It took the 1982 "New Look" Chicago Cubs three games to do what the 1981 squad spent 15 games trying to accomplish.
The Cubs won their second game of the season by shutting out the New York Mets, 5-0, today before a chilled home-opening crowd of 26,091. Last year, the Cubs did not win their second game until April 29, when they broke a 12-game losing streak.
Today, Fergie Jenkins made a triumphant return to his old club and Bill Buckner hit a two-run homer to lead the Cubs.
"I don't want to have anything to do with the 1981 Cubs," Lee Elia, the Cubs' new manager, said. "We may lose 50 in a row but it's going to be this year's club, not last year's."
That's fine with Jenkins, back with the Cubs after eight seasons in the American League. He stopped the Mets on five hits over 6 2/3 innings, but needed help in the seventh inning from Lee Smith, who earned the save. Smith gave up only one hit the rest of the way.
"Especially in this weather, I know Lee doesn't expect me to complete a lot of games," Jenkins, 38, said. "I expect if I can give them five, six or seven innings, then we'll win a lot of ballgames."
The game was played in 34-degree weather after the ground crew spent the entire morning clearing the field of snow. Throughout the game, many of the fans threw snowballs at the Mets, mainly at Dave Kingman, a former Cub.
Jenkins' victory was his 265th; Mike Scott was the loser.
Larry Bowa led off the Cubs' fourth with a single, then Buckner hit his homer on a 3-1 pitch. "I knew I had to pitch a strike at 3-1," said Scott, "but I shouldn't have thrown it right down the middle to Buckner."