02 October 2009

back for more yankee punishment - gcrl in 1978

in 1978, the dodgers successfully defended their nl west title, winning the division by 2.5 games over the reds. in the nlcs, they again defeated the phillies, this time in four games thanks to garry maddox's error in the bottom of the 10th inning in game four. unfortunately, despite going up 2 games to none against the yankees in the world series (thanks to bobby welch and his fantastic save in game 2), they lost 4 straight and fell to the yankees for the second straight year.

steve garvey brought his average back up over .300 (.316), and he also reached the 200 hit plateau (202) for the fourth time in five years. his home run total dropped from 33 to 21, but he hit 11 more doubles and reached a career high in triples with 9. he was supplanted as the first base gold glove recipient by keith hernandez, but did continue his string of consecutive games played, as well as consecutive all star game starts. he hit two home runs in a game twice, once against jerry koosman and the mets, and once against gaylord perry and the padres. for his troubles, he finished second in the mvp voting behind dave parker.

at the all star game, played at jack murphy stadium, garvey played the entire game and went 2 for 3 with 2 rbi, 2 runs scored and a walk. his 8th inning triple off of goose gossage started the winning rally for the national league. garvey himself scored the winning run on a wild pitch, and was named the game's mvp for the second time in his career. in the playoffs against the phillies, garvey redeemed himself for a poor showing the previous year. he hit 4 home runs (including 2 in game 1), drove in 7 runs, hitting .389 with an ops of 1.611m and was named the nlcs mvp. in the world series, though, he hit only .208 and failed to drive in a run.

ron cey had another solid year in 1978. his home run total dropped to 23, but he raised his average to .270. he was selected to the all-star team, although pete rose was voted to start the game at third. in the midsummer classic, he went 0 for 1 as a late inning replacement. the penguin matched a career high as he played in 159 games. he also hit two home runs in a game twice, including once against tom seaver and the reds.

in the playoffs, cey hit .313 with an ops of .951. in the world series, he did about the same, hitting .286 with an ops of .804.

bill russell played in 155 games in 1977, and hit a career high .286. all three of his home runs in 1978 were solo shots, but he managed to drive in 46 runs and hit a career high 32 doubles. in the post season, russell outplayed his averages, hitting .412 in the nlcs and .423 in the world series.

in 1978, davey lopes played two games in centerfield and the rest at second base. he hit .278, stole 45 bases, and scored 93 runs. davey won his only gold glove in 1978, and also finished 16th in the mvp voting. he was selected to his first all-star team, and went 1 for 1 with an rbi after being inserted as a pinch runner for pete rose. of his 17 home runs, 4 were leadoff shots (including two off of joe niekro), 1 was an inside-the-park job, and 1 was an extra inning grand slam walk-off against the braves.

lopes tore it up in the postseason, hitting .389 in the nlcs with 2 home runs and an ops of 1.278. in the world series, he continued his power display by hitting 3 home runs (including 2 in game 1) and driving in 7 while also scoring 7 runs and stealing 2 bases.

for the third straight year, lopes appeared on multiple cards, as he is featured with future verbal diarrhea-ist time mccarver on the 1977 nlcs recap card. thankfully, topps used a photo from one of the games rather than a generic shot. it was another bittersweet season for the dodgers and their infield. a second chance to beat the yankees, but to no avail. sadly, they would stumble in 1979...

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