July 20, 1984: Mets Beat Reds in 11 Innings

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Date: July 20, 1984
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 3
Reds: 2
Winning pitcher: Jesse Orosco
Key player(s): Darryl Strawberry, Wally Backman, Keith Hernandez
Key play: Strawberry’s home run, Hernandez’s sacrifice fly

The Mets faced the Reds on a Friday night in Cincinnati. The team played the second game of four in a weekend series at Riverfront Stadium. The Mets emerged with a 3-2 win in 11 innings.

Reds’ starter Jay Tibbs retired the Mets in order in the top of the first inning. For New York, Dwight Gooden pitched a scoreless bottom half. Leading off the top of the second, Darryl Strawberry hit a home run to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Tibbs set down the next three batters and Dave Parker reached on third baseman Hubie Brooks’ error to begin the bottom of the inning. A double by Cesar Cedeno brought home Parker and tied the game. Gooden fanned Dave Concepcion for the first out and Cedeno stole third base. Nick Esasky drew a walk and Brad Gulden was retired on pop-up to shortstop Rafael Santana. Gooden then struck out Tibbs to finish off the inning.

From the third inning to the sixth, Gooden and Tibbs each pitched scoreless ball. Only two Cincinnati batters reached base against Dwight while the Mets were limited to a walk to George Foster and a double by Wally Backman by Tibbs. Foster hit a double with two outs in the top of the seventh. An ensuing single by Brooks plated George to put the Mets in front by a run. Mike Fitzgerald grounded out to third baseman Esasky to end the inning. Gooden hurled a perfect bottom half. Backman got a two-out double in the top of the eighth. Tibbs then got Mookie Wilson for an inning-ending strikeout.

Wayne Krenchicki began the bottom of the eighth inning with a pinch-hit single. A sacrifice bunt by Duane Walker advanced pinch-runner Gary Redus to second base. Ron Oester singled to drive home Redus and tie the game at 2-2. Gooden struck out Dan Driessen and retired Parker on a fly ball to center fielder Wilson to close out the inning. Reds’ reliever Bob Owchinko shut down the Mets in the top of the ninth. Gooden then fanned Concepcion and Esasky for his tenth and eleventh strikeouts in a perfect bottom half.

Owchinko pitched a scoreless in the top of the 10th inning. Mets’ reliever Jesse Orosco issued a walk to Redus with one out in the bottom half. With pinch-hitter Dave Van Gorder at bat, Redus stole second base. Orosco followed up by getting Redus with a pickoff throw to Santana. Jesse then struck out Van Gorder to end the inning.

Facing Cincinnati’s Brad Lesley to lead off the top of the 11th, Backman got his third double of the game. Wally moved to third base on Wilson’s sacrifice bunt. Keith Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly against Reds’ reliever Ted Power to bring home Backman and put the Mets ahead. Strawberry singled and Power retired Foster on an inning-ending grounder to Esasky.

Oester flied out to right fielder Strawberry to open the bottom of the 11th. Driessen and Parker followed with back-to-back singles. Orosco fanned Cedeno for the second out of the inning. Jesse then retired Concepcion on a pop-up to first baseman Hernandez to end the game. The Mets had an extra-inning victory.


  • The win for the Mets was their seventh against the Reds during the season. It clinched a season-series victory over Cincinnati for the first time in team history.