In looking through the 1983 Cubs' day-by-day game logs, no game stood out as particularly memorable from a "great game" standpoint. The team regressed by a couple of losses, losing 91 games after the 89-loss "improved" year of 1982.
So I decided on this one, a 9-5, 13-inning loss to the Cardinals on an otherwise sunny and hot afternoon, in front of what was a very good weekday crowd for that era (30,301).
Fred Mitchell -- who still writes about baseball at times in the Tribune today -- has the gory details:
The 4-hour, 17-minute contest, which employed the services of 40 players, saw the Cubs come back from a 3-1 deficit to lead 4-3 after three innings. They added a run in the fifth and seemed destined to beat the Cardinals for the seventh straight time when big Lee Smith took the mound in the ninth. But he had to leave the game after the ninth when the skin from a blister on his toe ripped off after repeated contact with a hole on the mound. He allowed the tying runs on Lonnie Smith's homer and David Green's RBI single, which scored Ozzie Smith, who had singled and gone to second on Jody Davis' third passed ball of the afternoon. Green knocked in five of the Cardinals' runs.
There's more along those lines, but you get the idea. The Cardinals had lost eight in a row overall before this game, but the Cubs simply gave it to them. Even after those ninth-inning runs by St. Louis, the Cubs had the winning run on second base with one out in the last of the ninth against Bruce Sutter, but failed to score. Same thing in the 10th, only with two out -- no dice.
Before this game the Cubs had gone 7-2 against the Cardinals in 1983. Including this one, they went 3-6 over the last nine vs. St. Louis that year, and 33-50 after the All-Star break. I wasn't at this game, as I had to work that afternoon, but I remember there were scattered thunderstorms around the Chicago area late that day, and I was driving through one while the Cubs were busy giving up those runs, in the sunshine, at Wrigley.
Enough? I thought so. You'll like the 1984 installment in this series better, I promise.