1981 American League Division Series


1981 American League Division Series

Infobox LDS
alds = yes


year = 1981
champion1 = Oakland Athletics (3)
champion1_manager = Billy Martin
champion1_games = 37-23, .617, GA: 1½ (1st half)
27-22, .551, GB: 1 (2nd half)
runnerup1 = Kansas City Royals (0)
runnerup1_manager = Dick Howser
runnerup1_games = 20-30, .400, GB: 12 (1st half)
30-23, .566, GA: 1 (2nd half)
date1 = October 6October 9
television1 = ABC
announcers1 = Al Michaels, Bob Uecker and Jim Palmer
umpires1 = George Maloney, Joe Brinkman, Steve Palermo, Don Denkinger, Jim Evans, Jim McKean
champion2 = New York Yankees (3)
champion2_manager = Bob Lemon
champion2_games = 34-22, .607, GA: 2 (1st half)
25-26, .490, GB: 5 (2nd half)
runnerup2 = Milwaukee Brewers (2)
runnerup2_manager = Buck Rodgers
runnerup2_games = 34-22, .607, GB: 3 (1st half)
31-22, .585, GA: 1½ (2nd half)
date2 = October 7October 11
television2 = ABC
announcers2 = Keith Jackson, Don Drysdale and Howard Cosell
umpires2 = Larry McCoy, Dale Ford, Ken Kaiser, Dave Phillips, Al Clark, Mike Reilly
The 1981 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 1981 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 6, and ended on Sunday, October 11. The Division Series were created on August 6 in response to the 1981 Major League Baseball strike, which caused the cancellation of roughly one-third of the regular season between May 29 and August 8; by the time play was resumed, it was decided that the best approach was to have the first-half leaders automatically qualify for postseason play, and allow all the teams to begin the second half with a clean slate.

The first-half and second-half champions in both the East and West divisions would meet in best-of-five series, with the winners advancing to the AL Championship Series (ALCS). If the same team won both halves, a wild card team – the second-place team from the second half – would qualify for the postseason, but this proved unnecessary in both leagues. There were no plans to continue the format in later seasons, although the Division Series resumed in 1995 after both major leagues realigned into three divisions. The teams in the 1981 ALDS were:

*Eastern Division: New York Yankees (first-half champion, 34-22) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (second-half champion, 31-22): Yankees win series, 3-2.
*Western Division: Oakland Athletics (first-half champion, 37-23) vs. Kansas City Royals (second-half champion, 30-23): Athletics win series, 3-0.

"The second-half champions played the first two games at home, with the first-half champions potentially hosting the last three; the first-half champions all posted better records in their half of the season than the second-half champions did."

The Yankees and Athletics went on to meet in the AL Championship Series. The Yankees became the American League champion, and lost to the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1981 World Series.

Matchups

Oakland Athletics vs. Kansas City Royals

Oakland wins the series, 3-0

New York Yankees vs. Milwaukee Brewers

New York wins the series, 3-2

Oakland vs. Kansas City

Game 1, October 6

Royals Stadium in Kansas City, MissouriLinescore
Road=Oakland|RoadAbr=OAK
R1=0|R2=0|R3=0|R4=3|R5=0|R6=0|R7=0|R8=1|R9=0|RR=4|RH=8|RE=2
Home=Kansas City|HomeAbr=KCR
H1=0|H2=0|H3=0|H4=0|H5=0|H6=0|H7=0|H8=0|H9=0|HR=0|HH=4|HE=1
RSP=|HSP=
WP=Mike Norris (1-0)|LP=Dennis Leonard (0-1)|SV=
RoadHR=Dwayne Murphy (1), Wayne Gross (1)|HomeHR=|

Mike Norris faced Dennis Leonard and the defending AL Champions in Game 1. Both pitchers were on their game and the game was scoreless through 3 innings. But in the top of the 4th, the A's got a boost on a three run home run by Wayne Gross. Then Dwayne Murphy's solo homer in the 8th put the game away as Norris went on to pitch a four hit complete game shutout.

Game 2, October 7

Royals Stadium in Kansas City, MissouriLinescore
Road=Oakland|RoadAbr=OAK
R1=1|R2=0|R3=0|R4=0|R5=0|R6=0|R7=0|R8=1|R9=0|RR=2|RH=10|RE=1
Home=Kansas City|HomeAbr=KCR
H1=0|H2=0|H3=0|H4=0|H5=1|H6=0|H7=0|H8=0|H9=0|HR=1|HH=6|HE=0
RSP=|HSP=
WP=Steve McCatty (1-0)|LP=Mike Jones (0-1)|SV=|

Steve McCatty and Mike Jones dueled in Game 2. After giving up an RBI double to Tony Armas in the 1st, Jones settled into a groove and kept the A's from scoring for the next 6 innings. McCatty would give up a run in the bottom of the 5th on Willie Wilson's RBI hit. In the 8th, Armas again delivered the game winning RBI double to make it 2-1 A's. McCatty went on to pitch a complete game masterpiece.

Game 3, October 9

Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, CaliforniaLinescore
Road=Kansas City|RoadAbr=KCR
R1=0|R2=0|R3=0|R4=1|R5=0|R6=0|R7=0|R8=0|R9=0|RR=1|RH=10|RE=3
Home=Oakland|HomeAbr=OAK
H1=1|H2=0|H3=1|H4=2|H5=0|H6=0|H7=0|H8=0|H9=X|HR=4|HH=7|HE=0
RSP=|HSP=
WP=Rick Langford (1-0)|LP=Larry Gura (0-1)|SV=Dave Beard (1)
RoadHR=|HomeHR=Dave McKay (1)|

Game 3 pitted Larry Gura against Rick Langford. With their backs to the wall, the Royals and Gura ran into trouble in the 1st. Tony Armas would come through once again with another RBI hit that scored Rickey Henderson. Then an error by Frank White in the 3rd allowed another run to score to make it 2-0 A's. But the Royals would scratch out a run in the 4th on Amos Otis's forceout. But in the 4th the A's scored two runs on a Dave McKay solo homer and an RBI double by Dwayne Murphy. Langford would allow only one run in 7 1/3 innings despite giving up 10 hits. Dave Beard would close out the series with a save in the 9th.

Composite Box

1981 ALDS (3-0): Oakland Athletics over Kansas City RoyalsLinescore
Road=Oakland Athletics
R1=2|R2=0|R3=1|R4=5|R5=0|R6=0|R7=0|R8=2|R9=0|RR=10|RH=25|RE=3
Home=Kansas City Royals
H1=0|H2=0|H3=0|H4=1|H5=1|H6=0|H7=0|H8=0|H9=0|HR=2|HH=20|HE=4Total Attendance: 120,868 Average Attendance: 40,289|

New York vs. Milwaukee

Game 1, October 7

County Stadium in Milwaukee, WisconsinLinescore
Road=New York|RoadAbr=NYY
R1=0|R2=0|R3=0|R4=4|R5=0|R6=0|R7=0|R8=0|R9=1|RR=5|RH=13|RE=1
Home=Milwaukee|HomeAbr=MIL
H1=0|H2=1|H3=1|H4=0|H5=1|H6=0|H7=0|H8=0|H9=0|HR=3|HH=8|HE=3
RSP=|HSP=
WP=Ron Davis (1-0)|LP=Moose Haas (0-1)|SV=Goose Gossage (1)
RoadHR=Oscar Gamble (1)|HomeHR=|

In Game 1, Ron Guidry faced Moose Haas. In the bottom of the 2nd, the Brewers struck first on Charlie Moore's RBI single. Then Robin Yount's sac fly made it 2-0 in the 3rd. But the Yankees would break through and take the lead for good in the 4th. Designated hitter Oscar Gamble tied the game with a two run homer. Then the Yanks would take the lead on a two run double by Rick Cerone. But the Brewrs would cut the lead in half with an RBI single by Ted Simmons. In the 9th, the Yankees managed to score a pivotal run off Rollie Fingers. The run scored due to an error by Yount. Goose Gossage shut the door in the 9th.

Game 2, October 8

County Stadium in Milwaukee, WisconsinLinescore
Road=New York|RoadAbr=NYY
R1=0|R2=0|R3=0|R4=1|R5=0|R6=0|R7=0|R8=0|R9=2|RR=3|RH=7|RE=0
Home=Milwaukee|HomeAbr=MIL
H1=0|H2=0|H3=0|H4=0|H5=0|H6=0|H7=0|H8=0|H9=0|HR=0|HH=7|HE=0
RSP=|HSP=
WP=Dave Righetti (1-0)|LP=Mike Caldwell (0-1)|SV=Goose Gossage (2)
RoadHR=Reggie Jackson (1), Lou Piniella (1)|HomeHR=|

Dave Righetti faced Mike Caldwell in Game 2. The Brewers needed to win this game to stay in contention and it certainly looked good with Caldwell having allowed only run in the 4th on Lou Piniella's homer. But the decision to allow Caldwell pitch the ninth proved costly as he surrendered a two run homer to Reggie Jackson. Dave Winfield collected 3 hits while Righetti pitched a dominant 4 hit shutout for 6 innings and Goose Gossage got his second consecutive save.

Game 3, October 9

Yankee Stadium in New York, New YorkLinescore
Road=Milwaukee|RoadAbr=MIL
R1=0|R2=0|R3=0|R4=0|R5=0|R6=0|R7=3|R8=2|R9=0|RR=5|RH=9|RE=0
Home=New York|HomeAbr=NYY
H1=0|H2=0|H3=0|H4=1|H5=0|H6=0|H7=2|H8=0|H9=0|HR=3|HH=8|HE=2
RSP=|HSP=
WP=Rollie Fingers (1-0)|LP=Tommy John (0-1)|SV=
RoadHR=Paul Molitor (1), Ted Simmons (1)|HomeHR=|

Randy Lerch faced Tommy John, who was looking to end the series with a sweep. Both pitchers were on their game and John got a run in the 4th thanks to Bob Watson's RBI hit. The Yankees were closing in on a sweep in the 7th when the Brewers came back. Ted Simmons gave the Brewers the lead thanks to his two run homer. Then Sal Bando's RBI hit made it 3-1. The Yankees would waste little time in responding as back-to-back RBI singles tied the game in the bottom of the 7th. But Paul Molitor's leadoff homer in the 8th seemed to turn the tide as John then allowed a single to Robin Yount. His night was done but Simmons came through once again with an RBI double to make it 5-3 Brewers. Rollie Fingers won in relief and slammed the door on the Yankees in the 9th. The Brewers' win in Game 3 was their first ever postseason win.

Game 4, October 10

Yankee Stadium in New York, New YorkLinescore
Road=Milwaukee|RoadAbr=MIL
R1=0|R2=0|R3=0|R4=2|R5=0|R6=0|R7=0|R8=0|R9=0|RR=2|RH=4|RE=2
Home=New York|HomeAbr=NYY
H1=0|H2=0|H3=0|H4=0|H5=0|H6=1|H7=0|H8=0|H9=0|HR=1|HH=5|HE=0
RSP=|HSP=
WP=Pete Vuckovich (1-0)|LP=Rick Reuschel (0-1)|SV=Rollie Fingers (1)|

Having taken Game 3, the Brewers looked to Pete Vuckovich to take Game 4. Opposing him would be Rick Reuschel. In the top of the 4th, the Brewers jumped in front 2-0 on a sac fly by Cecil Cooper and an RBI double by Ben Oglivie. The Yankees would get a run in the 6th on a fielder's choice by Lou Piniella. The Yankees would get chances in the 7th and 9th to win the series but Rollie Fingers escaped with the save and evened the series at two games a piece.

Game 5, October 11

Yankee Stadium in New York, New YorkLinescore
Road=Milwaukee|RoadAbr=MIL
R1=0|R2=1|R3=1|R4=0|R5=0|R6=0|R7=1|R8=0|R9=0|RR=3|RH=8|RE=0
Home=New York|HomeAbr=NYY
H1=0|H2=0|H3=0|H4=4|H5=0|H6=0|H7=1|H8=2|H9=X|HR=7|HH=13|HE=0
RSP=|HSP=
WP=Dave Righetti (2-0)|LP=Moose Haas (0-2)|SV=Goose Gossage (3)
RoadHR=Gorman Thomas (1)|HomeHR=Reggie Jackson (2), Oscar Gamble (2), Rick Cerone (1)|

No team had ever come back down 2 games to none with the first two losses at home. And with their backs to the wall, the Yankees called on Dave Righetti once again. Again opposing him would be Moose Haas. Gorman Thomas's solo homer in the 2nd gave the Brewers the lead. Then Cecil Cooper's sac fly made it 2-0 in the 3rd. The Yankees looked helpless until the bottom of the 4th. Reggie Jackson's titanic home run in the fourth tied the game. Oscar Gamble followed Jackson's homer with a solo homer to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead. A forceout later in the inning scored Graig Nettles to make it 4-2. The Brewers would strike in the 7th on Cooper's second RBI of the game to close the gap. That was as close as they would get. Rick Cerone's homer in the 7th made it 5-3. The Brewers mounted a threat in the 8th. After recording two quick outs Goose Gossage walked Bando and Howell before getting Don Money to fly out to left. A double and a sac fly put the series away as the Yankees took a commanding 7-3 lead to the 9th. Gossage shut the Brewers out in the 9th for his third save of the series and to keep a historical collapse from happening.

Composite Box

1981 ALDS (3-2): New York Yankees over Milwaukee BrewersLinescore
Road=New York Yankees
R1=0|R2=0|R3=0|R4=10|R5=0|R6=1|R7=3|R8=2|R9=3|RR=19|RH=46|RE=3
Home=Milwaukee Brewers
H1=0|H2=2|H3=2|H4=2|H5=1|H6=0|H7=4|H8=2|H9=0|HR=13|HH=36|HE=5Total Attendance: 217,452 Average Attendance: 43,490|

Notes

External links

* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/1981_AEDIV.shtml Baseball-Reference.com: New York vs. Milwaukee]
* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/1981_AWDIV.shtml Baseball-Reference.com: Oakland vs. Kansas City]


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