June 2, 1988: Hojo's 13th Inning Homer

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Date: June 2, 1988
Mets starter: David Cone
Mets: 2
Cubs: 1
Winning pitcher: Randy Myers
Key player(s): David Cone, Calvin Schiraldi, Howard Johnson
Key play: Mazzilli’s single in 10th, Cubs’ double play in 12th, Johnson’s home run

The Mets and Cubs began a four-game series on a Thursday night at Shea Stadium. They got started with a close one that had no runs scored for the first nine innings. Each team pushed across a run in the tenth before the Mets emerged as a 2-1 winner in the thirteenth.

David Cone and Chicago’s Calvin Schiraldi matched each other inning for inning. Each allowed four hits while pitching scoreless baseball. Cone struck out nine batters during the regulation nine innings while Schiraldi chalked up seven in his first game at Shea since the World Series of 1986 with the Red Sox.

The Cubs broke through against Cone in the top of the tenth. Damon Berryhill led off the inning with a home run over the right field wall. Cone retired the next three batters, ringing up his tenth strikeout in doing so, but the Mets were down by a run.

Rich Gossage relieved Schiraldi in the last of the tenth for Chicago. Kevin McReynolds started the inning off with a single, but Gossage got the next two hitters out. Lee Mazzilli came up to bat with the Mets one out away from defeat. McReynolds stole second base before Lee hit a single that just barely eluded the glove of second baseman Ryne Sandberg. Kevin came around to score and the game was tied, 1-1.

The Cubs had a chance to score in the twelfth. They loaded the bases against Roger McDowell with no one out. McDowell struck out Jody Davis before Randy Myers was called in to face pinch-hitter Manny Trillo. On a pitch in which Chicago had put on a hit-and-run, Myers struck out Trillo. Vance Law, running from third, was then tagged out for an inning-ending double play. The Mets had dodged a bullet.

The game was still tied as it moved into the bottom of the thirteenth inning. Howard Johnson stepped in to lead off for the Mets against left-handed reliever Frank DiPino. Johnson, batting right-handed, hit a drive to center field that cleared the wall a few feet to the left of the 410-foot sign. It was a home run that ended the 3-hour, 27-minute battle and brought victory to the Mets.