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Top Ten Post-Season Games Since 1977



Just a fun list, really I am doing this on the fly.  Now, I could have gone back to 1974 except I don't really recall much of them aside from Joe Fergueson's great throw in the World Series.

So here we are and don't be surprised if the Dodgers end up winning all of these games.

 

10.  1977 National League Championship Series, best of 5, Game 3, series tied 1-1 aka why Larry Bowa does not speak to Davey Lopes anymore.

I was in high school and this was back in the time when they played games in the day time.  So this game went on during the middle of the day and all I had was our radio (in fact, we even "re-broadcasted" game over the school sound system during lunch that day.

Hooton started that day and was given a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the second.  Now, I did not see it so I can go by written accounts and the radio broadcast but let's just say "Happy" Hooton did not enjoy the next few minutes in Veterans Stadium.  With a runner on first and two out, Hooton gave up a single and then walked the next four batters.  During those walks, Hooton became increasingly more upset with the calls by the umpire and the Phillie fans were booing their displeasure.

Tommy Lasorda, never one to keep a pitcher in too long during the playoffs, removed Hooton for Rick Rhoden who got future HOF Mike Schmidt to pop up to end the threat.

The Dodgers tied the game in the 4th and went to the bottom of the 8th tied at 3.  But then, the bottom of the Phillies' lineup produced again, scoring twice to take a 5-3 lead into the top of the 9th.

Gene Garber quickly got two out but then a player that would probably never be on a 25-man roster today, Vic Davalillo bunted on a 0-2 pitch and beat it out for a base hit.  Manny Mota then came up and again, down to their last strike, Mota hit a drive to left.  Greg Luzinski, went back but could not get there in time.  Luzinski tried to throw out Mota at second but the throw got away allowing Davalillo to score and Mota to make it to third.

And now came the controversial play, lead off man, Davey Lopes hit a hard grounder that caromed off Schmidt's leg but went right to shortstop Larry Bowa.  Bowa threw to first and got Lopes out.  Except that the umpire called Lopes safe and Mota running from third, tied the score at 5.  The replay showed that Lopes was out but as far as the umpires were concerned, he was safe so the game went on.

Garber then made a bad throw to first while trying to hold Lopes on, allowing Lopes to go to second, and then Bill Russell's single scored Lopes to give the Dodgers the lead.

Mike Garman came into the game in the bottom of the 9th and in a bit of irony, hit Luzinski with two out and then Jerry Martin came in to run for Luzinski (many fans felt that Martin should have been in the game in the top of the 9th to play defense for Luzinski).  But then Richie Hebner grounded out to first and the Dodgers took a 2-1 series lead.

This game was 33 years ago but I still remember the excitement of listening to it with a group of friends and somehow feeling a closeness one only gets when rooting for your team with others who are also rooting for them to win.  Also, there was the drama of listening to the game, hearing and visualizing that 9th inning.

The Dodgers went on to win the series the next day and head to the World Series.  But for me, 1977 will always be the combo of Vic and Manny beating the Phillies that beautiful October afternoon.

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