Thursday, September 19, 2013

September 19, 1980: Hendrick Completes The Rally

On September 19, 1980, the Cardinals pulled off an exciting comeback 9-8 win over the Expos at Busch. It was a tight battle between the clubs until the top of the seventh inning when Expo catcher Gary Carter hit a grand slam that opened up a 7-2 lead for the club from Montreal. The Cards came out in the bottom of the seventh and cut the lead to 7-6 on six singles and a groundout before the Birds tied it up on a throwing error by backup third baseman Ken Macha. The Cardinals momentum didn't last long, Ellis Valentine brought in the go ahead run with a sac fly in the top of the ninth and once again it was looking like the Expos might get out of there with a W. The men on that Cardinals bench had other ideas. Garry Templeton began the ninth with a quick groundout before Keith Hernandez and Ted Simmons hit back-to-back singles that put the winning run at first base. With George Hendrick coming to the dish Bobby Bonds was sent in to pinch run for Simmons as the Birds had victory on the horizon. Hendrick found himself in an 0-2 hole after fouling off the first three pitches, then he got the pitch he was waiting for and smashed a double into the left center gap that brought Hernandez and Bonds flying into score to win  it in walkoff fashion. While the Cardinals had found themselves out of the race late in the '80 season they still played to win and on this day they were the spoiler. The Expos were in the middle of a heated race between them and the Phillies for the National League East title. They would lose that race by one game which eliminated them from the playoffs. The Phillies went onto win the World Series while the Expos club could only wonder what might have been.

Check out the box score:

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