Monday, April 30, 2012

Cubs 365, April 30

On this day in 1939, future Cubs pitcher Bob Hendley was born. His most memorable game in a Cubs uniform came on September 9th, 1965 at Dodgers Stadium.

The score was 0-0 in the bottom of the fifth and neither pitcher had allowed a single base runner. That ended when Hendley walked Dodgers outfielder Lou Johnson to lead off the inning. The next batter, Ron Fairly, bunted the ball a little too hard--right to the pitcher. Hendley was prepared to whirl toward second and throw out the lead runner, but he took his eye off the ball for a second, dropped it, and had no choice but to throw to first. While the next hitter was up to bat, Jim Lefevbre, Johnson took off for third. Cubs catcher Chris Krug threw to Santo, but the Cubs great couldn't handle the throw, and Johnson ran home with the first and only run of the game. The Dodgers had scored without the benefit of a hit.

Hendley didn't give up a hit until the 7th inning, and that harmless double was the only hit he allowed all game. It was a truly incredible pitching performance by Hendley, but it wasn't good enough. The other pitcher was just a little more incredible.

His name was Sandy Koufax, and all he did was pitch a perfect game.