June 24, 1987: Almon's Single Beats Cubs

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Date: June 24, 1987
Mets starter: John Mitchell
Mets: 2
Cubs: 1
Winning pitcher: Roger McDowell
Key player(s): Mookie Wilson, Bill Almon
Key play: Wilson’s single in 8th, Almon’s single in 9th

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of three games in front of 42,196 fans on hand. Bill Almon’s run-scoring single in the ninth inning gave the Mets a 2-1 win over Chicago.

Mets’ starter John Mitchell shut down the Cubs despite a single in each of the first three innings. Chicago loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fourth. Mitchell answered the challenge by fielding a ground ball by Mike Brumley to start an inning-ending double play. John shut down the Cubs on one hit in the top of the fifth. Meanwhile, the Mets were held scoreless on two hits by Chicago starter Les Lancaster through the first five innings.

Leon Durham singled to lead off the top of the sixth. Mitchell walked Keith Moreland and struck out Jody Davis. A single by Paul Noce scored Durham to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Mitchell followed up with strikeouts of Brumley and Lancaster to end the inning. The Mets were then set down in order in the bottom half.

Mitchell pitched a perfect top of the seventh inning. With one out in the bottom half, Darryl Strawberry singled and went to second base on catcher Davis’s passed ball. Kevin McReynolds got an infield single to move Strawberry to third. Lancaster struck out Howard Johnson while McReynolds stole second. Pinch-hitter Dave Magadan then flied out to center fielder Dave Martinez to end the inning.

Durham doubled to begin the top of the eighth. Moreland flied out to right fielder Strawberry, who threw to third baseman Magadan for an out on Durham and a double play. Davis and Noce followed with back-to-back singles to left field. In relief of Mitchell, Doug Sisk retired Brumley on a grounder back to the mound for the final out of the inning.

In the bottom of the eighth, pinch-hitter Lee Mazzilli led off with a bunt single. Against Chicago reliever Lee Smith, Lenny Dykstra laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Mazzilli to second. Mookie Wilson singled to score Mazzilli and tie the game. Wilson moved to second on Keith Hernandez’s ground out and went to third on Smith’s wild pitch. Gary Carter struck out to end the inning. Mets’ reliever Roger McDowell then shut down the Cubs in the top of the ninth.

McReynolds and Johnson got back-to-back singles with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Smith walked Magadan to load the bases. Almon followed with a single to center field to bring home McReynolds with the winning run. The Mets had an exciting victory.