1976 National League Championship Series
|Dates:||October 9 – 12|
|Umpires:||Ed Sudol, Jerry Dale, Dick Stello, Ed Vargo, Doug Harvey, Terry Tata|
|1976 World Series|
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 1⁄3 IP, 0.00 ERA), and Pat Zachry (win, 5 IP, 3 SO).
Cincinnati Reds vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Cincinnati won the series, 3–0.
|1||October 9||Cincinnati Reds – 6, Philadelphia Phillies – 3||Veterans Stadium||2:39||62,640|
|2||October 10||Cincinnati Reds – 6, Philadelphia Phillies – 2||Veterans Stadium||2:24||62,651
Reds starter Don Gullett held the Phils to two hits in eight strong innings and helped his own cause with an RBI single in the sixth and a two-run double in the eighth. George Foster added a solo homer.
Buoyed by an RBI single by Bob Boone and a solo homer by Greg Luzinski, Phils starter Jim Lonborg no-hit the Reds until the sixth. After giving up an RBI single to Pete Rose, Lonborg was inexplicably removed from the game by manager Danny Ozark. Two more runs came across on an error by first baseman Dick Allen on a ball hit by Tony Pérez, and those would turn out to be the deciding runs as the Reds cruised to their second victory and an almost insurmountable 2–0 lead going back to Cincinnati.
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 and RBI doubles by Garry Maddox and Schmidt in the seventh.
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. George Foster followed with a sacrifice fly. After a walk to Johnny Bench, Phillies reliever Ron 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 solo 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.
- "1976 NLCS Game 1 - Cincinnati Reds vs. Philadelphia Phillies". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1976 NLCS Game 2 - Cincinnati Reds vs. Philadelphia Phillies". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1976 NLCS Game 3 - Philadelphia Phillies vs. Cincinnati Reds". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.