April 10, 1980: Swan Defeats Cubs in Opener

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Date: April 10
Mets starter: Craig Swan
Mets: 5
Cubs: 2
Winning pitcher: Craig Swan
Key player(s): Craig Swan, Jerry Morales
Key play: Morales's single in 2nd, Swan's single in 6th

The Mets began a new decade - and era - against the Cubs at Shea Stadium. In the first game following the sale of the team, the Mets came out with a win as Craig Swan led the way with his arm and his bat. The final score was 5-2.

Swan began the game with two shutout innings, allowing only a double to Dave Kingman. The Mets grabbed a 1-0 lead when Jerry Morales singled home Mike Jorgensen in the bottom of the second. In the third, the Mets loaded the bases with one out before Cubs' starter Rick Reuschel struck out Steve Henderson and got Jorgensen on a force play ground ball to end the inning.

Through the fifth, Swan had allowed only three hits to Chicago. Ivan DeJesus got a one-out single off Swan in the sixth and moved to third base on Bill Buckner's double. Kingman then drove home DeJesus with a ground out to tie the game.

Reuschel walked Lee Mazzilli to open the bottom of the sixth. Henderson followed with a double and Jorgensen was walked intentionally to load the bases with none out. John Stearns reached first base on an error by Cubs' second baseman Lenny Randle to score Mazzilli and put the Mets on top. Henderson came home on Morales's sacrifice fly for another Met run. Following an intentional walk to Doug Flynn, Swan delivered a single that brought Jorgensen and Stearns across the plate to increase the Mets' lead to 5-1. Reuschel was then replaced by reliever Bill Caudill.

For the Cubs, Jerry Martin led off the seventh inning with a double and scored on Randle's two-out single. Swan retired DeJesus on a fly ball to end the inning and his day on the mound. Reliever Neil Allen finished up with scoreless eighth and ninth innings to seal the win for the Mets. The new era had gotten off to a good start.