April 24, 1979: Two Big Innings Rout Giants

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Date: April 24, 1979
Mets starter: Mike Scott
Mets: 10
Giants: 3
Winning pitcher: Mike Scott
Key player(s): Joel Youngblood, Richie Hebner, John Stearns
Key play: Youngblood’s home run, Hebner’s double, Stearns’ single

The Mets faced the Giants on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. In his second major league appearance and first as a starter, Mike Scott recorded his first major league win. Scott’s quest was aided by high-scoring first and seventh innings as the Mets came away with a 10-3 victory over San Francisco.

Bill North led off the top of the first inning with a single to left field. On a pickoff attempt, North advanced to second base on an error by first baseman Willie Montanez. North moved to third on Terry Whitfield’s single and came home on Bill Madlock’s double play ground ball to third baseman Richie Hebner. Scott then retired Jack Clark on an inning-ending grounder to shortstop Frank Taveras.

Giants’ starter Vida Blue walked Taveras to begin the bottom of the first. Hebner followed with a single that sent Frank to third base. A sacrifice fly by Lee Mazzilli scored Taveras to tie the game. Steve Henderson flied out to center fielder North and a walk to Montanez followed. Joel Youngblood hit a three-run homer to give the Mets a 4-1 lead. Blue then got John Stearns to fly out to North and end the inning.

Scott and Blue each pitched scoreless ball in the second and third. Whitfield drew a walk to open the top of the fourth. Madlock lined out to Hebner and a single by Clark advanced Whitfield to second base. Darrell Evans singled to drive home Whitfield with Clark moving to third on an error by right fielder Youngblood. Mike Ivie singled to score Clark and cut the Mets’ lead to 4-3. Scott retired Marc Hill on a pop-up to Montanez and got Roger Metzger to line out to Youngblood. Blue then set down the Mets in order in the bottom of the inning.

Scott walked Blue to start the top of the fifth. North hit a grounder to Hebner for a double play and Whitfield’s fly out to Youngblood ended the inning. Blue pitched a perfect bottom half and Mets’ reliever Dwight Bernard shut down San Francisco in the top of the sixth. The Mets were limited to a single by Henderson in a scoreless bottom of the inning. Bernard then retired the Giants 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh.

Doug Flynn drew a walk with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Pinch-hitter Gil Flores singled to send Flynn to third base and advanced to second on Blue’s wild pitch. Taveras was walked intentionally to load the bases. Hebner doubled off San Francisco reliever Gary Lavelle to bring home Flynn and Flores. Mazzilli received an intentional walk to reload the bases and Henderson went down on strikes. Montanez reached on shortstop Metzger’s error that allowed Taveras and Hebner to score. Lavelle walked Youngblood to load the bases again. Stearns singled to plate Mazzilli and Montanez for the Mets’ fifth and sixth runs of the inning. Flynn then hit a fly ball to right fielder Clark for the third out.

Mets’ reliever Skip Lockwood retired all three Giants batters in the top of the eighth inning. Lavelle yielded only a single to Taveras in a scoreless bottom half. Clark flied out to center fielder Mazzilli to open the top of the ninth. Evans was retired on a foul pop-up to catcher Stearns. Lockwood then struck out Ivie to end the game. The Mets had triumphed on the strength of two big innings for Scott’s first major league win.