April 22, 1978: Mets Come Back to Beat Cubs

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Date: April 22, 1978
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 3
Cubs: 2
Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman
Key player(s): Ron Hodges, Tom Grieve
Key play: Grieve’s and Hodges’ singles

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Saturday afternoon in Chicago. The teams played the second of three games in a series at Wrigley Field. The Mets came from behind for a 3-2 win.

Cubs’ starter Rick Reuschel retired the side on three straight infield ground balls in the top of the first inning. Gene Clines drew a walk against the Mets’ Jerry Koosman with one out in the bottom half. With Larry Biittner at bat, Clines moved all the way to third base on catcher Ron Hodges’ passed ball. Biittner reached on a fielder’s choice grounder to drive home Clines for a 1-0 Chicago lead. Dave Kingman was retired on a line drive to left fielder Ed Kranepool. Koosman then got Bobby Murcer to pop out to second baseman Doug Flynn and end the inning.

After scoreless second and third innings, Reuschel shut down the Mets again in the top of the fourth. Biittner drew a walk to lead off the bottom half. Kingman was called out on strikes and Murcer singled to send Biittner to third base. Steve Ontiveros followed with a force play grounder to shortstop Tim Foli to score Biittner, increasing the Cubs’ lead to 2-0. Koosman then retired Dave Rader on a fly ball to Kranepool for the inning’s third out.

Reuschel and Koosman each pitched scoreless fifth and sixth innings. Lee Mazzilli hit a triple with one out in the top of the seventh. Hodges followed with a sacrifice fly to bring home Mazzilli. Foli got an infield single and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Pinch-hitter Tom Grieve singled to score Foli and tie the game at 2-2. Lenny Randle hit a single and Reuschel retired Flynn on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Murcer. Mets’ reliever Mardie Cornejo then yielded just a single to Rader in the bottom half.

Willie Montanez singled with two outs in the top of the eighth. Mazzilli drew a walk and Hodges hit a single to bring home Montanez for a one-run Mets lead. Foli flied out to center fielder Clines to end the inning and Ivan DeJesus walked against Mets’ reliever Skip Lockwood to open the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Greg Gross’s sacrifice bunt advanced DeJesus to second base and Biittner drew a walk. Kingman fouled out to Hodges and a walk to Murcer loaded the bases. Lockwood then retired Ontiveros on a pop-up to Flynn to finish off the inning.

Reuschel pitched a perfect top of the ninth. Rader got a leadoff single in the bottom half. Lockwood threw a called third strike past Mick Kelleher. Skip then got pinch-hitter Bill Buckner to hit a ground ball to Flynn for a game-ending double play. The Mets had a comeback victory.