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

Thursday May 18th, 1978: On this Spring evening, Joe Torre's fifth place New York Mets (16-21) hosted Bobby Cox's last place Atlanta Braves (16-21). The weak match up drew a mere crowd of just 4,431 to Shea Stadium. 

These were the bad years & dark years when Shea Stadium became known as "Grant's Tomb". Referring to club president M. Donald Grant who ran the team into the ground.

Tonight, the Mets started Pat Zachary & the Braves went with Preston Hana.

In the bottom of the 1st inning, the Mets collected three walks, Lenny Randle, Lee Mazzilli & Steve Henderson all got aboard. Willie Montanez "the Hot Dog" followed with a sac fly making it 1-0 Mets.

But in the top of the 2nd Darrel Chaney singled & scored on Rod Gilbreath's double. After a fielder's choice, Bob Beall walked & Brian Asselstine singled to bring in the Braves second run. Slugger Jeff Burroughs followed with a two run double making it 4-1.

In the 3rd, Randle singled & Mazzilli walked. Steve Henderson then singled to center scoring Randle. Willie Montanez followed with his second RBI, a single to make it a 4-3 game. 

Bob Myrick came on to pitch 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, Lenny Randle got his second hit of the day, doubling to right field. Bobby Valentine then pinch hit for Bruce Boisclair & singled, scoring Randle making it 6-4. 

Willie Montanez connected with his third of the day, a double bringing in Valentine with his third RBI of the game, bringing the Mets within a run.

In the top of the 7th, with Butch Metzger pitching, the Braves tacked on another run with singles from Asselstine & Biff Pocoroba. Roland Office's sac fly scored Asselstine, making it 7-5 Braves.

In the bottom of that 7th, the new Braves pitcher was Adrian Devine. Lenny Randle led off with a triple, his third hit of the day. Lee Mazzilli's ground out brought in Randle, making it 7-6.

Next, the Mets' Steve Henderson singled, then Willie Montanez continuing his big day, 
doubled to left field.  Henderson scored tying up the game. Montanez collected his third hit, going 3-3 with a pair of doubles & four RBIs.

The game remained that way, with new pitchers Skip Lockwood for the Mets & Eddie Solomon for the Braves, taking it into extra innings.

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

Lee Mazzilli was then intentionally walked, bringing up Steve Henderson. Henderson singled to right field, scoring Randle with the walk off, game winning run in the 8-7 Mets win. 

Henderson had a big day too, collecting four hits with a walk & two RBIs.

Lenny Randle had a big day as well, collecting three hits (3-3) with three walks and five runs scored. 

The Mets used five pitchers that day, with Skip Lockwood earning the win.


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