Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Game of the Day (7/22/84)

Mets 7, Reds 6. New York's Ron Darling was on his way to a two-year run that made him look like an ascendant star, though he regressed significantly after 1986. He still came out better than Cincinnati's Joe Price, who was on his way to the bullpen after the 1984 season concluded.

Price worked around a Darryl Strawberry single in the top of the first; Darling walked both Gary Redus and Dan Driessen in the bottom of the inning, but Redus was caught stealing before Driessen reached to dampen a potential threat. Hubie Brooks led off the second with a double, advanced on a wild pitch, and scored on a Mike Fitzgerald single, but the Reds replied in the bottom of the inning. Duane Walker led off with a single, Nick Esasky walked, Tom Foley doubled in one run, and Dave Van Gorder put Cincinnati in front with an RBI groundout.

New York answered just as quickly in the top of the third. Kelvin Chapman walked with one out, and George Foster doubled him home to retie the score at 2. After a Brooks walk, Jerry Martin singled home the go-ahead run. Fitzgerald was then intentionally walked to load the bases, and Rafael Santana flied out to leave them that way. A Dave Parker walk was squandered in the bottom of the third, as were a Darling single and a Chapman walk in the top of the fourth and an Esasky walk in the bottom of the fourth. The abortive rallies continued through the top of the fifth, as two-out singles from Fitzgerald and Santana went for naught when Darling flied out. In the bottom of the inning, Redus led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on a flyout, and scored the tying run on a groundout.

Brad Lesley replaced Price in the top of the sixth, and the Mets pounced as though they'd been waiting for the Reds to make that move all game. Mookie Wilson led off with a walk, stole second, and moved to third on an errant pickoff throw. Chapman walked as well, and apparently moved to second when Strawberry flied to the shortstop somehow? I would love to know what exactly happened on that play. Anyway, Foster singled in the go-ahead run, and Brooks brought in another with a groundout. Darling allowed an Esasky single and a Van Gorder walk in the sixth, but no runs. Keefe Cato was spotless in the top of the seventh, and Tom Gorman relieved Darling in the bottom of the inning; the Met lead did not long survive his presence, as Ron Oester led off with a single and Driessen then tied the game with a two-run homer.

New York once again mounted a speedy retort, as Chapman singled and Strawberry homered in the top of the eighth. Jesse Orosco retired the Reds in order in the bottom of the eighth, and Ted Power did the same to the Mets in the ninth; Redus led off the bottom of the inning with a homer, but Orosco worked through the next three Cincinnati hitters with no further drama to finish off the game.

The Mets took their first lead in the top of the second. Once they had done that, the Reds rallied to take the lead or tie the score three separate times. And on all three occasions, the Mets pulled back ahead in their next time at the plate. It's not impossible to lose a game in which you never end an inning of your own hitting while behind... but it is very, very difficult.

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