September 15, 1978: Norman Jolts Phils in 10-Inning Win

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Date: September 15, 1978
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 5
Phillies: 4
Winning pitcher: Dale Murray
Key player(s): Dan Norman, John Stearns, Elliott Maddox
Key play: Norman’s homers and sacrifice fly, Maddox’s double

The Mets faced the Phillies on a Friday night in Philadelphia. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Dan Norman homered twice and hit a sacrifice fly in a 5-4 Mets win in 10 innings over the Phils.

Gil Flores singled against Phillies’ starter Jim Kaat to lead off the top of the first. Elliott Maddox hit a single and Steve Henderson followed with a force play ground ball to second baseman Ted Sizemore. Willie Montanez went down on strikes and John Stearns singled to drive home Flores. With Norman at bat, Stearns was caught stealing on catcher Barry Foote’s throw to Sizemore for the third out. With two outs in the bottom half, Garry Maddox singled and scored the tying run on a double by Greg Luzinski. Mets’ starter Jerry Koosman then retired Mike Schmidt on a pop-up to second baseman Joel Youngblood to end the inning.

Leading off the top of the second, Norman hit a home run to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. Youngblood singled and Sergio Ferrer followed with a double play grounder to back to Kaat. Koosman was struck out to finish off the inning and Bob Boone got a leadoff single in the bottom half. Foote grounded back to Koosman for a double play and Sizemore reached on an error by third baseman Elliott Maddox. With Kaat at the plate, Sizemore was caught stealing on catcher Stearns’ throw to shortstop Ferrer for the inning’s final out.

Flores hit a single against Kaat to open the top of the third. Elliott Maddox doubled to drive home Flores and a line drive by Henderson was caught by first baseman Boone. A wild pitch advanced Elliott Maddox to third base and Montanez grounded out to shortstop Larry Bowa. Philadelphia reliever Horacio Pina struck out Stearns to end the inning. Koosman then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Against the Phils’ Rawly Eastwick to begin the top of the fourth, Norman slugged his second home run of the game for a 4-1 Mets lead. Youngblood flied out to center fielder Garry Maddox and a single by Ferrer ensued. Koosman’s sacrifice bunt moved Ferrer to second base and Flores grounded out to Bowa to finish off the inning. Koosman pitched a perfect bottom half and Montanez reached on Boone’s error with two outs in the top of the fifth. Stearns singled to send Montanez to third and Eastwick got Norman to hit an inning-ending force play ground ball to Sizemore. Koosman then surrendered just a walk to Sizemore in the bottom half.

Koosman and Phillies’ reliever Warren Brusstar each pitched scoreless ball in the sixth and seventh innings. Stearns singled to begin the top of the eighth. John advanced to second base on a balk and to third after Norman’s fly out to right fielder Bake McBride. Youngblood reached via a fielder’s choice grounder on which Stearns stayed at third. With Ferrer at bat, Stearns got caught in a rundown and was tagged out by Brusstar. Ferrer then grounded out to Bowa to end the inning.

Koosman threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Lonnie Smith to open the bottom of the eighth. McBride and Bowa followed with back-to-back walks. Garry Maddox hit a double to plated McBride and sent Bowa to third base. Mets’ reliever Dale Murray retired Luzinski on a ground ball to Ferrer that brought home Bowa and reduced the New York lead to 4-3. Murray then got Schmidt on a fly ball to right fielder Norman that closed out the inning.

Philadelphia reliever Tug McGraw yielded only a single to Elliott Maddox and struck out the side in the top of the ninth. Boone hit a leadoff single in the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Richie Hebner singled to advance Boone to third base. Pinch-hitter Tim McCarver followed with a double play grounder to Youngblood on which Boone scored the tying run. Murray then threw a called third strike past McGraw to end the inning and send the game onward.

Montanez singled to begin the top of the 10th. Stearns hit a single to send Montanez to third base. Norman hit a sacrifice fly that scored Montanez and put the Mets ahead by a run. McGraw got Youngblood to hit a double play ground ball to third baseman Schmidt that finished off the inning. Leading off the bottom half, McBride grounded out to Youngblood. Bowa popped out to Elliott Maddox and a single by Garry Maddox followed. Murray then retired Luzinski on a pop-up to Youngblood for the game’s final out. The Mets had an extra-inning victory to start the weekend series.