Courtesy: MLB Productions/A&E Home Video
The Milwaukee Brewers is one of Major League Baseball’s younger teams. The team, which was originally started in part by Bud Selig in 1970, has had its share of great moments in its roughly forty-two year history. Now thanks to MLB Productions and A&E Home Video, the team’s fans and baseball fans alike can enjoy a handful of the team’s greatest moments in the new four-disc box set, The Essential Games of the Milwaukee Brewers.
It’s fitting that all four of the games included in this box set are taken from the Brewers’ post season history, as Major League Baseball is currently in its second season. Now fans yearning for a fresh start next season can enjoy these momentous games in the meantime. One of the games that fans will enjoy from this set is its matchup against the then California Angels. The game in question was the teams’ faceoff in Game Five of the 1982 ALCS. Both teams were tied up at two games each in this best of five series. So both teams’ fates boiled down to this decisive match. And both teams showed how bad they wanted it.
Game Five of the 1982 ALCS started off with both the Angels and Brewers bringing in one run a piece. The next two innings would see only one run scored on the part of the Angels’ catcher, Bob Boone. Both sides stayed toe to toe in the game’s fourth inning with each one bringing in another run each, bringing the score at that point to 3-2, advantage Angels. The Brewers’ lone run that inning came after a single run home run by Ben Oglivie. The fifth and sixth innings would go scoreless on both sides of the ball. But apparently the legendary seventh inning stretch must have done some magic for the Brewers as Milwaukee would seal the game with two more runs, bringing the Brewers past the Angels, 4-3. The runs turned out to be the last runs of the game on either side of the ball as both teams went scoreless in the game’s last two innings. The Brewers’ seventh inning surge started when Don Money hit a pop fly single to first base off of Angels pitcher Luis Sanchez. Charlie Moore followed up that hit with a single to second base. Sanchez gave up a single to Center Field against Jim Gantner next, thus allowing Moore to move to second. Sanchez made up for that sacrifice by striking out future MLB legend Paul Molitor. But then he walked Robin Yount, loading the bases. Cecil Cooper’s single to Left Field brought in both Gantner and Moore and moved Yount to second. These two runs would be the last two for the game, and would be the last scored against Sanchez, as he was replaced on the mound by Andy Hassler. Hassler struck out Ted Simmons to end the inning. Hassler wouldn’t be back until the bottom of the eighth inning. He and the Angels’ fielding unit worked together to keep the bases empty on a quick three up, three down. Bob McClure and Pete Ladd would finish the game for the Brewers, allowing only one man on base.
The Brewers’ 1982 post season run would see not one but two amazing games for this team that just over a decade prior had been brought in from Seattle of all places. After the Brewers finished off the Angels in Game Five of the ALCS, they went on to the World Series to face the St. Louis Cardinals. Things got started pretty well for the Brewers in the World Series with Milwaukee taking a decisive Game One win 10-0. But two straight losses in Games Two and Three put the Brewers’ back somewhat to the wall. Had the Cards won this game, it would have put the Brewers in a huge three games to one hole. But the boys weren’t to be counted out just yet. Despite going down by four runs early on, the Brewers’ offense kept the Cardinals scoreless in the third and fourth innings and finally getting on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Don Money got things started first with a hard hit double. Charlie Moore followed up with a short fly ball to Center Field. That hit let Money move to third and into scoring position. Jim Gantner finished things off with this rush, hitting a ground ball double that sent in Money for the score. Paul Molitor ended up being taken out on a fly ball to Center Field, ending the inning.
The Cardinals answered the Brewers right back in the top of the sixth inning on doubles by both Lonnie Smith and Dane Iorg. Iorg’s double brought in Smith, putting the Brewers deep into a 5-1 deficit. But the Brewers showed that they still had a fire burning as they answered back with six big runs against four different Cardinals pitchers. Those six runs were all the Brewers needed as they retook the lead 7-5. The Brewers’ offense came to life in the eighth and ninth, keeping the Cardinals scoreless. They went toe to toe with the Cardinals’ offense, showing that they weren’t about to just lay down for the red birds. They took that momentum into Game Five and won that matchup 6-4. Sadly though, it would be the last win for Milwaukee, as the Cardinals would force Game Six and then Seven, eventually taking the title in 1982. Despite the Cardinals’ eventual title win, the Brewers showed in Game Four that the club’s appearance in the Fall Classic that year was no fluke. And the team reiterated that in Game Five, too. And while the Brewers may not be in the playoffs this year, this club proved that it could still hold its own in the National League with an 83-79 final record. This team could have made it into the playoffs. And it showed in turn, that it could easily make the second season next year, too. In the mean time, Brewers fans have these two games and two others to enjoy throughout the offseason. The Essential Games of the Milwaukee Brewers is available now. It can be ordered online now at MLB Productions’ shop site, http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=13117903&cp=1452356.2184761.3740939.
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