Rick Monday 2

The 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers won 29 of their first 40 games only to have some of their momentum stopped by a labor strike that halted baseball from June 12 to August 9. The Dodgers finished the season with 63 wins, which was good for second place in the NL West.

The Dodgers met the Houston Astros in the NLDS and fell behind 2-0 in the series before rattling off three consecutive wins at Dodger Stadium to advance to the NLCS. Up next were the Montreal Expos, who managed to get a split at Chavez Ravine.

The Expos won Game 3 at home to put the Dodgers on the brink of elimination, but they responded with a 7-1 win to force a decided Game 5 on Oct. 19, 1981. The Expos took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, which held until the Dodgers tied the game in the fifth.

With the game still tied and two outs in the ninth inning, Rick Monday hit a solo home run to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead that held in the bottom half of the inning and sent the Dodgers to the World Series.

Monday’s home run came off Steve Rogers, who to that point was 3-0 with a 0.67 ERA in the postseason. The Dodgers then defeated the New York Yankees in six games for their first World Series since 1965.

About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

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