June 30, 1979: Slugfest in the 11th

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Date: June 30, 1979
Mets starter: Craig Swan
Mets: 9
Cubs: 8
Winning pitcher: Wayne Twitchell
Key player(s): Joel Youngblood, Lee Mazzilli, Steve Henderson
Key play: The 11th inning

The Mets and Cubs faced each other on a Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field. The game was tied at the end of the ninth and went into extra innings. After the teams combined for 11 runs in the 11th inning, the Mets emerged with a 9-8 win over Chicago.

Craig Swan and the Cubs' Rick Reuschel each pitched a scoreless first inning. In the bottom of the second, Dave Kingman led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Steve Ontiveros to give Chicago a 1-0 lead. The Mets tied the game on the top of the third on Lee Mazzilli's sacrifice fly that brought home Swan. Craig then shut down the Cubs in the bottom half.

Kingman homered off Swan in the fourth to put Chicago back on top. After a scoreless fifth inning, Richie Hebner and John Stearns began the top of the sixth with consecutive singles off Reuschel. Willie Montanez grounded out to advance the runners and Steve Henderson delivered a single to bring home Hebner. Stearns also tried to score on the hit, but was thrown out at the plate by left fielder Kingman. The Cubs reclaimed a 3-2 lead when Ted Sizemore singled home Jerry Martin in the bottom of the inning.

Reuschel and Mets' reliever Andy Hassler held the teams scoreless in the seventh inning. In the eighth, Mazzilli led off with a home run to tie the game once again for the Mets. Reuschel was later replaced by Bruce Sutter, who finished the inning with no further scoring. Hassler then retired the Cubs in order in the bottom half.

In the ninth inning, Sutter recorded two outs before walking Frank Taveras and Mazzilli. He then got Hebner on a grounder to first baseman Bill Buckner to end the top half. For the Mets, Wayne Twitchell issued a pair of two-out walks before getting pinch-hitter Larry Biittner to ground out to second baseman Doug Flynn. Chicago reliever Dick Tidrow then retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the tenth and Twitchell did the same in the bottom of the inning.

With one out in the top of the 11th, Ed Kranepool (pinch-hitting for Twitchell) was hit by a pitch. Sergio Ferrer entered as a pinch-runner and Joel Youngblood homered to put the Mets ahead, 5-3. Taveras followed with a single and Mazzilli hit his second homer of the game for two more Met runs. Hebner drew a walk and Tidrow was replaced by Cubs' reliever Donnie Moore.

After retiring Stearns, Moore gave up a single to Montanez on which Hebner went to third base. Henderson followed with a two-run triple to extend the Mets' lead to 9-3. Moore then got Flynn to ground out and end the inning.

The Cubs loaded the bases with one out against Mets' reliever Dale Murray in the bottom of the 11th inning. Buckner singled to score Ken Henderson for Chicago's fourth run of the game. As a pinch-hitter for Moore, Mike Vail hit a grand slam to put the Cubs one run behind. Murray was then removed from the game as Ed Glynn came in to pitch for New York.

Glynn got both Martin and Ontiveros on fly balls to center fielder Mazzilli for the final outs of the game. The Mets held on for a victory after an offensive burst from both sides in the 11th.