1982 Philadelphia Phillies
From BR Bullpen
|1982 Philadelphia Phillies|
|1981 Phillies||1982 Phillies||1983 Phillies|
Managed by Pat Corrales
 History, Comments, Contributions
Coming off two straight postseason appearances, the 1982 Philadelphia Phillies were picked as contenders once again. The team that had been a perennial power in the 1970s, however, was starting to dissolve. In the 1981-82 off-season, the Philllies sold star catcher Bob Boone to the Angels. To replace him, they traded popular, speedy Lonnie Smith to St. Louis in a complicated deal that netted them Cleveland catcher Bo Diaz. Another trade sent Keith Moreland, like Smith one of the young contributors to the Phillies' 1980 World Series victory, to the Cubs for starting pitcher Mike Krukow. Another Cubs trade seemed at first like a pointless swap of shortstops, as the Phillies sent Larry Bowa to Chicago for Ivan DeJesus. The trade would haunt them over the next few years, though, since the Phillies threw Ryne Sandberg into the deal for DeJesus. Finally, Bake McBride, another starter from the 1980 World Champions, went to Cleveland just before spring training for unillustrious reliever Sid Monge. Pat Corrales, longtime backup catcher (and future longtime bench coach) was hired as manager on the strength of a couple of indifferent seasons at the helm of the Texas Rangers.
The Phillies stumbled out of the gate with 11 losses in their first 14 games. Stopper Steve Carlton was shelled notably hard in the early going, losing his first four starts. In early May, however, the Phillies won 13 of 14 games, mainly by pounding opponents' pitching. Catcher Diaz drove in 21 runs in May and obscure outfielder George Vukovich added 12 RBIs.
With a late-June winning streak of eight games, the Phillies caught the St. Louis Cardinals for first place. By early August they had pulled ahead of St. Louis. Then the Phillies started to tread water. The race was frantic for the next month; the Phillies' high-water mark probably came on 13 September, when Carlton pitched a phenomenal 3-hit shutout (striking out 12, walking none) to beat St. Louis 2-0, hitting a home run in the process. The win put Philadelphia a half-game ahead of the Cardinals with 13 to play.
The next night, in the bottom of the eighth, St. Louis led the Phillies 2-0 when Philadelphia loaded the bases for Mike Schmidt. A division championship seemed just a swing away; then, on a pitch from Bruce Sutter, Schmidt tapped into a 1-2-3 double play. The victory opened an eight-game winning streak for the Cardinals, who would go on to win the World Series. Philadelphia finished second, closing to three games behind after the Cardinals clinched the division with six games to go.
Carlton won the Cy Young Award for the remarkable feat of winning 23 of his last 30 decisions, including five wins in six starts against St. Louis. Schmidt led the league in slugging and in on-base percentage. Schmidt, Manny Trillo, and Garry Maddox won Gold Gloves.