April 7, 1977: Mets Defeat Cubs in Opener
|Date: April 7,1977|
|Mets starter: Tom Seaver|
|Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver|
|Key player(s): John Stearns, Skip Lockwood|
|Key play: Stearns' two-run single|
In the bottom of the first inning, the Cubs got a run on Bobby Murcer's bunt single with two out that scored Jose Cardenal. A home run by Steve Ontiveros leading off the fourth made it a 2-0 Chicago lead. Meanwhile, the Mets were held to two hits (doubles by Dave Kingman and Ed Kranepool) by Cubs' starter Ray Burris over the first five innings.
Seaver walked to lead off the top of the sixth for the Mets. Lee Mazzilli added a single and John Milner hit a one-out double to score Seaver. An intentional walk to Kingman loaded the bases and Mazzilli scored the tying run on Kranepool's ground out. John Stearns then doubled to left field off Cubs' reliever Bruce Sutter, scoring Milner and Kingman to put the Mets ahead, 4-2. The Mets added another run in the seventh when Roy Staiger scored on Sutter's wild pitch.
For Chicago, Cardenal and Larry Biittner started the bottom of the eighth with singles off Seaver. Skip Lockwood came in to relieve and got Murcer to ground out. Jerry Morales's force play grounder scored Cardenal before Skip got Ontiveros to pop up to third baseman Staiger for the final out of the inning.
Lockwood retired the Cubs in order in the bottom of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Greg Gross grounded to Staiger to end the game. The Mets had an Opening Day victory for the third year in a row.