 848

Central

East

team W L Att Rk SOP
Philadelphia Philies 90 72 2583389 1 813
Pittsburg Pirates 88 73 964106 2 880
Chicago Cubs 79 83 1525311 3 768
Montreal Expos 76 86 1427007 4 740
St. Louis Cardinals 69 93 1278215 5 859
New York Mets 66 96 1007328 6 775

Awards

Silver Slugger

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Tagged:
1978 NLCS, 1978 World Series, Bill Russell, Bob Forsch, Bob Horner, Burt Hooton, Craig Swan, Dave Parker, Davey Lopes, Don Sutton, Doug Rau, Dusty Baker, Garry Maddox, Gaylord Perry, Gene Garber, George Foster, Greg Luzinski, J.R. Richard, Jim Gilliam, Keith Hernandez, Larry Bowa, Larry McWilliams, Los Angeles Dodgers, Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose, Phil Niekro, Philadelphia Phillies, Reggie Smith, Rollie Fingers, Ron Cey, Sparky Anderson, Steve Carlton, Steve Garvey, Tom Seaver, Tommy John, Wayne Twitchell, Willie McCovey, Willie Stargell

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