May 31, 1982: Mets Whip Braves on Memorial Day
|Date: May 31, 1982|
|Mets starter: Charlie Puleo|
|Winning pitcher: Charlie Puleo|
|Key player(s): Charlie Puleo, Hubie Brooks, John Stearns, Ellis Valentine|
|Key play: Brooks’ single, Stearns’ RBI single and double, Valentine’s home run|
The Mets faced the Braves on Memorial Day afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. The Mets pounded out sixteen hits in a 10-4 win over Atlanta.
Mets’ starter Charlie Puleo pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. In the bottom half, John Stearns got a one-out single against the Braves’ Bob Walk. George Foster went down on strikes and Rusty Staub hit a double that drove home Stearns. Walk retired Ellis Valentine on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Dale Murphy. Jerry Royster drew a walk with two outs in the top of the second. An ensuing double by Rafael Ramirez scored Royster to tie the game at 1-1. Puleo then struck out Walk to end the inning.
Hubie Brooks drew a walk to open the bottom of the second. Brooks advanced to second base on Walk’s errant pickoff throw and a walk to Wally Backman ensued. Tom Veryzer popped out to second baseman Glenn Hubbard and a single by Puleo loaded the bases. Walk struck out Mookie Wilson and got Stearns on an inning-ending force play ground ball to shortstop Ramirez. Puleo then set down the Braves in order in the top of the third.
Staub and Valentine got back-to-back singles with one out in the bottom of the third inning. Brooks followed with another single to bring home Staub and put the Mets ahead by a run. With Larry McWilliams on in relief of Walk, Brooks stole second base. McWilliams fanned Backman for the final out of the inning. Puleo then retired all three Atlanta batters in the top of the fourth.
Veryzer led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a single to left field. Puleo hit a force play grounder to McWilliams and advanced to second base on Wilson’s grounder that was misplayed by Hubbard. Stearns singled to drive home Puleo. On the play, first baseman Chris Chambliss made an error that allowed John to move to second and Wilson to score for a 4-1 Mets lead. McWilliams caught Stearns with a pickoff throw to Ramirez. Foster then grounded out to Ramirez to end the inning.
Puleo hurled a perfect top of the fifth. McWilliams held the Mets to a single by Valentine in a scoreless bottom half. Leading off the top of the sixth inning, Claudell Washington singled to right field. Hubbard drew a walk and a double steal put Braves runners on second and third base. Chambliss flied out to left fielder Foster and a strikeout of Murphy ensued. Puleo then retired Larry Whisenton on a fly ball to Foster to close out the inning.
Pinch-hitter Bob Bailor doubled to open the bottom of the sixth. Veryzer singled to score Bailor and moved to second base on Puleo’s sacrifice bunt. Wilson reached on an error by Ramirez. A double by Stearns drove home Veryzer and Wilson to extend the Mets’ lead to 7-1. Atlanta reliever Rick Camp threw a wild pitch to send Stearns to third. John scored the Mets’ eighth run on an ensuing single by Foster. Staub drew a walk and Valentine singled to load the bases. Brooks hit a grounder on which third baseman Royster threw to catcher Biff Pocoroba for an out at home on Foster. Pocoroba then threw to Chambliss to complete an inning-ending double play.
Puleo and Braves’ reliever Al Hrabosky each hurled a scoreless seventh inning. Washington singled to begin the top of the eighth. Hubbard drew a walk and Chambliss fouled out to third baseman Brooks. Murphy drew a walk to load the bases. Whisenton hit a sacrifice fly to score Washington. Pocoroba followed with a double to plate Hubbard and cut the Mets’ lead to 8-3. New York reliever Craig Swan then got Royster to ground out to second baseman Bailor and end the inning.
Foster singled against Atlanta’s Preston Hanna with one out in the bottom of the eighth. A wild pitch moved Foster to second base and Mike Jorgensen popped out to Royster. Valentine followed with a two-run homer for the Mets’ sixteenth hit of the game. Hanna then got Brooks on a grounder to Chambliss to close out the inning.
Ramirez grounded out to shortstop Veryzer to open the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Bob Watson flied out to right fielder Valentine. Washington homered for the Braves’ fourth run. Swan then fanned Hubbard for the game’s final out. The Mets had a holiday victory over the National League West Division leaders.