Paul Molitor was a standout on a loaded 1982 Brewers team. By the final week of the season, they had pulled ahead of Baltimore by four games — with five left to play.
And then things got dicey. The Brewers lost at Boston on a Thursday. Baltimore won, cutting the lead to three games.
Milwaukee then had to go to Baltimore for a four-game season-closing series spanning three days. The Brewers were swept in a doubleheader Friday, cutting their lead to one game. They were blown out Saturday, putting the teams into a tie going into Sunday's finale — a matchup of future Hall of Fame pitchers: Don Sutton for the Brewers vs. Jim Palmer of the Orioles.
In that finale, Milwaukee's bats finally woke from their slumber. Sutton pitched eight strong innings. The Brewers won 10-2, giving them a record of 97-65 and the AL East title. They ended up reaching the World Series, where they lost to the Cardinals in seven games.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.