Friday, September 26, 2014

September 26, 1985 - Tudor Blanks Phillies, 5-0 - Notches 20th Win

Thursday, September 26, 1985 - At Busch Stadium II (John Tudor - Starting Pitcher) - Opponent:  Philadelphia Phillies (Kevin Gross - Starting Pitcher) - Attendance:  23,598

The Cardinals completed a perfect 7-0 home-stand with a 5-0 win over the Phillies, as John Tudor went the distance - allowing just four hits to notch his twentieth win of the season.  Most importantly, the Cardinals (97-56) maintained their four game lead over the New York Mets (93-60) - as their ace - Dwight Gooden - tossed a shutout of his own - blanking the Cubs at Wrigley Field by a 3-0 score.

Tudor, who didn't walk a batter, had little trouble keeping the Phillies off the bases - aside from right fielder Glenn Wilson, who was three for three (two singles and a double).  The only other hit Tudor surrendered to anyone not named Glenn didn't happen until the ninth-inning - when third baseman Rick Schu singled.  By that time, the Redbirds had already built-up a 5-0 lead - scoring in a variety of ways - just not hitting any home runs.

Their first run came in the second-inning when Terry Pendleton - batting with Andy Van Slyke on first and Darrell Porter on third - grounded into a 6-4-3 double play while Porter scored.

Porter started a two-out fourth-inning rally with a base on balls.  Then, with Van Slyke batting, Porter surprised everyone by stealing second.  Van Slyke also drew a free pass, then both runners scored on Pendleton's triple.

Strangely enough, the fastest man in baseball - Vince Coleman also grounded into a 6-4-3 double play in the fifth-inning, with John Tudor on first and Ozzie Smith on second.  Ozzie advanced to third on the play, and scored when Willie McGee singled.  After Phillies starter Kevin Gross (14-12) retired the side, his night was over after five innings - allowing four runs on four hits and three walks.

In the sixth, with goofball Larry Andersen working in relief, Porter started another rally by getting hit with a pitch - although Van Slyke forced him at second on a ground ball to first baseman Mike Schmidt.  With Pendleton batting, Van Slyke decided the best way to atone for failing to advance Porter was to steal second - just like Porter.  Pendleton then singled him over to third, which gave the Cards the chance to execute a double steal while Ozzie was taking his turn at bat.  It worked to perfection - as Pendleton swiped second, Van Slyke made a mad dash for home - and made it, easily.

A double play, a two-run triple, a two-out single and a steal of home - that's a typical Cardinal run-scoring formula for manufacturing runs.

Tonight, with Tudor's performance, that second-inning double play grounder was all the run support needed to put this one in the "win" column.

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