The year 1982 marked the first of three 1980′s appearances in the World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals. It also marks the one and only time that the Milwaukee Brewers reached the World Series.
With the two teams, now in the same league, prepared to face off for the National League Pennant, i70baseball brings you a look back to that series in 1982. A monumental series that took all seven games to decide a winner. A series that would see would see both teams win a game by a double digit margin as well as each team winning a game by two or fewer runs.
The series was on it’s way to Milwaukee’s County Stadium for the middle three games. Tied up 1-1, the Cardinals and the Brewers had played a first game blowout in favor of the Brewers and a close game settled by a bases loaded walk for the Cardinals. The third game of this Series was played on Friday, October 15…
Game Three: October 15, 1982
This time the Cardinals would send Joaquin Andujar to the mound to face the Brewers on their home surface. The 29-year old pitcher had arrived in St. Louis the year before after being traded by the Houston Astros. He was dominant in 1982, winning 15 games over 10 losses, posting a 2.47 earned run average (his career best), and throwing five shut outs. He would post a 1.080 WHIP and a 2.74 strikeout-to-walk ratio as well that season. He was almost an identical pitcher whether home or away that season.
Milwaukee would counter with 18 game winner Pete Vuckovich. Vuckovich would only lose six games in 1982 while posting a 3.34 earned run average, 1.502 WHIP and 1.03 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Home cooking was Vuckovich’s speciality as he pitched much better in the friendly confines than he would on the road that season.
The two teams would lock themselves in for a pitchers duel with each hurler carrying shut out baseball into the fifth inning. In fact, each team had exactly one hit when the fifth inning rolled around and it was Andujar who had seen the most trouble but worked out of it by that frame. All that changed quickly when the middle frame got started.
After Darrel Porter lead off with a strikeout, Lonnie Smith would drive a double to left-center field and the Cardinals would have their first base runner in scoring position. Dane Iorg would reach base on an error by Brewers first baseman Cecil Cooper, putting runners at the corners for the Cardinals young outfielder Willie McGee. McGee would drive the first pitch he saw over the fence in right field to put the Cardinals up 3-0.
The homerun to McGee would be one of the few mistakes by either starter through six innings as the pitchers duel continued. It was Lonnie Smith once again in the seventh inning with one out that would stroke a triple off of Vuckovich and subsequently score on the play as the Brewers secondbaseman Jim Gantner would throw the ball way at third. A Dane Iorg fly ball out would bring McGee back to the plate, this time with the bases empty, to face Vuckovich again. A 1-0 pitch would again be driven over the wall in right and McGee would have his second home run and fourth run batted in of the game, putting the Cardinals up 5-0 after six and a half innings.
The bottom of the seventh would see the Brewers threaten after catcher Ted Simmons would drive a ball back up the middle and off of Andujar’s knee. The Cardinal ace would leave the game and the Cardinals would use both Jim Kaat and Doug Blair before turning the game over to Sutter and escaping the inning with no damage after the Brewers loaded the bases with two outs.
The Brewers would get on the board in the eighth inning off of Sutter. After Robin Yount drew a walk, Cecil Cooper would follow with his own home run to right field, a two run shot that would make the score 5-2.
Walks would once again hurt the Brewers in the ninth, however. After George Hendrick had reached on a rare catcher’s interference call and Dane Iorg would hit a ground rule double, Vuckovich would intentionally walk McGee to load the bases and pitch to Ozzie Smith. Sometimes when you have a pitcher issue an intentional walk, however, he struggles to find placement again and Vuckovich walkEd Smith to force in the sixth run for the Cardinals.
As Sutter took the mound to be the finishing touches on the game for the Cardinals, he would work himself into some trouble of his own. Brewers left fielder Ben Oglivie would reach base on an error by Cardinal first baseman Keith Hernandez. Gordon Thomas attempted to pull his team a bit closer but his ball that would have left the park in centerfield was brought back by Willie McGee and turned into a loud and long first out. A strikeout and fly ball later and Sutter would have a save, the Cardinals a 6-2 win, and the comfort of Milwaukee hotels as they looked forward to Game 4.
The Cardinals now lead the series two games to one. Important to note that Sutter got a save in a 6-2 ballgame due to his work in the seventh inning to escape a bases-loaded jam.
Stay tuned as i70baseball brings you game recaps for all seven games of the 1982 World Series on game days of the 2011 National League Championship Series.
Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
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