June 22, 1983: Strawberry Leads Mets Over Cardinals

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Date: June 22, 1983
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 6
Cardinals: 4
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Darryl Strawberry, George Foster, Jose Oquendo
Key play: Strawberry’s homer and double, Foster’s single, Oquendo’s single

The Mets faced the Cardinals in a doubleheader on a Wednesday evening. The teams played a two-hour and four-minute opener of the twinbill at Shea Stadium. Darryl Strawberry drove in four runs to lead the Mets to a 6-4 win over St. Louis.

Mets’ starter Tom Seaver pitched a perfect top of the first inning. Keith Hernandez got a two-out single against the Cards’ Bob Forsch in the bottom half. George Foster drew a walk and Strawberry homered for a 3-0 Mets lead. Junior Ortiz grounded out to second baseman Tommy Herr to end the inning and Seaver retired the side in order in the top of the second. Forsch then set down all three Mets batters in the bottom half.

Seaver retired the Redbirds 1-2-3 again in the top of the third. Consecutive singles by Bob Bailor and Danny Heep opened the bottom of the inning. Hernandez hit a force play grounder to Herr and a single by Foster brought home Bailor. Strawberry followed with a double against St. Louis reliever Jim Kaat that plated Hernandez and sent Foster to third base. Ortiz grounded back to Kaat and a walk to Brian Giles ensued. Jose Oquendo singled to score Foster and increase the Mets’ lead to six runs. On the hit, Giles was out via a throw by left fielder Andy Van Slyke to third baseman Ken Oberkfell to finish off the inning.

Van Slyke drew a two-out walk in the top of the fourth. George Hendrick hit a single and a walk to Darrell Porter loaded the bases. Willie McGee singled to bring home Van Slyke. A single by David Green scored Hendrick and Porter, reducing the Mets’ lead to 6-3. Green stole second base and Ozzie Smith flied out to center fielder Heep to end the inning. With one out in the bottom half, Bailor singled to right field. Heep lined out to shortstop Smith, whose ensuing error allowed Hernandez to reach base. Kaat then got Foster on a line drive to right fielder Green for the inning’s final out.

Seaver surrendered only a walk to Herr in the top of the fifth. Kaat hurled a perfect bottom half and Van Slyke hit a home run to lead off the top of the sixth. Hendrick and Porter were retired on infield ground balls and McGee followed with a single. Seaver got Green on an inning-ending grounder to third baseman Hubie Brooks, who singled to lead off the bottom half. Kaat then set down the next three New York batters to close out the inning.

Seaver gave up just a single to pinch-hitter Steve Braun in the top of the seventh. Cardinals’ reliever John Martin pitched a perfect bottom half and Seaver retired all three hitters in the top of the eighth. Martin set down the Mets in order again in the bottom of the inning and McGee grounded out to first baseman Hernandez to begin the top of the ninth. Green hit a single and pinch-hitter Jamie Quirk drew a walk. Seaver then got pinch-hitter Floyd Rayford to hit a ground ball to shortstop Bailor for a game-ending double play. The Mets had a victory to start the doubleheader.