August 29, 1976: In a preview of the 1976 National League championship series, the Reds defeat the Philadelphia Phillies in 15 innings, 6-5. The Reds had scored the tying run in the ninth inning when Pete Rose scored from second on a passed ball. Later, in the 13th, Dave Concepcion scores from a second base on a failed double play grounder to again tie the score. Ken Griffey, Sr., drove in the winning run with a two-out 15th inning single.
The Phillies scored first, plating two runs in the fourth inning off Reds rookie starter Pat Zachry. The Reds got one back in the fifth when Griffey singled home Rose off Phillies starter Steve Carlton, but the Phillies stretched the lead to 4-1 with two sixth inning singles.
The Reds answered in the bottom of the sixth off Carlton when Johnny Bench drew a one-out walk and Tony Perez singled him to second base. Bench and Perez then executed a double steal, and scored one out later on a Cesar Geronimo single to right field. Red manager Sparky Anderson, preparing his team for the postseason, was managing the game like a postseason game. Bob Bailey delivered a pinch single, Geronimo stopping at second. Don Gullett pinch ran for Bailey and the Phillies replaced Carlton on the mound with reliever Tug McGraw. Rose drew a walk to load the bases, Griffey flied to left to end the threat.
Manny Sarmiento was called on to pitch in relief for the Reds and delivered three scoreless innings. In all this day, the Reds relief team of Pedro Borbon, Sarmiento, Rawly Eastwick, Will McEnaney, and Santo Alcala pitch 9 2/3 innings innings of five-hit baseball, allowing one run, walking two, and striking out five.
The Reds tied it in the ninth. Pinch hitter Dan Driessen led off with a walk off Phillies closer Ron Reed. Driessen stole second and Rose singled to left, Driessen stopping a third base with no one out. Griffey grounded to third base, but Mike Schmidt threw out Driessen trying to score, with Rose safe at second base and Griffey safe at first on the fielder’s choice. Joe Morgan lined out to right field. Next up, Reds clean up hitter George Foster struck out with what would have been the last out of the game, but Bob Boone’s passed ball allowed Rose to score the tying run all the way from second base, with Griffey advancing to third base and Foster safe at first. Bench flied out to deep centerfield to send the game into extra innings.
Neither team threatened in innings 10-12, but the Phillies did score first in the top of the 13th when they scored on pinch hitter Tony Taylor’s two-out single off McEnaney. The Reds tied it in the bottom of the 13th when Dave Concepcion
and Geronimo opened the inning with singles. One out later, Rose grounded into a force play at second base, but Concepcion scored all the way from second base to tie the score again when Griffey beat the relay throw to first base.
The Reds won it in the 15th. Concepcion led off with a walk off Phillies reliever Jim Kaat. Geronimo singled to center with Concepcion stopping at second base. Alcala struck out trying to sacrifice bunt. Rose grounded out with both runners advancing. Griffey then beat out an infield single, Concepcion scoring, and the Reds winning, 6-5.
The Reds and Phillies both eventually win their divisions. The Reds finish 102-60 and the Phillies finish 101-61. The Reds swept the Phillies in the League Championship Series, and then the Reds swept the New York Yankees in the World Series to win the World Championship.