May 25, 1981: Memorial Day Massacre
|Date: May 25, 1981|
|Mets starter: Greg Harris|
|Winning pitcher: Greg Harris|
|Key player(s): Lee Mazzilli, Dave Kingman, Mookie Wilson|
|Key play: Mazzilli’s two-run single, Kingman’s grand slam, Wilson’s two-run triple|
The Mets faced the Phillies on Memorial Day at Shea Stadium. The teams began a three-game series on the holiday afternoon. The Mets provided a solid display of offense in a 13-3 win over Philadelphia.
Mets’ starter Greg Harris retired the Phils in order in the top of the first inning. Mookie Wilson drew a walk and stole second base to start the bottom half. Frank Taveras walked and a single by Joel Youngblood scored Wilson for the first run of the game. Dave Kingman’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third. Lee Mazzilli followed with a single to bring home Taveras and Youngblood. John Stearns singled and an ensuing single by Hubie Brooks plated Mazzilli to extend the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Phillies’ starter Dick Ruthven then set down the next two batters to end the inning.
Harris pitched a scoreless top of the second. Wilson singled and moved to third on Taveras’s double to begin the bottom of the inning. Youngblood was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Kingman followed with a grand slam to stretch the Mets’ lead to eight runs. Ruthven retired the next three batters and Del Unser got a pinch-hit single with one out in the top of the third. Lonnie Smith walked and Pete Rose struck out. Mike Schmidt doubled to score Unser with the Phillies’ first run. Harris fanned Gary Matthews for the third out. Phils’ reliever Mike Proly then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.
In the top of the fourth inning, Manny Trillo led off with an infield single. Harris struck out Garry Maddox and threw out Larry Bowa on a ground ball that moved Trillo to second. Bob Boone singled to drive home Trillo. Unser then hit a grounder to first baseman Kingman for the final out of the inning.
The Mets had runners on first and third with one out in the bottom of the fourth. Stearns reached on an error by shortstop Bowa to score Kingman and send Mazzilli to second. Lee came home on a single by Brooks to increase the Mets’ lead to 10-2. Proly then got Doug Flynn to hit into an inning-ending double play.
Harris and Philadelphia’s Ron Reed each pitched a perfect fifth inning. The Phils loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the sixth. Mets’ reliever Jeff Reardon came in and retired Unser on a pop-up to shortstop Taveras to close out the inning. Mazzilli got a two-out double in the bottom half. Reed then retired Stearns on an inning-ending grounder to third baseman Schmidt.
Smith was hit by a pitch and stole second to start the top of the seventh. Luis Aguayo fouled out to catcher Alex Trevino. Pinch-hitter Greg Gross flied out to left fielder Bob Bailor and a single by Matthews brought home Smith. Reardon then fanned Trillo for the third out of the inning.
Brooks singled off the Phillies’ Tug McGraw to open the bottom of the seventh. Flynn singled to send Brooks to third and Reardon flied out to left fielder Gross. Wilson tripled to drive home Brooks and Flynn, lengthening the Mets’ lead to 12-3. Taveras drew a walk and Youngblood hit a sacrifice fly to plate Wilson. Mike Jorgensen then hit a grounder back to McGraw to end the inning.
Reardon and McGraw each retired the side 1-2-3 in the eighth. Unser flied out to Bailor to begin the top of the ninth. Smith hit a ground ball to Taveras for the second out of the inning. Reardon then retired Aguayo on a pop-up to Trevino to end the game. The Mets had put a holiday thrashing on the defending World Champions.