April 18, 1984: Backman's Winning Double
|Date: April 18, 1984|
|Mets starter: Walt Terrell|
|Winning pitcher: Ed Lynch|
|Key player(s): Wally Backman|
|Key play: Hodges’ & Gibbons’ walks, Backman’s double in 9th|
The Mets’ second home game of the season was played on a cloudy Wednesday afternoon. It was a battle in which the Mets and Expos had the lead twice each over the first eight innings. Wally Backman then came through with a bases loaded double in the bottom of the ninth for a 5-4 Mets’ win.
Wally led off the first inning against Montreal starter Charlie Lea. He hit a double and later scored on a single by Keith Hernandez. The Mets had an early 1-0 lead.
After tying the game with a run in the second inning, the Expos took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third. Andre Dawson got a single off Walt Terrell to score Tim Raines with the go-ahead run. The Mets then tied it in the bottom of the third on George Foster’s double that brought home Backman.
Hubie Brooks homered off Lea in the fourth to put the Mets ahead, 3-2. Terrell protected the lead until the seventh when Raines hit a two-run homer to reclaim the lead for Montreal. Walt was then replaced on the mound by Doug Sisk for the rest of the inning.
Following Ed Lynch’s two scoreless innings of relief, the Mets were behind by a run in the ninth. Facing Expos’ closer Jeff Reardon, they had Darryl Strawberry on second base with two out. Rookie John Gibbons and veteran Ron Hodges boldly worked out walks to load the bases. Reardon was then lifted for left-handed reliever Gary Lucas.
Backman, a switch-hitter, came up to bat right-handed against Lucas. Wally drilled the ball into the left field corner for his second double of the game. Strawberry and Gibbons came across the plate into a group of happy teammates amid a roaring Shea Stadium crowd. The Mets had a thrilling victory that was snared right from the jaws of defeat.