TheBaseballPage.com

101 Wins, 2.7 Million

You wouldn’t think that a team coming off a 101-win season would need to make any changes.  Phillies general manager Paul Owens thought otherwise. He replaced second baseman Dave Cash with Ted Sizemore; what was that all about? Cash was generally seen as a team leader who hit .284 and scored 92 runs; he was only 29 years old. Sizemore was three years older and coming off two years with the Cardinals and Dodgers where he hit .240. And why would he replace the fan-favorite Dick Allen at first base with Rich Hebner who, as far as anyone knew, was a third baseman?

Most puzzling of all was the June 15 trade that sent young (24) lefthander Tom Underwood to St. Louis for right fielder Bake McBride. The Phillies’ outfield seemed to be set with Luzinski, Maddox, and Jay Johnstone in right. Why another rightfielder? And why give up a promising young left handed pitcher?

Whatever. For the second year in a row, the Phillies won 101 games. Carlton won another Cy Young award with a 23-10, 2.64 ERA year. Larry Christenson was 19-6, Jim Lonborg, 11-4. Ron Reed, Gene Garber, and Tug McGraw combined for 43 saves. Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski were a comforting presence in the middle of the lineup with a combined 77 home runs and 231 RBIs. Often overlooked, was the combined contribution of the other three outfielders: Maddox, Johnstone, and McBride totaled 40 homeruns, and 172 runs batted in. The team scored 847 runs, 113 more than the second-place Pirates.

The winning pattern changed in 1977. In 1976, the Phillies jumped out early, leading by 10 or more games from May until October. In 1977, heading into August, the Pirates had won the same number (59) as the Phillies, but lost one more. From August 3rd through the 23rd, the Phillies won 19 0f 20, including a 13-game winning streak. In August, the Pirates were a respectable 18-12, but were left in the dust by the Phillies’ powerful charge.

The Phillies won the first game of the Divisional series with the Dodgers, but then lost the next three, and were eliminated.

Garry Maddox and Mike Schmidt won Gold Gloves.

By max blue
 

More From Around the Web

Sponsored Links

This day in baseball history

August 22

  • 1989

    On August 22, 1989, Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers becomes ...

  • 1978

    On August 22, 1978, Ron LeFlore of the Detroit Tigers establ ...

  • 1974

    On August 22, 1974, minor league outfielder Alfredo Edmead o ...

More Baseball History

Player Profile

Hank Greenberg

1B, Detroit Tigers

Read Bio
Hall of Fame

Rabbit Maranville

SS, Boston Braves

Read Bio
Season Profile

1971 Detroit Tigers

After the 1970 seaso

Read Bio
Historical Figure

Al Pratt

He lost the first

Read Bio
Manager Profile

George Sisler

St. Louis Browns

Read Bio
Ballpark Profile

Fenway Park

Second perhaps only to the old

Read Bio
 
Tagged:
Bake McBride, Dave Cash, Dick Allen, Garry Maddox, Greg Luzinski, Jim Lonborg, Larry Christenson, Mike Schmidt, Paul Owens, Philadelphia Phillies, Richie Hebner, Steve Carlton, Ted Sizemore, Tom Underwood

Comments

    Be respectful, keep it clean.
Login or register to post comments

Stay Connected

Share |

Today's Poll

Will Red Sox Repeat in 2014: