May 6, 1979: Four-Run 8th Beats Giants

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Date: May 6, 1979
Mets starter: Kevin Kobel
Mets: 5
Giants: 4
Winning pitcher: Dale Murray
Key player(s): Steve Henderson, Doug Flynn
Key play: Henderson’s double, Flynn’s single

The Mets faced the Giants on a Sunday afternoon in San Francisco. The teams played the finale of a four-game series. The Mets scored four runs in the eighth inning for a 5-4 win.

After a scoreless first, Giants’ starter Bob Knepper retired the side in order in the top of the second. Bill Madlock drew a walk against the Mets’ Kevin Kobel to lead off the bottom half. Madlock stole second base and Darrell Evans lined out to first baseman Willie Montanez. Madlock stole third and Johnnie LeMaster drew a walk. Mike Sadek followed with a sacrifice fly to drive home Madlock for a 1-0 San Francisco lead. Kobel then got Knepper to fly out to center fielder Lee Mazzilli and end the inning.

Knepper and Kobel each pitched scoreless and hitless ball in the third and fourth. With one out in the top of the fifth, Joel Youngblood drew a walk and advanced to second base after Doug Flynn’s foul out to right fielder Jack Clark. Kobel singled to score Youngblood with the tying run. Frank Taveras hit a single and Alex Trevino walked to load the bases. Mazzilli hit a force play ground ball to shortstop LeMaster to close out the inning and Knepper doubled with one out in the bottom half. Bill North was retired on a line drive to left fielder Steve Henderson. Terry Whitfield reached second base on Montanez’s error that allowed Knepper to come home and put the Giants back in front. Whitfield went to third on a wild pitch as Clark drew a walk. Mike Ivie hit a single to plate Whitfield with the third San Francisco run of the game. Kobel then retired Madlock on a grounder to shortstop Taveras for the inning’s final out.

Knepper hurled a perfect top of the sixth. Kobel gave up only a bunt single to LeMaster in the bottom half and Knepper held the Mets to a single by Youngblood in the top of the seventh. North drew a walk against New York reliever Dale Murray to open the bottom of the inning. Whitfield’s sacrifice bunt sent North to second base and Clark was given an intentional walk. Ivie singled to bring home North and extend the Giants’ lead to 4-1. On his own hit, Ivie was out via a relay throw by catcher John Stearns to second baseman Flynn. Madlock then grounded back to Murray for the third out of the inning.

Trevino drew a walk against Knepper to begin the top of the eighth. Mazzilli followed with a single to left field. Henderson doubled to drive home Trevino and Mazzilli, cutting the San Francisco lead to 4-3. Against Giants’ reliever Randy Moffitt, Stearns reached on a fielder’s choice ground ball as Henderson got to third base via an error by third baseman Evans. Montanez fouled out to first baseman Ivie. Youngblood grounded out to LeMaster to score Henderson and tie the game. Flynn hit a single to drive home Stearns and put the Mets ahead by a run. Moffitt retired Murray on a ground ball to Evans that ended the inning and pinch-hitter Roger Metzger drew a two-out walk in the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Willie McCovey hit a single to advance Metzger to third. Mets’ reliever Skip Lockwood then retired North on grounder back to the mound to finish off the inning.

San Francisco reliever Dave Roberts pitched a scoreless top of the ninth. Whitfield reached on an error by Taveras to lead off the bottom half. Clark followed with a double play ground ball to third baseman Trevino. Lockwood then got Ivie to fly out to left fielder Youngblood and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a comeback victory.