al campanis was busy breaking up that team of mine, the 1977 and 1978 dodgers who were featured as dodgers in the 1978 topps set. here's a rundown on who was gone, and thus did not win a ring in 1981.
his lone alds start against the brewers resulted in a loss, but he later won game 1 of the alcs against the a's. he was also victorious in game 2 of the world series against the dodgers, pitching 7 shutout innings en route to a 3-0 yankee victory. a few days later, in game 4 of the series, john was called in from the bullpen, and while he did not allow any runs of his own, he did allow two inherited runners to score, including the eventual game winning run in the dodgers' 8-7 victory.
john's last start of the series came in the decisive game 6. he had allowed one run through 4 innings, but with two on and two out in a game tied at one run apiece, manager bob lemon chose to pinch hit for john. burt hooton got bobby murcer to fly out to right, and the dodgers went on to score 3 runs off of reliever george frazier in the top of the 5th, essentially clinching their first world series championship since 1965. it was a good example of the difference between managing in the american league versus the national league where you have to consider the pitcher's spot. so, i guess i am thankful of the rules back then that alternated the dh rule by year, not by stadium.
unfortunately for dougie, the last pitch he threw as a major leaguer was hit by barry bonnell for a three-run homer. it's pretty fortuitous that topps got a photo of rau in an angels uniform, given that he didn't sign with them until after the season had started, and he was only on their active roster for a month or so.
rhoden had his worst outing of the season on august 26 against the dodgers, when he was tagged for 11 runs in 5+ innings of work. in that game, rhoden only allowed three extra base hits (all doubles), but gave up 12 hits and 3 walks overall. i must point out that steve garvey drove in 5 runs that day - the first time that had happened since 1977.
and, finally, i am sad to report, that don sutton was not able to enjoy the fruits of victory with the dodgers in 1981.
and don't worry, i'll address sutton's preference for the kneeling pose in a future post. anyway, sutton made 23 starts for houston in 1981. he went 11-9 with a 2.61 era, good for 9th in the league. he did lead nl pitchers in whip for a second straight season and the fourth time in his career, however. sutton completed 6 of his starts, and three of those were shutouts.
sutton's first start as an astro came against, who else, the dodgers. and, while he lost that start and his next start against the blue, he twirled a 2-hitter against them in september, winning 4-1 while striking out 9. one of those two hits was steve sax's second career homer, and the other was a 7th inning single by ken landreaux to break up sutton's bid for a no-hitter. unfortunately for the astros, sutton didn't get a chance to face the dodgers in the postseason, as an injury suffered near the end of the regular season prevented him from pitching in the nlds.
next up, the guys who finally beat the yankees.