April 20, 1982: Homers Help Lift Mets Over Cubs

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Date: April 20, 1982
Mets starter: Mike Scott
Mets: 3
Cubs: 2
Winning pitcher: Mike Scott
Key player(s): Joel Youngblood, Mookie Wilson, Dave Kingman
Key play: Youngblood’s and Kingman’s homers, Wilson’s single

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opening half of a two-game series. A run-scoring single and pair of homers propelled the Mets to a 3-2 win over Chicago.

With two outs in the top of the first inning, Bill Buckner reached on an error by shortstop Ron Gardenhire. Buckner advanced to third base on Leon Durham’s single and scored on a single by Keith Moreland for a 1-0 Cubs lead. Mets’ starter Mike Scott got Steve Henderson on a force play ground ball to Gardenhire for the third out and Chicago’s Doug Bird pitched a scoreless bottom half. Scott then shut down the Cubs in the top of the second.

Joel Youngblood led off the bottom of the second inning with a game-tying home run. Bird retired the next two batters and Gardenhire singled to center field. Scott reached on second baseman Bump Wills’ error and a single by Mookie Wilson plated Gardenhire for a 2-1 Mets lead. Wally Backman hit a force play grounder to third baseman Ryne Sandberg to end the inning and Scott yielded only a single to Durham in the top of the third. Bird then set down the Mets in order in the bottom half.

After scoreless fourth and fifth innings, Durham reached on an error by third baseman Hubie Brooks to begin the top of the sixth. Moreland grounded out to move Durham to second base and Henderson was called out on strikes. Scott threw an inning-ending called third strike past Gary Woods and a homer by Dave Kingman for the Mets’ third run began the bottom half. Youngblood lined out to shortstop Larry Bowa and a double by John Stearns ensued. Cubs’ reliever Dick Tidrow then retired both Brooks and Gardenhire on grounders to Wills that closed out the inning.

Scott and Tidrow each pitched scoreless ball in the seventh and eighth. A double by Moreland started the top of the ninth. Moreland advanced to third base on pinch-hitter Bob Molinaro’s ground out to second baseman Tom Veryzer and came home on Woods’ infield single. Mets’ reliever Neil Allen retired Bowa on a line drive to Veryzer. Dan Briggs followed with a single on which Woods moved to third. Allen then got Wills to hit a force play ground ball to Veryzer that ended the game. The Mets had a victory to begin the series.