April 7, 1979: Eleven Hits Bury Cubs

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Date: April 7, 1979
Mets starter: Pat Zachry
Mets: 9
Cubs: 4
Winning pitcher: Pat Zachry
Key player(s): Lee Mazzilli, Steve Henderson, Doug Flynn
Key play: Henderson’s and Flynn’s RBI singles, Mazzilli’s homer and two-run single

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Saturday afternoon in Chicago. The teams played the second game of the regular season. The Mets hammered out eleven hits in a 9-4 win.

Following a scoreless first inning, Willie Montanez doubled against Cubs’ starter Ken Holtzman with one out in the top of the second. Steve Henderson singled to drive home Montanez with the first run of the game. With Elliott Maddox at bat, Henderson stole second base and moved to third on catcher Barry Foote’s throwing error. Maddox was called out on strikes and Doug Flynn singled to score Henderson for a 2-0 Mets lead. Holtzman threw a called third strike past Pat Zachry for the final out of the inning. Zachry then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Lee Mazzilli hit a home run to lead off the top of the third. Holtzman retired the next three Mets batters and Zachry set down the Cubs in order in the bottom of the inning. Holtzman hurled a perfect top of the fourth and Steve Ontiveros drew a walk to begin the bottom half. Jerry Martin singled and Foote went down on strikes. Zachry got both pinch-hitter Larry Biittner and Ivan DeJesus on called third strikes to close out the inning and Chicago’s Ray Burris yielded only a single to Mazzilli in the top of the fifth. Bill Buckner hit a one-out single in the bottom half. Dave Kingman and Bobby Murcer followed with consecutive walks to load the bases. Ontiveros grounded out to first baseman Montanez to bring home Buckner and cut the Mets’ lead to 3-1. Zachry then got Martin to ground out to shortstop Flynn and end the inning.

Kelvin Chapman hit a double to open the top of the sixth. Richie Hebner singled to score Chapman with the Mets’ fourth run of the game. John Stearns got hit by a pitch and Montanez’s ground out to first baseman Buckner advanced the runners to second and third base. Henderson was walked intentionally to load the bases and Burris was replaced on the mound by Cubs’ reliever Willie Hernandez. Pinch-hitter Joel Youngblood reached on an error by third baseman Ontiveros to drive home Hebner and a pop-up by Flynn was caught by second baseman Ted Sizemore. Pinch-hitter Alex Trevino hit a single to plate Stearns with the sixth New York run. Mazzilli followed with a single that brought home Henderson and Youngblood, increasing the Mets’ lead to 8-1. Trying to score on the hit, Trevino was out via a relay throw by Ontiveros to Foote to finish off the inning. Mets’ reliever Wayne Twitchell then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Chicago’s Donnie Moore hurled a scoreless top of the seventh. Sizemore and Buckner drew back-to-back walks against Twitchell to begin the bottom of the inning. Kingman hit a single to drive home Sizemore. Murcer grounded to second baseman Chapman for a double play and a walk to Ontiveros ensued. Mets’ reliever Dale Murray walked Martin to load the bases and a walk to Tim Blackwell forced home Buckner. Murray then struck out pinch-hitter Scot Thompson to end the inning.

Youngblood hit a two-out single against Cubs’ reliever Dennis Lamp in the top of the eighth. Joel stole second base and came home on Flynn’s single (the Mets’ eleventh hit) for a 9-3 New York lead. Murray went down on strikes to close out the inning and retired the Cubs 1-2-3 in the bottom half. Lamp then set down the Mets in order in the top of the ninth.

Murray fanned Kingman to start the bottom of the ninth inning. Murcer hit a single and advanced to third base on a single by Ontiveros. Martin singled to bring home Murcer with the Cubs’ fourth run. Blackwell drew a walk that loaded the bases and Skip Lockwood came in to pitch for the Mets. Lockwood threw called third strikes past both pinch-hitter Mike Vail and DeJesus for the game’s final outs. The Mets had their second straight victory to begin the season.