I was hoping the Brewers could reverse the outcome, after piling up 106 wins in my regular season replay. But it was not to be ...
The Cardinals jumped to 2-0 lead by edging the Brewers in the first two games, and had the Brewers playing catch-up the rest of the series. Sutter, the NL's top reliever, earned a save in all four Cardinals victories. Clutch hitting throughout the lineup keyed the Cardinals offense.
Game 1 -- Cards win 3-2, take series lead
George Hendrick drove in a pair of runs in the first inning, and Darrell Porter scored from second base on an error in the sixth to put the Cards ahead 3-2 in their opening game win. Bob Forsch earned the win, pitching 8-plus innings before yielding to Sutter.
Pete Vuckovich took the loss, though matching Forsch almost pitch for pitch. The Brewers scored first, after Paul Molitor led off the game with a single and scored on a double by AL MVP Robin Yount. Fellow all-star Cecil Cooper drove in the tying run with a double in the sixth inning, after a leadoff walk by Yount.
Porter, the former Brewers backstop, lead off the bottom of the sixth with a double. He scored after leftfielder Ben Oglivie bobbled then dropped a fly ball by Lonnie Smith. Forsch and Sutter then did the rest.
Game 2 -- Cards win 3-1, lead series 2-0
But for a ninth-inning solo home run by Oglivie, the Brewers mustered little offense versus Cards starter John Stuper. Once again, the Cards got off to a fast start, with leadoff hitters Tommy Herr and Ken Oberkfell getting on base with a pair of singles, then scoring on sacrifice flyouts by Keith Hernandez and George Hendrick. Hernandez scored an insurance run in the eighth, hitting a single then scoring on a triple by Porter.
After Oglivie's home run, Sutter closed the door on any further comeback by striking out Gorman Thomas and Ted Simmons. Don Sutton took the loss.
Game 3 -- Brewers rally for 8-7 win
It seemed grim for the Brewers as the Cardinals dinged starter Mike Caldwell for six runs in the fourth inning, including a two-run homer by Hendrick and and a two-out, bases-loaded double by Herr to put the Cards ahead 6-2. Andujar was cruising with a 7-2 lead when the Brewers scored three in the bottom of the seventh. After Molitor drove in one with a single, Yount smacked a two-out double to drive in two more. Doug Bair retired Cooper to end the threat and maintain the Cards' 7-5 lead.
Bair, however, surrendered a leadoff walk to Oglivie. After Sutter came on to retire Thomas, designated hitter Don Money and Simmons hit back-to-back home runs to put the Brewers ahead 8-7.
In the top of the ninth, Brewers reliever Jamie Easterly allowed Hendrick to reach first on a single. That prompted a call to the bullpen, and Rollie Fingers. (Note: Unlike in real life, Fingers rallied miraculously from a season-ending injury to pitch in the Series!) Fingers came on to retire the side, including striking out David Green to end the game and get the Brewers back on track. (Note: Green platooned throughout the series. He had been traded to St. Louis two years earlier in the deal that brought the Brewers Simmons, Vuckovich and Fingers!). Easterly got the win in relief, Sutter took the loss.
Game 4 -- Brewers rally again, win 3-2 and even the series
Gorman Thomas hit a solo home run off Doug Bair in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie and even the series at two games apiece. Easterly once again picked up the win in relief, with another save by Fingers.
Both starters -- Moose Haas for the Brewers and Dave LaPoint for the Cards -- gave way to the bullpens after allowing a pair of runs. (Note: LaPoint also had been traded to the Cards from the Brewers in the Fingers deal ... )
Game 5 -- Vuckovich pounded as Cards regain series lead with 8-3 win
Pete Vuckovich took his second loss of the series as he allowed five runs over three-plus innings; the Cards went on to win 8-3. Lonnie Smith went 3-for-4 in the leadoff spot, scoring two runs and driving in another; Porter had a double and a home run, scoring two runs; and McGee added a two-run triple. Forsch got his second win of the series, with another save from Sutter.
Thomas hit his second home run in two games, and Yount added a two-run home run in the seventh that cut the lead to 5-3. But the Cards added three runs in the eighth and ninth to put them one win away from the championship.
Game 6 -- Sutton saves the day as Brewers win 8-2 to force Game 7
Don Sutton held the Cardinals to four hits and a pair of runs in the fourth inning as the Brewers pounded the Cardinals for 12 hits in an 8-2 win. Oglivie got the scoring started with a two-run bomb in the first inning, followed by Thomas' third homer of the series in the third. Simmons drove in two more runs in the third inning to chase Cards starter John Stuper. Cooper went 3-for-5 with a double, a run and two RBI.
Game 7 -- Brewers held scoreless in 3-0 series finale
The Brewers could scatter only six hits as they fell 3-0 to the Cardinals. St. Louis starter Joaquin Andujar got the win, with Sutter coming on to close out the eighth and ninth innings. Willie McGee gave the Cards all the runs they would need with a one-out, bases-loaded single to drive in two runs in the fourth inning off losing pitcher Mike Caldwell.
The Brewers made it exciting to the end, with Oglivie leading off the ninth with a double against Sutter. After a flyout by Money to deep left, Edwards hit a sharp single to left. However, Green gunned down Oglivie at the plate. Sutter then ended the threat and the series by striking out Ted Simmons.
How ironic that so much of the series turned on key plays by players who had been dealt between the teams just two years earlier!
... And so ended my long-awaited replay of the Milwaukee Brewers mythic 1982 season!