September 25, 1979: Mets Beat Cubs in 10 for Split

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Date: September 25, 1979
Mets starter: Kevin Kobel
Mets: 4
Cubs: 3
Winning pitcher: Neil Allen
Key player(s): Richie Hebner, Frank Taveras, Steve Henderson
Key play: Hebner’s single in 9th, Henderson’s single in 10th

The Mets and Cubs played a doubleheader on a Tuesday afternoon. After suffering their 99th loss of the season in the opener, the Mets aimed for a split of the twinbill at Wrigley Field. The team emerged with a 4-3 win in 10 innings over Chicago.

After a scoreless first inning, Dan Norman singled to lead off the top of the second. Cubs’ starter Bill Caudill threw a called third strike past Kelvin Chapman and a fielder’s choice grounder by Kevin Kobel put runners on first and second base. Frank Taveras hit a double to score Norman for a 1-0 Mets lead. Elliott Maddox popped out to first baseman Bill Buckner. Caudill then struck out Lee Mazzilli to end the inning.

Dave Kingman hit a single off Mets’ starter Kobel to begin the bottom of the second. Mike Vail’s ensuing single moved Kingman to third. Steve Davis hit into a force play to drive in Kingman with the tying run. Bruce Kimm lined out to third baseman Richie Hebner. Mick Kelleher singled to advance Kimm to third. Kobel then fanned Caudill for the third out of the inning.

Caudill pitched a perfect top of the third. Miguel Dilone got a bunt single and stole second base to start the bottom half. Steve Dillard singled to bring home Dilone and put the Cubs ahead, 2-1. Buckner hit into a double play and Kingman hit a triple to center field. Vail singled to score Kingman for the third Chicago run. Davis was then retired on a ball hit to first baseman Mazzilli for the third out.

Kobel and Caudill each pitched scoreless ball from the fourth inning to the sixth. With two outs in the top of the seventh, Taveras got a bunt single and moved to second on a passed ball by catcher Kimm. Caudill walked Maddox and a single by Mazzilli off Cubs’ reliever Bruce Sutter plated Taveras. Sutter struck out Hebner to close out the inning. Mets’ reliever Jeff Reardon then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Sutter and the Mets’ Neil Allen each hurled a scoreless eighth inning. Taveras singled to open the top of the ninth. Frank stole second base and Sutter fanned both Maddox and Mazzilli. With the Mets one out away from their 100th loss of the year, Hebner hit a single to drive home Taveras and tie the game at 3-3. Joel Youngblood hit into a force play that ended the inning. Allen then set down the Cubs 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Ron Hodges singled off Chicago reliever Dick Tidrow to begin the top of the 10th inning. Norman hit into a force play and moved to second on an error by second baseman Kelleher. Doug Flynn flied out to center fielder Dilone. Pinch-hitter Steve Henderson hit a single to score Norman and put the Mets in front. Taveras was then retired on a ground ball back to Tidrow to end the inning.

Mets’ reliever Andy Hassler got Dilone on a grounder back to the mound to start the bottom of the 10th. Ivan DeJesus was called out on strikes. Hassler then retired Buckner on a game-ending fly ball to right fielder Youngblood. The Mets had gained a split of the doubleheader with an extra-inning victory.