May 27, 1978: Comeback Win in Houston

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Date: May 27, 1978
Mets starter: Mike Bruhert
Mets: 9
Astros: 7
Winning pitcher: Butch Metzger
Key player(s): Ron Hodges, Bruce Boisclair, John Stearns, Doug Flynn
Key play: Boisclair’s home run, Stearns’ double, Flynn’s RBI single

The Mets faced the Astros on a Saturday night in Houston. The teams played the second of three games in a weekend series at the Astrodome. The Mets scored six runs in the final three innings for a 9-7 comeback win.

Following a scoreless first inning, Steve Henderson drew a walk with one out in the top of the second. Willie Montanez popped out to third baseman Enos Cabell and a triple by Ron Hodges drove home Henderson. Astros’ starter Joaquin Andujar retired the next two batters on infield ground balls to end the inning. Jose Cruz singled to lead off the bottom half. Mets’ starter Mike Bruhert picked off Cruz at first base and set down the next two Houston batters. Andujar then pitched a perfect top of the third.

Bruhert walked Joe Ferguson to open the bottom of the third inning. Roger Metzger singled to right field and a sacrifice bunt by Andujar moved the runners to second and third base. Terry Puhl hit a single to score Ferguson and tie the game. On a pickoff attempt, Bruhert made an error that allowed Metzger to come home and give Houston a 2-1 lead. Cabell was retired on a line drive to left fielder Henderson. Bruhert then struck out Cesar Cedeno to end the inning.

Leading off the top of the fourth, Bruce Boisclair hit a triple to center field. Henderson and Montanez drew walks to load the bases and Hodges hit a sacrifice fly to score Boisclair. A single by Tim Foli plated Henderson and put the Mets ahead, 3-2. Andujar retired Doug Flynn on a grounder back to the mound and fanned Bruhert for the third out of the inning. The Astros had runners on first and third with none out in the bottom half. Art Howe doubled to drive home Cruz and Denny Walling. On the play, Howe came around to score on an error by catcher Hodges for the fifth Houston run. Bruhert then set down the next three batters to close out the inning.

Astros’ reliever Oscar Zamora retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. Puhl and Cabell got back-to-back singles to begin the bottom half. Cedeno popped out to Hodges and a single Cruz off Mets’ reliever Kevin Kobel brought home Puhl. Walling walked to load the bases and Howe hit a sacrifice fly to score Cabell for a 7-3 Houston lead. Kobel got Ferguson on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Boisclair. Zamora pitched a perfect top of the sixth. Kobel then set down all three Astros hitters in the bottom of the inning.

Flynn singled with one out in the top of the seventh. Pinch-hitter Ed Kranepool lined out to second baseman Howe and a single by Lee Mazzilli sent Flynn to third base. Zamora committed a balk to bring home Flynn with the Mets’ fourth run of the game. Elliott Maddox fouled out to catcher Ferguson to end the inning. Mets’ reliever Butch Metzger then shut down the Astros in the bottom half.

Boisclair hit a home run to start the top of the eighth inning. Henderson singled and advanced to second base on Montanez’s single off Houston’s Joe Sambito. Pinch-hitter John Stearns doubled to drive home Henderson and Montanez with the tying runs. A sacrifice bunt by Foli moved Stearns to third base. Flynn singled off Astros’ reliever Ken Forsch to score Stearns and give the Mets an 8-7 lead. Pinch-hitter Joel Youngblood grounded out to Cabell. Forsch struck out Mazzilli to finish off the inning. Mets’ reliever Dale Murray then pitched a perfect bottom half.

In the top of the ninth inning, the Mets loaded the bases with one out. Stearns hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Maddox with the ninth New York run. Forsch got Foli to fly out to right fielder Cruz and end the inning. Puhl grounded out to third baseman Maddox to open the bottom half. Cabell was retired on a ground ball back to Murray and an infield single by Cedeno followed. Murray then got Cruz on a game-ending pop-up to shortstop Foli. The Mets had a come-from-behind victory.

Notes

  • Hodges' triple was the first of his major league career.
  • The win for Butch Metzger was his only one as a Met and the last of his major league career.