June 9, 1978: Two Runs in 8th Stifle Giants

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Date: June 9, 1978
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 3
Giants: 2
Winning pitcher: Skip Lockwood
Key player(s): Steve Henderson, Willie Montanez, Skip Lockwood
Key play: Henderson’s double, Montanez’s RBI single

The Mets faced the Giants on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. The Mets scored twice in the eighth inning to pull out a 3-2 win over San Francisco.

Jerry Koosman and the Giants’ Bob Knepper each started the game with three scoreless innings pitched. Darrell Evans hit a single to open the top of the fourth. Jack Clark followed with a bunt single on which third baseman Elliott Maddox made an error that allowed Evans to move to third. Willie McCovey grounded out to Koosman to drive home Evans with the first run of the game. Mike Ivie flied out to center fielder Lee Mazzilli and a pop-up by Larry Hendon was caught by second baseman Joel Youngblood for the inning’s final out. Knepper then held the Mets to a single by Willie Montanez in the bottom half.

Koosman hurled a scoreless top of the fifth. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Jerry singled to center field. Knepper retired Youngblood on an inning-ending ground ball to first baseman McCovey and a double by Clark began the top of the sixth. McCovey reached on Koosman’s error to send Clark to third base. Ivie followed with a double play grounder to shortstop Doug Flynn on which Clark scored for a 2-0 San Francisco lead. Koosman then got Herndon to fly out to Mazzilli and end the inning.

Maddox singled to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Mazzilli flied out to left fielder Terry Whitfield and a single by Steve Henderson advanced Maddox to third base. Montanez hit a sacrifice fly to score Maddox with the Mets’ first run and Tom Grieve was retired on a line drive to third baseman Evans for the third out of the inning. Koosman shut down the Giants in the top of the seventh. Knepper then yielded only a single to Ron Hodges in the bottom half.

Mets’ reliever Skip Lockwood hurled a scoreless top of the eighth inning. Mazzilli drew a one-out walk in the bottom half. Henderson hit a double to bring home Mazzilli with the tying run and went to third base on a wild pitch. Montanez singled to score Henderson and put the Mets ahead by a run. Grieve followed with a single to center field. Knepper then got Hodges to hit a ground ball to shortstop Johnnie LeMaster for a double play that ended the inning.

Lockwood threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Vic Harris to start the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Skip James also went down on strikes. Lockwood then fanned Rob Andrews to end the game. The Mets had a comeback victory.