This game was like one of those car wrecks you seen on the highway. A rubberneck game, because once you started watching you couldn’t take your eyes off it.
And, you watched until 3:55 in the morning. Just in time to go out for breakfast, or, if you were in Atlanta on this day in 1985, you called the police because you thought your neighborhood near Fulton County Stadium was being attacked.
In arguably one of the most fascinating games in club history, and one of the wildest of all time, the Mets outlasted the Braves, 16-13, in 19 innings, a July 4 game featuring two rain delays; Keith Hernandez hitting for the cycle; seven players getting at least nine at-bat; the Braves tying the game twice in extra innings; Mets reliever Tom Gorman working six innings; and following the game a fireworks display that prompted a flood of emergency calls to the Atlanta police.
It all began with an all-day rain that delayed the game, and another one followed that forced Davey Johnson to pull Dwight Gooden from the game and replace him with Roger McDowell.
The early part of the game was non-descript as the Mets held, then blew a 7-4 lead behind Jesse Orosco, who gave up four runs in the eighth inning.
The Mets tied the game in the ninth on Lenny Dykstra’s RBI single scored Howard Johnson, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter and singled. Johnson would go on and have the unbelievable line of going 3-for-5 with four runs scored.
Johnson homered with a man on to give the Mets a two-run lead in the 13th inning, but the Braves rallied in the bottom of the inning on Terry Harper’s two-run homer off Tom Gorman.
The game continued to crawl into the late night, and five innings later the Mets scored again on pitcher Rick Camp’s throwing error. However, with the Braves down to their final out, Camp homered to tie the game.
The Mets finally got to Camp with five runs in the 19th inning, on run-scoring hits from Ray Knight, Danny Heep and Wally Backman. The win went to Gorman.
Ron Darling worked the 19th to close out the game, and the fireworks began at 4:01 a.m.