July 10, 1982: Mets Outlast Padres in Hitters Battle
|Date: July 10, 1982|
|Mets starter: Pete Falcone|
|Winning pitcher: Pete Falcone|
|Key player(s): Ellis Valentine, Joel Youngblood|
|Key play: Valentine’s home run, Youngblood’s double|
The Mets faced the Padres on a Saturday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the third match of a four-game weekend series. In a game that featured a total of 25 hits, the Mets came away with a 9-7 win over San Diego.
With one out in the top of the first inning, Gene Richards got an infield single against Mets’ starter Pete Falcone. Richards stole second base and Garry Templeton went down on strikes. Sixto Lezcano reached on an error by catcher Ron Hodges that allowed Richards to come around and score. Falcone struck out Kurt Bevacqua to end the inning and the Padres’ John Curtis pitched a perfect bottom half. Falcone then retired all three San Diego batters on infield ground balls in the top of the second.
Dave Kingman hit a home run to lead off the bottom of the second inning. Ellis Valentine lined out to shortstop Templeton and a single by Hodges followed. With Wally Backman at bat, Hodges was caught stealing on a throw by catcher Steve Swisher to Templeton. Curtis retired Backman on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Lezcano. Richards homered to give the Padres a 2-1 lead with two outs in the top of the third. Falcone fanned Templeton for the final out of the inning. Curtis then held the Mets to a single by Joel Youngblood in a scoreless bottom half.
Bevacqua got a one-out single in the top of the fourth. Luis Salazar singled and Joe Pittman drew a walk to load the bases. Falcone fanned Swisher for the inning’s second out. Curtis hit a single on which Bevacqua scored the third San Diego run. On the hit, Salazar was out at the plate via a throw by right fielder Rusty Staub to Hodges to finish off the inning.
A single by George Foster opened the bottom of the fourth. Kingman followed by reaching on an error by Curtis. Valentine hit a three-run homer to put the Mets ahead, 4-3. Hodges drew a walk and advanced to second base on Backman’s ground out to second baseman Pittman. Ron Gardenhire got an infield single (on which Hodges stayed at second) and Falcone’s sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third. Youngblood doubled to drive home Hodges and Gardenhire for a five-run inning. Curtis then got Staub on a grounder to Pittman for the third out.
Richards singled with one out in the top of the fifth inning. Templeton reached on an error by second baseman Backman. Falcone struck out Lezcano and retired Bevacqua on a line drive to Backman that closed out the inning. Foster led off the bottom half with a single to left field. Kingman flied out to left fielder Richards and a walk to Valentine ensued. Hodges was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Alan Wiggins and an infield single by Backman loaded the bases. Gardenhire flied out to Wiggins to end the inning. Falcone and Curtis then set down the sides in order in the sixth.
Wiggins got a one-out single in the top of the seventh inning. Richards singled and Templeton was struck out for the third time in the game. A single by Lezcano plated Wiggins to reduce the Mets’ lead to 6-4. Neil Allen then came in to pitch for New York and retired pinch-hitter Broderick Perkins on an inning-ending ground ball to first baseman Kingman.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Kingman drew a walk against Padres’ reliever Floyd Chiffer. Valentine followed with a single to right field. Hodges singled to drive home pinch-runner Mike Jorgensen and send Valentine to third base. Hodges stole second and a sacrifice fly by Phil Mankowski scored Valentine for an 8-4 Mets lead. Chiffer then issued a walk to Gardenhire and struck out Allen to end the inning.
Pittman singled with one out in the top of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Joe Lefebvre hit a single on which Pittman advanced to third base. Terry Kennedy followed with a pinch-hit single that scored Pittman. Wiggins hit into a force play to move Lefebvre from second to third and stole second base. Richards hit a single (his fifth hit of the game) to drive home Lefebvre and Wiggins, cutting the Mets’ lead to one run. For New York, Terry Leach replaced Allen on the mound and retired Templeton on an inning-ending grounder to shortstop Gardenhire.
Leading off the bottom of the eighth, Youngblood was hit by a pitch from San Diego reliever Dave Dravecky. Youngblood advanced to second base on Mookie Wilson’s sacrifice bunt and to third when Foster reached on an error by Pittman. Jorgensen singled to score Youngblood with the Mets’ ninth run of the game. Valentine grounded out to first baseman Perkins to move the runners to second and third. Dravecky then got Hodges on a pop-up to Pittman for the final out of the inning.
Lezcano grounded back to Leach to begin the top of the ninth. Perkins was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Valentine. Leach then retired Salazar on a grounder back to the mound to end the game. The Mets had emerged with a victory in a battle of hitting.