July 19, 1987: McReynolds Comes Through After Rain

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Date: July 19, 1987
Mets starter: John Mitchell
Mets: 6
Reds: 5
Winning pitcher: Jesse Orosco
Key player(s): Howard Johnson, Kevin McReynolds
Key play: Johnson’s single and homer, McReynolds’ single

The Mets faced the Reds on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a four-game series. In the 11th inning, Kevin McReynolds singled to drive home the winning run after a rain delay for a 6-5 Mets triumph over Cincinnati.

Following a scoreless first inning, Dave Parker opened the top of the second with a single off Mets’ starter John Mitchell. Paul O’Neill drew a walk and Nick Esasky singled to score Parker. A single by Terry McGriff plated O’Neill and a force play ground ball by Kurt Stillwell ensued. Guy Hoffman grounded out to shortstop Rafael Santana to bring home Esasky with the Reds’ third run. Mitchell retired Barry Larkin on a grounder to third baseman Howard Johnson to end the inning. The Mets loaded the bases with two outs against Cincinnati starter Hoffman in the bottom half. Mookie Wilson drew a walk to drive home Barry Lyons. Hoffman then got Tim Teufel on an inning-ending force play grounder to third baseman Buddy Bell.

Mitchell and Hoffman each hurled scoreless ball from the third inning to the fifth. In the top of the sixth, John shut down the Reds again despite an error by Johnson. Howard homered with one out in the bottom half to reduce the Cincinnati lead to 3-2. Hoffman set down Santana and Mitchell on infield grounders for the final outs of the inning. The Reds loaded the bases against Mitchell with two outs in the top of the seventh. Eric Davis singled off Mets’ reliever Roger McDowell to drive home Terry Francona and Larkin. Parker was hit by a pitch to reload the bases. McDowell then retired O’Neill on a grounder to first baseman Keith Hernandez to close out the inning.

Wilson doubled off Cincinnati’s Rob Murphy to begin the bottom of the seventh. Teufel drew a walk and Hernandez singled to score Wilson. Murphy struck out Darryl Strawberry and an errant pickoff throw by reliever Frank Williams advanced the runners to second and third base. McReynolds drew a walk to load the bases. A sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Lee Mazzilli brought home Teufel and sent Hernandez to third. Johnson followed with a single to score Keith and tie the game at 5-5. Hojo stole second base and Santana hit a grounder to shortstop Larkin for the third out of the inning.

McDowell and Williams each pitched a perfect eighth inning. Mets’ reliever Jesse Orosco shut down the Reds in the top of the ninth. Cincinnati’s John Franco retired the Mets in order in the bottom of the inning. Orosco set down all three batters in the top of the 10th and Franco hurled a scoreless bottom half. Jesse then hurled a 1-2-3 top of the 11th inning.

Leading off the bottom of the 11th, pinch-hitter Bill Almon drew a walk against Reds’ reliever Bill Scherrer. Teufel lined out to first baseman Esasky and a single by Hernandez followed. Strawberry drew a walk to load the bases and McReynolds came up to bat. With Kevin at the plate, the rain came down and halted the game for more than an hour.

When play resumed, Bill Landrum came in to pitch for Cincinnati. McReynolds greeted the reliever with a single that drove home Almon with the winning run. The Mets had an extra-inning victory.