July 31, 1983: Mookie's Mad Dash

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Date: July 31, 1983
Mets starter: Mike Torrez
Mets: 1
Pirates: 0
Winning pitcher: Jesse Orosco
Key player(s): Mike Torrez, Jose DeLeon, Mookie Wilson
Key play: Wilson's run in 12th

After winning the first game of a doubleheader in 12 innings, the Mets aimed for a sweep of the Pirates. Mike Torrez and Pittsburgh's Jose DeLeon battled each other in a pitchers' duel. When the game ended, the Mets had their second 12-inning win of the day on Mookie Wilson's bold baserunning for a 1-0 victory.

Torrez kept the Pirates scoreless through the first six innings. In the seventh, Pittsburgh had Tony Pena at third base and Dale Berra at second with two out. Pena was then tagged out by Mets' catcher Junior Ortiz in an attempt to steal home to end the inning. The Pirates also had runners on base in the eighth and ninth innings, but again failed to score against Torrez.

For Pittsburgh, DeLeon was pitching masterfully. He held the Mets hitless with eleven strikeouts over the first eight innings. Hubie Brooks spoiled the no-hit bid with a one-out single in the ninth, but DeLeon then got Keith Hernandez to ground into an inning-ending double play.

The game remained scoreless through the tenth and eleventh innings. Torrez continued to shut down the Pirates while the Mets were held by Pittsburgh reliever Kent Tekulve. In the top of the twelfth, the Pirates didn't score against Jesse Orosco.

Wilson singled off the Pirates' Manny Sarmiento to start the bottom of the twelfth. Mookie moved to second on Brooks' sacrifice bunt and Hernandez was given an intentional walk. George Foster then reached first base on a force play grounder on which Wilson didn't stop running. After rounding third on the play, Mookie daringly headed for home. The throw to the plate was late and Wilson slid in safely to score the winning run. The Mets had swept the doubleheader in bold fashion.

Notes

  • Orosco was the winning pitcher in both games of the doubleheader.
  • This was the first of two games in which Wilson scored the winning run from second base on a ground out by Foster. He did so again three days later against the Expos at Shea.
  • At the start of this day, the Mets had a won-lost record of 37-65. The twinbill sweep of marked the beginning of a 31-29 Mets record to close the season. Between 1984 and 1990, the team would compile the most wins (666) in the major leagues.