The Los Angeles Dodgers, after losing the first two on the road, being down two games to none, and with game three at home in L.A., the series rests on the shoulders – and arm – of a rookie phenom pitcher. After both the Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros were dispatched in the League Championship Series, the Dodgers look to regain some much needed footing in the best of seven.
Sound familiar? This isn’t the 2018 Dodgers I am speaking of, but instead, the 1981 boys in blue. They were down 0-2 to the Yankees, and instead of sending rookie Walker Buehler to the bump, the rookie rock star, Fernando Valenzuela, went to the mound. The Brewers and Astros were in opposite leagues back then, Houston in the N.L. and the Brewers in the A.L., and both were dismissed in the round prior to the World Series.
These two seasons have a lot in common, so have just a little faith in Dave Roberts and dem Bums. In 1981, they won all three at home by a combined three runs, and won game six going away, 9-2. While the 1981 Yankees are not these 2018 Boston Red Sox, there is some hope to be had. The Dodgers will have their heavy left-handed hitters in the lineup, they are playing at home, and the Red Sox might be down their own superstar in J.D. Martinez due to an ankle injury. Which, coincidently, the ‘81 Yankees had to sit their superstar Reggie Jackson due to a leg injury for game three – but also the first two games of the series, so it’s not a perfect parallel.
This Dodgers team has done nothing easy all year. They have played in nearly every possible game in 2018. If you include game 163, and after dismissing the Atlanta Braves in four games, they have tallied the maximum amount of games needed to get to this point. “Playoff mode” is something they have been in since August. Nothing is going to change that now.
No one is debating how stacked this Red Sox team is, and how overmatched the Dodgers have looked so far, but a quick history lesson might lend itself to providing a small bit of hope. Perhaps, we all just needed to be reminded this is Hollywood. These things can, and in the case of 1981, do happen. Maybe, just maybe, this is the sequel, thirty-seven years later.