After writing about that famous, wild 23-22 Phils, Cubs game won by the Phils, I received a comment from a reader asking me about another Phils, Cubs wild game, the one where Mike Schmidt hit 4 homers in a game for the one time in his career.
Well, the game referred to took place in Wrigley Field on April 17th, 1976. It was only the 5th game of 1976 season, a season which would see the Phillies win the NL East Division Championship going away with a 101-61 mark.
It was another game where the wind was blowing out and balls flew out of Wrigley Field, 6 homers by the Phillies, 3 by the Cubs. 4 of the Phils homers were by Schmitty (5 HRs for the season who went 5 for 6 — 4 HRs and a base hit) with 8 RBIs. This was before Dave “King Kong” Kingman came to the Cubs in 1978 and would play home run derby with Schmitty before (and sometimes during Phils, Cubs games. Schmidt was destined to club 38 HRs for the 1976 season and 548 HRs for his career.
And yes, the Phils got down early in this game by a 12-1 and 13-2 scores as the Cubs scored 7 runs in the 2nd inning as Steve Swisher and Rick Monday homered off of Lefty and 5 in the 3rd and 1 in the 4th on Monday’s solo shot, his 2nd homer of the game. But then the Phils pecked their way back; Gary Maddox solo homered off of Rick Reuschel in the 2nd inning. Then the Phils scored 2 runs in the 5th inning on Schmitty’s 2 run shot, also of Reuschel, 3 in the 7th off of Reuschel including Schmidt’s solo blast, 5 in the 8th featuring Schmidt’s 3 run shot and 3 in the 9th including Bob Boone’s solo homer as the Phils rallied to take over the lead 15-13 as the Cubs came to bat in the bottom of the 9th against closer Tug McGraw. But Tug blew his save opportunity as the Cubs got 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game.
In the 10th, Schmidt led a 3 run uprising with his 4th homer, a 2 run shot off of Paul Reuschel, as the Phils jumped to an 18-15 lead. In the bottom of the 10th, the Cubs didn’t go down easy. They scored 1 more run off of Tom Underwood, but it wasn’t enough; Phils 18, Cubs 16 as Tug Mcgraw was credited with the win although he had blown a save opportunity in the 9th.
The game saw 34 runs scored on 43 hits as Jay Johnstone augmented Schmitty’s 5 for 6 day with a 4 for 5 performance while Rick Monday (4 for 6 with 4 RBIs), Bill Madlock (3 for 7 with 3 RBIs), Swisher (3 for 6 with 4 RBIs) and Manny Trillo, destined to be traded to the Phillies, went 2 for 5 with 3 RBIs.