With two outs and a runner on second base, Gregg Jefferies represented the tying run as the New York Mets trailed the Philadelphia Phillies 5-3 on the day on the final home game of the 1989 regular season. Former Mets pitcher Roger McDowell induced Jefferies into a weak ground ball to second to end the game — and start a bench-clearing brawl.
”Roger screamed something at Gregg,” Mets manager Davey Johnson told the media after the game. ”It went back to Monday night, when Roger screamed something at Gregg after he broke Gregg’s bat. Obviously there’s bad blood between them.”
”I pitched him inside a little on Monday, so I guess that’s what it was all about,” McDowell said.
Phillies manager Nick Leyva added fuel to fire, claiming Jefferies is not liked by his own Mets teammates. ”There were 30 guys on our side rooting for Roger and 20 guys on their side rooting for Roger,” he said.
Jefferies did not speak to the media after the game.
More Highlights from this day in Mets history:
1983: Mookie Wilson becomes the Mets’ all-time career stolen-base leader when he swipes second base in the fifth inning of a 4-3 win against Pittsburgh at Three Rivers Stadium. The New York center fielder will add to his franchise-breaking total of 140 in the same frame when he takes third base on the front end of double steal with Darryl Strawberry.
2005: With a seventh inning single off Mets reliever Juan Padilla, Jimmy Rollins extends his hitting streak to 32 games. The Philadelphia shortstop breaks the 106-year Phillies record, surpassing Ed Delahanty, who hit in 31 games in a row in 1899.
2012: R. A. Dickey beats the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-5, at Citi Field to become the first Mets pitcher to win 20 games since Frank Viola did it in 1990. hurler in 22 years to accomplish the feat. Dickey is one of six Mets pitchers who have won 20 or more regular season games: Tom Seaver (1969, 1971, 1972, and 1975), Jerry Koosman (1976), David Cone (1988), and Viola (1990) are the others.