1989 Montreal Expos season
|1989 Montreal Expos|
|Major League affiliations|
|General manager(s)||Dave Dombrowski|
|Local television||CBC Television
(Dave Van Horne, Ken Singleton)
The Sports Network
(Ken Singleton, Jim Hughson)
Télévision de Radio-Canada
(Claude Raymond, Raymond Lebrun)
|Local radio||CJAD (English)
(Dave Van Horne, Bobby Winkles, Jerry Trupiano)
(Jacques Doucet, Rodger Brulotte)
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The 1989 season for the Montreal Expos was the baseball club's 21st. With owner Charles Bronfman thinking of selling the team he founded, he wanted to take one last shot at a playoff berth. Bronfman gave young general manager Dave Dombrowski a clear mandate to win now, reportedly telling him he had all the financial ressources needed in the quest to bring a championship to Montreal. 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. 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 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 team makes the playoffs, perhaps even wins the NLCS against a beatable Giants team to make it to the World Series, one can only wonder if Bronfman changes his stance about selling the team and remains the owner.
- 1 Offseason
- 2 Regular season
- 3 Player stats
- 4 Award winners
- 5 Farm system
- 6 References
- December 8, 1988: Tracy Jones was traded by the Expos to the San Francisco Giants for Mike Aldrete.
- December 8, 1988: John Dopson and Luis Rivera were traded by the Expos to the Boston Red Sox for Spike Owen and Dan Gakeler.
- 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
- Hubie Brooks
- Tom Foley
- Andrés Galarraga
- Dave Martinez
- Dennis Martínez
- Spike Owen
- Tim Raines
- Nelson Santovenia
- Tim Wallach
|New York Mets||87||75||0.537||6||51–30||36–45|
|St. Louis Cardinals||86||76||0.531||7||46–35||40–41|
Record vs. opponents
1989 National League Records
Sources:            
- May 25, 1989: Randy Johnson, Brian Holman, and Gene Harris were traded by the Expos to the Seattle Mariners for Mark Langston and a player to be named later. The Mariners completed the deal by sending Mike Campbell to the Expos on July 31.
- July 2, 1989: Sergio Valdez, Nate Minchey, and Kevin Dean (minors) were traded by the Expos to the Atlanta Braves for Zane Smith.
- July 27, 1989: Rick Carriger (minors) was traded by the Expos to the Cleveland Indians for Doug Piatt.
- August 29, 1989: Mike Blowers was traded by the Expos to the New York Yankees for John Candelaria.
- June 5, 1989: 1989 Major League Baseball draft
Major League debuts
- Marquis Grissom (Aug 22)
- Marty Pevey (May 16)
- Larry Walker (Aug 16)
- Steve Frey (May 10)
- Mark Gardner (May 16)
- Gene Harris (Apr 5) 
|1989 Montreal Expos|
|= Indicates team leader|
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
|C||Santovenia, NelsonNelson Santovenia||97||304||76||.250||5||31||2|
|1B||Galarraga, AndrésAndrés Galarraga||152||572||147||.257||23||85||12|
|2B||Foley, TomTom Foley||122||375||86||.229||7||39||2|
|3B||Wallach, TimTim Wallach||154||573||159||.277||13||77||3|
|SS||Owen, SpikeSpike Owen||142||437||102||.233||6||41||3|
|LF||Raines, TimTim Raines||145||517||148||.286||9||60||41|
|CF||Martinez, DaveDave Martinez||126||361||99||.274||3||27||23|
|RF||Brooks, HubieHubie Brooks||148||542||145||.268||14||70||6|
|Hudler, RexRex Hudler||92||155||38||.245||6||13|
|Aldrete, MikeMike Aldrete||76||136||30||.221||1||12|
|Martínez, DennisDennis Martínez||34||232||16||7||3.18||142|
|Langston, MarkMark Langston||24||176.2||12||9||2.39||175|
|Harris, GeneGene Harris||11||1||1||0||4.95||11|
- Mark Langston, National League Pitcher of the Month, July
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Indianapolis, Jamestown
- Mike Aldrete at Baseball-Reference
- Spike Owen at Baseball-Reference
- Mark Langston at Baseball-Reference
- Zane Smith at Baseball-Reference
- Doug Piatt at Baseball-Reference
- John Candelaria at Baseball-Reference
- Charles Johnson at Baseball-Reference
- Doug Bochtler at Baseball-Reference
- Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007