June 3, 1981: Harris and Taveras Lead Mets Over Phillies

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Date: June 3, 1981
Mets starter: Greg Harris
Mets: 6
Phillies: 2
Winning pitcher: Greg Harris
Key player(s): Greg Harris, Dave Kingman, Frank Taveras, Lee Mazzilli
Key play: Mazzilli’s RBI single, Kingman’s double, Schmidt’s error

The Mets faced the Phillies in the finale of a three-game series on a Wednesday night in Philadelphia. After losing the first two games, the Mets had rookie Greg Harris on the mound in their effort to avoid a sweep. Harris pitched seven innings of shutout ball and Frank Taveras got three singles and three stolen bases in a 6-2 Mets win over the Phils.

Harris and Philadelphia’s Dick Ruthven each pitched three scoreless innings to start the game. Ruthven retired the Mets in order in the first and second and gave up only a single to Doug Flynn in the third. Harris shut down the Phils without a hit before yielding a third-inning single by Pete Rose. Greg finished off the bottom of the third by getting Luis Aguayo to hit into a force play.

In the top of the fourth inning, Taveras led off with a single to right field. Ruthven set down the next two batters and Taveras stole second base. Frank came home on Lee Mazzilli’s ensuing single for a 1-0 Mets lead. John Stearns was retired on a grounder back to Ruthven for the third out. In the bottom half, Dick Davis got a two-out single off Harris. Davis was then caught stealing second on a throw by catcher Stearns to shortstop Taveras to end the inning.

Ruthven set down three straight Mets batters after a single by Hubie Brooks in the top of the fifth. Harris pitched a perfect bottom of the inning on three ground balls to second baseman Flynn. Both pitchers retired the side in order in the sixth. Mazzilli and Stearns began the top of the seventh with singles, but Ruthven struck out Brooks and got Flynn to hit into an inning-ending double play. Harris then set down the Phillies 1-2-3 again in the bottom half.

Taveras singled with two outs in the top of the eighth inning. Frank stole second base and Mike Jorgensen drew a walk. Dave Kingman hit a double to score Taveras for the Mets’ second run. Mazzilli was walked intentionally to load the bases. With Stearns at the plate, Ruthven threw a wild pitch that allowed Jorgensen to score. Stearns followed with a grounder that was mishandled by Phils’ third baseman Mike Schmidt. Pinch-runner Bob Bailor and Mazzilli came home on the error to extend the Mets’ lead to 5-0. Brooks then grounded out to first baseman Rose to end the inning.

Harris issued walks to Garry Maddox and Larry Bowa to open the bottom of the eighth. Pete Falcone came in to pitch and retired Bob Boone on a fly ball to left fielder Jorgensen. Pinch-hitter Lonnie Smith singled to load the bases for the Phillies. Rose followed with a single to right field to score Maddox and Bowa. Falcone retired pinch-hitter Keith Moreland on a pop-up to Taveras. Mets’ reliever Neil Allen then got Gary Matthews to hit into a force play for the third out.

Mookie Wilson hit a two-out triple off Phils’ reliever Tug McGraw in the top of the ninth inning. Taveras singled to score Wilson with the Mets’ sixth run. Taveras followed up with his third stolen base of the game. McGraw then retired Jorgensen on a fly ball to right fielder Davis to end the inning.

Schmidt singled to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Allen retired Davis and Maddox on outfield fly balls. Neil then got Bowa to fly out to Jorgensen and end the game. The Mets had a sweep-saving victory to close out the series.