Thursday, August 7, 2014

August 8, 1985 - Tudor Blanks Cubs on One Hit

Thursday, August 8, 1985 - At Busch Stadium II (John Tudor - Starting Pitcher) - Opponent:  Chicago Cubs (Scott Sanderson - Starting Pitcher) - Attendance:  39,203

John Tudor pitched the finest game of his major league career - a one-hit shutout of the Chicago Cubs - and got more than enough offensive support, as the Cardinals cruised to an easy 8-0 win.  Tudor (14-8) allowed just two base runners all night - a two-out fourth-inning walk to Gary Matthews, and a one-out fifth-inning single off the bat of Leon Durham - while striking out six.

In essence, the game was decided just two batters into the game - when Vince Coleman doubled off Cubs starter Scott Sanderson (5-5) - advanced to third when right fielder Keith Moreland misplayed the ball - then scored when Willie McGee singled.

But the Cardinals were far from finished plating first-inning runs.  Tommy Herr then scored McGee with a double to give the Redbirds a 2-0 lead.  After Jack Clark flew out to left field, Andy Van Slyke hit one out to right - the two-run shot gave St Louis a 4-0 lead.  Terry Pendleton then made it 5-0 with another home run - a rare back-to-back power display from a team known for its base stealing prowess - not the long ball.

The Cardinals knocked Sanderson out of the game in the fifth-inning - when Tudor led-off with a triple, then scored on Coleman's single.  The relentless Vincent Van Go immediately stole second, then scored on McGee's single.  That was it for Sanderson - as reliever Warren Brustar came in to pitch to Herr - who singled McGee over to third.  Clark then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to make it an 8-0 game.  At that point, the Cardinal offense took the rest of the night off - joining the Cubs in that capacity - at least for their final three at bats.

The Cardinal win enabled them to remain just a half-game behind the first-place New York Mets - who had already clobbered Montreal by a 14-7 score.  The NL East would be a two-team race for the remainder of the season, as the Cards and Mets jockeyed for the top spot in the division, almost on a daily basis.  In the end, St Louis would prevail, thanks in large part to the exceptional work from their left-handed ace - John Tudor - who had a few more sensational outings in his bag of tricks - although none would quite measure up to the performance he came up with on August 8.

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