September 14, 1980: Mazzilli and Henderson Lead Comeback Win

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Date: September 14, 1980
Mets starter: Pat Zachry
Mets: 10
Cubs: 7
Winning pitcher: Neil Allen
Key player(s): Lee Mazzilli, Steve Henderson, Mookie Wilson
Key play: Mazzilli’s and Henderson’s home runs

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. Lee Mazzilli and Steve Henderson hit the Mets’ first home runs in nineteen days to lead the team to a 10-7 comeback win over Chicago.

Mets’ starter Pat Zachry hit Ivan DeJesus with a pitch to begin the top of the first inning. DeJesus stole second base and advanced to third on an error by catcher Alex Trevino. Jesus Figueroa went down on strikes and Bill Buckner hit a sacrifice fly to drive home DeJesus. Dave Kingman homered to increase the Cubs’ lead to 2-0. Zachry then struck out Jim Tracy to end the inning.

Mookie Wilson tripled against Chicago starter Dennis Lamp to lead off the bottom of the first. Wally Backman hit an infield single to score Wilson and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Mazzilli followed with a single to drive home Backman and tie the game at 2-2. With Joel Youngblood at bat, Mazzilli was caught stealing on a throw by catcher Tim Blackwell to third baseman Lenny Randle. Youngblood was struck out and Mike Jorgensen drew a walk. Lamp then got Trevino on a force play ground ball to Randle that ended the inning.

Leading off the top of the second, Randle got a bunt single and moved to third base on an error by third baseman Hubie Brooks. An ensuing sacrifice fly by Blackwell brought home Randle to put the Cubs ahead by a run. Zachry retired the next two batters to close out the inning and Lamp pitched a perfect bottom half. The Cubs were set down in order in the top of the third and Wilson singled to open the bottom of the inning. Mookie stole second base and moved to third on a bunt single by Backman. Mazzilli hit a force play grounder to second baseman Steve Dillard on which Wilson scored the tying run. Youngblood grounded out to shortstop DeJesus and an intentional walk to Jorgensen ensued. Trevino singled to score Mazzilli and give the Mets a 4-3 lead. Lamp then got Brooks to ground out to DeJesus and end the inning.

Zachry retired the Cubs 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth. With one out in the bottom half, Pat drew a walk and advanced to second base on a single by Wilson. Lamp was replaced on the mound by Chicago reliever Willie Hernandez, who fanned Backman and Mazzilli for the inning’s final outs. The Cubs had runners at first and third with two outs in the top of the fifth. Figueroa hit a grounder that struck DeJesus between first and second for the final out of the inning. Chicago’s Bill Caudill then held the Mets to a single by Henderson in a scoreless bottom half.

Buckner doubled to lead off the top of the sixth. Kingman drew a walk and a sacrifice bunt by Tracy advanced the runners to second and third base. Randle was walked intentionally to load the bases. Blackwell flied out to right fielder Youngblood and pinch-hitter Larry Biittner reached on an error by first baseman Mazzilli that allowed Buckner to score the tying run. Trying to score on the play, Kingman was out at home via a throw by second baseman Backman to Trevino to finish off the inning. Caudill then set down the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Figueroa got a two-out single and stole second base in the top of the seventh inning. Buckner was given an intentional walk and Kingman hit with a three-run homer that put the Cubs ahead, 7-4. Mets’ reliever Juan Berenguer came in to pitch and threw a called third strike past Tracy to end the inning. To begin the bottom half, Backman singled to left field against Chicago’s Dick Tidrow. Mazzilli followed with the Mets’ first home run after 175 innings without one to cut the Chicago lead to 7-6. Tidrow retired the next three New York batters and Berenguer pitched a perfect top of the eighth. Tidrow issued a walk to Brooks to open the bottom half. Cubs’ reliever Bruce Sutter then shut down the Mets for the rest of the inning.

Neil Allen retired all three Cubs hitters in the top of the ninth. Leading off the bottom of the inning, Wilson got a single (his fourth hit of the game) and moved to second base on an error by Blackwell. A sacrifice bunt by Backman advanced Wilson to third. Mazzilli singled to score Wilson and tie the game at 7-7. Lee stole second and Youngblood was given an intentional walk. Henderson then clouted a three-run homer to bring the game to an end. The Mets had a come-from-behind victory that included their first homers in nearly three weeks.


  • The last home run for the Mets before this game was hit by Claudell Washington in the team’s 8-6 loss to the Padres in 18 innings at Shea on August 26. The Mets then went 17 consecutive games without a homer.