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1989 Montreal Expos season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 1989 Montreal Expos season was the 21st season of the baseball franchise. With owner Charles Bronfman thinking of selling the team he founded, he contemplated taking one last shot at a playoff berth. Bronfman gave young general manager Dave Dombrowski a clear mandate to win now, reportedly telling him he would provided all the money needed in the quest to bring a championship to Montreal in 1989. Dombrowski pulled off a massive trade on May 25, acquiring star left-handed pitcher – and pending free agent – Mark Langston from the Seattle Mariners. While the move was viewed as a coup at the time, it came at a heavy cost as a young, very tall and very raw Randy Johnson was the key part of the package going to the Pacific Northwest. Johnson would eventually harness his fantastic stuff and became one of the game's most dominant left-handed pitchers for well over a decade. Langston pitched 4 months for the club and left as a free agent. Still, it seemed like a worthy gamble at the time for the Expos. That year, there was no dominant team in the National League. The team seemed poised to compete for the NL East crown with a loaded starting pitching staff that featured Langston, Dennis Martínez, Bryn Smith, Pascual Perez and Kevin Gross.

The team peaked on August 2 with an NL best record of 63-44, holding a 3-game lead in the NL East and everything running along smoothly. What followed would go down as the greatest collapse in franchise history. The next night, a Benny Distefano pinch hit single in the 12th inning dealt the Expos a 1-0 loss in Pittsburgh. It was the start of a 7-game losing streak. The club limped through the rest of August but remained in the race in early September, with the team being only 2 games back of 1st place on September 6. Regardless, the downward spiral continued as the Expos inexplicably ended up losing 37 of their final 55 games to finish the season a disappointing 81-81, well out of the playoff picture. The easiest analysis of what caused the collapse is to point to the offence, which struggled after August 2, scoring an MLB worst 3.23 runs per game. For long-time Expos fans, the collapse is viewed as the beginning of the end of the franchise. If the club had won the NL East title that year and then beaten the Giants in the NLCS, clinching a World Series berth in the process, Bronfman may have changed his mind about selling the team. Instead, the late season collapse after such a big win now move only added to the owner's frustration.

Offseason

Spring training

The Expos held spring training at West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium in West Palm Beach, Florida – a facility they shared with the Atlanta Braves. It was their 13th season at the stadium; they had conducted spring training there from 1969 to 1972 and since 1981.

Regular season

  • August 23, 1989: The Expos and Los Angeles Dodgers engage in a 22 inning marathon, the longest game in Expos history. It eventually ended when Rick Dempsey homered for the Dodgers in the top half of the 22nd innings off Dennis Martínez in a very rare relief performance. Rex Hudler was caught stealing second in the bottom half of the 22nd to end the game. The game would have ended earlier when an Expo scored from third on a sacrifice fly. The Dodgers' appeal, that the runner left the base too soon, was recognized by the third base umpire and the third out was recorded. The game also marked the first time that a mascot was ejected by an umpire. Youppi!, dressed in a nightgown and nightcap, pretended to go to sleep on top of the Dodgers dugout, former Montreal Royals reliever and then coach of the Dodgers Tommy Lasorda demanded that Youppi! be run from the game. In the end the game took over 6 hours to finish and ended close to 2:00 am.
  • August 15, 1989: San Francisco Giants pitcher Dave Dravecky pitched three no-hit innings, but in the fifth inning, he felt a tingling sensation in his arm. In the sixth inning he started off shaky, allowing a home run to the lead off batter and then hitting the second batter. Then, on his first pitch to Tim Raines, his humerus bone snapped, ending his career.

Opening Day starters

Season standings

NL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Chicago Cubs 93 69 0.574 48–33 45–36
New York Mets 87 75 0.537 6 51–30 36–45
St. Louis Cardinals 86 76 0.531 7 46–35 40–41
Montreal Expos 81 81 0.500 12 44–37 37–44
Pittsburgh Pirates 74 88 0.457 19 39–42 35–46
Philadelphia Phillies 67 95 0.414 26 38–42 29–53


Record vs. opponents

1989 National League Records

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]
Team ATL CHC CIN HOU LAD MON NYM PHI PIT SD SF STL
Atlanta 5–7 8–10 8–10 6–10 6–6 2–10 8–4 4–8 7–11 6–12 3–9–1
Chicago 7–5 7–5 5–7 7–5 10–8 10–8 10–8 12–6 8–4 6–6 11–7
Cincinnati 10–8 5–7 8–10 8–10 4–8 4–8 4–8 7–5 9–9 8–10 8–4
Houston 10–8 7–5 10–8 10–8 4–8 6–6 9–3 7–5 8–10 8–10 7–5
Los Angeles 10–6 5–7 10–8 8–10 7–5 5–7 6–6 7–5 6–12 10–8 3–9
Montreal 6–6 8–10 8–4 8–4 5–7 9–9 9–9 11–7 5–7 7–5 5–13
New York 10–2 8–10 8–4 6–6 7–5 9–9 12–6 9–9 5–7 3–9 10–8
Philadelphia 4-8 8–10 8–4 3–9 6–6 9–9 6–12 10–8–1 2–10 4–8 7–11
Pittsburgh 8–4 6–12 5–7 5–7 5–7 7–11 9–9 8–10–1 3–9 5–7 13–5–1
San Diego 11–7 4–8 9–9 10–8 12–6 7–5 7–5 10–2 9–3 8–10 2–10
San Francisco 12–6 6–6 10–8 10–8 8–10 5–7 9–3 8–4 7–5 10–8 7–5
St. Louis 9–3–1 7–11 4–8 5–7 9–3 13–5 8–10 11–7 5–13–1 10–2 5–7


Notable transactions

Draft Picks

Major League debuts

  • Batters:
    • Marquis Grissom (Aug 22)
    • Marty Pevey (May 16)
    • Larry Walker (Aug 16)
  • Pitchers:
    • Steve Frey (May 10)
    • Mark Gardner (May 16)
    • Gene Harris (Apr 5) [9]

Roster

1989 Montreal Expos
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

Player stats

= Indicates team leader

Batting

Starters by position

Note: Pos = position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In; SB = Stolen Bases

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI SB
C Nelson Santovenia 97 304 76 .250 5 31 2
1B Andrés Galarraga 152 572 147 .257 23 85 12
2B Tom Foley 122 375 86 .229 7 39 2
3B Tim Wallach 154 573 159 .277 13 77 3
SS Spike Owen 142 437 102 .233 6 41 3
LF Tim Raines 145 517 148 .286 9 60 41
CF Dave Martinez 126 361 99 .274 3 27 23
RF Hubie Brooks 148 542 145 .268 14 70 6

Other batters

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI SB
Rex Hudler 92 155 38 .245 6 13
Mike Aldrete 76 136 30 .221 1 12

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Dennis Martínez 34 232 16 7 3.18 142
Mark Langston 24 176.2 12 9 2.39 175

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Gene Harris 11 1 1 0 4.95 11

Award winners

1989 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Indianapolis Indians American Association Tom Runnells
AA Jacksonville Expos Southern League Alan Bannister
A West Palm Beach Expos Florida State League Felipe Alou
A Rockford Expos Midwest League Mike Quade
A-Short Season Jamestown Expos New York–Penn League Don Werner
Rookie GCL Expos Gulf Coast League Jerry Weinstein

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Indianapolis, Jamestown[10]

References

  1. ^ Mike Aldrete at Baseball-Reference
  2. ^ Spike Owen at Baseball-Reference
  3. ^ Mark Langston at Baseball-Reference
  4. ^ Zane Smith at Baseball-Reference
  5. ^ Doug Piatt at Baseball-Reference
  6. ^ John Candelaria at Baseball-Reference
  7. ^ Charles Johnson at Baseball-Reference
  8. ^ Doug Bochtler at Baseball-Reference
  9. ^ http://www.thebaseballcube.com/statistics/1989/18.shtml
  10. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007
This page was last edited on 19 April 2018, at 01:06
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