Phillies Nation welcomes contributor Ben Seal, who offers Part 2 of his historical perspective on this year’s NLCS between the Phillies and the Dodgers.
1978 NLCS (LA 3-1 over PHI)
The Phillies had a chance to redeem their ’77 collapse just a year later, facing the Dodgers once again with a trip to the World Series on the line. There was no disastrous ending to this series, though, just an overmatched Phillies team that dug a hole too steep to climb out of.
Game 1 went to the Dodgers, 9-5, behind strong performances from a pair of infielders. Davy Lopes had a homer and a double as he went 3-5 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored, while first baseman Steve Garvey knocked in four runs with a pair of homers. That was more than enough offense for L.A., which built up a 7-1 lead and held on for the win. Game 2 was more of the same stellar pitching from Tommy John, who got the CG, allowing just 4 hits in a 4-0 victory for the Dodgers. Lopes was just a double short of the cycle, knocking in three more runs.
Brett Myers may be the most recent Phillies pitcher to impress at the plate in a postseason victory, but Steve Carlton owns that copyright. Carlton went 2-4 with 4 RBI, including a 3-run homer in the second inning. To complement his powerful bat, Carlton fired a complete game, giving up 4 runs and striking out 8 in the 9-4 win. The Phils had hope, down just 2-1 in the series, but Game 4 would bring more disappointment to the team and its fans, as a Bill Russell single off Tug McGraw in the bottom of the 10th wrapped up the series for the Dodgers.