Phils Down, Danny’s Fault

On paper, the 1979 Phillies looked better than before, which is saying a lot for a three-time division champion. They had Pete Rose at first base and Manny Trillo at second, upgrades over Richie Hebner and Ted Sizemore. Philadelphians were giddy at the thought of the 10-time all-star Rose playing for the Phillies – we have to be better was assumed. Not so fast, people, this is baseball. The 39-year old Rose did what he always did (.331 average, 208 hits – the 10th time he had 200 or more). Mike Schmidt was back with a good year (45 home runs, 114 RBIs), but Greg Luzinski was down (18-81). Steve Carlton was okay (18-11).  

They started fast (14-5 in April), and cruised into May, reaching a high note on May 17, following a 13-0 Carlton complete game three-hitter on the 16th in Chicago, when they boosted their record to 24-10 with a wind-aided record home run performance in a 23-22, 10-inning victory. The teams combined for 11 home runs with Schmidt’s second of the day, a 10th-inning game winner off Cubs’ top flight relief pitcher, Bruce Sutter. Somebody had to save it for the Phillies, and it was Rawly Eastwicki who retired all six batter he faced in the 9th and 10th innings.

The 36-run, two-day explosion in Chicago seemed to take some wind from the Phillies’ sails as they travelled to Montreal and were swept in a three-game series, then proceeded to lose 9 of 10 to fall to 27-22. After losing 8 of 9 from August 20 to 29, Paul Owens had seen enough – it was Danny Ozark’s fault, and he had to go.

Dallas Green took over and pushed the team to a 19-11 finish, but it was way too late, and the proud champions, plus Rose, finished fourth (84-78), 14 games behind the winning Pirates (98-64).

Bob Boone, Manny Trillo, and Mike Schmidt won Gold Gloves.

By max blue

More From Around the Web

Sponsored Links

This day in baseball history

September 01

  • 1989

    On September 1, 1989, Commissioner Bart Giamatti dies from a ...

  • 1975

    On September 1, 1975, Tom Seaver becomes the first major lea ...

  • 1971

    On September 1, 1971, the Pittsburgh Pirates field the first ...

More Baseball History

Player Profile

Red Downs

2B, Chicago Cubs

Read Bio
Hall of Fame

Whitey Herzog

1B, Kansas City Athletics

Read Bio
Season Profile

2002 New York Yankee

After coming within

Read Bio
Historical Figure

Rusty Rose Biography


Read Bio
Manager Profile

Eddie Collins

Chicago White Sox

Read Bio
Ballpark Profile

AT & T Park

AT&T Park in the China

Read Bio
Bruce Sutter, Dallas Green, Greg Luzinski, Manny Trillo, Mike Schmidt, Paul Owens, Pete Rose, Philadelphia Phillies, Richie Hebner, Steve Carlton, Ted Sizemore


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

Stay Connected

Share |

Today's Poll

Will Red Sox Repeat in 2014: