June 21, 1984: Mets Take First Place From Phillies

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Date: June 21, 1984
Mets starter: Walt Terrell
Mets: 10
Phillies: 7
Winning pitcher: Jesse Orosco
Key player(s): Rusty Staub, Danny Heep, Hubie Brooks
Key play: Staub’s single in 7th, Wockenfuss’s double play in 8th

The Mets and Phillies completed a three-game series on a Thursday afternoon at Shea Stadium. Trailing the division-leading Phils by one-half game, the Mets looked to take over the top spot in the National League East. They came up with a 10-7 win over Philadelphia to go into first place.

Walt Terrell and the Phillies’ Charles Hudson each pitched scoreless ball over the first two innings. Terrell allowed only a single to Jeff Stone while the Mets got singles from Keith Hernandez and Ron Hodges off Hudson. The Phils scored a run in the top of the third on Stone’s two-out single that brought home Ivan DeJesus. The Mets struck back in the bottom half when Terrell led off with a double and scored on a single by Wally Backman.

The Phillies loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the fourth. Terrell retired Hudson on a line drive to third baseman Hubie Brooks to stop the scoring chance. Hudson shut down the Mets in the bottom of the inning. Walt then pitched a perfect top of the fifth.

Backman and Mookie Wilson hit back-to-back singles with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning. A double by Hernandez scored Backman and sent Wilson to third base. Hudson issued an intentional walk to Darryl Strawberry to load the bases. Danny Heep hit an infield single to bring home Wilson for the Mets’ third run. Brooks then got credit for a single when his grounder hit Strawberry for an out. Hernandez stayed at third on the play.

With the bases still loaded, Hodges hit a grounder on which second baseman Juan Samuel made an error. Hernandez and Heep came in to score and stretch the Mets’ lead to 5-1. An ensuing double by Jose Oquendo plated Brooks for another New York run. For Philadelphia, Larry Andersen came in to pitch and struck out Terrell to end the inning.

Terrell pitched a scoreless top of the sixth despite singles by Tim Corcoran and Sixto Lexcano. Andersen held the Mets without a run in the bottom of the inning. In the top of the seventh, the Phils loaded the bases with none out. Terrell was then replaced on the mound by Jesse Orosco.

After retiring Von Hayes on a pop-up to catcher Hodges, Orosco yielded a single to Mike Schmidt that scored Luis Aguayo and Samuel. Pinch-hitter John Wockenfuss followed with a single to bring home Stone and Schmidt. Lezcano doubled and Orosco issued an intentional walk to Ozzie Virgil, loading the bases. DeJesus reached on second baseman Backman’s error that plated Wockenfuss and Lezcano to give the Phillies a 7-6 lead. Batting for Aguayo, Kiko Garcia reached first base on a fielder’s choice grounder. Orosco then got Samuel for an inning-ending double play.

Heep began the bottom of the seventh with a single off Phils’ reliever Bill Campbell. Brooks singled to advance Heep to third base. Danny scored the tying run on Hodges’ ground out to Samuel. Pinch-hitter George Foster was then walked intentionally.

Batting for Orosco, Rusty Staub delivered a single to bring home Brooks and put the Mets ahead, 8-7. Facing reliever Jim Kern, Backman hit into a force play on which Foster scored from third. Kern fanned Wilson for the third out of the inning. The Phils put two runners on base with one out against Doug Sisk in the top of the eighth. Wockenfuss then hit a line drive to first baseman Hernandez for an unassisted double play to end the inning.

In the bottom of the eighth, Hernandez singled to lead off the inning. Jerry Martin hit a force play grounder and went to third on a double by Heep. Brooks received an intentional walk to load the bases. Hodges drew a walk to force home Martin for the tenth Mets run. Sisk hit a ground ball on which first baseman Wockenfuss threw home for an out on Heep. Campbell then struck out Ron Gardenhire to end the inning.

In the top of the ninth, Sisk retired Lezcano on a grounder to Backman. He followed up with a strikeout of Virgil. Doug then got DeJesus on a ground ball to Brooks for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory to take sole possession of first place in the National League East.