It’s Saturday night, later than I usually put these posts together, and I don’t really have the time to do a lot. I should be figuring out the 10 people I left off of yesterday’s post, since I apparently have trouble with numbers, but I’ll mess with that later. Let’s take the cheap way out and find a boxscore to talk about. We’ve done 1996, 2004, and 2007. Let’s pick one of those great ’80s teams this time, shall we? What happened in the game on this date in 1987?
The Cards were cruising by this point in the season, up 5.5 games in the NL East. Montreal was seven games behind them and on this day hosted the Runnin’ Redbirds. Lineups, please, for this north of the border skirmish…..
|Vince Coleman LF||1||Casey Candaele 2B|
|Ozzie Smith SS||2||Mitch Webster RF|
|Tom Herr 2B||3||Tim Raines LF|
|Jack Clark 1B||4||Tim Wallach 3B|
|Willie McGee CF||5||Hubie Brooks SS|
|Terry Pendleton 3B||6||Andres Galarraga 1B|
|Jose Oquendo RF||7||Herm Winningham CF|
|Steve Lake C||8||Mike Fitzgerald C|
|Lee Tunnell P||9||Neal Heaton P|
Boy, that lineup–at least the first six and maybe all the way through seven–was pretty much what any child of the ’80s could recite. On the other side, you had a Hall of Famer (eventually) in Raines and a future Cardinal in Galarraga, even though his one year in St. Louis was injury plagued. (Always loved The Big Cat, though, even when he was an Expo.)
The Cards went quietly in the first, with only Herr’s single marring Heaton’s frame. Tunnell wasn’t as lucky, however. Candaele walked and Webster beat out a bunt. A walk to Raines meant the bases were loaded with nobody out, not exactly what you are looking for in the beginning of a ballgame. Tunnell limited the damage, however. Wallach flew out, which brought in Candaele, but then Brooks hit a fly ball to McGee, who gunned out Webster (who had moved up on Wallach’s sac fly) at the plate to keep the score 1-0.
Nothing doing for either side in the second and the Cards stayed quiet in the top of the third as well. The Expos added to their lead in the bottom of the frame, though, on a one-out triple by Webster and a groundout by Raines. 2-0 Expos after three.
St. Louis finally showed some life in the top of the fourth. Ozzie singled and so did Herr, putting runners on the corners with nobody out. Some of that famed basepath management there! Clark then hit a grounder to Wallach, but he was unable to get Herr at second, which loaded up the bases with nobody out. Somehow, that’s much better to see when it’s your team, right? And unlike the Cardinals of recent vintage, these guys capitalized. McGee doubled, plating Smith and Herr to tie the game. Pendleton struck out to make the first out of the inning and, given who was behind him, Montreal decided to walk Oquendo to load the bases. It mainly worked, but Lake’s fly out brought in Clark and put the Cards on top before Tunnell struck out to end the inning.
The lead was short-lived, however. Brooks singled to lead off the bottom of the fourth and Galarraga doubled him over to third. Winningham walked, giving us our third bases-loaded, nobody-out situation of the first four innings. Tunnell looked like he might start getting out of it when Fitzgerald popped a foul ball over toward Clark, but the first baseman muffed it. Given new life, Fitzgerald then cleared the bases with a double, putting Montreal back on top 5-3. That was all for Tunnell, who gave way to Pat Perry. Perry stranded Fitzgerald with a pop to short, a fly to right, and foul out to third.
Back came the Cardinals in the fifth. Coleman and Smith were retired, but Herr got his third single of the game. That brought up Clark, one of the only real home run threats the Cards had. Clark lived up to that billing, smashing a two-run shot to left, bringing the score even at 5.
Perry was able to keep the Expos at bay in the bottom of the fifth and the Expos went to their bullpen, bringing in Andy McGaffigan for the sixth. With one out, Oquendo drew an unintentional walk. With the runner going, Lake grounded to third. Oquendo didn’t stop, going from first to third on the putout. That became big when John Morris, pinch-hitting for Perry, singled, making the score 6-5.
Again, though, the lead didn’t last. Bill Dawley took the mound and gave up a double to Galarraga to lead off the bottom of the inning. Winningham grounded out, moving him over to third. Fitzgerald then singled, tying the game up at 6. Tom Foley then pinch-hit for McGaffigan. While he was batting, Fitzgerald tried to steal second but trying to steal second? Steveada ya mind. (Yeah, that doesn’t work.) Lake caught him stealing and then Foley struck out, ending the frame.
Then things settled down. Tim Burke came in for the seventh and allowed a Coleman single to lead things off and compounded that by allowing Vincent Van Go to take second. Ozzie, Herr, and Clark couldn’t get him in, though. Dawley was much stronger in the bottom of the seventh, working around a single, a steal, and an intentional pass to keep the game knotted.
Burke walked McGee to start the eighth and Pendleton sacrificed him over to second in a sentence that seems very, very painful today. Your sixth place hitter bunting? Oh, Whitey. It didn’t work either as Oquendo lined out and Rod Booker, pinch-hitting for Lake, grounded out. Whitey juggled things in the bottom of the inning, bringing in Todd Worrell to pitch and bat eighth, Tony Pena to catch and bat seventh in Oquendo’s spot, and Curt Ford to play right and bat ninth. Worrell did what you’d expect Worrell to do, getting Galarraga to foul out then striking out the next two.
On to the ninth we go, but no resolution was found here. The Expos replaced catchers, bringing in Jeff Reed, but Burke stayed in to pitch. Ford led off and hit a fly ball to center. Winningham couldn’t catch it, though, and Ford wound up on second on the error. Coleman bunted him over–leadoff guy bunting, sigh, but then again Coleman wasn’t much besides the speed–but Ozzie grounded out and Herr was finally retired.
Worrell stayed in for the bottom of the ninth and got into trouble early as Wallace Johnson, pinch-hitting for Burke, doubled to lead things off. Again in typical ’80s fashion (though it might be more understandable with a tie game in the bottom of the ninth), Candaele (again, leadoff hitter) bunted him to third. Worrell and Herzog got a little cute, however, intentionally passing Webster and Raines to load the bases. It worked out, though, as Wallach and Brooks both struck out.
Extra baseball, then! The Expos made moves in the top of the 10th, putting Jeff Parrett in to pitch and bat fifth, Vance Law to come in to play second and bat ninth, and Candaele moved over to cover short. Folks, I tell you, we are going to miss a lot of this with the DH. But you know what I think about that. Clark walked and McGee singled, so St. Louis had first and second with nobody out. Pendleton then hit a rocket–but right at Galarraga, who doubled up McGee unassisted. Pena was intentionally walked and Tito Landrum, who hit for Worrell, struck out.
Ken Dayley was the fifth pitcher of the night for St. Louis and did his job in the 10th. He allowed a one-out single to Willingham, but that was all, and the game remained tied going to the 11th. Thank goodness they didn’t have those extra runners on second.
The game was decided in the 11th in classic Whiteyball fashion. Ford doubled cleanly this time to start things off and Coleman, again, bunted him over to third. Ozzie Smith then came to the plate in the middle of a season that should have seen him named MVP. (I still hold a grudge about the fact Andre Dawson won it for the last place Cubs.) Herzog called for the squeeze play and Smith worked it to perfection, getting Ford in and giving the Cardinals a 7-6 lead.
All that remained was for Dayley to lock it down. He made it a bit interesting by walking Candaele to start the inning, but got Webster and Raines to fly out and Wallach to foul out, bringing home win #45 for the club and stretching their lead out to 6.5 games. Just another classic Cardinal win!