April 10, 1974: Mets Win Home Opener
|Date: April 10, 1974|
|Mets starter: Jerry Koosman|
|Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman|
|Key player(s): Jerry Koosman, Jerry Grote|
|Key play: Grote's home run|
After starting the season in Philadelphia, the Mets played the Cardinals in their first home game of the year. The players were presented with their National League Championship rings and the 1973 pennant flag was raised at Shea Stadium. The Mets encored the celebration with a 3-2 win over St. Louis.
Starting pitcher Jerry Koosman retired the Cards in order in the top of the first inning. In the bottom half, John Milner and Jerry Grote got two-out singles off Cardinals' starter John Curtis to bring home Felix Millan and Cleon Jones, respectively. St. Louis responded with a run in the second on Ken Reitz's sacrifice fly to score Joe Torre.
Koosman and Curtis both got double play ground balls in the third before pitching perfect fourth innings. Each pitcher also got two ground outs to start a scoreless fifth. Koosman then retired the top of the Cardinals' lineup in order in the top of the sixth.
Grote homered with one out in the bottom of the sixth to extend the Mets' lead to 3-1. Don Hahn followed with a single, but Curtis got Bud Harrelson to ground into a double play to end the inning. The Cards then put two runners on base in the seventh with one out before Koosman struck out Reitz and got Mike Tyson on a ground ball to second baseman Millan.
Reggie Smith led off the top of the ninth inning with a triple. Koosman got Torre to ground out, but Ted Simmons singled to score Smith. Bake McBride followed with another single and Koosman was removed from the game. Reliever Bob Apodaca then got pinch-hitter Tim McCarver to ground into a game-ending double play. The Mets had a victory in their home opener.