Steve Carlton handcuffed the Royals, allowing just four hits in seven innings while striking out seven, as the Phillies captured a World Series title by defeating the Royals 4-1 on a Tuesday night at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia.
The Phillies won the Series four games to two. Appropriately, the final game was won by Philadelphia pitching and the bat of Mike Schmidt, who was named the Series MVP after hitting .381/.462/.714 with two home runs in 25 plate appearances.
Schmidt broke a scoreless tie in the third inning with a two-run single. The Phillies began the inning with a Bob Boone walk from Royals starter Rich Gale, then caught a break when Lonnie Smith hit a ground ball to second baseman Frank White. White’s throw to second pulled shortstop U.L. Washington off the bag. Pete Rose reached on a bunt single to load the bases before Schmidt lined one into short right-center field.
Renie Martin replaced Gale after the single, and retired six straight hitters, but Smith doubled to lead off the fifth and Schmidt walked with one out. Paul Splittorff made his Series debut in relief and got two grounders, but Bake McBride’s grounder brought Smith home for a 3-0 lead. Larry Bowa doubled with two outs in the sixth and scored on a Bob Boone single, increasing the lead to 4-0.
The Royals got two walks in the second inning, but Carlton induced a double play grounder from John Wathan to end the inning. Kansas City did not get its first hit, a single by Washington, until the fourth, but George Brett grounded into a double play and the Royals did not score.
Carlton finally departed, turning the game over to closer Tug McGraw, after the first two Royals hitters reached in the eighth. John Wathan led off with a walk and Jose Cardenal singled before McGraw entered. With one out, Willie Wilson walked to load the bases. Washington’s sacrifice fly put Kansas City on the board. George Brett singled to load the bases again but Hal McRae flied out to end the inning.
The Royals had one last gasp in the ninth, loading the bases with one out on a Willie Aikens walk and singles by Wathan and Cardenal. But White fouled out, with first baseman Pete Rose snagging the ball after it popped out of catcher Boone’s glove. McGraw then struck out Wilson, ending the game and giving the Phillies their first World Series title.
Box score and play-by-play:
Bonus YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6P33TTUC3A. You know, if you want to watch it for some reason.
Today’s birthday: Zack Greinke (1983)