1978 Philadelphia Phillies
From BR Bullpen
 1978 Philadelphia Phillies / Franchise: Philadelphia Phillies / BR Team Page
Managed by Danny Ozark
After two 100-win seasons and two LCS departures, the Phillies entered 1978 as plausible favorites to win the National League pennant. They spent the 1977-78 offseason mainly standing pat with a strong core. Even mid-season, their only notable move was a pair of trades that replaced Gene Garber with Rawly Eastwick in a well-stocked bullpen while adding Dick Ruthven to the rotation, at the cost of a few spare position players.
The Phillies broke well from the gate and by mid-June were battling the surprising Chicago Cubs for first place in the East. In a key pair of series in late June and early July, the Phillies beat Chicago in 8 of 9 games to take over the lead. Even indifferent play later in July and through August didn't unlatch the Phillies' hold on their division, despite a furious August rush by the Pirates.
The Phillies finally clinched the division on the next-to-last day of the season, beating Pittsburgh 10-8, in a game where Phillies' pitcher Randy Lerch led the offense with two home runs.
Slumps and injuries bedeviled Mike Schmidt all year, but Greg Luzinski had a splendid season (.265, 35, 101 with 100 walks), the bullpen was terrific, and Ruthven and Steve Carlton led a strong rotation.
The Phillies entered the playoffs hoping to avenge their 1977 loss to the Dodgers in the NLCS. The first two games in Philadelphia were nightmarish, however, resulting in easy L.A. victories. Carlton won Game Three in California, but Game Four went to ten innings before the Dodgers, thanks to a dropped fly ball by the usually sure handed Garry Maddox, clinched their second straight pennant.