August 3, 1977: Mazzilli's Single in 14th Beats Dodgers
|Date: August 3, 1977|
|Mets starter: Nino Espinosa|
|Winning pitcher: Paul Siebert|
|Key player(s): Lee Mazzilli, Joel Youngblood|
|Key play: Vail's single, Flynn's walk, Mazzilli's single|
The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Wednesday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The 14-inning series finale lasted 3 hours and 47 minutes. The Mets defeated Los Angeles, 4-3, on a run-scoring single by Lee Mazzilli.
The Dodgers got a run in the first inning against Mets' starter Nino Espinosa. With one out, Bill Russell and Reggie Smith got back-to-back singles. Russell moved to third base on Ron Cey's fly ball and came home to score on Espinosa's balk. In the third, Dave Lopes hit a two-run homer to extend the Los Angeles lead to 3-0.
Espinosa held the Dodgers scoreless on two hits from the fourth inning to the sixth. In the bottom of the sixth, pinch-hitter Bruce Boisclair doubled off Dodgers' starter Doug Rau. Boisclair went to third on Rau's wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Felix Millan. Mets' reliever Rick Baldwin then pitched two innings of scoreless relief.
In the top of the ninth inning, Bob Apodaca retired the Dodgers in order. Millan led off the bottom half with a walk and advanced to second base on Charlie Hough's wild pitch. Hough walked Steve Henderson to put the tying runs on base for the Mets. Dodgers' reliever Elias Sosa then struck out John Stearns for the first out of the inning.
Facing Lance Rautzhan, John Milner was retired on a pop-up for the second out. Mike Vail followed with a single to score Millan to cut the Los Angeles lead to 3-2. An infield single by Joel Youngblood loaded the bases and Doug Flynn came to bat. Rautzhan walked Flynn to force home Henderson with the tying run. The game was headed to extra innings.
For the Mets, Bob Myrick pitched scoreless relief from the tenth inning to the twelfth. Paul Siebert followed up with two more shutout innings. Meanwhile, the Mets were shut down on three hits by Rautzhan and Mike Garman up to the end of the 13th.
Youngblood led off the bottom of the 14th with a single and moved to second base on Garman's balk. Flynn's sacrifice bunt advanced Joel to third and Mazzilli came up to pinch-hit for Siebert. Lee hit a single to right field that brought home Youngblood with the winning run. The Mets had an exciting come-from-behind victory.