It is a memory that Royals’ fans have been clinging to for the last 25 years and it’s a World Series that Cardinals fans are still blaming Don Denkinger for…The I-70 Series. Royals against the Cardinals. On October 22, 1985, game three took place at Busch Stadium. Below is a recap of that third game. Each day, we’ll recap the seven game series to help replay any memories you may have left over in your mind.
After getting 13 hits in the first two games of the series, the Royals bats came to life in game three of the I-70 series as they pounded out 11 hits in their 6-1 win over the Cardinals in what was a must win situation. After letting a ninth inning lead slip away two nights before in Kansas City, the Royals finally got to Cardinals’ starter Joaquin Andujar in the fourth inning.
The Royals had five hits in the first three innings but couldn’t scratch a run out. A double play ended the first inning and in the third, after a one out single by Lonnie Smith, he was thrown out trying to steal. Then Andujar gave up singles to Willie Wilson, George Brett and a walk to Frank White before striking out right fielder Pat Sheridan…Who? Yes, Pat Sheridan, who played nine MLB seasons and hit .174 in 26 postseason games.
Alright, back to the fourth. Smith hit a two out double that scored Jim Sundberg who led off with a walk and Buddy Biancalana who singled. That gave the Royals a 2-0 lead. They came back with two more in the fifth when White homered after a Brett leadoff single. After that Andujar was done.
White would later drive in Brett in the seventh as the Royals scored two more runs to add insurance in their first win, backing up a solid pitching performance from Brett Saberhagen, who despite the distraction of his pregnant wife who was due with their first child, the second year starter was flashing messages from the team’s bench to his spouse in between innings while pitching a brilliant six hit, eight strikeout performance.
My take on the game. Joaquin Andujar was the 80’s version of the Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano. You never knew what you were going to get from that hot head. He was coming off his second of two 20+ win seasons and while he was spectacular during the Cardinals World Series run in 1982, his act wore thin in the ’85 postseason where he went 0-1 against the Dodgers while allowing ten runs, eight earned and then took the loss in game three by giving up four runs to the Royals. He would come on in game seven and we’ll have more on that later this week.
Cardinals lead the series 2 games to 1.