Just 24 hours after being on the brink of playoff elimination, the Milwaukee Brewers suddenly were one win away from creating the unthinkable – a three-game Bronx sweep and an upset of the all-powerful New York Yankees in the 1981 American League Divisional Series.
Down two games to one, Pete Vukovich and a quartet of relief pitchers found a way to keep Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield and company under wraps long enough for Milwaukee to escape with a 2-1 win to tie up their best-of-five series. Jamie Easterly, Jim Slaton, Bob McClure and Rollie Fingers each mowed down the Yankees, though Fingers faced the hardest of roads in the ninth inning.
Facing two runners on with two outs and Rick Cerone at the plate with a chance to clinch the series, Fingers got Cerone to strike out.
For the second straight time, the Brewers escaped defeat at the hands of the Yankees and got themselves a chance at a miracle series victory, but it was not to be. That scenario would play itself out one year later as the 1982 Brewers won three games in a row to take the American League Championship Series over the California Angels, and a date in their first and, so far, only World Series.