July 17, 1991: Sasser and McReynolds Come Through
|Date: July 17, 1991|
|Mets starter: Frank Viola|
|Winning pitcher: Alejandro Pena|
|Key player(s): Kevin McReynolds, Mackey Sasser|
|Key play: Sasser's sacrifice flies, McReynolds' home run|
The Mets and Giants concluded a three-game series on a Wednesday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played a three-hour and 25-minute game in front of 35,731 fans. On the strength of Kevin McReynolds' home run and a pair of sacrifice flies by Mackey Sasser, the Mets emerged with a come-from-behind 6-5 win.
Mets' starter Frank Viola pitched a perfect top of the first inning. Keith Miller led off the bottom half with a single off San Francisco's Bud Black. A single by Dave Magadan advanced Miller to third and Gregg Jefferies singled to score Keith. Magadan moved to third on Hubie Brooks' fly out and came home on a sacrifice fly by Howard Johnson. Black then struck out Mark Carreon to end the inning.
In the top of the second, Matt Williams singled with one out off Viola. Williams moved to second base on Robby Thompson's infield out. Steve Decker followed with a single that scored Williams and trimmed the Mets' lead to 2-1. Viola retired Dave Anderson on a pop-up to second baseman Jefferies and the Mets failed to score in the bottom of the inning.
Viola set down the Giants in order in the top of the third. Johnson drew a walk and stole second base with two outs in the bottom half. Carreon followed with a ground ball that was mishandled by third baseman Williams. Johnson scored on the error for the Mets' third run of the game. Black got Kevin Elster on a fly ball to left fielder Kevin Mitchell for the third out. Viola shut down San Francisco after two leadoff singles in the top of the fourth. The Mets loaded the bases against Black in the bottom half, but reliever Kelly Downs recorded a pair of outs to end the scoring chance.
Viola and Downs each pitched scoreless ball in the fifth and sixth innings. In the top of the seventh, Thompson led off with a double and scored on a single by pinch-hitter Greg Litton. Anderson singled to send Litton to third base and Viola was relieved by Jeff Innis. Mike Kingery hit a pinch-hit single to bring home Litton and tie the game at 3-3. Innis walked Darren Lewis to load the bases and Mike Felder singled to bring home Anderson and Kingery for a 5-3 Giants lead. On Felder's hit, Lewis was thrown out at third by right fielder Brooks. The inning ended when catcher Rick Cerone threw out Felder on an attempted steal of second.
San Francisco's Jeff Brantley walked Magadan and Jefferies to begin the bottom of the seventh inning. Brooks drew a walk from reliever John Burkett to load the bases for the Mets. Burkett struck out Johnson and retired pinch-hitter Sasser on a fly ball to right fielder Felder. Magadan came home on Sasser's fly to make the score 5-4. Burkett got Garry Templeton to fly out to Felder and end the inning. Innis then shut down the Giants in the top of the eighth.
McReynolds came up to pinch-hit for Innis with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning. Kevin hit a pitch from Dave Righetti over the wall for a game-tying home run. Miller followed with a single and Magadan flied out to Mitchell in left field. The inning came to an end when Miller was caught off first by Righetti and thrown out at second base.
Mets' reliever Alejandro Pena pitched a scoreless top of the ninth inning. Jefferies led off the bottom half with a single and went to third on a double by Brooks. Righetti walked Johnson intentionally to load the bases with none out. Sasser hit a fly ball to Felder in right field on which Jefferies scored to end the game. The Mets had a comeback victory.