September 25, 2008: Seven Late Singles Overtake Cubs

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Date: September 25, 2008
Mets starter: Pedro Martinez
Mets: 7
Cubs: 6
Winning pitcher: Joe Smith
Key player(s): Ryan Church, Carlos Beltran, Ramon Martinez, Robinson Cancel
Key play: Church’s double, Mets’ singles in 8th and 9th

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Thursday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a four-game series. The Mets collected seven singles in the eighth and ninth innings for a 7-6 comeback win over Chicago.

With two outs in the top of the first inning, Micah Hoffpauir hit his first major league homer for a 1-0 Cubs lead. Jim Edmonds drew a walk and advanced to third base on a single by Mike Fontenot. Casey McGehee singled to drive home Edmonds with the second Chicago run. Mets’ starter Pedro Martinez struck out Kosuke Fukudome to end the inning and Jose Reyes reached on an error by first baseman Hoffpauir to begin the bottom half. Reyes stole second and moved to third on Daniel Murphy’s ground out to shortstop Ryan Theriot. David Wright followed with a sacrifice fly to score Reyes with the Mets’ first run of the game. Cubs’ starter Rich Harden then got Carlos Delgado on a grounder to second baseman Fontenot to close out the inning.

After a scoreless second, Theriot drew a leadoff walk in the top of the third. Hoffpauir doubled to drive home Theriot and increase the Chicago lead to 3-1. Edmonds was called out on strikes and Fontenot drew a walk. Pedro Martinez threw called third strikes past both McGehee and Fukudome for the inning’s final outs and Harden pitched a perfect bottom half. Pedro then yielded only a single to Harden in the top of the fourth.

Wright drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the fourth inning. Delgado flied out to left fielder Felix Pie and a walk to Carlos Beltran ensued. Ryan Church hit a double that plated Wright and Beltran, tying the game at 3-3. Ramon Martinez flied out to Pie to end the inning and Pedro Martinez held the Cubs to a single by Hoffpauir in the top of the fifth. Reyes drew a walk with two outs in the bottom half. Jose stole second base and Murphy was fanned for the inning’s third out. Pedro set down all three Chicago batters in the top of the sixth. Harden then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Pie singled and stole second base to begin the top of the seventh. Theriot drew a walk and Pedro Martinez was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Ricardo Rincon. Hoffpauir greeted Rincon with his second home run to give the Cubs a 6-3 lead. Edmonds flied out to left fielder Murphy and a double by Fontenot followed. New York’s Brian Stokes retired McGehee on a fly ball to center fielder Beltran and issued an intentional walk to Fukudome. Stokes then struck out Koyie Hill to end the inning.

Robinson Cancel doubled against Chicago reliever Chad Gaudin to open the bottom of the seventh. Cancel moved to third base on pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson’s ground out to Theriot. Reyes grounded out to Theriot to bring home Cancel with the Mets’ fourth run and Gaudin retired Murphy on an inning-ending line drive to Pie. Theriot drew a two-out walk against the Mets’ Scott Schoeneweis in the top of the eighth. Hoffpauir followed with a single for his fifth hit of the game. Schoeneweis then threw a called third strike past Edmonds to close out the inning.

Wright singled against Cubs’ reliever Neal Cotts to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Delgado hit a double play ground ball to third baseman McGehee and an infield single by Beltran ensued. Church hit a single and Bob Howry came in to pitch for Chicago. With Ramon Martinez at bat, Beltran stole third base. Ramon singled to score Beltran and send Church to second. Cancel followed with a single to drive home Church and tie the game at 6-6. Howry then struck out pinch-hitter Damion Easley to end the inning.

Fontenot singled against the Mets’ Pedro Feliciano to begin the top of the ninth. A wild pitch by New York’s Joe Smith advanced Fontenot to second base. McGehee went down on strikes and Fukudome was given an intentional walk. Hill hit a force play grounder to second baseman Ramon Martinez. Pinch-hitter Daryle Ward then grounded back to Smith for the third out of the inning.

Reyes hit a single against the Cubs’ Kevin Hart to open the bottom of the ninth. Murphy was fanned on a fouled bunt attempt with two strikes. Reyes stole second base as Wright went down on strikes and Delgado was walked intentionally. Beltran then hit a single (the Mets’ seventh in the last two innings) to bring home Reyes with the winning run. The Mets had an amazing come-from-behind victory.