April 7, 1978: Koosman Wins on Opening Day
|Date: April 7, 1978|
|Mets starter: Jerry Koosman|
|Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman|
|Key player(s): Jerry Koosman, Ken Henderson|
|Key play: Ken Henderson's double in 2nd|
For the first time in 11 years, the Mets' starting pitcher for Opening Day was not Tom Seaver. With Tom in Cincinnati, Jerry Koosman got the call for the first game of the season. Jerry pitched a complete game in the Mets' 3-1 win over the Expos at Shea Stadium.
In the top of the first inning, Dave Cash singled and Gary Carter doubled off Koosman. The Expos also got singles from Chris Speier and Steve Rogers in the second. However, Koosman recorded two strikeouts in each inning to keep Montreal from scoring.
The Mets scored twice against Rogers in the bottom of the second. Willie Montanez and Ken Henderson started the inning with back-to-back doubles for one run and a single by Doug Flynn brought home Ken Henderson for another. The Expos then got two more hits off Koosman in the top of the third, but failed to score.
In the sixth, Carter led off with a home run to cut the Met lead to 2-1. Koosman got the next three Expo batters on ground balls to get through the inning. The Mets then got a run in the bottom half on Lee Mazzilli's double that scored Steve Henderson.
Koosman set down the Expos in order in the seventh and eighth innings. In the bottom of the eighth, the Mets had two runners on base with two out when Mazzilli singled off reliever Stan Bahnsen. Steve Henderson tried to score from second base on the hit, but was thrown out at home by Montreal right fielder Ellis Valentine.
In the ninth, Koosman again retired the Expos 1-2-3 to end the game. The Mets had their fourth consecutive season-opening victory. It was also Jerry's first win ever on Opening Day.