July 23, 1984: Backman's Single in 12th Beats Cardinals

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Date: July 23, 1984
Mets starter: Walt Terrell
Mets: 4
Cardinals: 3
Winning pitcher: Ed Lynch
Key player(s): Mike Fitzgerald, Wally Backman
Key play: Fitzgerald’s home run, Backman’s single

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Monday night at Shea Stadium. The teams began a three-game series with an extra-inning game. Wally Backman’s run-scoring single in the bottom of the 12th gave the Mets a 4-3 win over St. Louis.

Mets’ starter Walt Terrell shut down the Redbirds in the top of the first inning. In the bottom half, Keith Hernandez got a two-out single and advanced to third base on a single by George Foster. Hernandez came home to score on Darryl Strawberry’s single to right field. Foster went to third on the hit, but Strawberry was out at second on a throw by right fielder George Hendrick. The Cards loaded the bases with none out in the top of the second. They tied the game on David Green’s run-scoring force play grounder. Terrell then got Chris Speier to hit into a double play that ended the inning.

Hubie Brooks led off the bottom of the second by reaching on third baseman Terry Pendleton’s error. Mike Fitzgerald followed with a home run to put the Mets ahead, 3-1. St. Louis starter Ricky Horton retired the next three batters to close out the inning. Terrell and Horton each pitched scoreless ball in the third and fourth. Speier doubled to lead off the top of the fifth and went to third on Horton’s sacrifice bunt. Lonnie Smith drew a walk and a sacrifice fly by Tommy Herr drove home Speier. Terrell got Pendleton on a fly ball to left fielder Foster for the third out of the inning. Horton then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

After a scoreless sixth inning, Terrell set down the Cardinals 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh. St. Louis reliever Jeff Lahti held the Mets to a single by Rafael Santana in the bottom half. Terrell walked Herr to begin the top of the eighth and reliever Jesse Orosco struck out Pendleton. A ground out by Darrell Porter moved Herr to second base. On a pickoff attempt, second baseman Kelvin Chapman made an error that allowed Herr to score the tying run. Hendrick popped out to Chapman to end the inning. Lahti and Cards’ reliever Dave Rucker then combined for a scoreless bottom half.

Orosco and Redbirds’ reliever Neil Allen each pitched a perfect ninth inning. In the top of the 10th, pinch-hitter Art Howe singled off Mets’ reliever Doug Sisk. Howe advanced to second on Bill Lyons’ sacrifice bunt and to third on Herr’s ground out. Sisk retired Pendleton on an inning-ending pop-up to shortstop Santana. Allen walked the first two batters in the bottom half. Neil then struck out Chapman and got Hernandez to hit into a double play for the final outs of the inning.

Ed Lynch shut down the Cardinals despite a leadoff single by Porter in the top of the 11th. Allen retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning. Lynch allowed only a single to Howe in a scoreless top of the 12th. Fitzgerald singled to open the bottom half and went to second on Santana’s sacrifice bunt. Backman followed with a single off Allen that brought home Fitzgerald to end the game. The Mets had begun the series with an exciting extra-inning triumph.