Cheap Seats

On this date in Cardinals history, Oct. 22

On this date in 1985, the Cardinals fell flat in game seven of the World Series after their dramatic -- and tainted loss -- to the Royals in game six the night before.

Don Denkinger, who made the most infamous call in World Series history at first base the night before, was behind the plate. And he and St. Louis pitcher John Tudor weren't getting along from the start.

Tudor, who was known throughout his career for his pin-point control, walked four Kansas City hitters in two and a third innings to help the Royals to two in the second inning and three in the third. It was never close as Kansas City won 11-0.

After he was ejected for arguing, Tudor went into the visitors clubhouse and did a little bit of remodeling.

While Denkinger's mistake to call Jorge Orta safe at first base in game six was heartbreaking, his handling of game seven was much more unforgivable. He seemed to be offended that the Redbirds -- correctly -- objected to his call the night before and seemed bent on teaching them a lesson about his authority.

I wonder if Cardinals fans' long-held grudge against the former ump would have lasted so long if he wouldn't have basically given St. Louis pitchers no chance in game seven. Of course, the Birds didn't score a single run. So it's hard to give the umpire all of the blame.

Two years later in 1987 the Cardinals' had a better day against the Twins.

St. Louis scored three runs in the sixth and another in the seventh to beat Minnesota 4-2 in game five of the World Series at Busch Stadium.

Vince Coleman lead off the sixth inning with a single then Ozzie Smith singled on a bunt. Tommy Herr hit a fly ball to left, but the baserunners weren't able to advance. So Coleman and Smith did a double steal to move to second and third. Driessen was intentionally walked then Willie McGee struck out swinging. But Curt Ford saved the rally when he hit a grounder up the middle to drive home Coleman and Smith. The rally was extended when Twins shortstop Greg Gagne made an error that allowed Driessen to score.

Danny Cox allowed five hits and two runs in 7 1/3 innings to beat Burt Blyleven.

The Redbirds, who were without sluggers Jack Clark and Terry Pendleton in the World Series, eventually fell in seven games with Dan Driessen manning first base and Jose Oquendo at the hot corner.