May 17, 2021

Remembering Mets History (1978): Lenny Randle, Willie Montaez & Steve Henderson All Have A Big Night

Thursday May 18,1978: On this Spring evening, Joe Torre's 5th place New York Mets (16-21) hosted Bobby Cox's last place Atlanta Braves (16-21) to a mere crowd of just 4,431. These were the dark years of when Shea Stadium became known as-  "Grants Tomb".

The Mets started Pat Zachary against Atlanta's Preston Hana.

Starting Lineups

The Mets scored first, when in the 1st inning, Hanna walked Lenny Randle, Lee Mazzilli & Steve Henderson. Willie Montanez "the Hot Dog" followed with a sac fly making it 1-0.

The Braves got four in the top of the 2nd, as Darrel Chaney singled & scored on Rod Gilbreath's double. Bob Beall walked & Brian Asselstine singled in a run, followed by Jeff Burroughs RBI double.

In the 3rd, Randle singled & Mazzilli walked. Steve Henderson & Willie Montanez both followed with RBI singles to make a 4-3 game. Bob Myrick came on for New York & Jamie Easterly for the Braves.

In the 5th, Myrick allowed a two run single to Darrel Chaney putting the Mets in a 6-3 hole. In the bottom frame Randle got his second hit of the day, doubling to right field. 

Bobby Valentine pinch hit for Bruce Boisclair & singled in Randle making it 6-4. Willie Montanez connected for his third a hit, a double bringing in Valentine with his third RBI of the game. It was now 6-5 Braves.

The Braves tacked on another run with two singles & an RBI sac fly from Roland Office, off Mets reliever Butch Metzger. It was 7-5 Braves.

In the 7th, Adrian Devine was on the mound for the Braves, Lenny Randle tripled to lead off the inning. It was Randle's third hit of the day. He scored on Mazzilli's ground out, making it a one run game. 

Steve Henderson singled & Willie Montanez came through again with a double to left field, scoring Henderson & tying up the game. Montanez would go 3-3 in the game with two doubles & four RBIs.

In the bottom of the 10th, Randle got on with his third walk of the day. He was bunted over to scoring position by relief pitcher Skip Lockwood. 

Lee Mazzilli was intentionally walked by Braves pitcher Eddie Solomon. Then Steve Henderson singled to bring home Randle with the walk off run in the 8-7 Mets win. Henderson was 4-5 with a walk & two RBIs.

Lenny Randle possibly had the best day of all, batting lead off going 3-3 with three walks and five runs scored. Skip Lockwood earned the win.

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