1970 National League Championship Series

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1970 NL Championship Series (3-0) Cincinnati Reds (102-60) over Pittsburgh Pirates (89-73)

Introduction[edit]

In the 1970 National League Championship Series. the Cincinnati Reds, champions of the NL West, swept the Pittsburgh Pirates, champions of the NL East, in three straight games.

Umpires[edit]

The umpires assigned to work the series went on strike before Game 1 to force the major leagues to recognize the Major League Umpires Association; as a result, four minor league umpires worked the game.

Results[edit]

Game 1[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Reds 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 9 0
Pirates 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
WP: Gary Nolan (1-0), LP: Dock Ellis (0-1), SV: Clay Carroll (1)
Home Runs: none
  • Attendance: 33,088

Setting the tone for the series, the game was a pitchers' duel, with Reds starter Gary Nolan going nine innings, allowing no runs on eight hits and four walks. Dock Ellis, for his part, held the Reds to no runs through nine frames himself, but in the top of the 10th, he surrendered a pinch hit triple to Ty Cline, who scored one batter later on a single by Pete Rose. After two outs and a near-escape from the inning, Johnny Bench was intentionally walked to bring up Lee May, who doubled to bring in both Rose and Bench. With Ellis chased from the game after 9 2/3 innings, reliever Joe Gibbon came in to get the final out of the inning. Clay Carroll came in to save the bottom of the tenth, setting the Pirates down in order, including striking out the final two batters -- Roberto Clemente among them -- looking. Interestingly, Ellis got 29 outs, but only one was via strikeout (May in the top of the first inning).

Game 2[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Reds 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 3 8 1
Pirates 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 5 2
WP: Jim Merritt (1-0), LP: Luke Walker (0-1), SV: Don Gullett (1)
Home Runs: CIN - Bobby Tolan (1)
  • Attendance: 39,317

The Reds struck first in the second game, with Bobby Tolan plating himself on the back of two Pirate mishaps. Having singled in the top of the third inning, Tolan attempted a steal of second, then managed to take third on a throwing error by the catcher, Manny Sanguillen. The Pirates starter, Luke Walker, then threw a wild pitch, allowing Tolan to score. Tolan struck again in the top of the fifth, hitting a solo home run off Walker to put the Reds ahead 2-0. Meanwhile, the Reds starter, 20-game winner and All-Star Jim Merritt, blanked the Pirates until the sixth, when Dave Cash doubled and Roberto Clemente singled him home. Tolan made himself known one last time, singling in the eight against new Pirates twirler Dave Giusti and scoring one batter later on a Tony Perez double. Reds starter Merritt lasted just 5 1/3 innings, but their bullpen held up, with relievers Clay Carroll and Don Gullett holding down the fort the rest of the way.

Game 3[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pirates 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 10 0
Reds 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 x 3 5 0
WP: Milt Wilcox (1-0), LP: Bob Moose (0-1), SV: Don Gullett (2)
Home Runs: CIN - Johnny Bench (1), Tony Perez (1)
  • Attendance: 40,538

The Pirates outhit, but could not outscore, the Reds in the final game. Though they struck initially in the top of the first, with a Roberto Clemente single and Willie Stargell walk culminating in a Clemente run on an Al Oliver one-base hit, the Reds quickly struck back in force. In the bottom of the first, off Pirates starter Bob Moose, the Reds sent mashers Tony Perez and Johnny Bench to the plate, and mash they did, hitting back-to-back solo home runs to put the Reds ahead 2-1. It remained that way until the Pirates evened the score in the fifth, with Matty Alou scoring on a Stargell single. It looked like a nailbiter until the bottom of the eighth, when the Reds broke the tie on a Bobby Tolan single that scored Ty Cline. Reds pitcher Tony Cloninger lasted just five innings, but Milt Wilcox, Wayne Granger and Don Gullett sealed the game with four frames of superb relief work.

Related Sites[edit]

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NL Championship Series (3-0) Reds over Pirates

World Series (4-1) Orioles over Reds

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Major League Baseball National League Championship Series

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