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MLB – 1985 – World Series Game 7 Cards Vs Royals Postgame Show – Al Michaels + Tim McCarver

One night after becoming a father, Bret Saberhagen tossed a five-hitter….while getting all the offense he needed when Darryl Motley homered to left off John Tudor in the second inning with Steve Balboni on 1st after a walk….then In the third inning, Lonnie Smith led off with a walk….and with one out George Brett hit an accidental infield single….when after a double steal….Cards John Tudor issued walks to Frank White and Jim Sundberg, making it 3-0…..as Tudor was replaced with Bill Campbell after only ​2 13 innings….when Balboni singled to left off Campbell for two runs to make it 5-0. Tudor had walked four and was charged with all five runs. 

The Royals blew the game open in the bottom of the fifth. A succession of five Cardinal pitchers allowed six Royals runs….with five coming after two were out. Campbell gave up a single to Jim Sundberg and was immediately replaced by Jeff Lahti….who allowed four runs before being replaced by Ricky Horton.

However, after Horton gave up a single to Brett, Herzog immediately replaced him with the volatile Joaquín Andújar….who was normally a starter….but pressed into relief….as Andújar allowed an RBI single to Frank White to increase the Royals lead to 10–0 before the Cardinals came completely unglued. With Sundberg at the plate, Andújar twice charged home plate umpire Denkinger to disagree with his strike zone….as first, Denkinger called an Andújar pitch a ball….when Herzog, who had been berating Denkinger for most of the game, rushed from the dugout to defend Andújar, and was ejected after saying to Denkinger, “We wouldn’t even be here if you hadn’t missed the f***ing call last night!”.   According to Denkinger, he replied “Well if you guys weren’t hitting .120 in this World Series, we wouldn’t be here.” ….as the next pitch was also called a ball….and that is when Denkinger ejected Andújar…..who had again lost his cool and charged at Denkinger. It took three teammates to restrain him and get him off the field. Replays showed both pitches were clearly inside….and Al Michaels and Jim Palmer both acknowledged the fact.  Andújar was suspended for the first ten games of the 1986 season for his outburst. Although it has been rumored that Herzog sent in Andújar specifically to bait Denkinger….Herzog himself has said several times Andújar was the only pitcher who still had anything left in his arm.

The Royals became the first team ever to win the World Series after dropping Games 1 and 2 at home. Next year the New York Mets accomplished the same feat by defeating the Boston Red Sox in seven games….and in the 1996 World Series, the New York Yankees lost their first two games at home against the defending 1995 World Series champion Atlanta Braves before winning four straight to claim the title. The Royals also were the fifth team to come back from a three games to one deficit to win a best-of-seven World Series….with the others being the 1925 Pittsburgh Pirates, 1958 New York Yankees, 1968 Detroit Tigers, the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates, and the 2016 Chicago Cubs. The ’85 Royals had previously come back from a three games to one deficit to win the American League Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jays. The six elimination games won by the Royals represent a Major League record for a single postseason….which is a record which would later be equaled by the 2012 San Francisco Giants.

The Cardinals’ .185 batting average was the lowest for a seven-game World Series….until the New York Yankees hit .183 in the 2001 World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cardinals also scored only thirteen total runs….which is an all-time low for a seven-game series….while scoring only once in the final 26 innings of the series. If they had held on for the win in Game 6….they still would have been outscored in the series 15–13.

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