Sunday, September 22, 2013

September 22,1987: The White Rat's Strategy Pays Off

On September 22, 1987, Whitey Herzog pushed all the right buttons in a 3-2 win over the Phillies at Busch. The skipper made an unusual move in the bottom of the ninth when he removed closer Todd Worrell after the hurler gave up a long ball to Mike Schmidt that brought the Phillies within one run of tying the ballgame. Herzog brought in Ken Dayley to pitch to the hard hitting Von Hayes and moved Worrell to the outfield, after Dayley fanned Hayes, Worrell was moved back to the mound and retired the next two batters to earn his 32nd save of the year. The White Rat said "Todd's become a good outfielder. He shags balls in warm ups everyday. I wouldn't be afraid to put him in center." When Worrell was asked about the move he said It's not surprising because it's happened two times before." He recalled the last time they did it he finished the game in the outfield while Dayley struck Bobby Bonds for the final out of a game in June of the last season. With the Cardinals heading into the final weeks of the season the race was tight and the win gave the Birds a 3 and a 1/2 game lead over the Mets in the National league East and reduced their magic number to 9. The Cardinals skipper did whatever it took to win ballgames, he might have used an unusual strategy but it was an effective strategy that helped the Cardinals add a much needed W to the win column as they held off the Mets to take the division title.

Check out the box score:

Chris Duncan and Anthony Stalter did an interview with Worrell on 101.1 ESPN in July that has the ex Cardinals pitcher  reflect on his days with The White Rat check it out here:

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