May 15, 1984: Mets Come Back, Win in 11 Innings

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Date: May 15, 1984
Mets starter: Ron Darling
Mets: 7
Giants: 6
Winning pitcher: Jesse Orosco
Key player(s): Darryl Strawberry, Mike Fitzgerald, Hubie Brooks, Keith Hernandez
Key play: Mets’ RBI singles, Hernandez’s sacrifice fly

The Mets faced the Giants on a Tuesday night in San Francisco. After trailing by five runs, the Mets came back and the game went into extra innings. A run in the top of the 11th gave the Mets a 7-6 win.

Giants’ starter Jeff Robinson pitched a perfect top of the first. Al Oliver singled against the Mets’ Ron Darling with one out in the bottom half. Jack Clark drew a walk and Jeffrey Leonard homered for a 3-0 San Francisco lead. Joel Youngblood hit a single and Bob Brenly fouled out to catcher Mike Fitzgerald. Darling then struck out Duane Kuiper to end the inning.

Following a scoreless second, Robinson set down the Mets on three straight infield ground balls in the top of the third. Oliver drew a leadoff walk against Darling in the bottom half. Clark slugged a home run to increase the Giants’ lead to 5-0. Leonard popped out to second baseman Wally Backman and a strikeout of Youngblood ensued. Brenly and Kuiper followed with back-to-back singles. Mets’ reliever Tim Leary then got Johnnie Lemaster to fly out to center fielder Mookie Wilson and finish off the inning.

Robinson retired the side in order in the top of the fourth. Leary hurled a perfect bottom half and Darryl Strawberry doubled to begin the top of the fifth. Wilson flied out to right fielder Clark and a wild pitch advanced Strawberry to third base. Hubie Brooks went down on strikes and Fitzgerald singled to drive home Strawberry. Robinson retired pinch-hitter Danny Heep on an inning-ending pop-up to shortstop LeMaster. Mets’ reliever Tom Gorman then set down all three batters in the bottom half.

Robinson gave up just a single to Backman in the top of the sixth. Gorman pitched a perfect bottom of the inning and Strawberry reached on an error by LeMaster to open the top of the seventh. Wilson hit a single and Brooks followed with a force play ground ball to LeMaster. Fitzgerald hit a single to score Strawberry and cut the San Francisco lead to 5-2. Robinson was replaced on the mound by Giants’ reliever Randy Lerch, who struck out pinch-hitter Rusty Staub. Lerch got Backman to ground out to first baseman Oliver and end the inning. Mets’ reliever Brent Gaff then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Jose Oquendo singled against San Francisco reliever Frank Williams to lead off the top of the eighth. Keith Hernandez drew a walk and the Giants’ Greg Minton walked George Foster to load the bases. Strawberry singled to score both Oquendo and Hernandez. Wilson hit a single to reload the bases and Renie Martin came in to pitch for the Giants. Brooks greeted Martin with a single that brought home Foster and Strawberry, giving the Mets a 6-5 lead. Fitzgerald flied out to Clark and a strikeout of pinch-hitter Ron Hodges followed. Martin then retired Backman on a grounder to LeMaster to close out the inning.

Youngblood singled against Mets’ reliever Jesse Orosco to begin the bottom of the eighth. Brenly hit a single to advance Youngblood to third base and pinch-hitter Dusty Baker fouled out to Fitzgerald. Lemaster was struck out and pinch-hitter Steve Nicosia singled to score Youngblood with the tying run. Chili Davis drew a walk to load the bases. Orosco then fanned pinch-hitter John Rabb to end the inning.

San Francisco reliever Mark Davis yielded only a single to Oquendo in the top of the ninth. Clark drew a leadoff walk in the bottom half. Leonard hit a single to send Clark to third base and moved to second on a throw. Youngblood was walked intentionally to load the bases and Brenly popped out to shortstop Oquendo. Orosco then recorded strikeouts of both Joe Pittman and LeMaster to finish off the inning and send the game onward.

Mark Davis pitched a perfect top of the 10th. Orosco shut down the Giants in the bottom half and Fitzgerald reached second base on LeMaster’s error to begin the top of the 11th. Ron Gardenhire followed with a ground ball on which Mark Davis threw to third baseman Youngblood for an out on Fitzgerald. Pinch-hitter Kelvin Chapman doubled to advance pinch-runner Ross Jones to third. Oquendo was walked intentionally to load the bases and Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly that plated Jones for a one-run Mets lead. Mark Davis then got Foster to fly out to Clark and end the inning.

Mets’ reliever Doug Sisk struck out Youngblood to start the bottom of the 11th. Brenly drew a walk and Pittman hit a force play grounder to Oquendo. With pinch-hitter Tom O'Malley at bat, Pittman was caught stealing on Fitzgerald’s throw to Oquendo for the game’s final out. The Mets had come from behind and emerged with an extra-inning victory.