1984 National League Championship Series
|Dates:||October 2 – 7|
|MVP:||Steve Garvey (San Diego)|
|TV announcers:||Don Drysdale, Earl Weaver and Reggie Jackson|
|Radio announcers:||Harry Kalas and Ross Porter|
|Umpires:||Dick Cavenaugh, Dave Slickenmeyer, Joe Pomponi, Joe Maher (Games 1–2); Terry Bovey, Frank Campagna, Frank Fisher, John Stewart (Games 3–4); John Kibler, Paul Runge, John McSherry, Doug Harvey (Game 5)|
|1984 World Series|
The 1984 National League Championship Series was played between the San Diego Padres and the Chicago Cubs from October 2 to 7. San Diego won the series three games to two to advance to the World Series. The 1984 NLCS was the first postseason series ever for the Padres since the franchise's beginning in 1969, and the first appearance by the Cubs in postseason play since the 1945 World Series. The series took a disastrous turn for Chicago after a promising start, which contributed to the popular mythology of the "Curse of the Billy Goat." The series was also the last best-of-five NLCS. In 1985, the League Championship Series changed to a best-of-seven format.
San Diego Padres vs. Chicago Cubs
San Diego won the series, 3–2.
|1||October 2||San Diego Padres – 0, Chicago Cubs – 13||Wrigley Field||2:49||36,282|
|2||October 3||San Diego Padres – 2, Chicago Cubs – 4||Wrigley Field||2:18||36,282|
|3||October 4||Chicago Cubs – 1, San Diego Padres – 7||Jack Murphy Stadium||2:19||58,346|
|4||October 6||Chicago Cubs – 5, San Diego Padres – 7||Jack Murphy Stadium||3:13||58,354|
|5||October 7||Chicago Cubs – 3, San Diego Padres – 6||Jack Murphy Stadium||2:41||58,359|
|WP: Rick Sutcliffe (1–0) LP: Eric Show (0–1)
CHC: Bob Dernier (1), Gary Matthews 2 (2), Rick Sutcliffe (1), Ron Cey (1)
Bob Dernier led off the game for the Cubs with a homer, and things went steadily downhill for the Padres as Chicago romped to a crushing 13–0 win in their first postseason game since 1945. Gary Matthews also homered in the first and added a three-run shot in Chicago's six-run fifth. Even starting pitcher Rick Sutcliffe went deep, while holding the hapless Padres to two hits over seven strong innings. The Cubs' overwhelming victory had Chicago's long-suffering fans dreaming of the franchise's first World Championship since 1908.
|WP: Steve Trout (1–0) LP: Mark Thurmond (0–1) Sv: Lee Smith (1)|
Chicago's offense was considerably more subdued in Game 2, though their pitching remained almost as strong. Dernier again opened the scoring for the Cubs in the first, singling to left and coming around to score on two groundouts. The Cubs got two more runs in the third, highlighted by Ron Cey's RBI double. San Diego got one back in the fourth when Tony Gwynn doubled and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Kevin McReynolds. But Chicago answered in the bottom of the fourth when Ryne Sandberg doubled in Dernier. San Diego cut the lead to 4-2 in the sixth on a run-scoring single by Steve Garvey, but the Padres could get no closer against the strong pitching of Steve Trout. Lee Smith came on with one out in the ninth to get the save, and the Cubs were just one victory away from the World Series.
|WP: Ed Whitson (1–0) LP: Dennis Eckersley (0–1)
SD: Kevin McReynolds (1)
The series moved to San Diego, and the Padres staved off elimination with a convincing 7–1 win. San Diego actually fell behind 1–0 in the second when Chicago's Keith Moreland doubled and came home on Cey's single to center. But the Cubs would get no more off Padres starter Ed Whitson, while San Diego's bats finally came to life with seven runs in the fifth and sixth. Garry Templeton knocked in two runs with a double in the fifth, and McReynolds essentially ended the game with a three-run homer in the sixth. Rich Gossage pitched a dominating ninth inning to wrap up the win for San Diego.
"It was the loudest crowd I've ever heard anywhere," said Gossage, a former New York Yankee. Gwynn agreed as well. Jack Murphy Stadium played "Cub-Busters", a parody of the theme song from the 1984 movie Ghostbusters. Cub-Busters T-shirts inspired from the movie were popular attire for Padres fans.
|WP: Craig Lefferts (1–0) LP: Lee Smith (0–1)
CHC: Jody Davis (1), Leon Durham (1)
SD: Steve Garvey (1)
Game 4 proved to be the most dramatic of the series, and it left many Cubs fans dreading another harsh disappointment for the franchise nicknamed the "lovable losers." The Padres jumped out to a 2–0 lead in the third on a sacrifice fly from Gwynn and a run-scoring double from Garvey. The Cubs actually took the lead in the fourth on a two-run homer by Jody Davis and a solo shot by Leon Durham, who would suffer ignominy in Game 5. The Padres tied the game in the fifth on another RBI from Garvey, and took the lead in the seventh when Garvey singled in yet another run. A passed ball allowed a second tally in the inning to make the score 5–3 San Diego. The Cubs bounced back in the eighth to tie the game on an RBI single by Moreland and an RBI double from Davis.
With dominating closer Lee Smith on the mound for the Cubs in the bottom of the ninth, Gwynn singled to center with one out. Garvey then capped an extraordinary five-RBI game by launching a two-run walk-off home run to right center field at the 370 sign. The series was now tied as the Cubs suffered one of their most devastating postseason losses ever.
|WP: Craig Lefferts (2–0) LP: Rick Sutcliffe (1–1) Sv: Goose Gossage (1)
CHC: Leon Durham (2), Jody Davis (2)
As if to tease their fatalistic fans, the Cubs started out well in the final and deciding game of the series. Durham hit a two-run homer in the first and Davis added a solo homer in the second to give the Cubs a 3–0 lead. With National League Cy Young Award winner and Game 1 victor Rick Sutcliffe pitching brilliantly, the Cubs maintained their lead until the bottom of the sixth. Then disaster struck in a way that left many Cubs fans muttering about curses and other storied collapses in the franchise's history.
Chicago's downfall began innocently enough, with San Diego getting two sacrifice flies in the sixth to cut the Cubs' lead to 3–2. But the Padres' seventh proved catastrophic for Chicago. Carmelo Martínez led off the inning with a walk, was sacrificed to second by Garry Templeton, and scored when Tim Flannery's grounder trickled through Durham's legs for a crucial error. Alan Wiggins singled Flannery to second, and Gwynn hit a double past a diving Ryne Sandberg that allowed both runners home to give the Padres a 5–3 lead. Garvey followed with an RBI single to stretch the lead to 6–3. Steve Trout then replaced Sutcliffe on the mound and got out of the inning unscathed. Durham coincidentally replaced Bill Buckner who would allow a ball go through his legs in the bottom of the tenth inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series while playing first base for the Red Sox. That game was tied at the time and Buckner's error allowed the opposing Mets to win the game. The Mets would win Game 7 and the series.
The Cubs got three baserunners over the final two innings against Gossage but could not score, and San Diego took home its first National League pennant. The Padres would go on to lose the World Series to the dominant Detroit Tigers in five games.
|San Diego Padres||0||0||2||1||4||7||6||0||2||22||41||1|
|Total attendance: 247,623 Average attendance: 49,525|
- "1984 NLCS Game 1 - San Diego Padres vs. Chicago Cubs". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1984 NLCS Game 2 - San Diego Padres vs. Chicago Cubs". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1984 NLCS Game 3 - Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1984 NLCS Game 4 - Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1984 NLCS Game 5 - Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- Johnson, Jay; Hughes, Joe (October 5, 1984). "Full house beats 9 Cubs". Evening Tribune. p. A-1. "The scene was joyous pandemonium after the game, as long-suffering fans danced in the aisles, hugged total strangers, whooped and sang along as "Cub-Busters" played on the stadium's loudspeakers."
- Staples, Billy; Herschlag, Rich (2007). Before the Glory: 20 Baseball Heroes Talk about Growing Up and Turning Hard Times Into Home Runs. HCI. p. 386. ISBN 978-0-7573-0626-6. Retrieved October 6, 2011. "The home crowd had another weapon up its sleeve, a ditty called "Cub-busters," a parody of the theme from the Chicago-based 1984 hit movie Ghostbusters."
- Sauer, Mark (October 6, 1984). "With a toast from the host ... Padres' faithful primed for game 4 -- and maybe game 5". The San Diego Union. p. A-1. "'The Cub Busters T-shirts have been the hottest item, but stuff we hadn't sold in years suddenly started moving,' said Croasdale."
- Laurence, Robert P. (October 2, 1984). "'Busters' promoter Cub at heart". The San Diego Union. p. B-1. "Logan came up with the design after hearing the 'Ghostbusters' theme song at a Padres-Mets game in August, and his creation is without a doubt the hottest selling item in the Padres' inventory as excitement builds going into today's first game of the National League playoffs."