1976 National League Championship Series

1976 National League Championship Series
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Cincinnati Reds (3) Sparky Anderson 102–60, .630, GA: 10
Philadelphia Phillies (0) Danny Ozark 101–61, .623, GA: 9
Dates October 9–12
Umpires Ed Sudol, Jerry Dale, Dick Stello, Ed Vargo, Doug Harvey, Terry Tata
Television ABC
TV announcers Al Michaels, Warner Wolf and Tom Seaver
Radio CBS
Radio announcers Ralph Kiner and Jerry Coleman

The 1976 National League Championship Series faced off the Cincinnati Reds (known for their nickname at the time, The Big Red Machine) and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Reds swept the best-of-five series in three games, winning easily in the first two games, and in their last at bat in Game 3.

Stars of the series for the Reds included batters Johnny Bench (4 for 12, HR), Dave Concepción (4 runs scored), George Foster (2 H, both home runs), Ken Griffey (5 for 13, triple), Pete Rose (6 for 14, 2 RBIs, 3 runs scored), and pitchers Don Gullett (win, 8 IP, 2 hits), Pedro Borbón (4 13 IP, 0.00 ERA), and Pat Zachry (win, 5 IP, 3 SO).


Cincinnati Reds vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Cincinnati won the series, 3–0.

1October 9Cincinnati Reds – 6, Philadelphia Phillies – 3Veterans Stadium2:3962,640[1] 
2October 10Cincinnati Reds – 6, Philadelphia Phillies – 2Veterans Stadium2:2462,651[2] 
3October 12Philadelphia Phillies – 6, Cincinnati Reds – 7Riverfront Stadium2:4355,047[3]

Game summaries

Game 1

Saturday, October 9, 1976 8:15 pm (ET) at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
WP: Don Gullett (1–0)   LP: Steve Carlton (0–1)
Home runs:
CIN: George Foster (1)
PHI: None

Reds starter Don Gullett held the Phils to two hits in eight strong innings, but allowed them to score first when Dave Cash hit a leadoff double, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Mike Schmidt's sacrifice fly. Gullett then walked three to load the bases, but got Tim McCarver to fly out to end the inning. The Reds tied the game in the third on Tony Perez's sacrifice fly off of Steve Carlton, then took the lead in the sixth on George Foster's home run. After a double and error put two on, Gullett's RBI single made it 3–1 Reds. After allowing a leadoff double and walk in the eighth, Carlton was replaced by Tug McGraw, who allowed a one-out two-run double to Gullett and RBI double to Pete Rose. The Phillies attempted to rally in the ninth off of Rawly Eastwick. Garry Maddox hit a leadoff single and scored on Greg Luzinski's double. After Dick Allen singled, Jay Johnstone's RBI single made it 6–3 Reds, but Eastwick retired the next two batters to end the game and give the Reds a 1–0 series lead.

Game 2

Sunday, October 10, 1976 3:15 pm (ET) at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
WP: Pat Zachry (1–0)   LP: Jim Lonborg (0–1)   Sv: Pedro Borbón (1)
Home runs:
CIN: None
PHI: Greg Luzinski (1)

Buoyed by an RBI single by Bob Boone in the second after two leadoff singles and a homer by Greg Luzinski in the fifth off of Pat Zachry, Phils starter Jim Lonborg no-hit the Reds until the sixth. After giving up a leadoff walk, one-out RBI single to Pete Rose, followed by another single by Ken Griffey, Lonborg was inexplicably removed from the game by manager Danny Ozark. Gene Garber came in relief and after an intentional walk loaded the bases, two runs came across on an error by first baseman Dick Allen on a ball hit by Tony Pérez, then George Foster's RBI groundout made it 4–2 Reds. They added to their lead next inning on Griffey's RBI single off of Tug McGraw and Perez's sacrifice fly off of Ron Reed. Pedro Borbon pitched the last four innings to close to give the Reds a 2–0 series lead heading home.

Game 3

Tuesday, October 12, 1976 3:15 pm (ET) at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio
WP: Rawly Eastwick (1–0)   LP: Gene Garber (0–1)
Home runs:
PHI: None
CIN: George Foster (2), Johnny Bench (1)

Once again, the Phillies got a strong starting pitching performance that went for naught. Jim Kaat held the Reds to one hit after six innings. Meanwhile, his teammates provided him a 3–0 lead via a consecutive doubles in the fourth by Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski off of Gary Nolan and RBI doubles by Garry Maddox and Schmidt in the seventh after a leadoff walk off of Manny Sarmiento.

But, in the bottom of the seventh, Kaat began to lose it. Ken Griffey led off with a single, Joe Morgan walked, and Tony Pérez singled home Griffey off of Ron Reed. George Foster followed with a sacrifice fly. After a walk to Johnny Bench, Reed retired Dave Concepción, but then surrendered a two-run triple to César Gerónimo to put the Reds ahead 4–3.

The Reds then sent Rawly Eastwick in to close the game out in the eighth. The Phillies rallied against the closer as Jay Johnstone led off with a double and went to third on a wild pitch as Bob Boone walked. Larry Bowa doubled in Johnstone and Dave Cash hit a sacrifice fly to give the Phillies the lead back at 5–4. The Phillies added another run in the top of the ninth on an RBI triple by Johnstone to make it 6–4.

With Reed still on the mound for the ninth, Foster and Bench hit back-to-back homers to tie the game. Gene Garber relieved and promptly gave up a single to Concepción. Tom Underwood came on to surrender a walk to Geronimo. Pinch-hitter Ed Armbrister sacrificed the runners to second and third. Underwood then intentionally walked Pete Rose to load the bases. With the infield drawn in, Griffey hit a high bouncer toward Bobby Tolan playing first. Tolan charged, but the ball got past him and Concepción scored to send the Reds to their second straight World Series.

Composite box

1976 NLCS (3–0): Cincinnati Reds over Philadelphia Phillies

Cincinnati Reds00100663319252
Philadelphia Phillies11011022311272
Total attendance: 180,338   Average attendance: 60,113


  1. "1976 NLCS Game 1 – Cincinnati Reds vs. Philadelphia Phillies". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  2. "1976 NLCS Game 2 – Cincinnati Reds vs. Philadelphia Phillies". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  3. "1976 NLCS Game 3 – Philadelphia Phillies vs. Cincinnati Reds". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
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