1981 World Series Replay Game 3: Can You Hear the Drums, Fernando?

After two exciting games in the Bronx in my 1981 World Series APBA replay, the scene shifted to Dodger Stadium, where LA had won six of their last eight going back to the end of the strike-interrupted regular season and 37 of 61 games overall. As if the excitement of the first World Series at Chavez Ravine since 1978 wasn’t enough, the Dodger faithful would be cheering on the electrifying lefthanded rookie, Fernando Valenzuela, who went 7-2 with a 1.57 ERA at home. Here is the story of Game Three:

Fernandomania at Fever Pitch, Dodgers Take 2-1 Series Lead

LOS ANGELES (October 23, 1981) – Rookie sensation Fernando Valenzuela pitched a complete game two-hitter, and Ron Cey and Rick Monday hit home runs Friday night at Dodger Stadium, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 5-2 win over the New York Yankees and a 2-1 lead in the 1981 World Series.

Valenzuela, who set the baseball world on fire with a 13-7 record in the strike-shortened season, allowed a leadoff double to Willie Randolph and a sixth-inning home run to Dave Winfield, but was in command otherwise. The lefthander struck out eight and improved to 3-1 in the postseason.

Winfield’s sacrifice fly in the top of the first scored Randolph to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead, but the Dodgers answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Bill Russell walked with one out and scored on Dusty Baker‘s double down the first base line. One out later, Cey homered to deep center to give Los Angeles a 3-1 lead and all the runs Valenzuela would need.

Despite allowing leadoff walks in the second and fourth, Valenzuela escaped unscathed until allowing Winfield’s home run to right with one out in the sixth. But Monday’s two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the inning made it 5-2 and Valenzuela did the rest, retiring nine of the final ten hitters, four on strikeouts.

New York will try to even the series Saturday night (8 pm, ABC) when they send veteran Rick Reuschel to the mound against LA’s 24-year-old righthander, Bob Welch. Reuschel, who went 4-4 with a 2.67 ERA for New York after coming over from the Cubs in a June trade, lost to the Brewers in his only postseason start thus far. Welch will be making his first career postseason start after coming out of the bullpen four times in this year’s playoffs and four times in 1978.

1981 WORLD SERIES GAME THREE
At Dodger Stadium

1981 Los Angeles Dodgers 5, 1981 New York Yankees 2
Friday, October 23, 1981

1981 New York Yankees (1-2)                              1981 Los Angeles Dodgers (2-1)                          
Player          AB R  H BI BB SO  P  A  E LOB   Ave      Player          AB R  H BI BB SO  P  A  E LOB   Ave      
------          -- -  - -- -- --  -  -  - ---   ---      ------          -- -  - -- -- --  -  -  - ---   ---      
Randolph 2b     3  1  1  0  1  0  3  2  0  0   .182      Lopes 2b        4  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  1   .000
Mumphrey cf     4  0  0  0  0  1  1  0  0  0   .000      Russell ss      2  1  0  0  2  1  2  2  0  0   .300
 LaRoche p      0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0   .000      Baker lf        3  1  1  1  1  1  2  0  0  0   .167
Winfield lf     3  1  1  2  0  2  4  0  0  1   .400      Garvey 1b       4  0  0  0  0  0  3  3  0  0   .154
Piniella rf     3  0  0  0  1  1  1  0  0  0   .167      Cey 3b          4  2  2  2  0  2  1  0  1  1   .500
Watson 1b       3  0  0  0  1  1  7  0  0  0   .091      Guerrero cf     2  0  0  0  1  1  4  0  0  0   .100
Cerone c        4  0  0  0  0  0  7  0  0  1   .000      Monday rf       3  1  2  2  0  0  3  0  0  0   .500
Rodriguez 3b    3  0  0  0  0  2  0  2  0  1   .000      Yeager c        3  0  0  0  0  1  8  0  0  0   .100
Milbourne ss    3  0  0  0  0  0  1  5  0  1   .364      Valenzuela p    3  0  1  0  0  1  4  1  0  1   .333
Righetti p      2  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0  0   .000
 Gamble ph cf   1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0   .000
                -- -  - -- -- -- -- -- -- ---                            -- -  - -- -- -- -- -- -- ---            
Totals          29 2  2  2  3  8  24 9  0  4             Totals          28 5  6  5  4  7  27 6  2  3  

                                 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9      R  H  E
                                 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -      -  -  -
1981 New York Yankees            1  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0      2  2  0  
1981 Los Angeles Dodgers         3  0  0  0  0  2  0  0  x      5  6  2  
E- Cey(1), Lopes(3)
LOB- 1981 New York Yankees 4, 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers 3
2B- Randolph(1), Baker(1)
HR- Winfield(2), Cey(1), Monday(1)
RBI- Winfield 2(3), Baker(1), Cey 2(2), Monday 2(3)
SF- Winfield(1)
GIDP- Garvey(1), Lopes(1)
RLSP- Rodriguez, Winfield, Cey, Valenzuela  
DP- 1981 New York Yankees 2, 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers 1
 
1981 New York Yankees               IP   H  R  ER BB SO    ERA
Righetti(L 0-1)                     7.0  6  5  5  4  5    6.43  
LaRoche                             1.0  0  0  0  0  2    0.00  
 
1981 Los Angeles Dodgers            IP   H  R  ER BB SO    ERA
Valenzuela(W 1-0)                   9.0  2  2  2  3  8    2.00  
 
Batters faced- Righetti 29, LaRoche 3, Valenzuela 33
Umpires- Cooney, Harvey, Garcia, Stello, Barnett, Colosi
T - :18 

Kenn Tomasch

Kenn Tomasch

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