In July they brought Keith Hernandez over from St. Louis & that set the stage for the good years to come.
The previous year the Mets brought in slugger George Foster from the Big Red Machine. Foster had his issues & wasn't the super star he once was but he did make an impact on the Mets. In 1983 he contributed with five walk off hits.
Friday May 6th 1983: George Bamberger was
now the Mets skipper, his (7-15) Mets hosted Russ Nixon's Cincinnati Reds (13-14). The Reds were just a small engine compared to their Big Red Machine Days of yesteryear.
Johnny Bench, Dave Concepcion & Dan Driessen were all that was left. Tonight Tom Seaver, now back with the Mets faced his old Reds team & Mario Soto.
Seaver & Soto battled into the 6th inning, when Gary Redus hit a solo HR for the Reds. In the 7th Seaver gave up two walks & two singles which made it a 3-0 game.
Soto pitched his shut out until the 8th inning, when Mets pinch hitter Danny Heep hit a HR. Soto came on in the 9th for the complete game win but the Mets had other ideas. Wally Backman singled & Dave Kingman blasted his 5th HR of the year, tying up the game at three.
Seaver was in good form going eight innings, with three runs & four hits with seven strike outs. Carlos Diaz pitched two runs allowing a run & Jesse Orosco held them down for three innings, striking out three.
Red Reliever Bill Scherrer got the first two Mets out, then walked rookie Darryl Strawberry. Straw then stole second & Mike Jorgensen walked as well. The stage was set for George Foster, he hit a three run HR, the game winning walk off for an exciting 7-4 win.
The Braves were the reigning NL West Champs & would finish second this year. Tonight Ed Lynch went for the Mets against Hall of Famer Phil Niekro.
Ed Lynch was a fine pitcher for the Mets in the early eighties, today he would scatter ten hits & allow four runs. A HR to former Met Mike Jorgensen & RBI hits to Dale Murphy & Biff Pocaroba put New York in a 4-1 hole going to the bottom of the 9th.
Junior Ortiz & Dave Kingman both singled in the inning. The Braves went from veteran Terry Foster to youngster Steve Bedrosion on the mound. Hubie Brooks drove a base hit to right scoring Ortiz. Keith Hernandez also singled bringing in Kingman making it 4-3.
Geroge Foster would come through again with a double to left field scoring Brooks & Hernandez with the game winners. Another Foster walk off hit.
In the week of July 31st to August 3rd, Foster had two walk off winning at bats. Both were infield grounders that scored Mookie Wilson each time. The wins came against the Pittsburgh Pirates & Montreal Expos.
Monday September 5th 1983: The Mets (59-79) were no where near contention & even though nobody knew it, it would be the last time for almost a decade that that would be the case.
The Mets would win the East or come in second from 1984-1990. Tonight they hosted Pat Corrales Philadelphia Phillies (69-67). The Phillies were in a tie for second place 1/2 game behind both the Pirates & Expos.
The Phillies would win the Division & get to the World Series losing to the Baltimore Orioles. The Mets sent Mike Torrez up against Charles Hudson.
In the home 2nd, Strawberry singled & stole second, veteran Ron Hodges walked. Brian Giles & Mookie Wilson added RBI hits making it 3-0 Mets. Mets nemesis Mike Schmidt enjoyed another of his many HRs at Shea Stadium & Joe Morgan's RBI single made it 3-3.
Doug Sisk's three scoreless innings go the Mets to the 9th. Jesse Orosco allowed two walks, an RBI base hit to Ivan DeJesus & a sac fly to Gary Mathews giving the Phils a 5-3 lead. Reliever Al Holland (25 saves in 1983) came to close the door for the Phillies.