July 1, 1984: Darling and Orosco Trump Mahler
|Date: July 1, 1984|
|Mets starter: Ron Darling|
|Winning pitcher: Ron Darling|
|Key player(s): Ron Darling, Jesse Orosco, Darryl Strawberry|
|Key play: Strawberry’s two-run single, Orosco’s pickoff of Hubbard|
The Mets faced the Braves in a doubleheader on a Sunday afternoon. The teams played a two-hour and twenty-four-minute opener of the twinbill at Shea Stadium. A tandem of Ron Darling and Jesse Orosco overcame a five-hit complete game by Atlanta’s Rick Mahler in a 2-1 Mets win.
Darling and Mahler each pitched a scoreless first inning. Chris Chambliss hit a double with one out in the top of the second. Brad Komminsk and Glenn Hubbard grounded out to shortstop Ron Gardenhire to end the inning and Mahler held the Mets to a single by Mike Fitzgerald in the bottom half. Darling surrendered only a walk to Mahler in the top of the third and Mookie Wilson got a two-out single in the bottom of the inning. Keith Hernandez was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Dale Murphy for the third out and Darling shut down the Braves in the top of the fourth. Mahler then hurled a scoreless bottom half.
Komminsk was hit by a pitch to open the top of the fifth inning. Darling recorded outs on each of the next three Atlanta batters and Gardenhire singled to lead off the bottom half. Darling went down on strikes and Wally Backman drew a walk. Wilson grounded out to second baseman Hubbard to advance the runners to second and third base. Hernandez drew a walk that loaded the bases. Darryl Strawberry then grounded back to Mahler for the inning’s final out.
Ken Oberkfell hit a single with one out in the top of the sixth. Gerald Perry drew a walk and Murphy followed with a force play ground ball to first baseman Hernandez. Chambliss drew a walk to load the bases and Darling retired Komminsk on an inning-ending line drive to second baseman Backman. Mahler hurled a perfect bottom half. Darling then shut down the Braves in the top of the seventh.
To begin the bottom of the seventh inning, Gardenhire singled and advanced to second base on left fielder Perry’s error. Pinch-hitter Rusty Staub grounded out to first baseman Chambliss to send Gardenhire to third. Backman flied out to Murphy and consecutive walks to Wilson and Hernandez loaded the bases. Strawberry followed with a single that drove home Gardenhire and Wilson for a 2-0 Mets lead. Mahler then got Hubie Brooks to line out to third baseman Oberkfell and finish off the inning.
Mets’ reliever Orosco struck out Rafael Ramirez and pinch-hitter Randy Johnson to open the top of the eighth. Perry and Murphy followed with back-to-back singles. Pinch-hitter Bob Watson singled to score Perry and cut the Mets’ lead to one run. Orosco retired Komminsk on a pop-up to Hernandez that closed out the inning. Mahler then set down the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom half.
Hubbard doubled to lead off the top of the ninth. Bruce Benedict went down on strikes and Orosco made a pickoff throw to Gardenhire for an out on Hubbard. Pinch-hitter Rufino Linares followed with a double. Orosco then got Ramirez on a fly ball to center fielder Wilson to end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the doubleheader.