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The 1975 Phillies were beginning to look like a contending ballclub, with important pieces at every position, thanks to what sometimes looked like frantic wheeling and dealing by General Manager Paul Owens. On May 4 he traded with San Francisco for Garry Maddox; On May 7, he paid Atlanta $150,000 for Dick Allen and catcher Johnny Oates. On July 1, he signed Tim McCarver to a free-agent contract. On August 5, he traded for infielder John Vukovich.
The middle of his lineup was solid with Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski delivering 38 and 34 home runs, repectively. Luzinski drove in 120 runs to lead the league. What was missing, and desperately needed, was a pitcher having a big year. Steve Carlton was still not recovered from 1972, and the other starters struggled to stay even, with their near four ERAs. Carlton (15-14) and lefty Tom Underwood (14-13) were the top winners.The relief pitching was good with Gene Garber and Tug McGraw.
The awful truth, for the Phillies, and all the other National League teams in 1975 and 1976, was that the Cincinnati Reds, the Big Red Machine, were just too good. In 1975 the Phillies were 0-6 at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field.By max blue