1978 BOSTON RED SOX
(THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 9) ...
BLEEPIN' BUCKY DENT ...

 

Jesse Haines   Joe Gordon   Pug Rentner   Tommy O'Brien
Died: Aug 5th   Died: Oct 8th   Died: Aug 24th   Died: Nov 5th
Paul Governali   George Burns   Ed Chaplin   Carl Reynolds
Died: Feb 15th   Died: Jan 7th   Died: Aug 15th   Died: May 29th
Rube Walberg   Lyman Bostock   Sam Goldman   Gene Tunney
Died: Oct 27th   Died: Sept 24th   Died: Nov 8th   Died: Nov 7th
Bob McGraw   Bill Clowers   Eddie Britt   Mike Herrera
Died: June 2nd   Died: Jan 13th   Died: Nov 21st   Died: Feb 3rd
Bill Rodgers   Fritz Coumbe   Bill Foster   Jim Gilliam
Died: Dec 24th   Died: March 21st   Died: Sept 16th   Died: Oct 8th
Josh Bard   John Lackey   Victor Martinez   Joel Piniero
Born: Mar 30th   Born: Oct 23rd   Born: Dec 23rd   Born: Sept 25th
Jason Bay   Nick Green   Kobe Bryant   Brian Scalabrine
Born: Sept 20th   Born: Sept 10th   Born: Aug 23rd   Born: Mar 18th
Casey Fossum   Dirk Nowitzki   Matt Light   Carlos Pena
Born: Jan 6th   Born: June 19th   Born: June 23rd   Born: May 17th
Brad Penny   Daniel Graham   Devern Hansack   Vernon Wells
Born: May 24th   Born: Nov 16th   Born: Feb 5th   Born: Dec 8th
Bubba Watson   Edgerrin James   Brian Urlacher   Tim Hasselbeck
Born: Nov 5th   Born: Aug 1st   Born: May 25th   Born: April 6th
             
             

It was a lazy pop fly off the bat of Carl Yastrzemski with two outs and the tying run on base, in the bottom of the ninth inning on October 2nd. When the ball landed in the glove of Yankees' third baseman, Graig Nettles, it was as if a giant meteor plummeted into Fenway Park. It had the same devastating effect. It gave the hated Yankees a championship that the Sox had all but wrapped up early in the summer.

MIKE TORREZ

The Red Sox were coming off a strong year in 77, one in which they won 97 games. But the New York Yankees won 100 and won a World Series title, so in Boston that meant some changes were necessary.

In November, GM Haywood Sullivan signed free-agent Yankee starting pitcher, Mike Torrez, whod won 17 games and two World Series games, for $2.5M over the next seven years. He was solid and reliable, having won 68 games over the past four years.

Then Sullivan, on December 8th, picked up second baseman Jerry Remy, who had stolen 41 bases with the Angels, for Don Aase and some cash. The first call Remy received was a welcome from fellow New Englander, Carlton Fisk.

Also in December, Ferguson Jenkins was traded to the Texas Rangers for a prospect named John Poloni and outfielder Garry Hancock was traded from the Indians for Jack Baker, on December 9th.

Free Agent pitchers Dick Drago was brought back in December and Tom Burgmeier was signed in February, to bolster the bullpen.

Burgmeier was happy to be reunited with his bullpen-mate on the Twins, Bill Campbell. Having been overworked the year before, by spring training, Campbell's arm troubles were limiting his ability to pitch competitively.

On March 24th, Rick Kreuger was traded to the Indians for infielder Frank Duffy. Duffy found a familiar face when he came to camp. His former keystone partner with the Indians, Jack Brohamer, was also a member of the Red Sox. Brohamer was signed at the end of November, as a utility infielder.

Finally, Sullivan packaged Rick Wise, Mike Paxton, Ted Cox and Bo Diaz into a deal with the Cleveland Indians, that brought them Dennis Eckersley and catcher Fred Kendall on March 30th.

The Indians noted that Eckersley gave up the long ball much too often, had trouble against left-handed batters, and that base runners ran too easily on him. They were also concerned about his delivery from the mound. He used a high leg kick, to emulate his boyhood idol Juan Marichal. He followed it with a side-winding delivery that the Tribe brass worried could eventually cause him arm problems., so they wanted to move him. Their loss was the Red Sox gain in many future ways.

Eckersley at 23, was supremely confident and would taunt his opponents from the mound when he had his good stuff going. The "Eck" also became a favorite with the media for using his baseball slang expressions. He called Bill Lee "Sherwin Williams" because of the way he could paint the edges of the plate. Eckersley was masterful when he pitched, yelling at hitters and challenging them into trying to hit his stuff. He wore his emotions on his sleeve and was great to play with.

But both Eckersley and Torrez quickly found out that they would have to adjust to the methodical Carlton Fisk. He was a giant behind the plate and had a powerful arm. Neither pitcher however, appreciated their catcher coming to the mound to talk things over. But Fisk knew what worked best for each pitcher, in any particular game, and worked to their strength on that day. Fisk was a cheerleader for his pitcher, giving him a slap on the back when he was pitching well, but making him bear down when the going was rough. The new pitchers would clearly have to learn how to adapt to him.

The Sox were loaded and had the potential to be one of the best teams in franchise history. They could bomb homers and score runs by the bushel. The powerful, but very quiet, Jim Rice patrolled left field. He just wanted to play baseball and wanted the media to leave him alone. One day when a reporter from the Washington Post was hounding him for an interview. Rice simply picked him up and threw him into a rubbish barrel.

Fred Lynn was an excellent centerfielder with a very strong throwing arm. He had a laid back personality and nothing seemed to get under his skin.

Dwight Evans was in right. He hadn't quite developed into the good hitter he would become, but he was an incredible fielder with a strong an accurate throwing arm. He and Yaz were good friends and spent a lot of time together, going out to dinner.

George Scott was on a different level as a firstbaseman. He had great range and could catch anything thrown in his direction. He had to work with Jerry Remy because he would go after balls that it was easier for Remy to field. He still could hit home runs, but not in the way he could when he was younger.

JERRY REMY & FRED LYNN

Walt Hriniak wasn't one of the official coaches, but he was an expert batting coach Yaz, Fisk, Evans and Remy all looked to him for advice. Hriniak got the best from his students and worked with them as individuals. He knew when to talk to his students and knew when to leave them alone. When Ted Williams came to camp as a hitting instructor, it was his way and his way only.

Yaz still was in good form at first, and the always hustling and powerful Butch Hobson anchored third base.

Things looked solid with Remy and shortstop Rick Burleson shoring up both the middle infield and the top of the order. Remy and Burleson were inseparable in spring training. Burleson was so intense that even just playing catch in warmups, he threw as hard as he could. Not only did they work well together, but they had similar fiery personalities. Joe Garagiola once described Burleson as even-tempered, coming to the ballpark angry and staying that way.

Jerry Remy got his indoctrination to the Red Sox and Yankee rivalry right from the beginning of spring training. In an exhibition game with the Yankees, Remy's old teammate on the Angels, Mickey Rivers, came over to say hello during fielding practice. Carlton Fisk came over to Remy immediately and told him to never again talk to any of those Yankee bastards.

With a rotation of Tiant, Lee, Eckersley, and Torrez, plus a powerful offense, the Red Sox, appeared more than ready to challenge their rivals. On the other side of the coin, the Sox had traded away many of their promising youngsters to make a run at the pennant and therefore lacked depth for the future.

Pitcher Bobby Sprowl got his nickname of Bullet Bob this year. He was probably the hardest thrower in the organization, but didnt get that name because of his strong arm. He got it when he was shot. At spring training, he and his wife and were sleeping and a bullet went through the wall and hit him right in the arm, at about 4 A.M. He was just grazed by the .22 bullet and it was not his throwing arm that was hit, but clearly it could have been fatal. Police said the bullet was fired through the wall of the apartment next door by a doctor who thought he heard prowlers.

Luis Tiant was the consummate professional who would expect to go out every game and pitch nine innings. He would always keep the clubhouse loose and be jumping all over someone.

Bill Lee was never at a loss for words. His teammates loved him, because when someone had a bad day, the media would gravitate toward Lee, who always had a printable comment and would take the pressure off everyone else. When asked what he thought his role on the team was, Lee replied that his role was to be George Scott's interpreter.

And there was Yaz, because he was so cheap and a practical joker himself, he was a favorite clubhouse target. One day Dick Drago threw an old worn-out leather jacket of his in the trash, having bought a new one. Yaz fished it out, put some leather patches on the elbows and wore it all year. Yaz also had an old raincoat that he wore everywhere. His teammates would try to threw it away all season, but Yaz would always find it. Bill Lee compared Yaz to the TV character Peter Falk played in "Columbo", saying Columbo would make a best dressed list long before Yaz would.

Right at the end of spring training, the Red Sox added rookie pitcher Jim Wright to their roster.

Yaz had been playing spectacularly in the field. He had gone through the '77 season without making an error. In spring training, Rick Burleson bet him $100 that he couldn't do it again. On April 8th, the Sox second game, Yaz dropped a fly ball hit by Jorge Orta in Chicago, that cost him to lose his bet. His errorless streak therefore ended at 201 games, going back to 1976.

Under the intense pressure and large payroll, the Sox started slowly, losing games and making mistakes. They only won one game in their opening set in Chicago. In that game, on April 9th, Jim Rice blasted an upper deck home run along with a pair of singles to help Bill Lee, as he shutout the White Sox, 5 to 0.

After losing a game in Cleveland, they then ripped off eight consecutive wins. On April 12th, Rice and Fred Lynn homered to give Mike Torrez his first Sox victory, 6 to 3.

In the home opener at windy Fenway Park, on April 14th, Claudell Washington, the rightfielder for the Texas Rangers, lost three fly balls to the sun and wind. The last was a slicing line drive from the bat of Jim Rice that ended the game, because Butch Hobson was on third. Washington started in and then had to reverse course, only to see the ball drop at the foot of the Rangers bullpen, giving the Sox a 5 to 4 walk-off win.

The next game on April 15th, saw the Sox bury the Rangers, 12 to 4. Hobson and Bernie Carbo drove in four runs apiece, while Rice slammed his third homer of the young season, bringing in three more runs.

In the finale, on April 16th, Hobson drilled a single off the wall in left center to snap a tie game, and give the Sox an eventual 8 to 6 sweep of the Rangers. Pitcher Jim Wright made his major-league debut in the game. In the final inning, Wright came on and struck out two batters and got Bump Wills to ground out. He was 27 years old and had finally made the big leagues.

The Brewers next came to Fenway, and Butch Hobson continued his hot hitting, by smacking a homer and a double to drive in three runs, as the Sox smacked Milwaukee, 9 to 2 on April 17th.

Luis Tiant, who started the season on the disabled list, having dislocated his finger in spring training, came off it on April 18th and got his first win of the year, in relief, against the Brewers. Carlton Fisk's two-out run scoring double in the ninth inning, gave Tiant and the Sox a 7-6 walk-off victory. To make room on the roster for "El Tiante" the Sox sold Reggie Cleveland to the Texas Rangers.

Bill Lee (3-0) pitched his second complete game on April 20th, to complete a sweep of the Brewers in a 10-4 romp. Hobson's three-run homer and Fred Lynn's two-run shot led the Sox hitting attack.

Carlton Fisk got another game winning hit against the Indians, who visited Fenway Park on April 21st. His two-run homer in the seventh inning broke up a tie game as the Sox beat Cleveland, 9 to 7, for their eighth consecutive win.

But the Sox ended up splitting the series with Cleveland, including splitting a doubleheader on April 23rd. In the first game, it was again, Fisk, who doubled in one of three eighth inning runs, that gave the Sox a 6 to 2 win.

Jim Rice had three hits and drove in two runs in Milwaukee on April 25th to give the Sox a 4-3 decision. Fred Kendall became the first player in 18 years to pinch-hit (in a clutch situation) for Carl Yastrzemski on April 26th. Yaz was hit on the right forearm by a pitch from Bob McClure in Milwaukee and could not proceed with his at-bat. With runners on second and third in the seventh inning, Kendall popped out. The Sox ended up losing 6 to 4.

The Sox slumped during their road trip at the end of April, losing their final four games of the month. They split two games with the Brewers and then lost three straight in Texas. They ended the month with an 11-9 record, in second place, three games behind the Tigers.

On May 1st against the Orioles back at Fenway, Jim Rice belted a pair of two-run homers to lead the Sox in a 9 to 6 win. After losing the next game with the Orioles, the Sox then went on another winning streak, winning nine of their next ten games.

Fred Lynn drilled three hits, including a tiebreaking two-run single in the sixth inning, to lead the Sox to an 11-9 defeat of the Minnesota Twins on May 3rd.

On May 4th, the next night, Jim Rice clouted a pair of triples and knocked in three runs, as the Sox beat up the Twins, 8 to 1, to give Dennis Eckersley his first Red Sox win.

JIM RICE

Rice belted his eighth home run of the season and drove in five runs as the Red Sow swept the White Sox in a doubleheader on May 6th. They won the opener 6 to 4 and also the nite cap, by a sore of 3 to 0, behind the pitching of Jim Wright, making his first major league start.

The Red Sox rallied to win the first game on Dwight Evans' two-run homer, with one out, in the 10th inning. Rice's  two-out single in the ninth inning drove in the tying run, setting the stage for the Dwight Evans game-winning liner into the left field screen, following a single by Carlton Fisk, the next inning. Rice drove in three runs in the first game and in the second game, he hit a two-run homer and later added a double. His five RBIs pushed his total for the year to 30.

Jim Wright, a 27-year old righthander then scattered seven hits in the second game, earning his first major league victory. He struck out three and didn't issue a walk, becoming the first Red Sox rookie to throw a shutout since Billy Rohr blanked the Yankees in 1967.

The next night on May 7th, Mike Torrez pitched his first complete-game victory with the Red Sox, in a 5-0 decision over the White Sox. Rice and Yaz each belted two-run homers.

Against Kansas City, who next visited Fenway, Yaz slammed a three-run home run in the seventh inning as the Sox blasted the Royals, 8 to 4 on May 8th.

Dennis Eckersley  pitched his second complete game on May 9th, against the Royals, beating them 4 to 3. The Royals pitcher was a guy named Jim Colborn and like any good pitcher, he tried to own the plate and brush back a batter from taking over the inside portion. But after throwing one pitch under the chin of Jim Rice, Rice strolled out to the mound and had a conversation with him. Colborn later said that he was scared when Rice calmly walked out to him, because he thought that Rice was going to eat him up and spit him out. Instead, Rice just went back into the batter's box. His two run homer in the seventh inning, extended the Sox winning streak to seven games.

The Sox winning streak was stopped by the Orioles on May 10th, the next day, but they rebounded on May 11th to beat the O's 5 to 4, behind Rice, who slugged his 11th homer of the season and the sixth in his last eleven games. It marked the Sox' 20th win of the young season. They had reached that point quicker than any Red Sox team since 1946.

In Minnesota, on May 13th, the Sox moved into first place by beating the Twins, 4 to 2. The next night, on May 14th, Fred Lynn blasted a three-run homer and Dennis Eckersley won his third straight game, as they beat the Twins again, 6 to 2. Lynn had batted .545, including three homers, three doubles and a triple, collecting 12 hits in 22 at bats and driving in five runs to be named AL "Player of the Week".

George Scott after being out with a nagging back, was back in the lineup at first-base on May 15th, but promptly broke a middle finger on his throwing hand chasing a pop-fly. On May 16th, the next night, Bill Lee scattered six hits in beating the Royals, 3 to 2, in Kansas City, staying undefeated with a 6-0 record.

Back then there was an agreement that Augie Busch would not to sell Budweiser west of the Mississippi, and Adolph Corrs agreed not to sell his product east of the Mississippi. When the Sox visited Kansas City, Yaz used to smuggle out cases of Coors beer, so the players could enjoy it on the flight home. He never got caught.

In Detroit, the Sox and Tigers split a series. On May 20th the Sox won 6 to 5, behind Butch Hobson who broke up a 5-5 tie in the ninth inning with a clutch base hit, that brought home Yaz with the go-ahead run.

On May 21st in the final game of a doubleheader, Luis Tiant scattered eight hits and Bob Montgomery drove in four runs with three singles and a triple, in a 9 to 3 win over the Tigers. The series ended with the two teams tied for first place in the AL East.
 

It wasnt until May 22nd that the Sox took the lead in the AL East alone and kept it for an extended period, as they beat the Blue Jays in Toronto, 5 to 4. Yaz sealed the deal with an eight inning, three-run homer.

Against the Blue Jays in Toronto on May 23rd, Jim Wright pitched 10 innings, allowing just one run. The Red Sox only scored one run themselves, though, and eventually lost in the 12th, 2 to 1.

CARLTON FISK & YAZ

Now the Sox took off, and became the hottest thing going, winning eight straight games. On May 24th, homers by Fisk and Jack Brohamer beat the Jays, 8 to 2.

Homers by Rice and Dwight Evans led the Sox to a 9 to 5 victory over the Jays in the series finale on May 25th. Fred Kendall went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI.

The Sox returned home to face the Tigers on May 26th. It was Jim Rice and Dwight Evans, who once again teamed up, each slamming home runs, to beat Detroit, 6 to 3.

The following night, on May 27th, Rice rifled a solo shot into the left field screen, accounting for the only Sox run in a 1 to 0 win, while Luis Tiant scattered seven hits, recording his second shutout and third win of the year.

Rice's 10th inning walk-off homer led the Sox to a 4 to 3 win in the first game of a doubleheader with the Tigers on May 28th. Rice had now hit a MLB leading, 18 homers in 46 games with 50 RBIs.

Dwight Evans hit a two-run homer, while Jerry Remy tripled and scored the tie-breaking run, in another 4 to 3 win in the second game of the doubleheader. Jim Wright pitched, leaving after the Sox scored the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth. Dick Drago got the save, and Wright was 2-0 with a four game sweep of Detroit.

With the Blue Jays visiting Fenway Park on May 29th, Evans' eighth inning homer lifted the Sox to a 5 to 4 victory. The next game on May 30th, was highlighted by solo homers from Evans and Rick Burleson, backed Dennis Eckersley's 4-0 shutout of the Jays. "Eck" struck out five and didn't walk a batter, giving up only one hit over the final four innings.

Jim Clancy and the Jays beat the Sox on the final day of the month, on May 31st, halting the Sox homer streak of 17 in the last 10 games. Jim Rice fell one short of Jackie Jensen's club record of 14 homers in a month, set in June, 1959 and won the American League "Player of the Month". Rice drove in 33 runs, with a .760 slugging percentage, and had six game-winning hits. The Sox headed out to the west coast with a 3 1/2 game lead over the Yankees.

In Anaheim on June 2nd, Butch Hobson drove in four runs, three with a fourth inning homer to propel the Sox past the Angels and Nolan Ryan, 6 to 1. Fred Lynn hit a ninth inning home run the next night, on June 3rd, that gave the Sox a 5 to 4 edge in their second game in Anaheim.

LUIS TIANT

After losing the next three games, in Seattle on June 9th, Luis Tiant (6-0) remained undefeated when he beat the Mariners, 3 to 2.

Rick Burleson's bases loaded triple highlighted an eight-run fourth inning, in the next game, as the Sox clobbered the Mariners, 13 to 1. Mike Torrez (9-2) won his fourth straight, allowing just four hits and one run.

Burleson and Dwight Evans clobbered homers in the final game of the series on June 11th, leading the Sox to a 5 to 3 win. The win stretched the Sox lead over the Yankees to six games.

Back at Fenway on June 12th, Carlton Fisk grounded a single inside the third base bag, with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, to drive in the winning run in a 10-9 walk-off victory against the Angels.

The next night, on June 13th, Jim Wright, pitched his second shutout for the Sox. This one was a 5 to 0, two-hit gem, with only three Angels baserunners making it as far as second base. Both hits were grounders up the middle that barely eluded second baseman Jerry Remy. Flush with victory, Wright admitted that if he hadnt made the team, hed been prepared to quit baseball.

Luis Tiant followed that up with a 9 to 0 shutout of the Oakland A's on June 14th. "Loooie" struck out six, without walking a man, and allowed only four hits. Jim Rice banged out his major league-leading 20th homer.

Then in the next game, on June 15th, Rice unloaded a game-tying two-run homer and then tripled home the two go-ahead runs, powering the Sox to another win against Oakland, 7 to 3. Rice led the majors with 61 RBIs.

BILL LEE

The differences between Don Zimmer and his young players was still simmering in the background on the day of the trading deadline on June 15th. Bernie Carbo was sold to the Indians for $15K. He had been unsigned and had injured his ankle in May. His recurring pattern of arriving late to the ballpark was behavior often triggered by a slump and therefore a lack of playing time. Carbo was so upset when he saw the reporters hanging around his locker, that he ran out of the clubhouse, still in his uniform and drove off. Carbo had hit .261 in 17 games.

The next day, outfielder Sam Bowen was recalled from the PawSox.

Carbo and Bill Lee were also the last of the players Zimmer hated the most on the team. They were the ones who made his life miserable nicknamed the "Buffalo Heads".

The other so-called members, Ferguson Jenkins, Rick Wise and Jim Willoughby had been traded off, and now Carbo was gone. Lee reacted like the Sox had given away his best friend. He cleared out his locker, packed up his stuff, walked out and went home never to return.

The next morning the press had crowded around the front of his house. Bernie Carbo called him to thank him for sticking up for him, but told let it go and not to jeopardize his career over it. After an acrimonious meeting with Haywood Sullivan on June 17th, Lee came back the next day. In the clubhouse none of the players held it against him. Carlton Fisk told him that he respected him for standing up for his convictions, but thought he was being selfish to walk out the way he did. Bill Lee's pitching performances after that, reflected his animosity.

Seattle came in on June 16th and Fred Lynn's double in the eight inning, drove in two runs to beat the Mariners, 6 to 3. Yaz came through in the ninth inning of the next game, on June 17th, to cap off a 5 to 4 walk-off win. He grounded a bases-loaded single to finish off the two-run come-from-behind last at bat win.

On June 19th, the Sox had been kicking the crap out of everyone, won nine straight games and enjoyed a seven game lead in the AL East over the Yankees, who started a series with them at Fenway Park. In the first game the Yanks KO'd Luis Tiant for a 4-1 fourth inning lead, but it vanished by the end of that inning and then it became a battle of the bullpens. The Sox went on to beat up Rich Gossage and Sparky Lyle, with six runs in the eighth inning, for a 10 to 4 victory.

In the second game, light-hitting Fred Stanley finished off a seven-run fourth inning with a grandslam homer, to knock down the Sox in a Yankees, 10 to 4 win on June 20th.

In the series finale on June 21st, Yaz and Carlton Fisk keyed a six-run third inning with consecutive doubles. Butch Hobson, Fred Lynn and George Scott homered, as the Sox whipped the Yankees, 9 to 2, behind the six-hit pitching of Dennis Eckersley. By taking two of the three games they played, the Sox led the Yankees by seven games.

Against the Orioles on June 23rd at Fenway, Carlton Fisk's three-run first inning homer, along with two spectacular catches on foul pops near the first base box seats, highlighted a Sox 5 to 1 victory, that snapped Jim Palmer's seven game winning streak.

Fisk slugged another homer in the second game of the series on June 24th, and Butch Hobson drove in two runs with a homer and a single, to lead the Sox to an 8 to 3 win over the Orioles. Luis Tiant (7-0) remained undefeated, winning his sixth victory in his last seven starts.

The Sox swept the Orioles by winning the final game, 4 to 1, on June 25th. Mike Torrez had to work out of constant trouble to hang on.

The Red Sox were 50-21 (33-6 at home) and had won 24 of their last 30 games. The starting pitchers were a combined 33-8. They had an 8 1/2 game lead in the American League East. The Sox finished their 11-2 homestand and left for New York to face the Yankees again. Meanwhile, the Yankees were having a frustrating season under the unstable behavior of Billy Martin and numerous injuries. 

In the first game of the Yankees series on June 26th, Jim Rice extended his American League home run lead by belting his 23rd homer, a two-run shot in the fifth inning. Fred Lynn added an RBI sixth inning single to give the Sox a 4 to 1 victory. Dennis Eckersley got the win and pitched the Sox with his fifth consecutive complete game.

The second game on June 27th, went 14 innings, with the Yankees coming out on top, 6 to 4, on Graig Nettles' walk-off two run homer.

In Baltimore on June 29th, Dwight Evans slugged a ninth inning homer to give the Sox a 4 to 3 win. But the Sox ended June on the 30th, by losing to the Orioles in 11 innings, giving Luis Tiant, who had won 11 games in a row, his first loss of the season.

For the month of June, the Red Sox were 18-7 and gained 5 1/2 games in their lead over the Yankees. They now led the AL East by eight games.

After losing 2-of-3 in Baltimore, the Sox came back to Fenway and blasted the Yankees, 9 to 5, on July 3rd. Yaz keyed a Sox barrage of base hits with a double and a pair of singles. He and Carlton Fisk, who had a double and a single, each had 3 RBIs.

In spring training, Fred Lynn had jokingly told a reporter that he wished Jim Rice would play left field more often, because he was tired of having to cover more territory when the old man, Yaz, was playing there. On July 5th in Chicago, against Lamar Johnson of the White Sox, Yaz made a diving catch of his line drive in left center during the first inning. Lynn yelled over to him that he was showing off. Yaz got up, smiled, and told Lynn that he was tired of always having to cover for him. In that game, the Red Sox beat the White Sox, 9 to 2. Lynn drove in three runs with a pair of homers and Yaz finished off a six-run seventh inning, with a two run blast.

Lynn's tiebreaking homer in the 10th inning of the next night's game, on July 6th, lifted the Red Sox past the White Sox again, 7 to 6, giving them a 10 game lead in the AL East.

In Cleveland, after losing the first game of the series, the next day, on July 8th, Dwight Evans drilled a tiebreaking RBI single to give the Sox a 3-2 victory and a sweep of a doubleheader. Fisk had a three-run homer and a two-run double in the opener to give the Sox a 12 to 5 win.

The same kind of injury problems that had hit the Yankees earlier in the season, now hit the Red Sox. Rick Burleson strained left ankle ligaments sliding into second in the first inning of a game on July 9th. Frank Duffy took his place was proved unable to do the job.

Jim Rice (0-for-4) and Carlton Fisk (0-for-2) were voted as starters for the American League All Stars for the game played in San Diego on July 11th. All Star manager, Billy Martin, later added Yaz, Fred Lynn, Dwight Evans (0-for-1) and Jerry Remy to the roster. The National Leaguers beat the American League, 7 to 3.

Garry Hancock was called up to the Red Sox on July 14th. He sported a .303 batting average with eight home runs, 44 RBIs, and 41 runs scored in 310 at-bats. He also nailed 11 runners with outfield assists for the PawSox.

After the All Star break, the Sox lost two to the Rangers, but then swept four straight from the Twins at Fenway. On July 15th, Yaz sparked the Sox to a 5 to 4 win with a key home run. Bill Lee (10-3) got the win.

In a doubleheader on July 16th, Lynn had an RBI single and a two-run homer to carry the Sox past the Twins, 3 to 2, for a sweep. Yaz had three singles in the opener, including the game-winner, for a 5 to 3 win.

In the last game of the series on July 17th, Fisk's two-out 10th inning walk-off single, gave the Sox a come-from-behind 3 to 2 win, as they were losing by a run when they came to bat.

In Milwaukee on July 19th, Frank Duffy's single broke a 2-2 tie as George Scott slid home with the go-ahead run, in a game the Sox would win 8 to 2. But this would be the high water mark for the Red Sox, who then lost nine of the next ten games.

 

In late July, pitcher Andy Hassler was bought from the Kansas City Royals.

 

The Sox record was 62-28 and on a pace to win 112 games. The Yankees were 48-42 and in fourth place, 14 games behind them, and in turmoil. They seemed like a non-factor in the AL East. Reggie Jackson had disregarded a "hit" sign by Billy Martin and decided to bunt. Martin was furious and suspended Reggie for five games.

 

 

Then on July 24th, angered at the Yankees' .500 start, George Steinbrenner fired manager Billy Martin and replaced him with Bob Lemon. To make things worse, in an interview, Reggie Jackson referred to himself as the straw that stirred the drink, insulting to the veterans like Yankees captain, Thurman Munson.

The Yankees added Rich Gossage to their bullpen and Sparky Lyle felt disrespected by losing his closer's role. Willie Randolph, Mickey Rivers and Bucky Dent were all playing hurt. Only Ron Guidry, who had been so frustrated with his progress a few years before and thought about quitting baseball, was having the kind of the year for the Yankees, that Jim Rice was having for the Red Sox.

When the Yankees were injured, they had some depth to keep them above .500. Then their injured players started returning to the lineup, especially Catfish Hunter and Thurman Munson. Under Bob Lemon, who was everything that Billy Martin was not, the Yankees settled down and flipped the switch, and as the Sox cooled down

Meanwhile, for the Sox everything started going wrong. Now that the Red Sox were getting hurt, the fact that they had a weak bench came back to haunt them.

 

On July 26th Yaz hurt his back on a swing and missed five games. He then missed 13 games with a right wrist sprain in August and played thereafter with his wrist heavily taped to protect his torn ligaments. Every swing, especially the missed ones, was painful for Yaz. Carlton Fisk also cracked a rib after going into the stand trying to catch a foul pop-up. Every throw he made to second put him in pain, but he suffered in silence. With the Yankees winning game after game, Fisk had to stay in the lineup.

 

On July 27th, Sam Bowen went 1-for-4 in Texas. With two outs in the top of the third, facing Rangers starter Jon Matlack, Bowen homered for his first major-league base hit. It was the only Red Sox run of the game, a 3-1 loss. The next day, he was returned to Pawtucket, in order to make room on the roster for the return of Rick Burleson.

 

Mike Torrez (12-6) went into a slump after sustaining a bone bruise from getting hit in the hand on July 28th, against Kansas City, in a game the Sox lost 4-0. After losing game after game, everyone on the Sox got tight and started making errors.

 

On July 29th, Jim Wright faced the Royals at Fenway and fired his third shutout of the season, a six-hitter without a walk, as he made one run stand up. It was a morale booster for the Red Sox, who had lost nine of their previous ten games. Carlton Fisk said, Every win of his seems to be one we really needed at the time.

 

The Red Sox pounded out 12 hits on July 31st to beat the White Sox, 9 to 2. Meanwhile Dennis Eckersley pitched a wonderful game, allowing a harmless ninth inning homer. Rick Burleson collected three hits, two of which were doubles.

 

On August 1st, the Yankees pushed past the Orioles. The Sox lead over the second place Brewers had shrunk to only five games and 6 1/2 games over the third place Yankees.

The Sox then seemed to put the Yankees in their place by sweeping two games in Yankee Stadium. In the first game on August 2nd, after 14 innings, the game was suspended because of a 1AM curfew. The score was tied, 5 to 5. The Sox, who trailed 5-0 after five innings, scored two in the fourth, two in the sixth and tied it in the eighth on a double by Jim Rice, a wild pitch from Gossage, and a sac fly by Yaz.

 

The next day, on August 3rd, the game was completed. Rice and Rick Burleson delivered run-scoring singles in the 17th inning to give the Sox a 7 to 5 win. The Sox then cruised past the Yankees in the next game that day, 8 to 1, on homers by Rice, Fred Lynn and Bob Bailey, in a rain-shortened seven inning matchup. The Red Sox lead was six games. The Yankees and Sox would go on and match each game for a game other over the rest of the month.

 

After the series in New York, the Sox then moved on to Milwaukee and took 2-of-3 from the Brewers. On August 5th, Jerry Remy and Dwight Evans lined two-run homers while Yaz added a solo homer and an RBI single, in an 8 to 1 romp. Dennis Eckersley (13-4) allowed six scattered hits. In the next game, on August 6th, Luis Tiant shut-out the Brewers, 4 to 0.

 

Back at Fenway, the Sox took 2-of-3 from the Indians. On August 8th, Jim Rice hit two homers as the Sox beat Cleveland, 9 to 7. After losing the next game, in the final game, on August 10th, it took 13 innings, but the Sox came from behind to win 6 to 5, with a two-run rally. Down by two, Butch Hobson scored on a play that involved two errors to tie the game. George Scott doubled and scored the game winner on Rick Burleson's base hit.

 

The Brewers lost 3-of-5 to the Sox when they then came to Fenway Park. The Sox swept them in a doubleheader on August 12th. Jim Wright beat them 3 to 1 in the first game, allowing six hits. Carlton Fisk had two hits including a two run homer. Jim Rice went 4 for 5 in the second game with a two-run homer, giving Bob Stanley his ninth win by an 11 to 4 score.

 

On August 13th, Dwight Evans' three run homer and Fisk's bases loaded single in the 10th inning, provided a 4-3 walk-off win for Mike Torrez. The Sox lost the last game of the series, but still held an eight game lead over the Yankees.

 

A west coast trip next gave the Sox two wins, in three games with the California Angels. Luis Tiant won his 200th game on August 16th, beating the Angels, 4 to 2.

 

The next night, on August 17th, Bob Stanley (10-1) beat the Angels, 8 to 6. Garry Hancock had his best night. He snuffed out a rally in the bottom of the first by throwing out Lyman Bostock from center field. He singled home Carlton Fisk in the top of the second inning and subsequently scored the Sox' second run. He then singled home Fisk in the third inning, to make the score 4-1. He singled in his third and last at-bat completing a 3-for-3 performance. His last single set up the Sox fifth run.

 

Next, the Red Sox traveled up to Oakland and took 2-of-3 from the A's. Rice blasted his 30th home run and Mike Torrez won his 15th game in a 6 to 3 victory on August 18th.

 

But in the next game on August 19th, Bill Lee, with Fisk in left field and Rice in center, lost his seventh straight game, 8-4. Don Zimmer then said Jim Wright would be his fifth starter, swapping roles with Lee. Zimmer was aware, though, that Wright did better when pitching once every 10 or so games.

 

In the finale, on August 20th, Jerry Remy's three-run homer was the difference in the 4 to 2 win over the A's. They finished their west coast swing in Seatlle, losing two to the Mariners, but still enjoyed a six game cushion in first place.

 

DENNIS ECKERSLEY

 

Back in Boston, the Sox tore off seven straight wins. In the first game on August 25th Jim Rice's 32nd homer and Dennis Eckersley's four-hit shutout, beat the Angels, 6 to 0. Jerry Remy however, went down with a chpped bone in his wrist when Rick Miller slid into him on a steal of second base. Meanwhile, Carlton Fisk caught the next 36 games in 37 days, with broken ribs.

 

Rice hit his 33rd homer in a 7 to 1 win on August 26th. The Sox swept the Angels when, in the 12th inning of the third game, on August 27th, Jerry Remy continued to play with his wrist taped up and sprinted home from second base, on a two-out throwing error and Butch Hobson scored Fred Lynn with a base hit for a 4-3 victory.

 

Against the Mariners on August 28th, Butch Hobson doubled home two runs to finish a three-run ninth inning, giving the Red Sox a 10-9 see-saw victory. Fred Lynn went 5-for-5 and scored four runs, in game marred by the beaning of Dwight Evans. George Scott's grand slam homer highlighted a 10 to 5 Sox victory over the Mariners in the next game pn August 29th.

 

On August 30th, the Blue Jays played the Sox at Fenway and worked a doubleheader split. Jim Rice smashed his 35th and 36th home runs while Dennis Eckersley pitched a five hitter, to gain his 16th win. Eck's Fenway record was a perfect 9-0. The Sox ended the month of August pretty much as they had started the month,  with a seven game lead over the Yankees.

 

the first half of September was a disaster as the Sox gave everything back and more. On September 1st, Luis Tiant had to leave a game with the A's when he tweaked his groin and Jerry Remy couldn't continue with the chipped bone in his left wrist. Dwight Evans came back from getting beaned, but still got dizzy when he ran. He would hit only .161 (9 for 56) in September with one home run and three RBIs.


With the injuries the Sox lack of depth showed. Jack Brohamer proved inadequate as a replacement for Remy, Frank Duffy flopped as Rick Burleson's sub and Fred Kendall didn't do well enough to allow Don Zimmer to give Carlton Fisk much time off. The pitching staff also slumped. Bill Lee was ineffective, and Mike Torrez won only one of his last ten starts.

 

On September 4th, pitcher Bobby Sprowl was brought up from Pawtucket to fill the gap. Pawtucket manager Joe Morgan said that Sprowl might not be ready for the big leagues. Morgan said, His problem is trying to throw the ball by too many guys.

 

Sprowls opponent in his September 5th debut in Baltimore, was future Hall of Famer Jim Palmer, who already had 17 wins for the fourth-place Orioles. Sprowl pitched well, giving up three earned runs in the seven innings he pitched, but the Sox lost, 4-1. Sprowl said that before the game hed been nervous, but not when he got to the park. He complimented Carlton Fisk on calling a great game. He only called him off a couple of times when Fisk wanted a changeup. I didnt have confidence in it after I almost threw one away early in the game.
 

The Yankees had made up 10 games in a little over a month, winning 12 of their last 14. They trailed the Sox by only four games with 24 games left, when they came to Fenway Park for a four-game showdown in early September. The Sox saw it as a chance to put the pennant race away and get healthy for the playoffs. But it seemed more like the Nazis rolling through France. What followed would become known in New York, as the "Boston Massacre."
 

The Yanks made a quick statement in the first game, on September 7th, by bombarding former teammate Mike Torrez. The Sox had blasted Catfish Hunter back in June, but he had worked his way back and was on cruise control, going undefeated in the month of August.

 

An error by Butch Hobson in the first inning gave New York two quick runs. After three innings, the score was 7-0 and the Yankees had knocked out 13 hits. Thurman Munson had three of them. By the end of the fourth, the Sox were down 12-0 and lost 15 to 3.


Don Zimmer felt his team was ready for the next game on September 8th, taking solace in the fact that the beating still only counts as one game. Back on June 21st, the Sox had pounded pitcher Jim Beattie back to the minors. Now he came back totally in control and shut out the Sox for eight innings on three hits. Meanwhile, the Yankees hitters thrashed Jim Wright, then Tom Burgmeier, and finally, Bill Lee. The game was basically over once the Yankees took an 8-0 lead in the second. A couple of unearned runs by the Sox in the ninth made the final score 13-2, with seven Red Sox errors. Dwight Evans made two errors in the game. Having been beaned, he was still experiencing dizziness. Carlton Fisk, with his bad ribs, threw two balls away.


The Red Sox appeared as hopeless as ever, and the fact that they had to deal with a pitcher in the middle of one of the greatest seasons in the history of baseball, only made matters worse. After a couple of hits in the first inning of the third game on September 9th, Ron Guidry (20-2) no-hit the Sox for the remaining 8 2/3 innings. The Sox had countered with Dennis Eckersley (16-6), but even he was blasted out of the game by the sizzling Yankee offense and a seven-run fourth inning. More errors, a windblown pop fly, and a passed ball accounted for seven runs. and a 7 to 0 loss.

 

Tony Kubek commented on NBC, that it was the first time he had seen a first place team chasing after a second place team. When the Yankee Stadium scoreboard encouraged Reggie Jackson to get a hit, the easily-angered Rick Burleson turned and swore at the blinking lights.

 

In the series finale, on September 10th, the Yankees incredibly had an opportunity to tie for first place, an idea that seemed inconceivable only a few weeks before. Don Zimmer refused to let Bill Lee pitch, and Luis Tiant also wanted a turn. But Tiant would have pitched on only three days rest, so Zimmer, instead, again gave the ball to rookie, Bobby Sprowl.

 

Peter Gammons wrote in the Boston Globe, All that stands between the New York Yankees and first place is Bobby Sprowl.

 

Sprowl didnt make it out of the first inning. By the end of the fourth, the Yankees held a 6-0 lead. Bill Lee finally was allowed to pitch the last two innings. It would be the last time he pitched for the Red Sox.

 

The final score was 7-4, and the Yankees were officially tied for first place. The Yankees outscored the Red Sox 42-9 and out-hit them 67-21, averaging 10.5 runs and 16.75 hits per game, all at Fenway Park. The Sox pitching, hitting and fielding had all fallen apart at the same time.

 

The Sox spiraled to 3 1/2 games back by September 16th, losing two more in Yankee Stadium before rebounding on September 17th with a Sunday afternoon win, 7 to 3, in the Bronx behind Dennis Eckersley (17-8). But the Red Sox had blown 17 1/2 games in two months.

The Red Sox were confused and dazed, could have given up, but wouldn't give in. After being so embarrassed, they sucked it up went about their business, knowing they had to win every game. Things began to change, and they began to chip away at the Yankee lead, watching the scoreboard as they did.

The Sox briefly regained consciousness when the Orioles came to Fenway. On September 11th, Jim Rice slugged two home runs to win the game, 5 to 4. But then they lost five more games.

Limping into Yankee Stadium, the Sox were further embarrased when Ron Guidry shut them out on September 15th. In the next game on September 16th, the Yanks walked-off a win in the ninth inning.

Dennis Eckersley was the "stopper" on September 17th, pitching a strong game and registering his 17th win, in beating the Yankees 7 to 3. The win kept the Sox 2 1/2 games behind.

In Detroit, the Sox started their sprint on the road to a comeback. On September 18th, Bobby Sprowl started and worked five innings, giving up a couple home runs, before departing with the Red Sox ahead, 4-3. He was in line for a win until Steve Kemp banged a game-tying homer off Bob Stanley in the bottom of the eighth. The Red Sox rallied when Jerry Remy's RBI single in the 11th inning gave the Sox a 5 to 4 win, but the win went to Andy Hassler.

The next day, on September 19th, Yaz drove in five runs with a homer and a double to power the Sox past the Tigers, 8 to 6.

After the Pawtucket season ended, pitcher John LaRose joined the team and got his first ever call to the mound during a night game, on September 20th in Detroit. Mike Torrez had started but given up three runs in the first four innings. A walk and a single put runners on first and second with nobody out, and Zimmer called on LaRose to try and keep the game close.

The rookie walked the first batter to load the bases with nobody out. LaRose got the next batter to hit a grounder to Jerry Remy, who fired to Carlton Fisk and cut down the lead runner. A 6-4-3 double play followed. Albeit not a save situation, after nine years in the minors, John LaRose had done the by getting out of the inning without letting in a run. But LaRose gave up a three run homer the next inning and the Sox got pounded, 12-2, when the game was all over.

In the final game of the Detroit series on September 21st, Dennis Eckersley scattered six hits winning, 5 to 1, giving the Sox three wins in the four games they played with the Tigers.

The Sox next went into Toronto on September 23rd. Jim Rice belted his 43rd homer in a 3 to 1 Sox win over the Blue Jays in the first game. The Yankees lost, and their lead over the Sox was just one game with just over a week to go.

The next game on September 24th, went 14 innings when Butch Hobson base hit scored Rice with the game winner, 7 to 6. Carlton Fisk at near exhaustion and the pain in his side growing worse, caught the complete game. The Yankees beat the Indians, 4-0.

Back home, against the Tigers, the Sox swept a three game series. Dennis Eckersley pitched a shutout in the opening game, while Rice belted his 44th homer in a 6 to 0 victory on September 26th. The Yankees beat the Blue Jays, 4 to 1.

The next night on September 27th, Carlton Fisk banged out a two-run triple and George Scott's two-run homer gave the Sox a 5 to 2 win. The Yankees beat the Blue Jays again, 5 to 1.

Jim Rice's 45th homer and a three-hit shutout by Mike Torrez, snapped his slump and gave the Sox a 1 to 0 victory on September 28th. The Yankees had kept pace and matched the Sox win-for-win and still held that one game advantage over the Sox. When Pope John Paul I died on that day, a local television reporter led with ... the Pope has died, but the Red Sox are still alive !!

Toronto came in for the season finale on September 29th. Bob Stanley had a no-hitter until the sixth inning and won the first game 11-0. Jim Rice became the first American Leaguer to reach 400 total bases since Joe DiMaggio did it in 1937. Fred Lynn drove in five runs with a triple and two singles. But the Yankees beat the Indians, 3 to 1.

On September 30th, Dennis Eckersley won his 20th game by allowing the Jays five hits and winning, 5 to 1, but the Yankees kept the Sox on their treadmill, by beating Cleveland, 7 to 0 and maintaining their one game lead.

On, October 1st, the final day of the regular season, Luis Tiant said, If we lose today, it will be over my dead body. Theyll have to leave me face down on the mound. Tiant came through and shutout the Toronto Blue Jays, with a two-hitter, 5 to 0. He was supported by Rick Burleson's two-run homer and a solo shot by Jim Rice, his 46th. 

Then the Fenway Faithful watched the scoreboard. One of the Toronto outfielders had snuck into the wall between innings and posted an "8" for the Cleveland score. That sent the Fenway fans into a frenzy. After the fraud was discovered by the scoreboard operator, he replaced the "8" with a "2" and the fans continued to cheer. With transistor radios all over the ball park, the fans cheered when there was nothing going on during the game at Fenway. The Yankees and Catfish Hunter, lost in Cleveland 2 to 0.

And so, after 162 games, both teams had an identical record of 99-63, the Sox finally caught the Yankees. A coin flip earlier had determined that a one-game playoff would take place at Fenway Park on Monday, October 2nd. It would become one of the legendary battles in MLB history and the zenith of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry up to that point. The Sox had won 12 of their last 14 and the Yankees had gone 52-21 since July 19th.

It would be Mike Torrez (the ex-Yankee) vs Ron Guidry. The Yankees had eaten up Torrez in 1978. In five games, he had lost four and had a 5.96 ERA. Zimmer decided if Torrez failed, he would bring in Bob Stanley. With all the lefties in the Yankee lineup, his coaches tried to talk him out of it. Bill Lee was a lefty and ready to go, but Zimmer was stubborn, hated Lee, and had his plan.

 

Torrez was sharp, and in the second inning, Yaz smacked a Guidry fastball down the right field line for a home run and a 1-0 lead. Jim Rice singled home Rick Burleson in the sixth inning and the Sox were up 2 to 0.

 

BUCKY DENT HOMERS

 

Roy White and Chris Chambliss singled in the seventh. Bucky Dent, who was a .240 hitter with 16 extra base hits and only four homers, stepped to the plate. The Yankee shortstop fouled off the second offering of his at-bat off of the instep of his left foot. As he hobbled around toward the dugout, teammate Mickey Rivers noticed that Dents bat was cracked. He offered one owned by Roy White and told his teammate that there are lots of hits in it. There was at least one more.

 

While waiting for Dent to get back into the batter's box, Mike Torrez waited and waited. Later, he would blame himself for not staying loose by throwing some warmup pitches. Dent came back and took his stance at the plate.

 

Torrez planned to throw the next pitch inside to back him off. It was a fastball where Torrez wanted it, but it tailed back into the center of the plate and Dent got it in his wheelhouse. He lofted a high fly ball to left, that Yaz thought might scrape off the wall, but it didn't. The wind had shifted, and instead, it just made it over and landed in the net just seven inches over the edge. It was a three-run homer, to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead.

 

But the game wasn't over. After Torrez walked Mickey Rivers, Zimmer brought in Bob Stanley to pitch to Thurman Munson. Munson scored Rivers with a double. In the eighth, Reggie Jackson hit the ball into the center field bleachers, making it 5 to 2.

 

That was followed with a drama-packed final three innings. Again, the Red Sox didn't give up. In the eighth, they were facing Goose Gossage. He gave up a double to Jerry Remy and Yaz singled him home to make it 5 to 3. Carlton Fisk singled up the middle after 11 pitches. Fred Lynn followed with another single that scored Yaz, to make the score 5-4. Gossage got Butch Hobson on a fly to right and finally struck out George Scott.

 

Dick Drago came on in relief of Andy Hassler with two outs in the top of the ninth and Paul Blair on first. After keeping the speedy Blair close with three throws to first, Drago got Thurman Munson to hit a grounder in the hole that third baseman Frank Duffy missed cutting off, but Rick Burleson fielded it, just forcing Blair at second.

 

 

Then in the bottom of the ninth, Burleson drew a walk and Remy hit a line drive to right. Lou Piniella lost it in the shadows, but Burleson, not knowing that, had to hold up between first and second. The ball hit the ground and bounced to Piniella's side, right into his glove, so Burleson could only get to second. Jim Rice next hit a fly ball to the warning track in center, that moved him over to third.

 

With Burleson on third base, Remy on first, Yaz came to at bat. After 15 years in a Red Sox uniform, he thought it was his most important at bat. At his age, it might be his last shot at a World Series ring. A hit up the middle would tie the game and a double would probably win.

 

But with Remy being held on first, there was a hole on the right side of the infield. Yaz thought that if he got a low-insde pitch, he would take it through the hole into right field. The pitch came in just as he had hoped, low and inside. Unfortunately Yaz got under the ball and popped it up. Graig Nettles camped under it and the season was over.

 

The crowd was in a stunned silence for a few seconds and then they started to cheer as the Sox players left the field for the final time. In the background was the celebration taking place by the Yankees on Fenway's pitchers mound. What struck Rick Burleson as he entered the clubhouse for the final time, is that everyone's bags sat there quietly in preparation to head to Kansas City, for the start of the ALCS. In the corner, Jerry Remy saw Yaz crying.

 

The season was a noble effort, one that marked the Red Sox as the team that had no quit in them. But now the lasting Sox memory, was not of Carlton Fisk waving his dramatic home run fair over the left field wall, it was of the Bleepin Bucky Dent's home run just clearing it.

The 1978 Red Sox had a gaudy 57-26 record and a 14 1/2 game lead over the Yankees in mid-July and then suddenly, like a cheap baseball that had been used too often, began to unwind. To their credit however, they did pull it together, not quit, and won 12 of their last 14, to force the one game playoff. Their 99 wins were the most by a Red Sox team since 1946.

Throughout the season, Don Zimmer was unable to relax as the manager. His philosophy was to always play his starters. So when he needed his bench players after a starter got hurt or injured, they hadn't played and didn't produce. According to catcher Fred Kendall: I just sat there and watched, it was a shock, he never played me but you know what, he never played anybody off the bench, we had guys with 8 or 12 years experience waiting to get a chance to play. It was that clubs ultimate downfall. Zimmer played the horses until they ran out of gas.

It got so bad at Fenway, when the Sox went on their losing streak, that Zimmer couldn't come out of the dugout without hearing it from the fans.

Jim Rice (.315 BA) symbolized the power of the Sox offense, emerging as one of the most dangerous sluggers in the game. Every time he came to the plate, everybody expected something to happen, and it usually did. Everyone could remember power, but he was a good hitter in general. He batted .361 at Fenway in 1978 and led the American League with 213 hits, 46 homers (the most for a Red Sox player since Jimmie Foxx hit 50 in 1938), 139 RBIs and 15 triples. He also had 406 total bases, becoming the first player to reach more than 400 total bases, since Hank Aaron did it in 1959. His monster year would win him the American League MVP over Ron Guidry.

Fred Lynn was a great hitter, a great base runner, and it seemed like he could hit the wall anytime he needed to. His ankle returned to health, and he had a fine season. He played in 150 games, the most in his career, and hit 22 home runs and 82 RBIs. He hit .298 and led the team with a .380 OBP and slugged .492, second to Rice. He made the All-Star team for the fourth time and won his second Gold Glove.

Carl Yastrzemski had recurrent back problems throughout the season and spent time wearing a back brace, but still batted .277 and drove in 81 runs. Bill Lee suggested that Yaz's longevity was due to him wearing the number eight. As Lee explained, Yaz must lie in bed at night with his jersey on, because the number eight when looked at sideways, is the symbol for infinity.

George Scott always fighting a battle over his weight, finally seemed to get it under control, but his batting average suffered as his belly shrank. He was batting .311 at the beginning of June. In September, he batted only .151 and ended up finishing with a .233 BA and 12 home runs. Injuries slowed him down. He was on the DL earlier in the season, missing 17 games due to back trouble.

Dwight Evans had recurring headaches after he was beaned, at the end of August. He was hitting .286 at the All Star break and finished with .247 BA and 24 homers. He batted only .161 in September with just one homer. One wonders if a playoff game would have even been necessary had Evans been better able to contribute that final month.

To replace Evans, the Sox used Garry Hancock. During his two and a half months, Hancock appeared in 38 games. He played in the outfield in 19 games and was used as a pinch-runner in three games. He was the DH in 13 games. He batted .225 with no home runs and four RBIs in 80 at-bats. But he also notched three assists in outfield duty.

Butch Hobson had developed elbow problems from the floating bone chips he had in his right elbow, that worsened as the season progressed. He hit .250 with 17 home runs and drove in 80 runs, batting ninth. But he made 43 errors at third, 27 on throws to first. He had to run halfway over to first base, just to make the throw. That was in addition to cartilage and ligament damage to both knees. It got so bad that he eventually asked to be taken out of the lineup and was made the DH. Being a competitive football player, the nagging injury really ate at him.

Jack Brohamer got to play in place of Hobson. He was a great fielder, but didn't get the job done at the plate. He batted .234 in 81 games.

Bob Bailey stuck with the team through the season although he played in only 43 games and hit .191 as the DH. He retired at the end of the season, at age 35 after a 17-year career. I even know the day [that he knew he was finished as a player on July 30th] Bailey said. I was playing at Fenway hitting against Paul Splitorff, a left-handed pitcher, and I got two cutters on the inside part of the plate and popped them both up, and I remembered running to first. I was looking for the pitch and thats when I knew it was probably over.

Carlton Fisk in spite of his rib injury, played in 157 games, more than any other Sox player. He was tough as nails and felt he could "gut" it out. He batted .284 with 20 homers.

Fisk played in almost every game, and Bob Montgomery saw action in only ten games. He hit .241 on the strength of just seven hits in 29 at-bats and more than half of those hits all came in the game in Detroit, when he went 3-for-4 in May. Fred Kendall played in 20 games and batted .195

Under the tutelage of Walt Hriniak, Jerry Remy went from hitting fly balls to hitting line drives. He hit .278 and led the team with 30 stolen bases. But at Fenway, he had to be careful. If the wind was blowing out, he wouldn't steal because of the sluggers he had behind him. He didn't want to take the chance that Rice or Fisk might be kept from hitting a homer if he was caught stealing. And Yaz liked working a ground ball between first and second base when a runner was on first.

Rick Burleson started slowly, and was hitting only .194 after 35 games. However, after getting on track, Burleson finished third in the shortstop voting for the American League All-Star team, and was chosen as an alternate. An injury forced him out of the Red Sox lineup until mid-August. He finished batting .248 with 32 doubles.

Don Zimmer burned out his starting pitchers in an era when the Sox relied on only four starters. Bill Lee threw 146 pitches during a game in May and Luis Tiant threw 159 in a May game also. Mike Torrez threw 160 pitches in an 11 inning game on July 1st. Bill Campbell was so overworked that he developed elbow and shoulder problems.

Every starting pitcher, except Tiant, was sent to the bullpen at some point. Tiant was 13-8 with a 3.31 ERA. However was still quite upset with his contract and it may have affected his performance.

Dennis Eckersley was the "ace" of the pitching staff. He was 20-8 with a 2.99 ERA and 162 strikeouts in 268 1/3 innings pitched. Nine of his victories came after a Red Sox loss, each time giving the Sox a victory when they needed it. He was the consistent starter Zimmer had craved. He also adapted quite well to Fenway Park, posting a record of 11-1 at home, but also led the league with 30 home runs surrendered.

Mike Torrez won 16 games with a 3.96 ERA and had 120 strikeouts. He contributed to the slide. After August 18th, he did not win a game for six weeks. After he gave up the home run to Bucky Dent, his production would decrease in the following years, as would his relationship with Red Sox Nation.

Bill Lee got off to a 10-3 start and didn't win another game after the middle of June. He had never completely healed from the Yankees brawl with Graig Nettles, and found his arm getting weaker as the season progressed. From July 15th through August 19th, Lee seemed to fall apart, losing seven straight decisions. On closer inspection, one sees that in five of the seven losses, he gave up no more than three earned runs. But Lee and Zimmer also didn't get along, and Lee made so many negative comments about him, that he found a permanent place in Zimmer's doghouse, especially after his one-day walk out in June, protesting the trading of his buddy, Bernie Carbo. Zimmers refusal to start Lee against the Yankees in September was a huge subplot in the collapse of the Red Sox.

Rookie Jim Wright was 8-4, with three shutouts and a 3.57 ERA in 116 innings. He had 16 starts, fifth-most on the team, and he performed ably. He gave credit to his success by having Carlton Fisk as his catcher. He learned that to be successful at Fenway, a pitcher had to learn to pitch inside. Rich Gale of the Kansas City Royals was named "Rookie Pitcher of the Year" with Wright coming in second. The Boston Baseball Writers voted Wright, the Red Sox "Rookie of the Year".

The bullpen was strong with Bill Campbell, Dick Drago, Bob Stanley,  and Tom Burgmeier. Andy Hassler was later added and had a 3.00 ERA.

Bill Campbell pitched just 50 innings in 29 games, but still won seven games and earned four saves while battling arm trouble all season. Not having him as a reliable closer hurt the Red Sox. He, however, led the team with am 8.3 K/nine innings stat.

One aspect of the game in which Dick Drago excelled was the role of bench jockey. He would stay in the dugout until later in the game so he could get on as many opposing players as possible. Nothing was off-limits to the leather-lunged Drago, if he felt it irritated opponents and gave his team even the slightest edge. He finished 4-4, with a 3.03 ERA and seven saves.

Drago also did good work off the field, including many visits to see children in the hospital working with the Jimmy Fund. In July during one of his hospital visits, he made the wire services, when he cheered up a young patient by promising him a strikeout and tickets to the World Series.

Bob Stanley (15-2, 2.60 ERA) was the workhorse. He would start, pitch middle relief, or mop up at the end. He was second in the league in won-lost percentage (his .882 was bettered only by Ron Guidrys remarkable 25-3/.893) and tops in relief appearance wins (with an even dozen). Toss in 10 saves and just five home runs allowed in 141 2/3 innings, and you have one mighty fine season.

The Red Sox didn't know it at the time, but this powerful bunch of players would never recover and eventually be dismantled. This had been the last chance for the Red Sox of the 1970s, a great era in Boston baseball.

 

 

 
  GAME LOG  
  DATE RECORD PLACE GB/GF OPPONENT   SCORE  PITCHER W/L  
  04/07/1978 0-1 5th -1  at Chicago White Sox L 6-5 Dick Drago 0-1  
  04/08/1978 0-2 6th -2  at Chicago White Sox L 6-5 Bill Campbell 0-1  
  04/09/1978 1-2 5th -2  at Chicago White Sox W 5-0 Bill Lee 1-0  
  04/10/1978 1-3 6th -2 1/2  at Cleveland Indians L 5-4 Reggie Cleveland 0-1  
  04/11/1978 1-3 4th -3    
  04/12/1978 2-3 4th -3  at Cleveland Indians W 6-3 Mike Torrez 1-0  
  04/13/1978 2-3 4th -3    
  04/14/1978 3-3 3rd -2  Texas Rangers W 5-4 Dick Drago 1-1  
  04/15/1978 4-3 3rd -1  Texas Rangers W 12-4 Bill Lee 2-0  
  04/16/1978 5-3 3rd -1  Texas Rangers W 8-6 Bob Stanley 1-0  
  04/17/1978 6-3 2nd -1  Milwaukee Brewers W 9-2 Mike Torrez 2-0  
  04/18/1978 7-3 2nd -1/2  Milwaukee Brewers W 7-6 Luis Tiant 1-0  
  04/19/1978 7-3 2nd -1/2  Milwaukee Brewers pp    
  04/20/1978 8-3 1st -  Milwaukee Brewers W 10-4 Bill Lee 3-0  
  04/21/1978 9-3 1st +1/2  Cleveland Indians W 9-7 Dick Drago 2-1  
  04/22/1978 9-4 2nd -1/2  Cleveland Indians L 13-4 Allen Ripley 0-1  
  04/23/1978 10-4 2nd -1/2  Cleveland Indians W 6-3 Bill Campbell 1-1  
10-5 2nd -1/2  Cleveland Indians L 10-7 Bob Stanley 1-1  
  04/24/1978 10-5 2nd -1/2    
  04/25/1978 11-5 2nd -1  at Milwaukee Brewers W 4-3 Bill Lee 4-0  
  04/26/1978 11-6 2nd -1  at Milwaukee Brewers L 6-4 Mike Torrez 2-1  
  04/27/1978 11-6 2nd -1    
  04/28/1978 11-7 2nd -2  at Texas Rangers L 5-4 Bill Campbell 1-2  
  04/29/1978 11-8 2nd -3  at Texas Rangers L 4-1 Dennis Eckersley 0-1  
  04/30/1978 11-9 2nd -3  at Texas Rangers L 2-1 Bill Campbell 1-3  
  05/01/1978 12-9 2nd -2 1/2  Baltimore Orioles W 9-6 Mike Torrez 3-1  
  05/02/1978 12-10 3rd -3 1/2  Baltimore Orioles L 3-1 Allen Ripley 0-2  
  05/03/1978 13-10 3rd -3 1/2  Minnesota Twins W 11-9 Tom Burgmeier 1-0  
  05/04/1978 14-10 2nd -3  Minnesota Twins W 8-1 Dennis Eckersley 1-1  
  05/05/1978 14-10 3rd -2 1/2  Chicago White Sox pp    
  05/06/1978 15-10 2nd -2 1/2  Chicago White Sox W 6-4 Bob Stanley 2-1  
16-10 2nd -2 W 3-0 Jim Wright 1-0  
  05/07/1978 17-10 2nd -2  Chicago White Sox W 5-0 Mike Torrez 4-1  
  05/08/1978 18-10 2nd -1 1/2  Kansas City Royals W 8-4 Bob Stanley 3-1  
  05/09/1978 19-10 2nd -1/2  Kansas City Royals W 4-3 Dennis Eckersley 2-1  
  05/10/1978 19-11 2nd -1  at Baltimore Orioles L 3-2 Tom Burgmeier 1-1  
  05/11/1978 20-11 2nd -1/2  at Baltimore Orioles W 5-4 Bill Lee 5-0  
  05/12/1978 20-11 1st -  at Minnesota Twins pp    
  05/13/1978 21-11 1st +1  at Minnesota Twins W 4-2 Mike Torrez 5-1  
  05/14/1978 22-11 1st +1  at Minnesota Twins W 6-2 Dennis Eckersley 3-1  
  05/15/1978 22-12 1st -  at Kansas City Royals L 3-1 Allen Ripley 0-3  
  05/16/1978 23-12 1st -  at Kansas City Royals W 3-2 Bill Lee 6-0  
  05/17/1978 23-12 2nd -1/2    
  05/18/1978 23-12 1st -    
  05/19/1978 23-13 2nd -1  at Detroit Tigers L 7-5 Mike Torrez 5-2  
  05/20/1978 24-13 1st -  at Detroit Tigers W 6-5 Bill Campbell 2-3  
  05/21/1978 24-14 1st -  at Detroit Tigers L 2-1 Bill Lee 6-1  
25-14 1st - W 9-3 Luis Tiant 2-0  
  05/22/1978 26-14 1st +1/2  at Toronto Blue Jays W 5-4 Allen Ripley 1-3  
  05/23/1978 26-15 1st +1/2  at Toronto Blue Jays L 2-1 Bill Campbell 2-4  
  05/24/1978 27-15 1st +1  at Toronto Blue Jays W 8-2 Mike Torrez 6-2  
  05/25/1978 28-15 1st +1  at Toronto Blue Jays W 9-5 Dennis Eckersley 4-1  
  05/26/1978 29-15 1st +1  Detroit Tigers W 6-3 Bill Lee 7-1  
  05/27/1978 30-15 1st +2  Detroit Tigers W 1-0 Luis Tiant 3-0  
  05/28/1978 31-15 1st +2  Detroit Tigers W 4-3 Bob Stanley 4-1  
32-15 1st +2 W 4-3 Jim Wright 2-0  
  05/29/1978 33-15 1st +2  Toronto Blue Jays W 5-4 Mike Torrez 7-2  
  05/30/1978 34-15 1st +3  Toronto Blue Jays W 4-0 Dennis Eckersley 5-1  
  05/31/1978 34-16 1st +3  Toronto Blue Jays L 6-2 Bill Lee 7-2  
  06/01/1978 34-16 1st +3 1/2    
  06/02/1978 35-16 1st +3 1/2  at California Angels W 6-1 Luis Tiant 4-0  
  06/03/1978 36-16 1st +4 1/2  at California Angels W 5-4 Mike Torrez 8-2  
  06/04/1978 36-17 1st +4 1/2  at California Angels L 4-2 Dennis Eckersley 5-2  
  06/05/1978 36-18 1st +4 1/2  at Oakland Athletics L 9-7 Allen Ripley 1-4  
  06/06/1978 36-19 1st +4 1/2  at Oakland Athletics L 7-1 Bill Lee 7-3  
  06/07/1978 36-19 1st +4    
  06/08/1978 36-19 1st +4    
  06/09/1978 37-19 1st +4  at Seattle Mariners W 3-2 Luis Tiant 5-0  
  06/10/1978 38-19 1st +5  at Seattle Mariners W 13-1 Mike Torrez 9-2  
  06/11/1978 39-19 1st +6  at Seattle Mariners W 5-3 Dennis Eckersley 6-2  
  06/12/1978 40-19 1st +6  California Angels W 10-9 Bill Campbell 3-4  
  06/13/1978 41-19 1st +6  California Angels W 5-0 Jim Wright 3-0  
  06/14/1978 42-19 1st +6  Oakland Athletics W 9-0 Luis Tiant 6-0  
  06/15/1978 43-19 1st +6  Oakland Athletics W 7-3 Mike Torrez 10-2  
  06/16/1978 44-19 1st +7  Seattle Mariners W 6-3 Bill Campbell 4-4  
  06/17/1978 45-19 1st +7  Seattle Mariners W 5-4 Bob Stanley 5-1  
  06/18/1978 45-20 1st +6 1/2  Seattle Mariners L 3-2 Jim Wright 3-1  
  06/19/1978 46-20 1st +7  New York Yankees W 10-4 Tom Burgmeier 2-1  
  06/20/1978 46-21 1st +6  New York Yankees L 10-4 Mike Torrez 10-3  
  06/21/1978 47-21 1st +7  New York Yankees W 9-2 Dennis Eckersley 7-2  
  06/22/1978 47-21 1st +6 1/2    
  06/23/1978 48-21 1st +7 1/2  Baltimore Orioles W 5-2 Bill Lee 8-3  
  06/24/1978 49-21 1st +8 1/2  Baltimore Orioles W 8-3 Luis Tiant 7-0  
  06/25/1978 50-21 1st +8 1/2  Baltimore Orioles W 4-1 Mike Torrez 11-3  
  06/26/1978 51-21 1st +9 1/2  at New York Yankees W 4-1 Dennis Eckersley 8-2  
  06/27/1978 51-22 1st +8 1/2  at New York Yankees L 6-4 Dick Drago 2-2  
  06/28/1978 51-22 1st +8 1/2    
  06/29/1978 52-22 1st +9  at Baltimore Orioles W 4-3 Allen Ripley 2-4  
  06/30/1978 52-23 1st +8  at Baltimore Orioles L 3-2 Luis Tiant 7-1  
  07/01/1978 52-24 1st +7  at Baltimore Orioles L 3-2 Mike Torrez 11-4  
  07/02/1978 52-24 1st +7 1/2  at Baltimore Orioles pp    
  07/03/1978 53-24 1st +8 1/2  New York Yankees W 9-5 Dennis Eckersley 9-2  
  07/04/1978 53-24 1st +9  New York Yankees pp    
  07/05/1978 54-24 1st +10  at Chicago White Sox W 9-2 Bill Lee 9-3  
  07/06/1978 55-24 1st +10  at Chicago White Sox W 7-6 Bill Campbell 5-4  
  07/07/1978 55-25 1st +9 1/2  at Cleveland Indians L 10-9 Bill Campbell 5-5  
  07/08/1978 56-25 1st +9 1/2  at Cleveland Indians W 12-5 Dennis Eckersley 10-2  
57-25 1st +10 W 3-2 Jim Wright 4-1  
  07/09/1978 57-26 1st +9  at Cleveland Indians L 7-1 Allen Ripley 2-5  
  07/10/1978  All Star Game Break  
  07/11/1978
  07/12/1978
  07/13/1978 57-27 1st +8  Texas Rangers L 12-7 Luis Tiant 7-2  
  07/14/1978 57-28 1st +8  Texas Rangers L 4-3 Mike Torrez 11-5  
  07/15/1978 58-28 1st +8  Minnesota Twins W 5-4 Bill Lee 10-3  
  07/16/1978 59-28 1st +8  Minnesota Twins W 5-3 Dennis Eckersley 11-2  
60-28 1st +8 1/2 W 3-2 Jim Wright 5-1  
  07/17/1978 61-28 1st +8 1/2  Minnesota Twins W 3-2 Bill Campbell 6-5  
  07/18/1978 61-28 1st +8    
  07/19/1978 62-28 1st +9  at Milwaukee Brewers W 8-2 Mike Torrez 12-5  
  07/20/1978 62-29 1st +8  at Milwaukee Brewers L 8-6 Bill Lee 10-4  
  07/21/1978 62-30 1st +7  at Kansas City Royals L 9-0 Dennis Eckersley 11-3  
  07/22/1978 62-31 1st +6  at Kansas City Royals L 6-5 Dick Drago 2-3  
  07/23/1978 62-32 1st +5  at Kansas City Royals L 7-3 Jim Wright 5-2  
  07/24/1978 62-33 1st +5 1/2  at Minnesota Twins L 5-4 Dick Drago 2-4  
63-33 1st +5 1/2 W 4-2 Andy Hassler 2-4  
  07/25/1978 63-34 1st +5 1/2  at Minnesota Twins L 5-2 Bill Lee 10-5  
  07/26/1978 63-35 1st +5 1/2  at Texas Rangers L 2-0 Dennis Eckersley 11-4  
  07/27/1978 63-36 1st +4 1/2  at Texas Rangers L 3-1 Luis Tiant 7-3  
  07/28/1978 63-37 1st +4 1/2  Kansas City Royals L 4-0 Mike Torrez 12-6  
  07/29/1978 64-37 1st +5 1/2  Kansas City Royals W 1-0 Jim Wright 6-2  
  07/30/1978 64-38 1st +4 1/2  Kansas City Royals L 2-1 Bill Lee 10-6  
  07/31/1978 65-38 1st +5 1/2  Chicago White Sox W 9-2 Dennis Eckersley 12-4  
  08/01/1978 65-39 1st +5  Chicago White Sox L 5-2 Luis Tiant 7-4  
  08/02/1978 66-39 1st +5  at New York Yankees W 7-5 Bob Stanley 6-1  
  08/03/1978 67-39 1st +6  at New York Yankees W 8-1 Mike Torrez 13-6  
  08/04/1978 67-40 1st +5  at Milwaukee Brewers L 6-2 Bill Lee 10-7  
  08/05/1978 68-40 1st +6  at Milwaukee Brewers W 8-1 Dennis Eckersley 13-4  
  08/06/1978 69-40 1st +7  at Milwaukee Brewers W 4-0 Luis Tiant 8-4  
  08/07/1978 69-40 1st +7    
  08/08/1978 70-40 1st +8  Cleveland Indians W 9-7 Bob Stanley 7-1  
  08/09/1978 70-41 1st +7 1/2  Cleveland Indians L 5-1 Bill Lee 10-8  
  08/10/1978 71-41 1st +7 1/2  Cleveland Indians W 6-5 Bob Stanley 8-1  
  08/11/1978 71-42 1st +6 1/2  Milwaukee Brewers L 10-5 Luis Tiant 8-5  
  08/12/1978 72-42 1st +7 1/2  Milwaukee Brewers W 3-1 Jim Wright 7-2  
73-42 1st +8 W 11-4 Bob Stanley 9-1  
  08/13/1978 74-42 1st +9  Milwaukee Brewers W 4-3 Mike Torrez 14-6  
  08/14/1978 74-43 1st +8  Milwaukee Brewers L 4-3 Bill Lee 10-9  
  08/15/1978 74-44 1st +7  at California Angels L 5-2 Dennis Eckersley 13-5  
  08/16/1978 75-44 1st +7  at California Angels W 4-2 Luis Tiant 9-5  
  08/17/1978 76-44 1st +7 1/2  at California Angels W 8-6 Bob Stanley 10-1  
  08/18/1978 77-44 1st +7 1/2  at Oakland Athletics W 6-3 Mike Torrez 15-6  
  08/19/1978 77-45 1st +7 1/2  at Oakland Athletics L 8-4 Bill Lee 10-10  
  08/20/1978 78-45 1st +8 1/2  at Oakland Athletics W 4-2 Dennis Eckersley 14-5  
  08/21/1978 78-45 1st +8    
  08/22/1978 78-46 1st +7  at Seattle Mariners L 5-2 Luis Tiant 9-6  
  08/23/1978 78-47 1st +6  at Seattle Mariners L 5-3 Mike Torrez 15-7  
  08/24/1978 78-47 1st +6 1/2    
  08/25/1978 79-47 1st +7 1/2  California Angels W 6-0 Dennis Eckersley 15-5  
  08/26/1978 80-47 1st +7 1/2  California Angels W 7-1 Jim Wright 8-2  
  08/27/1978 81-47 1st +7 1/2  California Angels W 4-3 Bob Stanley 11-1  
  08/28/1978 82-47 1st +7 1/2  Seattle Mariners W 10-9 Bob Stanley 12-1  
  08/29/1978 83-47 1st +7 1/2  Seattle Mariners W 10-5 Dick Drago 3-4  
  08/30/1978 84-47 1st +7 1/2  Toronto Blue Jays W 2-1 Dennis Eckersley 16-5  
84-48 1st +7 L 7-6 Bob Stanley 12-2  
  09/01/1978 84-49 1st +6 1/2  Oakland Athletics L 5-1 Luis Tiant 9-7  
  09/02/1978 84-50 1st +5 1/2  Oakland Athletics L 4-3 Mike Torrez 15-8  
  09/03/1978 85-50 1st +5 1/2  Oakland Athletics W 11-6 Bob Stanley 13-2  
  09/04/1978 85-51 1st +5  at Baltimore Orioles L 5-3 Dennis Eckersley 16-6  
  09/05/1978 85-52 1st +4  at Baltimore Orioles L 4-1 Bobby Sprowl 0-1  
  09/06/1978 86-52 1st +4  at Baltimore Orioles W 2-0 Luis Tiant 10-7  
  09/07/1978 86-53 1st +3  New York Yankees L 15-3 Mike Torrez 15-9  
  09/08/1978 86-54 1st +2  New York Yankees L 13-2 Jim Wright 8-3  
  09/09/1978 86-55 1st +1  New York Yankees L 7-0 Dennis Eckersley 16-7  
  09/10/1978 86-56 1st -  New York Yankees L 7-4 Bobby Sprowl 0-2  
  09/11/1978 87-56 1st +1/2  Baltimore Orioles W 5-4 Bob Stanley 14-2  
  09/12/1978 87-57 1st +1/2  Baltimore Orioles L 3-2 Mike Torrez 15-10  
  09/13/1978 87-58 2nd -1/2  at Cleveland Indians L 2-1 Dennis Eckersley 16-8  
  09/14/1978 87-59 2nd -1 1/2  at Cleveland Indians L 4-3 Jim Wright 8-4  
  09/15/1978 87-60 2nd -2 1/2  at New York Yankees L 4-0 Luis Tiant 10-8  
  09/16/1978 87-61 2nd -3 1/2  at New York Yankees L 3-2 Mike Torrez 15-11  
  09/17/1978 88-61 2nd -2 1/2  at New York Yankees W 7-3 Dennis Eckersley 17-8  
  09/18/1978 89-61 2nd -2 1/2  at Detroit Tigers W 5-4 Andy Hassler 3-4  
  09/19/1978 90-61 2nd -1 1/2  at Detroit Tigers W 8-6 Bill Campbell 7-5  
  09/20/1978 90-62 2nd -2  at Detroit Tigers L 12-2 Mike Torrez 15-12  
  09/21/1978 91-62 2nd -2  at Detroit Tigers W 5-1 Dennis Eckersley 18-8  
  09/22/1978 91-63 2nd -2  at Toronto Blue Jays L 5-4 Andy Hassler 3-5  
  09/23/1978 92-63 2nd -1  at Toronto Blue Jays W 3-1 Luis Tiant 11-8  
  09/24/1978 93-63 2nd -1  at Toronto Blue Jays W 7-6 Dick Drago 4-4  
  09/25/1978 93-63 2nd -1    
  09/26/1978 94-63 2nd -1  Detroit Tigers W 6-0 Dennis Eckersley 19-8  
  09/27/1978 95-63 2nd -1  Detroit Tigers W 5-2 Luis Tiant 12-8  
  09/28/1978 96-63 2nd -1  Detroit Tigers W 1-0 Mike Torrez 16-12  
  09/29/1978 97-63 2nd -1  Toronto Blue Jays W 11-0 Bob Stanley 15-2  
  09/30/1978 98-63 2nd -1  Toronto Blue Jays W 5-1 Dennis Eckersley 20-8  
  10/01/1978 99-63 1st -  Toronto Blue Jays W 5-0 Luis Tiant 13-8  
     
  AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST PLAYOFF  
  DATE RECORD PLACE GB/GF OPPONENT   SCORE  PITCHER W/L  
  10/02/1978 99-64 2nd -1  New York Yankees L 5-4 Mike Torrez 16-13  
     
  1978 RED SOX BATTING & PITCHING  
     
     
 

 

 

FINAL 1978 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

New York Yankees 100 63 -

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX

99 64 1

 

 

Milwaukee Brewers 93 69 6 1/2

 

 

Baltimore Orioles 90 71 9

 

 

Detroit Tigers 86 76 13 1/2

 

 

Cleveland Indians 69 90 29

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays 54 102 40

 

 

 
     
   

RED SOX - YANKEES PLAYOFF GAME (10-02-1978)
 

 

 
     
  1978 RED SOX HIGHLIGHT VIDEO

 
     
 
1977 RED SOX 1979 RED SOX