1978 National League Championship Series

The 1978 National League Championship Series was a best-of-five matchup for the second straight year between the West Division champion Los Angeles Dodgers and the East Division champion Philadelphia Phillies. It was the tenth NLCS in all. The Dodgers beat the Phillies three games to one once again and lost the World Series to the New York Yankees, as they had the year before.

1978 National League Championship Series
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Los Angeles Dodgers (3) Tommy Lasorda 95–67, .586, GA: 2½
Philadelphia Phillies (1) Danny Ozark 90–72, .556, GA: 1½
DatesOctober 4–7
MVPSteve Garvey (Los Angeles)
UmpiresLee Weyer (crew chief)
Nick Colosi
Andy Olsen
Satch Davidson
Billy Williams
John McSherry
KTTV (Dodgers' broadcast)
WPHL-TV (Phillies' broadcast)
TV announcersABC: Al Michaels, Don Drysdale and Johnny Bench
KTTV: Vin Scully, Jerry Doggett and Ross Porter
WPHL-TV: Harry Kalas, Andy Musser and Richie Ashburn
Radio announcersRalph Kiner and Jerry Coleman


Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Los Angeles won the series, 3–1.

1October 4Los Angeles Dodgers – 9, Philadelphia Phillies – 5Veterans Stadium2:3763,460[1] 
2October 5Los Angeles Dodgers – 4, Philadelphia Phillies – 0Veterans Stadium2:0660,642[2] 
3October 6Philadelphia Phillies – 9, Los Angeles Dodgers – 4Dodger Stadium2:1855,043[3] 
4October 7Philadelphia Phillies – 3, Los Angeles Dodgers – 4 (10 innings)Dodger Stadium2:5355,124[4]

Game summaries

Game 1

Wednesday, October 4, 1978 8:30 pm (ET) at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Los Angeles0042110019131
WP: Bob Welch (1–0)   LP: Larry Christenson (0–1)
Home runs:
LAD: Steve Garvey 2 (2), Davey Lopes (1), Steve Yeager (1)
PHI: Jerry Martin (1)

Because of having to start an NL East-clinching game a few days earlier, Phillies ace Steve Carlton was not available for the start of the series, leaving the task to Larry Christenson, who did not fare well. After the Phillies scored a run in the second when Greg Luzinski hit a leadoff triple and scored on Mike Schmidt's sacrifice fly off of Burt Hooton, a double and error by third baseman Schmidt put runners on first and second with one out for the Dodgers in the third. Reggie Smith's RBI single tied the game before n a three-run homer by Steve Garvey put the Dodgers up 4–1. A two-run homer by Davey Lopes in the fourth made it 6–1 Dodgers. Next inning, Garvey tripled with one out off of Christenson, who was relieved by Warren Brusstar. Ron Cey's RBI single then made it 7–1 Dodgers. In the bottom of the inning, three singles loaded the bases with one out before Garry Maddox drove in two runs with a single. One out later, Richie Hebner's RBI single made it 7–4 Dodgers. In the sixth, Steve Yeager's home run off of Rawly Eastwick made it 8–4 Dodgers. In the ninth, Garvey's leadoff home run off of Tug McGraw made it 9–4 Dodgers. The Phillies got that run back in the bottom of the inning on Jerry Martin's home run off of rookie Bob Welch, but with one out, Welch struck out Maddox looking to end the game, earning the win, as the Dodgers took a 1–0 series lead.

Game 2

Thursday, October 5, 1978 2:30 pm (ET) at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Los Angeles000120100480
WP: Tommy John (1–0)   LP: Dick Ruthven (0–1)
Home runs:
LAD: Davey Lopes (2)
PHI: None

The Dodgers won their second straight on the road in this series on the strength of a complete-game four-hit shutout by Tommy John. Davey Lopes's home run leading off the fourth off of Dick Ruthven made it 1–0 Dodgers. Dusty Baker doubled to lead off the next inning, then scored on Steve Yeager's one-out single. After stealing second, Yeager scored on Lopes's single to make it 3–0 Dodgers. Lopes capped the scoring in the seventh with an RBI triple off of Ron Reed as the Dodgers took a 2–0 series with the 4–0 win.

Game 3

Friday, October 6, 1978 5:30 pm (PT) at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles012000010482
WP: Steve Carlton (1–0)   LP: Don Sutton (0–1)
Home runs:
PHI: Steve Carlton (1), Greg Luzinski (1)
LAD: Steve Garvey (3)

With Steve Carlton finally available to pitch, the Phillies cut the series deficit to 2–1 at Dodger Stadium, pitching a complete game. In the top of the second, a two-out double and walk was followed by an RBI single by Ted Sizemore before Carlton helped himself with the bat by hitting a three-run homer off Don Sutton. The Dodgers got on the board in the bottom of the inning when Bill Russell followed back-to-back one-out walks with an RBI double, but a fan reached over the railing to touch the ball, resulting in a ground rule double, forcing Dusty Baker, who was at first, to return to the third base. Next inning, Reggie Smith singled with two outs and scored on Steve Garvey's double, then Ron Cey's RBI single made it 4–3 Phillies. In the sixth, though, after a two-out error and single put runners on first and second. Carlton's two-run single made it 6–3 Phillies and knocked Sutton out of the game. Carlton then scored on a double by Jerry Martin off of Lance Rautzhan. Next inning, Tim McCarver's RBI groundout with the bases loaded made it 8–3 Phillies. Garvey's home run in the eighth made it 8–4 Phillies, who got that run back in the ninth off of Charlie Hough on Greg Luzinski's home run.

Game 4

Saturday, October 7, 1978 1:30 pm (PT) at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California
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WP: Terry Forster (1–0)   LP: Tug McGraw (0–1)
Home runs:
PHI: Greg Luzinski (2), Bake McBride (1)
LAD: Ron Cey (1), Steve Garvey (4)

Facing elimination once again in Game 4, the Phillies loaded the bases with nobody out in the first inning but could not score. The Dodgers then struck first in the second inning on a double by Ron Cey and an RBI single by Dusty Baker, the first of four hits he would collect in this game. Greg Luzinski put the Phillies back on top with a two-run homer in the third.

Cey tied it in the fourth with a home run, then Steve Garvey gave the Dodgers the lead with a homer, his fourth of the series, in the sixth. The home run was also his fifth extra base hit of the Series and tied Bob Robertson's 1971 NLCS records for home runs and extra base hits in a League Championship Series. But, Bake McBride tied it once again for the Phillies in the seventh with a home run of his own.

In the bottom of the tenth, Tug McGraw retired the first two Dodger batters, but then surrendered a walk to Cey. Baker then hit a soft line drive to center field. Garry Maddox (who by 1978 had won the fourth of his eight gold gloves) got a late break on the ball, appeared to recover in time, but dropped the ball. Now, Cey was on second and Baker on first. The next batter, Bill Russell, lined a base hit to center. With Cey running because there were two out, Maddox faced a do or die play to get the ball and fire home; Maddox charged, but the ball skipped past him, enabling Cey to score the winning run.

Composite box

1978 NLCS (3–1): Los Angeles Dodgers over Philadelphia Phillies

Los Angeles Dodgers026432111121423
Philadelphia Phillies052033202017354
Total attendance: 234,269   Average attendance: 58,567


  1. "1978 NLCS Game 1 - Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  2. "1978 NLCS Game 2 - Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  3. "1978 NLCS Game 3 - Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  4. "1978 NLCS Game 4 - Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
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