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West Division

East Division

Series Wrapup

Story

The Los Angeles Dodgers used their exceptional pitching to capture the N.L. West title in 1985, finishing the year with a record of 95-67, 5 ½ games ahead of the second-place Cincinnati Reds.  Featuring an outstanding trio of starters, the Dodger pitching staff led the league with a team ERA of 2.96.  Orel Hershiser served as the ace of the staff, compiling a record of 19-3 and a 2.03 ERA.  Fernando Valenzuela finished 17-10, with a 2.45 ERA and a team-leading 14 complete games, 272 innings pitched, and 208 strikeouts.  Bob Welch went 14-4 with a 2.31 ERA.  

While pitching proved to be the Dodgers’ greatest strength over the course of the season, they also finished a respectable fifth in the league with 682 runs scored.  Pedro Guerrero and Mike Marshall supplied much of the power on offense, combining to hit a total of 61 home runs.  Guerrero knocked in 87 runs and led the club with 33 homers, 99 runs scored, and a .320 batting average.  Marshall added 28 round-trippers, a .293 batting average, and a team-leading 95 runs batted in.  Meanwhile, Steve Sax and Mariano Duncan provided speed at the top of the lineup, stealing 27 and 38 bases, respectively.

Although Los Angeles finished first in the West, the division’s two best players performed for other teams.  Dale Murphy had an outstanding year for the fifth-place Braves, who finished 29 games behind the Dodgers in the standings.  Murphy knocked in 111 runs, batted .300, and led the league with 37 home runs and 118 runs scored.  Dave Parker posted equally impressive numbers for the runner-up Reds, hitting 34 homers, batting .312, scoring 88 runs, collecting 198 hits, and topping the circuit with 125 runs batted in, 42 doubles, and 350 total bases.  He finished second in the N.L. MVP voting.  

Nevertheless, most of the excitement in the senior circuit in 1985 came out of the N.L. East, where the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets spent the entire year battling for supremacy.  The Cardinals finally clinched the division title in the season’s final days, concluding the campaign with a record of 101-61, three games ahead of the Mets.  Both teams had outstanding pitching, but the Cardinals eventually came out on top because of their superior run-production and team speed.  Although the Cardinals finished next-to-last in the league with only 87 home runs, they led the N.L. with 747 runs scored, a .264 team batting average, and 314 stolen bases.  St. Louis also finished second in the circuit with a team ERA of 3.10.  

Joaquin Andujar and John Tudor anchored the St. Louis starting rotation.  Andujar finished 21-12 and threw 270 innings.  Tudor compiled a record of 21-8, placed second in the league with a 1.93 ERA, 14 complete games, and 275 innings pitched, and led all N.L. hurlers with 10 shutouts.  Danny Cox gave the Cardinals a third solid starter, going 18-9 with a 2.88 ERA.

The Cardinals' speedy lineup featured N.L. Rookie of the Year Vince Coleman in the leadoff spot.  Coleman scored 107 runs and led the league with 110 stolen bases.  Second baseman Tommy Herr had a career-year, knocking in 110 runs, scoring 97 others, and batting .302.  Jack Clark provided what little power there was, leading the team with 22 home runs and 87 runs batted in, while batting .281.  Willie McGee earned N.L. MVP honors by stealing 56 bases and topping the circuit with a .353 batting average, 216 hits, and 18 triples.  

Although the Mets came up a bit short in their quest to capture their first division title in a dozen years, they featured baseball’s most exciting pitcher in Dwight Gooden.  The 20-year-old right-hander led all National League hurlers with a record of 24-4, an ERA of 1.53, 268 strikeouts, 16 complete games, and 277 innings pitched, en route to earning Cy Young honors and a fourth-place finish in the MVP balloting.  Meanwhile, Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter, and Darryl Strawberry paced New York on offense.  Hernandez knocked in 91 runs and batted .309.  Carter batted .281 and led the team with 32 home runs and 100 runs batted in.  In only 111 games and 393 official at-bats, Strawberry hit 29 home runs, drove in 79 runs, and scored another 78.

The National League Championship Series, which St. Louis won in six games, provided a considerable amount of drama.  After the Cardinals and Dodgers split the first four contests, Ozzie Smith hit his first career home run from the left side of the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game Five to give his club a 3-2 win.  Jack Clark served as the hero of Game Six, hitting a three-run homer off Tom Niedenfuer in the top of the ninth inning to give the Cardinals a 7-5 victory that put them in the World Series.   

The Cardinals appeared to be well on their way to winning their second world championship in four years when they took a three-games-to-one lead against the Kansas City Royals in the World Series.  However, aided by a blown call by the first base umpire in the ninth inning of Game Six, the Royals rallied to win the final three contests.  The Cardinals subsequently fell apart in Game Seven, dropping an 11-0 decision to their interstate rivals.

Other outstanding performers, notable events, and points of interest from around the league follow:

• July 2 - Pitcher Joe Niekro of the Houston Astros won his 200th career game, 3–2 over the San Diego Padres, allowing the Niekro brothers (Joe and Phil) to join Jim and Gaylord Perry as the only pitching brother combinations to each win at least 200 games.

• July 11 - The Houston Astros' Nolan Ryan became the first pitcher to record 4,000 strikeouts.

• September 11 – Pete Rose collected his 4,192nd career hit, surpassing Ty Cobb as major league baseball’s all-time hits leader.

• Montreal’s Tim Raines finished second in the league with a .320 batting average, 115 runs scored, and 70 stolen bases.

• Steve Garvey's record streak of 193 consecutive errorless games came to an end.

• Larry Bowa retired with the record for highest career fielding average by a shortstop (.980).

• Cincinnati auto dealer Marge Schott became principal owner of the Reds.

• Andy Hawkins set a Padres record when he won 15 consecutive games.

• Montreal’s Jeff Reardon led the league with 41 saves.

• The National League won the All-Star Game 6-1 at the Metrodome, giving the senior circuit 21 wins in the last 23 meetings between the two leagues.  

Seasons of the National League

1876 · 1877 · 1878 · 1879 · 1880 · 1881 · 1882 · 1883 · 1884 · 1885 · 1886 · 1887 · 1888 · 1889 · 1890 · 1891 · 1892 · 1893 · 1894 · 1895 · 1896 · 1897 · 1898 · 1899 · 1900 · 1901 · 1902 · 1903 · 1904 · 1905 · 1906 · 1907 · 1908 · 1909 · 1910 · 1911 · 1912 · 1913 · 1914 · 1915 · 1916 · 1917 · 1918 · 1919 · 1920 · 1921 · 1922 · 1923 · 1924 · 1925 · 1926 · 1927 · 1928 · 1929 · 1930 · 1931 · 1932 · 1933 · 1934 · 1935 · 1936 · 1937 · 1938 · 1939 · 1940 · 1941 · 1942 · 1943 · 1944 · 1945 · 1946 · 1947 · 1948 · 1949 · 1950 · 1951 · 1952 · 1953 · 1954 · 1955 · 1956 · 1957 · 1958 · 1959 · 1960 · 1961 · 1962 · 1963 · 1964 · 1965 · 1966 · 1967 · 1968 · 1969 · 1970 · 1971 · 1972 · 1973 · 1974 · 1975 · 1976 · 1977 · 1978 · 1979 · 1980 · 1981 · 1982 · 1983 · 1984 · 1985 · 1986 · 1987 · 1988 · 1989 · 1990 · 1991 · 1992 · 1993 · 1994 · 1995 · 1996 · 1997 · 1998 · 1999 · 2000 · 2001 · 2002 · 2003 · 2004 · 2005 · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2009 · 2010  

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
ATL 2265 5526 632 1359 598 .177 213 28 126 72 52 2006 .293 .240 .568 154 41 65
CHN 2252 5492 686 1397 640 .165 239 28 150 182 49 2142 .286 .228 .549 119 39 66
CIN 2186 5431 677 1385 634 .194 249 34 114 159 70 2044 .323 .275 .615 136 41 72
HOU 2115 5582 706 1457 666 .182 261 42 121 96 56 2165 .306 .255 .585 127 44 66
LAN 2231 5502 682 1434 632 .192 226 28 129 136 58 2103 .354 .260 .653 108 46 104
MON 2240 5429 633 1342 593 .199 242 49 118 169 77 2036 .304 .274 .599 112 45 61
NYN 2095 5549 695 1425 651 .213 239 35 134 117 53 2136 .318 .301 .638 131 44 89
PHI 2219 5477 667 1343 628 .179 238 47 141 122 51 2098 .317 .253 .636 124 44 49
PIT 2115 5436 568 1340 535 .197 251 28 80 110 60 1887 .302 .278 .603 131 44 91
SDN 2092 5507 650 1405 611 .164 241 28 109 60 39 2029 .304 .221 .567 128 32 75
SFN 2189 5420 556 1263 517 .184 217 31 115 99 55 1887 .324 .264 .613 121 25 93
SLN 2146 5467 747 1446 687 .216 245 59 87 314 96 2070 .374 .292 .716 91 41 70

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
ATL 513 66 96 1458 776 642 6374 1512 134 64.610 682 781 9 3 29 35 4
CHN 475 77 84 1442 820 519 6195 1492 156 99.300 668 729 20 6 42 31 11
CIN 449 89 72 1451 910 535 6100 1347 131 68.240 598 666 24 7 45 42 5
HOU 444 83 79 1458 909 543 6185 1393 119 61.810 594 691 17 3 42 69 8
LAN 412 95 67 1464 979 462 6043 1280 102 62.480 489 579 37 16 36 42 10
MON 484 84 77 1456 870 509 6109 1346 99 103.120 574 636 13 5 53 46 12
NYN 405 98 64 1489 1039 515 6146 1306 111 66.210 514 568 32 12 37 41 14
PHI 477 75 87 1446 899 596 6241 1424 115 65.070 592 673 24 7 30 34 9
PIT 458 57 104 1445 962 584 6205 1406 107 89.430 638 708 15 2 29 48 11
SDN 445 83 79 1451 727 443 6049 1399 127 75.070 549 622 26 10 44 23 14
SFN 483 62 100 1449 985 572 6168 1348 125 56.330 583 674 13 4 24 57 16
SLN 458 101 61 1463 798 453 6048 1343 98 47.080 506 572 37 17 44 33 6

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
ATL 2553 7532 5290 2055 187 .950 17488 158 59 0 8
CHN 2654 7437 5321 1961 155 .974 17306 137 83 1.00 17
CIN 2599 7363 5505 1714 144 .964 17415 133 57 0 10
HOU 2528 7437 5440 1822 175 .958 17493 144 59 0 36
LAN 2676 7461 5333 1938 190 .964 17583 99 66 2.00 7
MON 2603 7442 5419 1885 138 .973 17483 189 45 0 16
NYN 2475 7325 5471 1717 137 .980 17857 122 65 0 9
PHI 2635 7376 5394 1819 163 .940 17364 164 55 0 15
PIT 2498 7343 5346 1832 165 .954 17347 105 72 0 6
SDN 2456 7430 5513 1774 143 .964 17413 138 65 0 6
SFN 2446 7302 5327 1801 174 .949 17376 143 53 0 20
SLN 2591 7501 5477 1898 126 .969 17568 104 37 0 15

West

team W L Att Rk SOP
Los Angeles Dodgers 95 67 3264593 1 979
Cincinnati Reds 89 72 1834619 2 910
San Diego Padres 83 79 2210352 3 727
Houston Astros 83 79 1184314 3 909
Atlanta Braves 66 96 1350137 5 776
San Francisco Giants 62 100 818697 6 985

Central

East

team W L Att Rk SOP
St. Louis Cardinals 101 61 2637563 1 798
New York Mets 98 64 2761601 2 1039
Montreal Expos 84 77 1502494 3 870
Chicago Cubs 77 84 2161534 4 820
Philadelphia Philies 75 87 1830350 5 899
Pittsburg Pirates 57 104 735900 6 962

Awards

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Tagged:
1985 NLCS, 1985 World Series, Andy Hawkins, Bob Welch, Dale Murphy, Danny Cox, Darryl Strawberry, Dave Parker, Dwight Gooden, Fernando Valenzuela, Gary Carter, Jack Clark, Jeff Reardon, Joaquin Andujar, Joe Niekro, John Tudor, Keith Hernandez, Larry Bowa, Los Angeles Dodgers, Marge Schott, Mariano Duncan, Mike Marshall, Mike Schmidt, Nolan Ryan, Orel Hershiser, Ozzie Smith, Pedro Guerrero, Pete Rose, Ryne Sandberg, St. Louis Cardinals, Steve Garvey, Steve Sax, Tim Raines, Tom Herr, Tom Niedenfuer, Tony Gwynn, Vince Coleman, Willie McGee

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