With Game 1 of the NLDS set to start tonight, our Dodgers playoff moment takes us back to the 1981 NLDS and a winner-take-all matchup between the Dodgers and Astros.
After four games in the series, the Dodgers and Houston Astros were tied at two games apiece. Game 5 was scheduled on a Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers sent out left-hander Jerry Reuss and the Astros sent right-handed flame thrower Nolan Ryan. Reuss had previously thrown nine innings of shutout ball in Game 2, but received no run support and the Dodgers went on to lose in 11 innings. Ryan had thrown a complete game, two-hitter in Game 1 and had his chance to do it again.
The game was a scoreless pitchers’ duel until the bottom of the sixth when Rick Monday hit a RBI single to score Dusty Baker. The Dodgers would end up getting two more runs in the inning and chased Ryan from the game.
Reuss continued his gem and ended with a complete game shutout to clinch the series for the Dodgers. Reuss allowed five hits and struck out four Astros and increased his scoreless inning streak to 18 in the series.
After beating the Astros, the Dodgers went on to beat the Expos in the NLCS and faced the Yankees again in the World Series. The Dodgers would go on and beat them in six games for their fifth World Series championship.
Here’s video of Reuss beating Ryan in Game 5 in 1981: