May 22, 1979: Hebner and Youngblood Slug Cubs

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Date: May 22, 1979
Mets starter: Kevin Kobel
Mets: 4
Cubs: 2
Winning pitcher: Kevin Kobel
Key player(s): Richie Hebner, Joel Youngblood, Dale Murray
Key play: Hebner’s homer and single, Youngblood’s home run

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Richie Hebner and Joel Youngblood combined for four RBIs in a 4-2 Mets win over Chicago.

Mets’ starter Kevin Kobel pitched a perfect top of the first inning. Lee Mazzilli got a two-out single against the Cubs’ Dennis Lamp in the bottom half. Hebner followed with a home run for a 2-0 Mets lead. Willie Montanez doubled and John Stearns drew a walk. Youngblood went down on strikes for the third out and Kobel retired the side in order in the top of the second. Lamp then yielded only a single to Doug Flynn in the bottom half.

Lamp singled with two outs in the top of the third. Ivan DeJesus drew a walk and Bobby Murcer was retired on an inning-ending pop-up to shortstop Frank Taveras. Lamp gave up just a single to Taveras in the bottom half and Kobel shut down the Cubs in the top of the fourth. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Youngblood homered to increase the Mets’ lead to 3-0. Lamp then retired Flynn on a ground ball to third baseman Steve Ontiveros and struck out Kobel to finish off the inning.

Lamp got a one-out single in the top of the fifth. DeJesus was retired on a pop-up to third baseman Hebner. Murcer was hit by a pitch and Dave Kingman was struck out to end the inning. With one out in the bottom half, Taveras singled and stole second base. Frank moved to third on Lamp’s errant pickoff throw and Mazzilli was called out on strikes. Hebner singled to score Taveras and extend the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Montanez drew a walk and Lamp got Stearns on a line drive to center fielder Jerry Martin to close out the inning.

Ontiveros drew a one-out walk in the top of the sixth. Martin slugged a two-run homer and Barry Foote went down on strikes. Kobel retired Ted Sizemore on a grounder to Taveras that ended the inning and Lamp gave up just a double to Youngblood in the bottom half. Mets’ reliever Dale Murray set down the side in order in the top of the seventh. Chicago’s Willie Hernandez then hurled a perfect bottom of the inning.

Murray held the Cubs to a single by Kingman in the top of the eighth. Hernandez retired all three batters in the bottom half and Martin flied out to right fielder Youngblood to open the top of the ninth. Foote was retired on a fly ball to Youngblood and a single by pinch-hitter Larry Biittner followed. Murray then got pinch-hitter Mike Vail on a force play ground ball to Hebner for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory to start the series.