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West Division

East Division

Series Wrapup

Story

After finishing just 1 ½ games behind Cincinnati in the N.L. West the previous season, the Houston Astros captured their first division title in 1980.  Still, it took a one-game playoff for the Astros to advance to the postseason for the first time.

The Astros held a three-game lead over the Dodgers heading into the season’s final weekend.  However, Los Angeles defeated Houston three straight times to force a one-game playoff between the two clubs.  Joe Niekro took the mound for the Astros in the pivotal match-up, putting his team in the playoffs for the first time by earning his 20th victory of the year with a 7-1 win.  The Astros finished the season with a record of 93-70, while the Dodgers finished 92-71.  The Reds came in third, just 3 ½ games off the pace, with a mark of 89-73. 

The Astros claimed their first division title even though they hit only 75 home runs as a team and finished seventh in the National League with 637 runs scored.  They won the vast majority of their games with their exceptional pitching and outstanding team speed.  Houston led the N.L. with a 3.10 team ERA and finished fourth in the circuit with 194 stolen bases.  Joe Niekro anchored the starting rotation, posting a record of 20-12 and throwing 256 innings.  Although Nolan Ryan finished just 11-10, he tossed 234 innings and placed second in the league with 200 strikeouts.  Vern Ruhle finished 12-4, with an extremely impressive 2.37 ERA.  Houston’s staff would have been even better had J.R. Richard not suffered a near-fatal stroke in July that brought his major league career to a premature end.  Richard posted a record of 10-4, with a sparkling 1.90 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 114 innings of work over the season’s first three months.

The speedy outfield of Terry Puhl, Cesar Cedeno, and Jose Cruz led the Astros on offense.  Puhl batted .282 and stole 27 bases.  Cedeno hit .309 and finished among the league leaders with 48 steals.  Cruz earned a third-place finish in the N.L. MVP voting by batting .302, driving in 91 runs, and stealing 36 bases.

Although the Dodgers lost out to the Astros on the season’s final day, they were arguably a more talented team.  Los Angeles scored almost 30 more runs than Houston, hit twice as many home runs (148), and placed second in the senior circuit with a team ERA of 3.25.  Jerry Reuss and Don Sutton gave the Dodgers two outstanding starters.  Reuss finished 18-6, with a 2.51 ERA and six shutouts.  Sutton compiled a record of 13-5 and led the league with a 2.20 ERA.  Dusty Baker and Steve Garvey wielded the most potent bats in the Los Angeles lineup.  Baker hit 29 home runs, knocked in 97 runs, and batted .294.  Garvey hit 26 homers, drove in 106 runs, batted .304, and led the league with 200 hits. 

The race in the N.L. East also went down to the season’s final day, with the Philadelphia Phillies capturing their fourth division title in five years by concluding the campaign with a record of 91-71, just one game ahead of the Montreal Expos. 

Featuring a core group of outstanding young players, the Expos narrowly missed making the playoffs for the second straight year.  Andre Dawson hit 17 home runs, drove in 87 runs, scored 96 others, batted .308, and stole 34 bases.  Ron LeFlore scored 95 runs and led the league with 97 stolen bases.  Gary Carter hit 29 home runs and knocked in 101 runs.  He placed second in the league MVP balloting.

Winning the award was Philadelphia third baseman Mike Schmidt, who had the greatest season of his Hall of Fame career.  Schmidt batted .286, scored 104 runs, and topped the senior circuit with 48 home runs, 121 runs batted in, and a .624 slugging average. 

While Schmidt served as the driving force behind Philadelphia’s successful run to the division title, he received a considerable amount of help from his teammates.  Pete Rose batted .282, scored 95 runs, and led the league with 42 doubles.  Speedy Bake McBride batted .309 and knocked in 87 runs.  Steve Carlton won his third Cy Young Award by compiling a 2.34 ERA and leading all N.L. hurlers with a record of 24-9, 286 strikeouts, and 304 innings pitched.  Dick Ruthven finished second on the staff with 17 victories.  Tug McGraw saved 20 games and posted a superb 1.46 ERA. 

The National League Championship Series between Philadelphia and Houston proved to be a classic.  After the teams split the first two contests, the Astros took a two-games-to-one lead in the Series when a Denny Walling sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game Three broke a scoreless tie.  The Phillies evened the Series again in Game Four when 10th inning hits by Pete Rose, Greg Luzinski, and Manny Trillo gave them a 5-3 win.  The Game Five finale provided numerous shifts in momentum.  After the Astros took a 5-2 lead with three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Phillies scored five times in the top of the eighth.  Houston scored twice again in the bottom of the frame, leading to the fourth consecutive extra-inning affair between the two clubs.  Garry Maddox’s double in the top of the 10th drove home Del Unser with what turned out to be the game-winning and Series-clinching run.  By defeating the Astros in five hard-fought games, the Phillies captured their first pennant in 30 years.

The Phillies subsequently won their first-ever world championship when they defeated the Kansas City Royals in six games in the World Series.  Philadelphia’s two great stars, Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton, made the difference.  Schmidt earned Series MVP honors by batting .381, hitting two homers, and driving in seven runs.  Carlton won both his starts and compiled a 2.40 ERA. 

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

• January 24 – A group headed by Nelson Doubleday, Jr. and Fred Wilpon purchased the New York Mets for an estimated $21.1 million.  It was, at the time, the highest amount ever paid for an American professional sports franchise.

• July 6 – Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton became the major leagues' left-handed strikeout king, fanning seven Cardinals in an 8–3 Phillies win.  The seven strikeouts brought his career total to 2,836, allowing him to surpass Mickey Lolich, who previously held the southpaw record with 2,832.

• Houston's Terry Puhl collected a National League record 10 hits in League Championship play.

• San Diego’s Ozzie Smith established a new major league record for shortstops with 621 assists.

• The National League won the All-Star Game 4-2 at Los Angeles.

• Dodger Steve Howe (17 saves and a 2.65 ERA) earned N.L. Rookie of the Year honors.

• Jerry Reuss of Los Angeles threw a no-hitter against the Giants on June 27.

• Chicago’s Bill Buckner led the National League with a .324 batting average.

• Cardinal Keith Hernandez batted .321, knocked in 99 runs, and led the league with 111 runs scored and a .410 on-base percentage.

• The Padres traded Rollie Fingers and three other players to the Cardinals for Terry Kennedy and six other players.

• The Cardinals then dealt Fingers, Pete Vuckovich, and Ted Simmons to Milwaukee for Sixto Lezcano and three other players.

• Bob Welch of the Dodgers publicly acknowledged that he had an alcohol abuse problem.

• On September 10, Montreal's Bill Gullickson set a rookie record when he struck out 18 batters in a game.

• The Padres became the first team in National League history to have three players with at least 50 stolen bases: Gene Richards (61), Ozzie Smith (57), and Jerry Mumphrey (52).

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 2206 5402 630 1352 597 .208 226 22 144 73 52 2054 .303 .288 .622 124 33 69
CHN 2377 5619 614 1411 578 .208 251 35 107 93 64 2053 .294 .296 .609 119 40 69
CIN 2078 5516 707 1445 668 .194 256 45 113 156 43 2130 .303 .271 .615 116 54 78
HOU 2132 5566 637 1455 599 .198 231 67 75 194 74 2045 .316 .268 .622 96 45 89
LAN 2218 5568 663 1462 638 .214 209 24 148 123 72 2163 .329 .282 .621 108 41 96
MON 2116 5465 694 1407 647 .185 250 61 114 237 82 2121 .306 .262 .601 102 56 76
NYN 2151 5478 611 1407 554 .181 218 41 61 158 99 1890 .293 .235 .556 126 53 73
PHI 2192 5625 728 1517 674 .283 272 54 117 140 62 2248 .375 .424 .823 120 58 77
PIT 2099 5517 666 1469 626 .226 249 38 116 209 102 2142 .329 .331 .704 107 56 75
SDN 2265 5540 591 1410 546 .194 195 43 67 239 73 1892 .285 .257 .550 113 38 92
SFN 2118 5368 573 1310 539 .184 199 44 80 100 58 1837 .300 .256 .580 122 54 100
SLN 2126 5608 738 1541 688 .214 300 49 101 117 54 2242 .292 .276 .599 141 49 73

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
ATL 450 81 80 1428 696 454 6028 1397 131 38.210 598 660 29 9 37 36 7
CHN 506 64 98 1479 923 589 6402 1525 109 44.660 639 728 13 3 35 39 17
CIN 425 89 73 1460 833 506 6143 1404 113 77.540 624 670 30 9 37 35 19
HOU 409 93 70 1482 929 466 6160 1367 69 40.940 512 589 31 13 41 38 8
LAN 429 92 71 1473 835 480 6117 1358 105 42.600 534 591 24 15 42 32 15
MON 442 90 72 1456 823 460 6160 1447 100 92.700 563 629 33 10 36 37 6
NYN 486 67 95 1449 886 510 6204 1473 140 68.440 626 702 17 6 33 38 13
PHI 439 91 71 1480 889 530 6251 1419 87 57.750 569 639 25 5 40 51 23
PIT 433 83 79 1459 832 451 6091 1422 110 117.480 580 646 25 5 43 28 12
SDN 459 73 89 1466 728 536 6214 1474 97 57.170 596 654 19 4 39 39 14
SFN 449 75 86 1449 811 492 6177 1446 92 65.090 556 634 27 6 35 31 21
SLN 459 74 88 1449 664 495 6113 1454 90 93.990 632 710 34 8 27 39 17

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
ATL 2513 7446 5281 1974 191 .976 17138 144 64 0 14
CHN 2708 7693 5407 2076 210 .958 17748 154 105 1.00 12
CIN 2564 7400 5528 1751 121 .964 17510 187 57 0 12
HOU 2546 7543 5552 1828 163 .975 17779 157 47 0 24
LAN 2612 7524 5511 1872 141 .947 17676 168 51 0 12
MON 2474 7441 5443 1824 174 .971 17480 116 71 0 7
NYN 2521 7411 5512 1724 175 .941 17405 132 80 0 2
PHI 2606 7649 5533 1959 157 .974 17765 166 79 0 8
PIT 2472 7542 5523 1861 158 .975 17499 125 64 0 6
SDN 2571 7693 5476 2062 155 .949 17594 165 75 0 6
SFN 2456 7482 5436 1860 186 .970 17379 156 74 0 7
SLN 2553 7585 5454 1996 135 .966 17366 169 68 0 12

West

team W L Att Rk SOP
Houston Astros 93 70 2278217 1 929
Los Angeles Dodgers 92 71 3249287 2 835
Cincinnati Reds 89 73 2022450 3 833
Atlanta Braves 81 80 1048411 4 696
San Francisco Giants 75 86 1096115 5 811
San Diego Padres 73 89 1139026 6 728

Central

East

team W L Att Rk SOP
Philadelphia Philies 91 71 2651650 1 889
Montreal Expos 90 72 2208175 2 823
Pittsburg Pirates 83 79 1646757 3 832
St. Louis Cardinals 74 88 1385147 4 664
New York Mets 67 95 1192073 5 886
Chicago Cubs 64 98 1206776 6 923

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Tagged:
1980 NLCS, 1980 World Series, Andre Dawson, Bake McBride, Bill Buckner, Bill Gullickson, Bob Welch, Cesar Cedeno, Del Unser, Denny Walling, Dick Ruthven, Don Sutton, Dusty Baker, Fred Wilpon, Garry Maddox, Gary Carter, Gene Richards, Greg Luzinski, Houston Astros, J.R. Richard, Jerry Mumphrey, Jerry Reuss, Joe Niekro, Jose Cruz, Keith Hernandez, Larry Bowa, Manny Trillo, Mike Schmidt, Nelson Doubleday, Nolan Ryan, Ozzie Smith, Pete Rose, Pete Vuckovich, Philadelphia Phillies, Rollie Fingers, Ron LeFlore, Sixto Lezcano, Steve Carlton, Steve Garvey, Steve Howe, Ted Simmons, Terry Kennedy, Terry Puhl, Tug McGraw, Vern Ruhle

Comments

  • Tom Hannon said: I can still see game 2 of WS when Christenson but a ball under Brett's chin, changed the series. 2:42PM 12/09/11
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