1985 Dodgers - Cardinals: One of the Most Exciting Playoff Games - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

1985 Dodgers - Cardinals: One of the Most Exciting Playoff Games Ever

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The St. Louis Cardinals won their second National League title in four years by beating the Dodgers, 7–5, in one of the most exciting playoff games ever played. The Dodgers returned to Los Angeles trailing three games to two, but comfortable knowing the last two games would be played in Chavez Ravine. For Game 6, it was Hershiser for the Dodgers against Andujar for St. Louis.

WATCH THE HIGHLIGHT: CLICK HERE (10/16/85: Jack Clark puts the Cardinals up in the top of the ninth with a clutch three-run homer.)

Unlike the previous three games, it was the Dodgers and not the Cardinals who got the scoring started quickly when Mariano Duncan's double and Madlock's single put the Dodgers ahead, 1–0. An inning later, a walk to Greg Brock and singles by Hershiser and Duncan scored Brock to give the Dodgers a 2–0 lead.

Both pitchers helped themselves with hits. After Hershiser's single in the second, Andújar led off the third with a double off the wall and scored on Herr's single to cut the lead to 2–1. But Andújar hurt himself with a throwing error in the fifth that put Duncan on base. Duncan promptly stole second and went to third on a ground out by Landreaux. He then scored on Pedro Guerrero's deep fly to center field. Madlock homered for the third time in the series, and the Dodgers led, 4–1.

In the top of the seventh, Darrell Porter singled, as did Tito Landrum. Steve Braun pinch-hit for Andújar and grounded out, but moved the runners to second and third. McGee's single then plated both runners, leading Tommy Lasorda to call on reliever Tom Niedenfuer. Niedenfuer's last pitch had landed in the seats to end Game 5, and the first batter he faced was the same—Ozzie Smith. Ozzie drilled a triple that just barely missed being a second left-handed homer, but Niedenfuer struck out Jack Clark to end the threat. But the Cardinals had now tied the game at four.

In the bottom of the eighth, Mike Marshall lifted a towering fly ball to right off of Todd Worrell. It looked like a routine out, but the wind carried the ball just out of the reach of Andy Van Slyke and behind the wall for a home run. The Dodgers were now just three outs from forcing Game 7.

In the ninth, Niedenfuer struck out César Cedeño, but McGee singled and stole second. With Ozzie Smith's prior success against Niedenfuer—a homer and triple in his last two at-bats—the Dodgers walked Smith and induced a ground out from Tommy Herr. With runners at second and third and two out, the obvious question faced Lasorda: "do you walk Clark to the open first base or do you pitch to him?" Niedenfuer had struck out Clark in the seventh. By contrast, the next two hitters in the Cardinal line-up, Van Slyke and Pendleton, were having miserable series. But Lasorda opted to pitch to Clark, and he drilled Niedenfuer's first fastball 450 feet into the left field stands for a pennant-winning home run. Demoralized, the Dodgers went down in order in the bottom of the ninth, with Pedro Guerrero popping up for the final out.

The Cardinals had won and would face the Kansas City Royals in the World Series.

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