September 26, 1979: Hebner's Hits Lead Mets to Win

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Date: September 26, 1979
Mets starter: Tom Hausman
Mets: 8
Cubs: 3
Winning pitcher: Tom Hausman
Key player(s): Richie Hebner, John Stearns, Bruce Boisclair
Key play: Hebner’s homer and double, Boisclair’s double, Stearns’ single

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Wednesday afternoon in Chicago. The teams played the finale of a three-game series at Wrigley Field. Richie Hebner drove in four runs with a homer and a double in an 8-3 Mets victory.

Lee Mazzilli drew a walk with two outs in the top of the first inning. Hebner homered for a 2-0 Mets lead and Joel Youngblood singled to left field. Cubs’ starter Donnie Moore retired John Stearns on an inning-ending line drive to left fielder Dave Kingman and New York’s Tom Hausman pitched a scoreless bottom half. Moore set down the side in order in the top of the second and Hausman hurled a perfect bottom of the inning. To begin the top of the third, Frank Taveras singled and stole second base. Elliott Maddox was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Jerry Martin and a strikeout of Mazzilli followed. Moore issued an intentional walk to Hebner and got Youngblood on a ground ball to third baseman Steve Ontiveros to end the inning. Hausman then shut down the Cubs in the bottom half.

Stearns drew a leadoff walk in the top of the fourth. John advanced to second base on Moore’s errant pickoff throw and scored the Mets’ third run a double by Bruce Boisclair, who tried to move to third on the play. Right fielder Larry Biittner (after losing sight of the ball and finding it in his cap on the ground) threw to Ontiveros for an out on Boisclair. Doug Flynn got an infield single and Hausman was struck out. Moore retired Taveras on an inning-ending pop-up to shortstop Ivan DeJesus. Hausman then yielded only a single to Martin in the bottom half.

Maddox singled to open the top of the fifth inning. Mazzilli hit a single to send Maddox to third base and Moore was replaced on the mound by Chicago reliever George Riley. Hebner greeted Riley with a double that brought home Maddox and Mazzilli. Youngblood drew a walk and Stearns singled to score Hebner. On the hit, Youngblood was out at third base via a throw by Martin to Ontiveros as Stearns advanced to second. John went to third on Boisclair’s ground out to first baseman Bill Buckner and scored on a single by Flynn for a 7-0 New York lead. Riley got Hausman on a grounder to Buckner that ended the inning. Tom then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Taveras hit a single against Cubs’ reliever Dave Geisel to lead off the top of the sixth. Maddox singled to send Taveras to third base, but got caught in a rundown and was tagged out by second baseman Mick Kelleher. Alex Trevino hit a single to plate Taveras with the Mets’ eighth run of the game. Hebner was hit by a pitch and Youngblood popped out to Buckner. Geisel retired Stearns on a fly ball to Kingman for the inning’s third out and Biittner walked with one out in the bottom half. Ontiveros hit a double to drive home Biittner and a pop-up by Martin was caught by second baseman Flynn. Hausman then got Tim Blackwell on a fly ball to left fielder Youngblood to finish off the inning.

Geisel set down the Mets in order in the top of the seventh. Hausman hurled a perfect bottom half and Chicago’s Doug Capilla surrendered only a walk to Trevino in the top of the eighth. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Biittner singled and advanced to third base on Ontiveros’s ensuing double. Martin doubled to left field to drive home Biittner and Ontiveros. Pinch-hitter Scot Thompson flied out to right fielder Dan Norman to end the inning. Capilla then shut down the Mets in the top of the ninth.

Pinch-hitter Barry Foote grounded out to shortstop Flynn (who had shifted from second base) to begin the bottom of the ninth inning. Hausman issued a walk to pinch-hitter Mike Vail and Mets’ reliever Neil Allen struck out DeJesus. Buckner singled to keep the Cubs’ chances alive. Allen then fanned Kingman to end the game. The Mets had a win to conclude the series.