Denkinger, Records & Why The I-70 Series Matters

Sam Masterson (@sammasterson22)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Monday begins the 21st edition of the I-70 Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals. The Royals will try to hold on to the second Wild Card spot in the AL, as St. Louis needs to keep climbing out of the 3.5 game hole it’s in, in the NL Central.

Before this year’s four-game, home-and-home series begins with tonight’s 7:15 start, we take a look at the history of the series:

Lets just get this one out of the way early…

The Cardinals and Royals faced each other for the first time in franchise history in the 1985 World Series. The 9th inning of Game 6 still holds one of the biggest blown calls in baseball (possibly all of sports) history. Umpire Don Denkinger has talked many time about this play, which led to Kansas City scoring two runs that inning, to win Game 6 and tie the series.

Then in Game 7, Kansas City shellacked St. Louis 11-0, with Denkinger behind the home plate, and won the ’85 Series.

You’ll find the famous play at the 2:13:10 mark:

The 1985 Cards team was one of the best in franchise history, probably the best to not win a World Series.

But since that series the Cardinals have had the upper hand. St. Louis’ all-time record, World Series included, against KC is 54-43.

Since 1997 the two teams have played each other at least three times in each regular season, but have never again met in the World Series. The Cardinals are 11-7-2 in those series, but last year the Royals beat St. Louis three out of four games.

This is the first home-and-home series since the 2013 and 2014 series. In 2013 St. Louis won three of the four, then in 2014 Kansas City flipped the script and took three out of four.

St. Louis had a seven-game win streak in the all-time series between June 2003 to May 2005. Kansas City’s highest winning streak was four games during 2008 regular season.

In overall offense, St. Louis leads the way. The Redbirds have scored 472 runs and allowed only 419 to Kansas City in 90 regular season games. Kansas City has score the most runs in a single contest between the Missouri rivals, with 17 runs on June 9, 1999, and again on June 14, 2007. However, St. Louis has scored 13 runs on the Royals three separate times in rivalry history: June 9, 1999, June 28, 2003 and June 29, 2003.

On June 17, 2012, the two teams played it’s longest game in series history. It lasted 15 innings with a total of 43 players entering the game. Eduardo Sanchez took the loss for St. Louis, giving up a two-run homer to Yuniesky Betancourt in the top of the 15th. Jonathon Broxton recorded the final six outs for the Royals, and earned the win.

Broxton is one of 130 players to suit up for both the Cardinals and Royals at some point in their careers. Some of the more well-known players being Carlos Beltran, Dan Quisenberry, Al Hrabosky,Orlando Cepeda, Rick Ankiel and Vince Coleman.

This year’s series begins in Kansas City on Monday and Tuesday, then head to St. Louis on Wednesday and Thursday. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. in every game, except for Thursday’s, which is at 6:15 p.m.

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