Remembering Mets History (1984): Keith Hernandez's Walk Off Hit Against His Old Team

Tuesday July 24th, 1984: There was so much excitement around the Shea Stadium in 1984 it was truly magical. Davey Johnson's Mets were twenty games over .500 (57-37) riding high in first place with a 3 1/2 game lead over the Chicago Cubs.

On this night they took on Whitey Herzog's St. Louis Cardinals (47-52) as the rivalry between the two teams was heating up. It was tonight that Keith Hernandez one of the Mets stars & most popular players would get some revenge on his old team.

Hernandez had come over from the Cardinals in 1983 in a trade because he & manager Whitey Herzog clashed. Herzog felt he wasn't giving it 100%, even though he won five straight Gold Gloves, the 1979 batting title & co NL MVP Award, as well as was the hitting star of Game #7 of the 1982 World Series. Keith came to the Mets & gave it 110% everyday & the rivalry of the Mets / Cardinals was on.

In the home 3rd, Rafael Santana singled & reached second on George Hendricks's throwing error in right field.  Mets pitcher Bruce Berenyi attempted a bunt a throwing error by catcher Junior Ortiz led to Santana getting to third & Berenyi getting all the way to second base. 

Kelvin Chapman then doubled, scoring Santana. Keith Hernandez hit a sac fly scoring Berenyi with his first RBI of the day. George Foster singled in the third run. Sloppy Cardinal fielding led the Mets to take advantage & made it 3-0 New York.

The Cards came back though, Terry Pendelton singled & George Hendrick doubled in a run, making up for his error. Hendrick advanced to third on a ground out, then Bruce Berenyi had control issues himself, throwing a wild pitch allowing Hendrick to score. Then David Green, a backup outfielder / first baseman for the early 1980's Cards, hit a two run HR putting them up 4-3.

In the Mets 4th, Rafael Santana doubled off Dave Lapoint & the Met pitcher, Bruce Berenyi who was having a great day at the plate, singled scoring Santana. Berenyi went 2-2 with a sacrifice & an RBI on the day.

Mookie Wilson reached on another St. Louis error, this one by Chris Speir at short. Kelvin Chapman, who also had two hits on the night, then drove in his second run to give the Mets the 5-4 lead. LaPoint was gone as Herzog brought in Dave Rucker.

Keith Hernandez added his first hit of the night, a single to bring in his second run making it 6-4 Mets. George Foster added another base hit, this one scoring Chapman to make it 7-4. 

The Mets sent nine men to the plate collected five hits, four of them singles & reached on another Cardinal error in the four run inning.

Berenyi held down the Cards until the 7th, with one out he walked Bill Lyons & then surrendered a two out triple to Andy Van Slyke, making 7-5. Davey Johnson removed Berebyi who went 6.2 innings allowing six runs on six hits, two walks & 4 Ks. 

He brought in the right hander, Doug Sisk. Sisk was wild, he issued three straight walks making it a one run 7-6 game. The Mets fans got on him as heard the boos.

In the top of the 8th, Tito Landrum hit a two run HR off Mets reliever Tom Gorman, putting the Cards ahead 8-7.

In the 8th Keith Hernandez continued his big day, reliever Dave Von Ohen gave up a single to
short time Met Jerry Martin. Martin a long time Phillie, ended his career with the '84 Mets, batting .154 with 3 HRs & 5 RBIs in 51 games.

A wild pitch moved Martin over to second, then Keith's single scored him, tying up the game at eight. The Shea fans went wild.

The game went to the 10th inning as Brent Gaff pitched two scoreless inning for the Mets.

In the bottom of the 10th, Neil Allen, the man who the Mets traded to get Keith Hernandez was on the mound for St. Louis. Allen one of the NL's better relievers, got the first two outs. 

Mookie Wilson then singled & stole second base. It was his 29th stolen base, he would swope 46 on the year.

Wally Backman then drew a walk setting the stage for Keith.

Hernandez who led the team & the league in game winning RBIs that year, singled off Allen, bringing in the walk off game winning run. The Mets won it 9-8 extending their lead & giving the Cards' manager Whitey Herzog some more heart burn.


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