st Steve Carlton (24-9) fires a two hitter and the Phils beat the Cubs, 5–0. Mike Vail’s leadoff single in the 8th is the first hit off Carlton. Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski hit back-to-back homers in the 6th, off Dennis Lamp, as the Phils remain a half-game out of first place. With his complete game, Carlton reaches 304 innings pitched, the last pitcher to top 300 innings in a season.
The first place Expos top the Cards, 8–0, as Steve Palmer strikes out 10 in the win.
Batting 9th, Milwaukee’s Charlie Moore hits for the cycle to lead the Brewers to a 10–7 win over the Angels.
In a battle of also rans, the Reds top the Padres, 2–1, when George Foster hits a 2-run homer in the 9th with no outs. Tom Seaver goes 8 innings, allowing 3 hits, 2 to Ozzie Smith. Smith finishes with 4 assists in the game and 4 in the next 3 games will set a ML record with 621 for the season, topping Glenn Wright’s 1924 mark of 601.
Enrique Romo saves the win for Jim Bibby with 4 innings of relief and an 8th-inning grand slam to ice the game. It is Romo’s lone ML homer. The Pirates win, 10-5, over the Mets at Shea.
Don Zimmer is fired as manager of the Boston Red Sox. Johnny Pesky will finish the season as interim manager. He’ll go 1-4.
2nd The Phillies move into a first-place tie with the Expos by beating Chicago 4–2. The 2 clubs will close out the season with 3 games in Montreal starting tomorrow.
3rd In Los Angeles, Houston opens a final 3-game series to determine the winner in the NL West. The Dodgers, behind by 3 games, tie the opening game 2–2 in the 9th, and win it in the 10th on a Joe Ferguson solo HR.
San Diego crushes the Giants, 12-0, as Steve Mura (8-7) records his first career shutout. The Giants have gone 15 consecutive home games without a home run.
4th Mike Schmidt’s 2-run home run in the top of the 11th inning gives Philadelphia a 6–4 win over Montreal, clinching the NL East title for the Phillies. The home run is Schmidt’s 48th of the season, breaking Eddie Mathews’s single-season record for third basemen set in 1953.
The Yankees clinch their 4th AL East title in 5 seasons, beating Detroit 5–2 in the first game of a doubleheader. Reggie Jackson hits his 41st home run of the season and will share the AL home run crown with Milwaukee’s Ben Oglivie.
In a 17–1 rout of the Twins, Kansas City’s Willie Wilson becomes the first ML player ever to be credited with 700 at-bats in one season. Wilson will post 705 at bats, the highest this century. He also sets the AL record for singles in a season with 184, eclipsing the mark Sam Rice set in 1925. Wilson also becomes only the 2nd player in history to collect 100 hits from each side of the plate, matching the feat accomplished by Garry Templeton in 1979. The loss ends Minnesota’s club-record 12-game winning streak.
The Dodgers break a 1–1 tie on a 4th inning HR from Steve Garvey to beat the Astros 2–1. Loser Nolan Ryan goes 11–10, while Jerry Reuss wins his 18th. Houston now leads by 1 game with 1 to play.
In Oakland’s 4-0 victory over the Brewers, Rickey Henderson swipes two bases to reach 100 stolen bases on the year. Bob Lacey twirls the shutout in his first ML start. He’ll make one more start, in 1984, and last 3+ innings. Lacey’s feat is the 94thcomplete game for Martin’s A’s, the highest total in the majors since the 1941 White Sox (as noted by historian J.G. Preston).
LaMarr Hoyt (9-3) of the White Sox stops California, 4-2, but the big attraction is DH Minnie Minoso, 57 (or 54, according to his autobiography). Facing Frank Tanana for the 2nd time in 5 years, Minnie goes 0-for-2. Minoso’s appearance, thanks to Bill Veeck, puts him with Nick Altrock as a 5-decade man in the ML. His next appearance will be for another Veeck team, St. Paul, in 1993.
Boston collects 22 hits but still loses to visiting Toronto, 7–6 in 17 innings. The Jays have 17 hits, including a game-tying 9th inning 2-run HR by Lloyd Moseby, off Bob Stanley. Stanley also gives up the game-winning hit to Dane Iorg in the 17th.
5th Capping an improbable comeback, the Dodgers beat the Astros for the 3rd day in a row to force a one-game playoff for the NL West title. Ron Cey hits a 2-run HR in the 8th to win the game, 4–3. Los Angeles trailed Houston by 3 games with 3 games left in the season, and won all 3 by a single run.
On the final day of the regular season, Seattle’s Mike Parrott surrenders an RBI double to the Rangers Johnny Grubb in the bottom of the 9th to lose, 3–2. The loss is Parrott’s 16th in a row since winning on Opening Day.
John Castino’s lead off single is the only hit for the Twins, who lose 4–0 to KC’s Paul Splittorff. Rich Gale finishes for KC.
At County Stadium, the Brewers get solo homers in the 8thand 9thinnings, then win it in the 15th, 5-4, over the A’s. Rick Langford goes 10 innings for Oakland. Langford’s streak of 22 complete games ended on September 17, but he and the A’s staff have 94 complete games for the year, the most since Detroit in 1946.
At Riverfront Stadium, the Reds edge to Braves, 1-0, as Joe Price allows 3 hits in 8 inning. Dave Collins has 3 of the Reds 5 hits and drives in the run. Phil Niekro is the hard-luck loser, taking his 18thloss. For the fourth year in a row Niekro leads the NL in losses, a record unmatched in the league.
Jerry Coleman is fired as manager of the last-place San Diego Padres. He will return to the club’s broadcasting booth, where he had spent the previous 8 seasons, and will be replaced by former Senators slugger Frank Howard.
At Montreal, Jerry White hits a 3-run walkoff homer in the 10th as Montreal comes back to beat the Phillies, 8-7. It takes him three weeks to do it, but Phils rookie Bob Dernier ties the NL mark of consecutive hits (4) to start a career. He hit safely his first 2 at bats today, to go with pinch singles on September 14th and 30th. In his last game, Tim McCarver has 2 RBIs on a double for the Phils. McCarver closes out his career as a four-decade man, having played his first game in 1959.
6th The Astros finally win, whipping the Dodgers 7–1 in a one-game playoff at Dodger Stadium. Art Howe drives in 4 runs with a HR and 2 singles and Joe Niekro wins his 20th game of the season to put Houston in the post-season for the first time since entering the major leagues in 1962.
7th Phillies stars shine in the NLCS opener. Steve Carlton and Tug McGraw hold the Astros to one run, and Greg Luzinski cracks a 2-run homer. Final score is 3–1.
8th Knotted in the 10th inning, Houston explodes for 4 runs. Philley gets one back, but it’s not enough as they lose 7–4.
Kansas City coasts in the first ALCS game, downing post-season rivals the Yankees 7–2.
9th KC wins again, but this time they have to tag out Yankee Willie Randolph at the plate to end the game 3–2.
10th A scoreless pitchers’ duel in Houston ends in the bottom of the 11th inning on Joe Morgan’s leadoff triple and Denny Walling’s sacrifice ﬂy. Houston is up 2 games to one, but the win is costly as Cesar Cedeno injures an ankle.
George Brett puts Kansas City into its first World Series by belting a 3-run HR off the Yankees Rich Gossage in the 7th inning, giving the Royals a 4–2 win and a 3-game sweep of the LCS. It’s sweet revenge for 3 ALCS losses to the Bombers.
11th In one of the most exciting and controversial games in playoff history, the Phillies tie the NLCS at 2 games apiece with a 10-inning 5–3 win over the Astros. In the 4th inning, Houston is deprived of an apparent triple play when the umpires rule that pitcher Vern Ruhle had trapped Garry Maddox’s soft line drive. In the 6th, Houston loses a run when Gary Woods leaves the base early on Luis Pujol’s would-be sacrifice ﬂy.
12th The Phillies capture their first NL title since 1950 with a 10-inning 8–7 win over the Astros in the 5th and final game of the NLCS. Each of the last 4 games was decided in extra innings. The Phils, down by 3 runs to Nolan Ryan in the 8th, rally, winning on Garry Maddox’s double in the 10th.
14th Philadelphia pitcher Bob Walk becomes the first rookie to start a World Series opener since Joe Black in 1952, and the Phillies rally from a 4–0 deficit to beat the Royals 7–6. Kansas City’s Willie Aikens hits a pair of homers, becoming only the 3rd player to do so in his first WS game. Bake McBride homers for the Phils.
15th George Brett is forced out of game 2 of the World Series in the 6th inning with a severe case of hemorrhoids, and Philadelphia wins 6–4 to take a 2-0 lead. Brett will undergo surgery tomorrow and return for game 3. Mike Schmidt’s RBI keys a 4-run rally in the 8th off ace Dan Quisenberry.
17th Willie Aikens cracks his 1st ML triple drives in Willie Wilson in the 10th inning to give the Royals a 4–3 win in game 3 of the World Series. Quissenberry, with 2 1/3 innings of relief work, is the winner over McGraw. The Phils still lead the series, 2–1.
The Reds trade P Jay Howell to the Cubs for C Mike O’Berry. Howell will play 15 seasons while O’Berry will not ripen with any of the 6 teams he backstops for.
18th Willie Aikens slugs 2 more home runs to lead the Royals to a 5–3 win and even the World Series at 2-2.
19th A 9th-inning rally for 2 runs against Dan Quisenberry gives game 5 to the Phils by a 4–3 margin. Del Unser hits a pinch double in the frame to drive in Schmidt with the tying run and Manny Trillo then delivers a single for the game-winner.
21st The Phillies win the first World Championship in their 98-year history by beating the Royals 4–1 in game 6 of the World Series. Philadelphia’s Mike Schmidt is named MVP, hitting .381 with 2 home runs and 7 RBI, while KC’s Willie Wilson is the goat, striking out a record 12 times (including the final out of the series with the bases loaded) and hitting only .154.
26th In a shocking announcement, Astros owner John McMullen fires president and GM Tal Smith, replacing him with Al Rosen, former GM of the Yankees. Smith will soon be named ML Executive of the Year. The move prompts a rebellion among the Astros 20 limited owners (who together own over 60 percent of the club), and on November 24th McMullen will give up his sole authority to run the club, accepting a position on the club’s newly formed executive committee instead.
Ralph Houk, who managed the Yankees and Tigers for 16 years before retiring in 1978, is named manager of the Red Sox.