May 19, 1993: Mets Win Torborg's Last Game

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Date: May 19, 1993
Mets starter: Frank Tanana
Mets: 6
Pirates: 4
Winning pitcher: John Franco
Key player(s): Joe Orsulak, Bobby Bonilla
Key play: Orsulak’s single, Bonilla’s home run

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. In Jeff Torborg’s final game as Mets manager, the team came from behind to pull out a 6-4 win in 10 innings over Pittsburgh.

Frank Tanana and the Bucs’ Steve Cooke each pitched three innings of one-hit scoreless ball to start the game. A single by Jay Bell opened the top of the fourth. Andy Van Slyke singled to advance Bell to third base and Jeff King flied out to right fielder Bobby Bonilla. A sacrifice fly by Lloyd McClendon drove home Bell with the game’s first run. Kevin Young hit a double to score Van Slyke for a 2-0 Pirates lead. Trying to advance on the hit, Young was out via a relay throw by second baseman Jeff Kent to third baseman Howard Johnson to end the inning. Cooke then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

After a scoreless fifth inning, Bell doubled with one out in the top of the sixth. An ensuing single by Van Slyke plated Bell to extend the Pittsburgh lead to three runs. Tanana retired King on a pop-up to Kent and got McClendon on an inning-ending grounder to shortstop Tony Fernandez. Cooke held the Mets to a double by Eddie Murray in a scoreless bottom half. Tanana then shut down the Bucs in the top of the seventh.

Kent hit a one-out double in the bottom of the seventh inning. Fernandez went down on strikes and Todd Hundley singled to score Kent with the Mets’ first run of the game. Cooke retired pinch-hitter Chico Walker on a ground ball to shortstop Bell to close out the inning. Lonnie Smith singled against Mets’ reliever Mike Maddux to begin the top of the eighth. Smith moved to second base on Bell’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Van Slyke’s single for a 4-1 Pirates lead. Van Slyke stole second and King grounded out to Johnson. Maddux got McClendon to fly out to left fielder Vince Coleman and end the inning. Cooke then set down the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Maddux retired all three Pittsburgh batters in the top of the ninth. Pirates’ reliever Stan Belinda issued a walk to Bonilla to start the bottom of the inning. Bonilla stole second base and came around to score on a single by Johnson. Kent hit a fly ball to left fielder Smith for the inning’s first out and Fernandez doubled to advance Johnson to third. Hundley grounded out to second baseman Carlos Garcia to bring home Johnson and send Fernandez to third. With the Mets down to their final out, pinch-hitter Joe Orsulak singled to score Fernandez and tie the game at 4-4. Belinda then retired Coleman on a fly ball to Smith that ended the inning and sent the game onward.

Mets’ reliever John Franco hurled a scoreless top of the 10th. Leading off the bottom half, pinch-hitter Dave Gallagher singled against the Bucs’ Blas Minor. Murray was retired on a line drive to right fielder McClendon. Bonilla then slugged a two-run homer to end the game. The Mets had an exciting comeback victory in extra innings on the last night with Torborg as team skipper.

Notes

  • Torborg was relieved of his managerial duties immediately following the game. He was replaced by Dallas Green.