By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Oct 18, 2011 at 4:26 PM

The Brewers' trip to the National League Championship Series marked just the fourth postseason appearance in the franchise's 41-season history, including one year as the Seattle Pilots.

Here's a look at the franchise's previous playoff teams.

American League East second-half champions (62-47)

Due to the two-month player's strike, the 1981 season was split into two halves, with the winners of each half facing each other for the right to advance to the League Championship Series.

The Brewers were 31-25, three games behind the Yankees when the strike began but went 31-22 in the second half, finishing a game and a half ahead of the Red Sox and Tigers and advanced to the post-season for the first time in franchise history.

American League Division Series
N.Y. Yankees 3, Brewers 2

In Game 1 at County Stadium, the Yankees tagged Brewers starter for four runs in the fourth inning and went on to a 5-3 victory and Dave Righetti threw a 3-0 shutout against the Brewers and Mike Caldwell in Game 2.

The series moved to the Bronx for the final three games and the Brewers struck first, scoring all of their runs in the final two innings of a 5-3 victory in Game 3. American League MVP Rollie Fingers got the victory over Tommy John.

The Brewers evened the series in Game 4, winning, 2-1, as Pete Vukovich and Fingers held the Yankees to just five hits.

The Yankees advanced to the ALCS by again tagging Hass for four runs in the finale. Milwaukee had a 2-0 lead but Reggie Jackson and Oscar Gamble hit back-to-back home runs to put the Yanks ahead for good.

American League East Champions (95-67)
The chic pick to win the AL East, the Brewers sputtered out of the gate and were 23-24 when manager Buck Rodgers was fired June 1. Hitting coach Harvey Kuenn took over on June 2 and the Brewers went 72-43 the rest of the way but still didn't clinch the division until the final day of the season, when they beat Baltimore 10-2 in a match-up between future Hall of Fame pitchers; Milwaukee's Don Sutton and the Orioles' Jim Palmer.

American League Championship Series
Milwaukee 3, California 2

The Brewers made baseball history, becoming the first team ever to come back from a 2-0 deficit in a five-game series. After being outscored, 12-5, in two games at Anaheim Stadium, the series shifted back to Milwaukee where the Brewers jumped out early for victories in Games 3 and 4 but had to rally in Game 5, taking the lead on Cecil Cooper's two-run single in the eighth inning. Pete Ladd, replacing an injured Rollie Fingers, worked a scoreless ninth to pick up his second save of the series and the Brewers were off to the World Series for the first time in their history.

World Series
St. Louis 4, Milwaukee 3

The "Suds Series," a name given to the Fall Classic due to the tradition of beer production in Milwaukee and St. Louis, was supposed to be a battle between the Brewers' raw power (league-leading 216 home runs) and the Cardinals' speed.

The Brewers opened the Series with a 10-0 drubbing of the Cardinals in Game 1 at Busch Stadium. Paul Molitor set a World Series record with five hits and added two RBI as Mike Caldwell pitched a complete game.

The series evened out from there. The Cardinals evened the series with a 5-4 win in Game 2 and took a 2-1 lead in Game 3, played back at County Stadium. The Brewers won the next two in Milwaukee, erasing a 5-1 Cardinals lead with a six-run seventh inning and Game 4 and holding off a late rally in Game 5 to send the series back to St. Louis needing just one victory to win the title.

Game 6 was a disaster for the Brewers. The Cardinals evened the series in a 13-1 contest that included two rain delays totaling more than two hours. The Cardinals won the championship with a 6-3 victory in Game 7.

National League wild card (90-72)

The Brewers' 26-year postseason drought came to an end in a most unconventional way. Milwaukee made a big splash in early July, trading for former Cy Young Award winner CC Sabathia. The big lefty put on a pitching clinic, going 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA and despite playing just half the season, led the NL with seven complete games.

Even with Sabathia in the rotation, the Brewers blew a substantial lead in the National League wild card race with a dismal showing in early September that led to the firing of manager Ned Yost with 12 games to play.

Under interim manager Dale Sveum, the team finished 7-5 down the stretch and clinched a tie for the wild card on the final day of the season with a 3-1 victory over the Cubs – another Sabathia complete game. About an hour later, Florida beat the Mets, making the Brewers were officially playoff-bound for the first time since 1982.

National League Division Series
Philadelphia 3, Milwaukee 1
After making just one start since returning from the disabled list in late September (torn ACL), Yovani Gallardo was the Game 1 starter at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. He put forth a respectable effort, but the Brewers bats couldn't back him up in a 3-1 loss.

Sabathia took the ball in Game 2, his fourth consecutive start on three-days' rest but his magic ran out, and a second-inning grand slam by Shane Victorino. He lasted just 3.2 innings and the Brewers lost, 5-2.


Dave Bush came through for Milwaukee in Game 3, holding Philadelphia to one run in the Brewers' 4-1 victory, staving off elimination in the first-ever postseason game at Miller Park. But Jeff Suppan was dreadful in Game 4, allowing a leadoff home run to Jimmy Rollins, then giving up homers in the third inning as the Brewers' season came to an end with a 6-2 loss.

National League Central Champions (96-66)
The Brewers won their first division title since 1982, with a completely revamped pitching staff that included former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke, along with Shaun Marcum and Yovani Gallardo. After a slow start, the Brewers got hot in late April and stormed up the NL Central ladder. After picking up Francisco Rodriguez from the Mets at the All-Star Break, the Brewers got hot again and held a 10.5-game lead over the Cardinals on Aug. 25.

The Brewers clinched the division on Sept. 23 with a 4-1 victory over Florida at Miller Park. They had to wait about an hour for it to become official, and once the Cubs beat the Cardinals, the champagne started flowing in Milwaukee.

On the final day of the season, the Brewers clinched the second-best record and home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

National League Division Series
Brewers 3, Diamondbacks 2
Yovani Gallardo was again the Game 1 starter and he was spectacular on the mound, holding Arizona to just one run in eight innings as the Brewers won, 4-1. They took a 2-0 lead with a 9-4 victory in Game 2 but Shaun Marcum and Randy Wolf prevented a sweep or clinch in the desert, sending the series back to Milwaukee for a winner-take-all Game 5.

With Gallardo back on the mound against Arizona's ace, Ian Kennedy, the Brewers went to extra innings when John Axford blew his first save since April 18. But after Axford came back to pitch a perfect 10th, the Brewers won the series and advanced to the NLCS on Nyjer Morgan's RBI single, scoring Carlos Gomez.

National League Championship Series
Cardinals 4, Brewers 2
In a rematch of the '82 World Series, the Brewers used a six-run fifth inning to erase a big deficit and take a 1-0 lead with a 9-6 victory. The Cardinals, though, jumped all over Shaun Marcum in Game 2, evening the series by whipping the Brewers, 12-3.

The series shifted to St. Louis for Game 3 and again, the Cardinals scored first and the Brewers couldn't touch their bullpen in a 4-3 victory. Randy Wolf took the mound in Game 4 and pitched seven strong innings, allowing just two solo home runs, as the Brewers drew even with a 4-2 victory.

Game 5 was a defensive disaster for Milwaukee, which was charged with four errors in a 7-1 loss at Busch Stadium and sending the series back to Milwaukee with the Cardinals leading, 3-2.

Despite his struggles, Marcum was the starter in Game 6 but he lasted just one inning after allowing four runs in the first. The Brewers rallied and trailed, 5-4, when Chris Narveson imploded in the third. Milwaukee never recovered and the Cardinals cruised to a 12-6 victory and won the National League pennant for the third time in eight years.