October 1, 1978: Mets Defeat Cubs in Season Finale

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Date: October 1, 1978
Mets starter: Kevin Kobel
Mets: 5
Cubs: 3
Winning pitcher: Kevin Kobel
Key player(s): Butch Benton, Joel Youngblood, Dan Norman
Key play: Mets’ RBI singles

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Sunday afternoon in Chicago. The teams played the season finale on a 63-degree day at Wrigley Field. Four run-scoring singles paved the way to a 5-3 Mets win.

Kevin Kobel and the Cubs’ Lynn McGlothen each started the game with four scoreless innings pitched. Alex Trevino drew a walk with one out in the top of the fifth. Sergio Ferrer got a bunt single and advanced to third base via an error by third baseman Ed Putnam that allowed Trevino to score. Kobel grounded out to shortstop Ivan de Jesus and single by Butch Benton drove home Ferrer for a 2-0 Mets lead. McGlothen retired Doug Flynn on a pop-up to second baseman Mick Kelleher to close out the inning. Kobel then gave up just a single to McGlothen in the bottom half.

Willie Montanez singled to lead off the top of the sixth. Dan Norman hit a force play ground ball to de Jesus and moved to second base on McGlothen’s errant pickoff throw. Norman went to third on Bruce Boisclair’s ground out to Kelleher and scored the Mets’ third run on a single by Joel Youngblood. McGlothen got Trevino to line out to center fielder Jerry White and end the inning. Kobel then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

McGlothen set down the Mets in order in the top of the seventh. Kobel shut down the Cubs in the bottom of the inning and Flynn singled against Chicago reliever Donnie Moore to open the top of the eighth. Montanez hit a single that sent Flynn to third and was caught on Moore’s pickoff throw to first baseman Scot Thompson. Norman singled to bring home Flynn and extend the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Moore retired Boisclair on a grounder to Putnam, after which Norman was out in a rundown for an inning-ending double play.

Thompson singled against Kobel to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning. Mike Vail hit a single and Mets’ reliever Dale Murray got Gene Clines to hit a force play ground ball to second baseman Flynn. Pinch-hitter Greg Gross followed with a force play grounder to shortstop Sergio Ferrer that plated Thompson with the Cubs’ first run of the game. Pinch-hitter Dave Rader singled and Murray hit pinch-hitter Larry Biittner with a pitch to load the bases. Dale then retired pinch-hitter Bobby Murcer on a fly ball to center fielder Youngblood for the third out of the inning.

With one out in the top of the ninth, Trevino reached on Chicago reliever Dave Geisel’s wild pitch third strike. Ferrer drew a walk and Murray popped out to catcher Rader on a bunt attempt. Benton hit a single to drive home Trevino for a 5-1 Mets lead. Geisel then got Flynn to ground out to second baseman Rudy Meoli and end the inning.

White reached on an error by first baseman Montanez with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Thompson hit a double and Vail reached on Flynn’s error to drive home White. Clines also reached on an error by Flynn to bring home Thompson for the Cubs’ third run. Pinch-hitter Karl Pagel went down on strikes and Rader drew a walk to load the bases. Murray then retired Meoli on a fly ball to Youngblood for the game’s final out. The Mets had a season-ending victory.

Notes

  • Benton’s hits and RBIs were his first ones in the major leagues and only ones as a Met