June 3, 1983: Howard Wins Debut as Manager

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Date: June 3, 1983
Mets starter: Ed Lynch
Mets: 5
Dodgers: 2
Winning pitcher: Ed Lynch
Key player(s): Ed Lynch, George Foster, Bob Bailor
Key play: Foster’s and Bailor’s singles

The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Friday night in Los Angeles. The game was the first one for Mets’ interim manager Frank Howard after the resignation of George Bamberger earlier in the day. The Mets made Howard a winner in his managerial debut with a 5-2 victory.

Hubie Brooks hit a one-out single against Dodgers’ starter Joe Beckwith in the top of the first inning. Darryl Strawberry was called out on strikes. With George Foster at bat, Brooks stole second base and advanced to third on catcher Dave Sax’s throwing error. Foster drew a walk and Dave Kingman reached on an error by third baseman Pedro Guerrero that allowed Brooks to score for a 1-0 Mets lead. Beckwith threw a called third strike past Ron Hodges for the third out. New York’s Ed Lynch then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Lynch and Beckwith each allowed two hits in hurling scoreless ball from the second inning to the fifth. Brooks got a leadoff single in the top of the sixth. Pinch-runner Bob Bailor stole second base and moved to third on Strawberry’s ground out to shortstop Dave Anderson. Foster singled to drive home Bailor with the Mets’ second run of the game. Beckwith was replaced on the mound by Los Angeles reliever Pat Zachry, who got Hodges to hit a ground ball to first baseman Greg Brock for an inning-ending double play. Lynch then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Brian Giles singled against Dodgers’ reliever Tom Niedenfuer to begin the top of the seventh. Jose Oquendo flied out to left fielder Dusty Baker and a sacrifice bunt by Lynch sent Giles to second base. Mookie Wilson was given an intentional walk and Bailor singled to score Giles. On his own hit, Bailor moved to third on right fielder Mike Marshall’s error that allowed Wilson to come home for a 4-0 Mets lead. Niedenfuer then retired Strawberry on a grounder to second baseman Steve Sax for the inning’s final out.

Brock hit a single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Ken Landreaux drew a walk and Marshall singled to bring home Brock with the Dodgers’ first run of the game. Dave Sax grounded out to second baseman Giles to end the inning and consecutive singles by Foster and Kingman opened the top of the eighth. Niedenfuer set down the next three Mets batters on outfield fly balls and pinch-hitter Ron Roenicke doubled against Lynch to begin the bottom half. New York’s Doug Sisk got Steve Sax to ground out to Giles and followed up with a strikeout of Anderson. Baker hit a single to score Roenicke and cut the Mets’ lead to 4-2. Sisk then got Guerrero on a force play ground ball to shortstop Oquendo for the final out of the inning.

Wilson singled against Los Angeles reliever Ricky Wright with one out in the top of the ninth. Mookie stole second base and scored the Mets’ fifth run on a single by Bailor. Bob stole second and moved to third on Dave Sax’s passed ball. Wright fanned both Strawberry and Mark Bradley to end the inning and Brock flied out to center fielder Wilson to lead off the bottom half. Landreaux drew a walk and Marshall was called out on strikes. Sisk then retired Dave Sax on a foul pop-up to first baseman Kingman for the game’s final out. The Mets had a win for Howard in his debut as a manager.