May 5, 1981: Mets' Comeback Falls Short
|Date: May 5, 1981|
|Mets starter: Randy Jones|
|Winning pitcher: Tom Griffin|
|Key player(s): Tom Griffin, Lee Mazzilli|
|Key play: Giants' 6-run 5th, Mets' 7-run 9th|
The Mets faced the Giants at Shea Stadium on a Tuesday night. Behind by nine runs, the Mets staged a massive comeback in the ninth inning. The team scored seven runs, but it wasn't enough as the Giants held on for a 9-7 win.
San Francisco's starting pitcher Tom Griffin homered off Randy Jones in the third inning. The Giants got two more runs in the fourth on Rennie Stennett's two-out single to score Larry Herndon and Griffin's single to bring home Stennett. The Mets were limited to three hits while being shut out by Griffin over the first four innings.
Milt May started the fifth inning with a single off Jones. Jack Clark followed with a double and Herndon tripled to score May and Clark. Jones was then relieved by Dave Roberts, who allowed a run-scoring double to Darrell Evans and a single to Jerry Martin on which Evans crossed the plate. Before the inning ended, Billy Smith added a two-run homer off Dyar Miller to make it a six-run inning for San Francisco.
Griffin continued to shut down the Mets through the end of the seventh. Reliever Randy Moffitt added a scoreless eighth. The Giants took their 9-0 lead into the the ninth inning.
Lee Mazzilli singled to begin the bottom of the ninth. Moffitt struck out Dave Kingman and then walked Mike Cubbage, pinch-hitting for pitcher Jeff Reardon. The Mets then got a "team natural cycle" with a single by Hubie Brooks to score Mazzilli, a double by Alex Trevino to bring home Cubbage, a triple by Doug Flynn on which Brooks and Trevino crossed the plate and a two-run homer by Mike Jorgensen. It was a 9-6 game as Fred Breining came in to relieve Moffitt for the Giants.
Breining got Joel Youngblood to line out to second base before walking Frank Taveras and being taken out. Facing Greg Minton, Mazzilli got his second single of the inning to move Taveras to third. Kingman came to bat and singled to score Taveras with Mazzilli going to third. With the tying runs on base, Minton got Cubbage to fly out to left field for the third out. The Mets' amazing comeback came up two runs short of victory.