May 26, 1993: Four-Run Ninth Beats Phils
|Date: May 26, 1993|
|Mets starter: Eric Hillman|
|Winning pitcher: John Franco|
|Key player(s): Dave Gallagher, Charlie O'Brien|
|Key play: Gallagher's two-run single, O'Brien's two-run double|
The Mets faced the first-place Phillies in the finale of a three-game series on a Wednesday night. After losing the first two games, the Mets aimed to avoid a sweep at Veterans Stadium. Rallying with four runs in the ninth inning, the Mets pulled out a 5-4 win.
Phils' starter Danny Jackson shut down the Mets on one hit for the first two innings of the game. For New York, Eric Hillman struck out three batters in two perfect innings. The Mets got a run in the top of the third on a leadoff homer by Dave Gallagher. In the bottom of the inning, Wes Chamberlain doubled and came home on Juan Bell's single to tie the game for Philadelphia. Bell later scored on a sacrifice fly by John Kruk to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead.
Jackson and Hillman each pitched scoreless ball in the fourth and fifth innings. In the sixth, the Mets failed to score and Hillman recorded outs on the first two Philadelphia hitters. Eric then surrendered a home run to Chamberlain and a double to Bell. Jackson followed with a single to score Bell for the Phils' fourth run. Hillman retired Lenny Dykstra on a fly ball to center fielder Gallagher to end the inning.
In the top of the seventh inning, Jackson set down the Mets in order for the fourth time in the game. Mets' reliever Paul Gibson pitched a perfect bottom half. Jackson shut down the Mets again despite shortstop Bell's error in the top of the eighth. John Franco then struck out two batters in retiring the Phils 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning.
Bobby Bonilla singled off Jackson to begin the top of the ninth inning. Phillies' reliever Mitch Williams retired Howard Johnson on an infield pop-up and yielded a single to Jeff Kent. Williams walked Tony Fernandez to load the bases for the Mets. Gallagher followed with a single to right field, scoring Bonilla and Kent to reduce the Phils' lead to 4-3. Williams was then replaced on the mound by David West.
Pinch-hitting for Franco, Chico Walker reached base on Bell's second error of the game to load the bases again for the Mets. Vince Coleman hit a ground ball on which first baseman Kruk threw home for a force play on Fernandez. With the Mets one out away from being swept, Charlie O'Brien came up to bat. O'Brien nailed a pitch from West into left field for a double that brought home Gallagher and Walker. Coleman also tried to score on the hit, but was out at the plate on Bell's relay throw.
Mets' reliever Jeff Innis retired the first two Philadelphia batters on ground balls in the bottom of the ninth inning. He then got Dykstra on a fly ball to Coleman in left field to end the game. The Mets had an amazing come-from-behind victory over the National League East Division leaders.