The 1974 National League Championship Series was a best-of-five series that matched the East Division champion Pittsburgh Pirates against the West Division champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers won the Series three games to one and lost the 1974 World Series to the Oakland Athletics.
Los Angeles won the series, 3–1.
Saturday, October 5, 1974, at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Dodgers had been winless in six games played a Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium during the regular season but they remedied that situation in postseason play. In the opening game, Don Sutton was opposed to Jerry Reuss. The Pirate lefty yielded just one run in seven innings, but left the game in favor of an ineffectual pinch-hitter. Dave Giusti came on in the eighth inning and gave up two insurance runs. Meanwhile, Sutton set the Pittsburgh club down on four hits and no runs.
Sunday, October 6, 1974, at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Pittsburgh string of scoreless innings was extended to 15 before the Bucs finally got on the board in the seventh inning of Game 2. But when they did score, there were no big base hits. One run came in on a groundout and the other on a high bouncer that escaped an infielder's glove and was scored on a single. But those two runs were enough to enable the Pirates to equalize the two runs that Los Angeles had scored earlier off Jim Rooker. With the game tied going into the eighth inning, it was a battle between ace relievers Mike Marshall, of Los Angeles, and Giusti. Marshall retired six straight batters in the last two innings but Giusti couldn't retire even one. He was clubbed for three runs and four hits before getting the hook. An error by his catcher, Manny Sanguillén, didn't help matters.
Tuesday, October 8, 1974, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California
A record crowd for Dodger Stadium—55,953—showed up for Game 3, confidently expecting the local nine to apply the coup de grâce. But the home partisans were sorely disappointed.
Dodger starter Doug Rau lingered on the premises for barely 10 minutes, during which time he was bombed for five runs. With Bruce Kison pitching effectively for Pittsburgh and the Dodgers contributing five errors, the game was, for all practical purposes, over early. Kison gave up only two hits in the six and two-thirds innings he worked and his reliever Ramón Hernández, slammed the door on the Dodgers the rest of the way. The big blows for the Bucs were home runs by Willie Stargell and Richie Hebner.
Wednesday, October 9, 1974, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California
Don Sutton and Jerry Reuss, as in the opener, were the opposing pitchers in the fourth game.
Sutton was just as good as he ever was, permitting but one run and three hits and striking out seven in eight innings of work before allowing the ubiquitous Mike Marshall to mop up. Reuss simply didn't have his best stuff and was kayoed in the third inning. His successors didn't fare much better. The unfortunate Dave Giusti made his third appearance of the series and was just as ineffective as he had been in the final two, being charged with three runs in an inning and a third on toll.
The biggest thunder came off the bat of Steve Garvey the Dodgers' first baseman. He had four hits, including two homers and drove in four runs as the Dodgers advanced to the 1974 World Series with the largest margin of victory in a championship series game, 12–1.
1974 NLCS (3–1): Los Angeles Dodgers over Pittsburgh Pirates