July 8, 1978: Kobel and Murray Blank Cubs
|Date: July 8, 1978|
|Mets starter: Kevin Kobel|
|Winning pitcher: Kevin Kobel|
|Key player(s): Kevin Kobel, Dale Murray, Lee Mazzilli, Lenny Randle|
|Key play: Mazzilli’s home run, Randle’s double|
The Mets faced the Cubs on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the third of four games in a weekend series. Kevin Kobel and Dale Murray combined for a five-hit shutout in a 7-0 Mets win over Chicago.
Kobel yielded just a single to Bobby Murcer in the top of the first inning. With two outs in the bottom half, Lee Mazzilli hit a solo home run against Cubs’ starter Ray Burris. Willie Montanez grounded out to third baseman Rodney Scott to end the inning and Kobel retired the side in order in the top of the second. John Stearns hit a double to lead off the bottom half. Stearns advanced to third base on Steve Henderson’s ground out to second baseman Manny Trillo and came home on a single by Elliott Maddox. Doug Flynn singled to send Maddox to third and moved to second on center fielder Murcer’s error. Kobel followed with a ground ball on which Maddox was out at home via a throw by shortstop Mick Kelleher to catcher Larry Cox. Lenny Randle hit a double to drive home Flynn and Kobel for a 4-0 Mets lead. Burris then hit Tim Foli with a pitch and retired Mazzilli on a pop-up to Trillo that closed out the inning.
Kobel set down the side in order in the top of the third. Burris pitched a perfect bottom half and Kevin gave up only a double to Mike Vail in the top of the fourth. Burris retired all three Mets batters in the bottom of the inning and Larry Biittner singled to begin the top of the fifth. Cox drew a walk and the runners advanced to second and third base on a wild pitch. Kelleher was retired on a ground ball to first baseman Montanez. Burris followed with a grounder on which third baseman Randle threw to catcher Stearns for an out at home on Biittner. Kobel then got Scott to pop out to shortstop Foli and finish off the inning.
Randle drew a walk against Burris to open the bottom of the fifth. Foli singled and Mazzilli walked to load the bases. Chicago reliever Dave Geisel recorded a strikeout of Montanez. Stearns hit a single to score Randle for a 5-0 Mets lead. Henderson’s ground out to first baseman Biittner brought home Foli and a walk to Maddox loaded the bases once again. Flynn singled against the Cubs’ Donnie Moore to plate Mazzilli with the Mets’ seventh run of the game. With Kobel at bat, Stearns got caught between bases and was tagged out by Cox to end the inning.
Kobel retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth. Moore set down all three batters in the bottom half and Biittner hit a one-out single against Kobel in the top of the seventh. Mike Gordon drew a walk and Mets’ reliever Murray got both Steve Ontiveros and pinch-hitter Bill Buckner on force play grounders to Foli that closed out the inning. Chicago’s Ken Holtzman pitched a perfect bottom half and Scott singled for the Cubs’ fifth hit to lead off the top of the eighth. Gene Clines hit a force play ground ball to Randle and a walk to Murcer ensued. Vail grounded back to Murray for an inning-ending double play. Holtzman then surrendered just a walk to Maddox in the bottom half.
Trillo grounded out to Randle to begin the top of the ninth. Biittner was retired on a line drive to Foli. Murray then struck out Gordon to end the game. The Mets had a shutout victory.