October 2, 1983: Staub's Double in 9th Beats Expos

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Date: October 2, 1983
Mets starter: Tim Leary
Mets: 5
Expos: 4
Winning pitcher: Tim Leary
Key player(s): Rusty Staub, Gary Rajsich
Key play: Staub's two-run double

After winning the first game of a doubleheader, the Mets aimed for a sweep of the Expos on a Sunday afternoon. A minimal crowd came out to Shea Stadium on the final day of the regular season. The Mets closed out the year with a 5-4 win on Rusty Staub's two-run double in the ninth inning.

Tim Leary and Montreal's Steve Rogers started the game with four scoreless innings pitched. Leary struck out four batters and allowed two hits while the Mets got three hits off Rogers, who recorded nine of the twelve outs on fly balls. The Expos took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth on Bryan Little's single that brought home Tim Raines. Rogers then retired the Mets in order in the bottom of the inning.

Leary set down Montreal in order in the top of the sixth. In the bottom half, Wally Backman led off with a single and came around to score on a double by Clint Hurdle. Rogers threw a wild pitch to move Hurdle to third base and Danny Heep singled to bring home Clint, putting the Mets ahead. Later in the inning, Gary Rajsich doubled with two out and scored on Brian Giles' single for a 3-1 Mets lead. The Expos got a run in the seventh on Little's double that plated Angel Salazar and the Mets were retired in order by reliever Greg Bargar in the bottom of the inning.

With one out in the top of the eighth, Leary walked Mike Stenhouse and an error by Backman on Bobby Ramos's grounder put Montreal runners at first and third. Salazar hit a sacrifice fly to score Stenhouse and tie the game. Jeff Reardon shut down the Mets in the bottom of the inning. The Expos then took a 4-3 lead in the ninth on Andre Dawson's two-out single that brought home Raines.

Rajsich began the bottom of the ninth inning with a single off Reardon. Giles' sacrifice bunt moved pinch-runner Mark Bradley to second and Ron Hodges drew a walk. Reardon retired Keith Hernandez for the second out of the inning. Pinch-hitting for Leary, Staub doubled to score Bradley and pinch-runner Jose Oquendo with the winning runs. The Mets ended their season with a sweep of a twinbill.

Notes

  • Staub's game-winning hit gave him 25 runs batted in as a pinch-hitter for the year. This tied a major league record set by Joe Cronin in 1943 and Jerry Lynch in 1961.