Remembering Mets History (1984) Mets Take a Twin Bill From The Braves

 Sunday July 1st, 1984: There was lots of excitement around Shea Stadium, for the first time in years as Davey Johnson's Mets were playing good winning baseball. Today in a Sunday double header, the Mets were 39-33 tied for second place with the Phillies, just one game behind the Chicago Cubs. The first game was rescheduled due to yesterday's rain out.

They hosted the second place Atlanta Braves (43-36) managed by Joe Torre. Under Joe Torre, the Braves had just come off two winning seasons & he had gotten them to the NLCS in 1982, but they were swept by the St. Louis Cardinals. 

Prior to that the Braves only had three winning seasons since the Mets beat them in the 1969
NLCS (13 seasons). The Braves would finish second that year at 80-82 but 14 games behind the NL Champion San Diego Padres. There would be six more losing seasons until their glory years of the 1990's began.

The first game saw a good pitching matchup of Ron Darling (8-3) going up against the Braves Rick Mahler (6-2).

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A good start saw Darling strike out the first two Braves batters. The two pitchers matched zeros
quietly setting down hitters along the way. 

In the 5th Mahler gave up a lead off hit to Ron Gardenhire, then he walked Wally Backman & Keith Hernandez. But Darryl Strawberry grounded out ending the inning.

 In the top of the 6th, Darling gave up a single to Ken Oberkfell, then walked two batters. But he got Brad Komminsk to line out for the third out.

In the 7th the Mets got something going as Gardenhire led off with a base hit. Two outs later Mahler walked Mookie Wilson & Keith Hernandez. 

This time Darryl Strawberry came through with a singled scoring Gardey & Mookie for a 2-0 Mets lead.

Jesse Orosco came in to pitch the 8th. He gave up an RBI single to veteran Bob Watson but held down the Braves in the 9th for a 2-1 Meta win. Darling earned his 9th win as he shut out the Braves on two hits over seven innings.

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In the night cap it was Walt Terrel (5-7) for the Mets & Rick Camp (3-1) for the Braves. 

A shaky 1st inning, saw Terrell walk three batters, although he got Oberkfell to fly out to end the inning. Camp had to leave the game in the 2nd inning, he was replaced by former Met Pete Falcone. Falcone a Brooklyn native, played for Torre with the Mets when he was manager there as well.

In the top of the 3rd, the Braves got three straight hits, as Claudell Washington, Albert Hall & Rafael Ramirez all singled. Davey Johnson went to his pen & brought in young Tim Leary to pitch. Later a Mets error by Kelvin Chapman at second led to another Braves run, it was 2-0 Atlanta.

In the bottom of the inning, the Mets Junior Ortiz reached on an error & Tim Leary singled. Mookie Wilson grounded into a force play advancing Ortiz to third. Next Chapman made up for his error with a base hit scoring Ortiz.

In the 4th, George Foster hit his 11th HR of the year, a solo shot to tie up the game at two. 

In the 7th Jeff Dedmon was pitching for Atlanta, he
walked pinch hitter Danny Heep. Jose Oquendo came into run, he was advanced on Mookie Wilson's bunt. Oquendo got to third on pinch hitter Rusty Staub's ground out. Dedmond then threw a wild pitch to Strawberry, Oquendo scored the third Mets run. It was 3-2 New York.

Doug Sisk came on & pitched two scoreless innings of relief, striking out Chris Chambliss for the final out. He earned his 11th save, as Leary got his third win (3-3). Sisk would save 15 games for the '84 Mets second behind Jesse Orosco's 31.

The 1984 Mets would win 90 games (90-70) finishing second to the Chicago Cubs by 6.5 games. It was the start of an exciting 1980's run of good Mets teams.

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