Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 1, 1987: The Cardinals Clinch The N.L. East

On October 1, 1987, with 48,763 in the stands at Busch, the Cardinals clinched the National League East Pennant with an 8-2 win over the Montreal Expos. Danny Cox delivered a playoff worthy performance as he allowed just 5 hits while Dan Driessen came up big with 3 RBIs. The win helped the Cardinals avoid the defending champion New York Mets who had at least a dozen players in the stands at Busch as they were set to begin a three game set against the Birds the following night. In late July, the Cardinals were up by 10 games in the standings, as the end of the season approached the Mets had closed that gap and if the Cardinals would have lost that game against Montreal a sweep could have forced a one game playoff to decide the winner of the division. It was something that every player on that Cardinals roster wanted to avoid, so they went out there and got the job done. The Expos tallied a run in the first on an RBI from Tim Wallach then Tony Pena knocked in a run in the third to knot things up at 1. Driessen, who was only playing for an injured Jack Clark, plated two runs with a double in the fourth. It was all Cardinals from there. They added 5 more runs in the seventh with Driessen picking up his third ribbie of the day with a sac fly. With one out in the ninth, Cox did give up a big fly to Tim Wallach before setting the next two men down to secure the division title. With some of the Mets players in the stands it made it that much more sweet of a victory for a lot of the Cardinals players who had been trading barbs with the Mets players. "That was a great way to win" Ozzie Smith said "They died a slow death and had to watch."

Check out the box score: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SLN/SLN198710010.shtml

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