September 17, 1977: Kranepool's 3-Run Double in 9th
|Date: September 17, 1977|
|Mets starter: Pat Zachry|
|Winning pitcher: Bob Apodaca|
|Key player(s): Ed Kranepool|
|Key play: Kranepool's double|
The Mets faced the Cubs in a doubleheader on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. In the first game, Chicago was ahead by two runs entering the ninth inning. Ed Kranepool came through with a double to drive in three runs and pull out a 5-4 win for the Mets.
In the first inning, the Cubs scored three times against Mets' starter Pat Zachry. Leadoff hitter Ivan DeJesus was hit by a pitch and Larry Biittner followed with a two-run homer. With two out, Steve Ontiveros doubled and came home on a single by Greg Gross. Zachry then struck out Steve Swisher to end the inning and the Mets were retired in order by Chicago's Dennis Lamp in the bottom half.
In the second and third, Zachry shut down the Cubs despite allowing doubles to Biittner and Gross. For the Mets, Joel Youngblood began the bottom of the third with a double off Lamp. Joel moved to third base on a ground out and scored on Zachry's single. Pat followed up by pitching three consecutive perfect innings to keep the score at 3-1.
Pinch-hitting for Zachry, Roy Staiger singled with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning. After advancing to second base on an infield out, Staiger went to third on Lamp's errant pickoff throw. Lee Mazzilli followed with a single to bring home Staiger for the Mets' second run. Cubs' reliever Willie Hernandez ended the inning by getting Mike Vail to line out to left fielder Biittner.
In the top of the seventh, Mick Kelleher singled off Bob Myrick and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Hernandez. Manny Trillo walked and Gene Clines came up to pinch-hit for Biittner. Clines hit a single to score Kelleher and make it a 4-2 lead for Chicago. Myrick retired the next two batters and the Mets didn't score in the bottom half.
After a scoreless eighth inning, reliever Bob Apodaca retired the Cubs in order in the top of the ninth. In the bottom of the inning, Vail and Steve Henderson led off with back-to-back singles against Chicago's Paul Reuschel. With one out, John Stearns drew a walk to load the bases and Kranepool came up to pinch-hit for Youngblood. Ed smacked a liner to center field for a double that scored all three runners. The Mets had an exciting come-from-behind victory as "Steady Eddie" came up big in the clutch.