- 1981 National League Championship Series
year = 1981
Los Angeles Dodgers(3)
champion_games = 36-21, .632, GA: ½ (1st half)
27-26, .509, GB: 6 (2nd half)
runnerup_games = 30-25, .545, GB: 4 (1st half)
30-23, .566, GA: ½ (2nd half)
October 13– October 19
Burt Hooton(Los Angeles)
Dick Enbergand Tom Seaver(NBC) Dave Van Horneand Duke Snider(CBC)
radio_network = CBS Radio
Jack Buckand Jerry Coleman
Paul Pryor, Eric Gregg, Paul Runge, Dutch Rennert, Harry Wendelstedt, Joe West
Los Angeles Dodgersover Houston Astros(3-2)
Montreal Exposover Philadelphia Phillies(3-2)The by|1981 National League Championship Serieswas a best-of-five series between the first-half Western Division champion Los Angeles Dodgersand the second-half Eastern Division champion Montreal Expos. The Dodgers won the NLCS three games to two over the Expos, thanks to a ninth-inning home run in Game 5 by Rick Mondayin what has ever since been referred to as "Blue Monday" by Expos fans.
Due to the
1981 Major League Baseball strike, a team had to win two postseason series in order to go to the World Series. Teams that finished first in their division in the first and second halves of the season advanced to the postseason. This was the first year the baseball postseason had three rounds, an arrangement that would become permanent beginning with the by|1995 season. The Expos advanced to the NLCS after defeating the defending world champion Philadelphia Philliesin the NL Division Series three games to two, and the Dodgers made their way to the NLCS after beating the Houston Astrosthree games to two in the NLDS.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Montreal Expos
Los Angeles wins the series, 3-2
October 13, 1981at Dodger Stadiumin Los Angeles, CaliforniaLinescore
Burt Hooton(1-0)|LP= Bill Gullickson(0-1)|SV=
RoadHR=|HomeHR=Pedro Guerrero (1),
The Dodgers took the first game of the series behind the strong pitching of starter
Burt Hooton. For the first seven innings the game stayed close, with the only scoring coming in the second inning when the Dodgers got two runs on an RBI double by Ron Ceyand a squeeze bunt by Bill Russell. Hooton and reliever Bob Welch made the 2-0 lead stand up until the eighth when the Dodgers broke the game open with three more runs on back-to-back homers by Pedro Guerrero and Mike Scioscia. The Expos got one run back in the ninth when Larry Parrishdoubled home Gary Carter. But reliever Steve Howe came on for the Dodgers and got the final three outs to preserve Los Angeles' victory.
October 14, 1981at Dodger Stadiumin Los Angeles, CaliforniaLinescore
Ray Burris(1-0)|LP= Fernando Valenzuela(0-1)|SV=|
Ray Burrisalmost single-handedly evened the series with a masterful complete game shutout in Game 2. The Dodgers managed only five singles against Burris, and their only real threats, in the sixth and ninth, were foiled by double plays. Typically in what would be a very low-scoring series, the Expos didn't do much more hitting against Dodger starter Fernando Valenzuela. But Montreal did manage to push across two runs in the second on RBI hits by Warren Cromartieand Tim Raines. Montreal added another run in the sixth, aided by Dusty Baker's error in left. Burris did the rest to notch his 3-0 victory.
October 16, 1981at Stade Olympique in Montreal, QuebecLinescore
WP=Steve Rogers (1-0)|LP=
RoadHR=|HomeHR=Jerry White (1)|
Montreal got another superb pitching performance in Game 3, this time from Steve Rogers, to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Rogers allowed only a single run on a
Ron Ceygroundout after singles by Dusty Bakerand Steve Garveyin the fourth. For a while it looked like Dodger starter Jerry Reussmight make that 1-0 score hold up. But Montreal finally rallied for four runs in the sixth on a run-scoring single by Larry Parrishand a three-run homer by Jerry White. Rogers easily preserved the 4-1 lead over the final three innings, and Montreal was now only one victory away from the World Series.
October 17, 1981at Stade Olympique in Montreal, QuebecLinescore
Burt Hooton(2-0)|LP= Bill Gullickson(0-2)|SV=
For the first seven innings Game 4 followed the usual pattern of the series, with dominant performances from both starting pitchers. Montreal's
Bill Gullicksonallowed an unearned run in the third, after Bill Russell reached on Larry Parrish's error and scored on Dusty Baker's double. Los Angeles' Burt Hootongave up the game-tying run in the fourth on another unearned tally, when Gary Carterreached on Ron Cey's error and scored on a single by Warren Cromartie. The starters yielded nothing more until the eighth, when Steve Garvey's two-run homer put the Dodgers up 3-1 and chased Gullickson. The Dodgers blew the game open with four more runs in the ninth, highlighted by Baker's two-run single. Hooton finally tired in the eighth but the Dodger bullpen got the last five outs and the series was even.
October 19, 1981at Stade Olympique in Montreal, QuebecLinescore
Fernando Valenzuela(1-1)|LP=Steve Rogers (1-1)|SV=Bob Welch (1)
After a rainout on Sunday, October 18, the Montreal ballpark was only two-thirds full for Game 5 on a cold and drizzly Monday afternoon, which turned out to be the series' most dramatic contest. As usual in the series, the starting pitchers dominated, with the Dodgers'
Fernando Valenzuelaand the Expos' Ray Burrismatching zeros for most of the game. Montreal broke on top with a single run in the first when Tim Rainesled off with a double and eventually scored on a double play. The 1-0 lead held until the fifth when the Dodgers tied the game after Rick Mondaysingled, went to third on a Pedro Guerrero single, and scored on a groundout. Burris finally left the game in the eighth when the Expos pinch-hit for him. Montreal brought on their ace Steve Rogers to pitch the ninth, and with two out in the inning, he gave up a solo homer to Monday on a 3-1 count to put the Dodgers up 2-1. The Expos got a couple of two-out walks in the bottom of the ninth off Valenzuela, but Bob Welch came on to get the final out and send the Dodgers to the World Series.
1981 NLCS (3-2):
Los Angeles Dodgersover Montreal ExposLinescore
Los Angeles Dodgers
| Total Attendance: 250,098 Average Attendance: 50,020
The Dodgers went on to defeat the
New York Yankeesfour games to two in the 1981 World Series.
This would be the Expos' only postseason appearance — in a coincidental twist, their best subsequent opportunity prior to the team moving to
Washington, D.C.was also during a strike-shortened season: when the by|1994 season prematurely ended, the Expos had the best record in baseball.
* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/1981_NLCS.shtml Baseball-Reference.com] - 1981 NLCS
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