August 12, 1981: Mets Win With Three Runs in 10th

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Date: August 12, 1981
Mets starter: Ed Lynch
Mets: 7
Cubs: 4
Winning pitcher: Neil Allen
Key player(s): Dave Kingman, Ellis Valentine, Hubie Brooks, Neil Allen
Key play: Kingman’s and Valentine’s triples, Brooks’ RBI single

The Mets and Cubs faced each other on a Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field. The teams got together for the third time in a four-game series that resumed the season following a players strike. The Mets scored three times in the 10th inning for a 7-4 win over Chicago.

Ed Lynch and Cubs’ starter Ken Kravec each pitched a scoreless first inning. Kravec retired the Mets in order in the top of the second. Bobby Bonds led off the bottom of the inning with a home run for a 1-0 Chicago lead. Lynch set down the next three batters and Mookie Wilson drew a two-out walk in the top of the third. With Frank Taveras at bat, Wilson was caught stealing on a throw by catcher Jody Davis to shortstop Ivan DeJesus for the final out of the inning. Lynch then set down the Cubs 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Following a scoreless fourth, Hubie Brooks began the top of the fifth inning with a homer that tied the game. Kravec retired the next two Mets batters on infield ground balls. Lynch drew a walk and Wilson hit a fly ball to right fielder Hector Cruz to close out the inning. Lynch hurled a perfect bottom half. Against Chicago reliever Bill Caudill, the Mets had runners on first and second base with one out in the top of the sixth. Ellis Valentine lined out to left fielder Steve Henderson. On the play, Joel Youngblood was doubled up at second base via a throw by Henderson to second baseman Steve Dillard to end the inning.

DeJesus singled with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Henderson hit a single and an errant pickoff throw by Lynch put Cubs runners at second and third base. Bill Buckner was walked intentionally to load the bases. With Bonds at the plate, Lynch committed a balk that allowed DeJesus to score and put Chicago ahead by a run. Bonds received an intentional walk that reloaded the bases. Lynch then threw a called third strike past Cruz for the third out of the inning.

Brooks singled to open the top of the seventh. John Stearns flied out to Cruz and a pinch-hit single by Rusty Staub ensued. Doug Capilla replaced Caudill on the mound for the Cubs and threw a wild pitch that put runners on second and third base. Pinch-hitter Lee Mazzilli doubled to drive home Brooks and pinch-runner Alex Trevino, giving the Mets a 3-2 lead. Chicago reliever Lee Smith walked Wilson and gave up a single to Taveras to load the bases. Youngblood followed with a sacrifice fly that plated Mazzilli with the fourth New York run. Dave Kingman was given an intentional walk to load the bases once again. Smith then got Valentine on an inning-ending force play ground ball to DeJesus.

Davis singled against the Mets’ Terry Leach (making his major league debut) to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Ken Reitz hit a single to left field. With Dillard batting, Davis was caught in a rundown by catcher Stearns’ throw and tagged out by third baseman Brooks. Dillard followed up by fouling out to second baseman Trevino. Pinch-hitter Mike Lum homered (scoring pinch-runner Ty Waller ahead of him) to tie the game at 4-4. DeJesus drew a walk and stole second base. Leach then struck out Henderson to finish off the inning.

Cubs’ reliever Dick Tidrow pitched a scoreless top of the eighth. For the Mets, Neil Allen set down all three batters in the bottom half. Tidrow and Allen each hurled a perfect ninth inning and Kingman started the top of the 10th with a triple to center field. An ensuing triple by Valentine scored Kingman to put the Mets in front. Brooks hit a single to drive home Valentine, extending the New York lead to 6-4. Chicago’s Rawly Eastwick retired Stearns on a fly ball to right fielder Jerry Morales. A passed ball by Davis allowed Brooks to advance to second base. Trevino singled to drive home Brooks for the Mets’ third run of the inning. A sacrifice bunt by Allen moved Trevino to second and Wilson was given an intentional walk. Eastwick then got Taveras to ground out to first baseman Buckner and end the inning.

Lum grounded out to shortstop Taveras to begin the bottom of the 10th. DeJesus was retired on a ground ball to Trevino. Allen then got Morales to fly out to right fielder Valentine and bring the game to an end. The Mets had their third consecutive win to start the official second half of the strike-affected season.