April 17, 1975: Mets Beat Cardinals in Scoring Duel

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Date: April 17, 1975
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 14
Cardinals: 7
Winning pitcher: Rick Baldwin
Key player(s): Rusty Staub, Jack Heidemann, Del Unser, Rick Baldwin
Key play: Stuab’s, Heidemann’s and Unser’s doubles, Sizemore’s three errors in 6th

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Thursday afternoon in St. Louis. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series. The Mets broke away from a tight high-scoring battle and rolled to a 14-7 win over the Redbirds.

Del Unser doubled against St. Louis starter Lynn McGlothen to lead off the top of the first inning. Felix Millan singled and Rusty Staub hit a double to drive home Unser. Dave Kingman went down on strikes and John Milner was walked intentionally to load the bases. McGlothen struck out Wayne Garrett and walked Jack Heidemann to force home Millan. An infield single by Jerry Grote brought home Staub. Jerry Koosman hit a single to score Milner and Heidemann. Unser singled against Cardinals’ reliever John Curtis to plate Grote with the Mets’ sixth run. Curtis then retired Millan on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Bake McBride.

Lou Brock singled against Mets’ starter Koosman to begin the bottom of the first. Ted Sizemore hit a single and McBride drew a walk to load the bases. A sacrifice fly by Reggie Smith scored Brock with the Cards’ first run of the game. Ted Simmons followed with a home run to reduce the Mets’ lead to 6-4. Ken Reitz flied out to center fielder Unser and a walk to Keith Hernandez ensued. Koosman then got Ed Brinkman to fly out to left fielder Kingman and finish off the inning.

After retiring the Mets in order in the top of the second, Curtis singled to open the bottom half of the inning. Brock reached on an error by second baseman Millan and a foul pop-up by Sizemore was caught by shortstop Heidemann. McBride hit an infield single to load the bases. Harry Parker then came in to pitch for the Mets and got Smith to hit a ground ball to first baseman Milner for a double play that ended the inning.

Garrett drew a walk to lead off the top of the third. Heidemann lined out to shortstop Brinkman and a single by Grote followed. Parker drew a walk to load the bases. Unser hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Garrett from third. Curtis got Millan on a force play grounder to second baseman Sizemore for the final out of the inning. Parker then hurled a perfect bottom half.

Curtis shut down the Mets in the top of the fourth inning. To begin the bottom half, Brinkman drew a walk and pinch-hitter Jim Dwyer singled to center field. Brock hit a force play grounder back to Parker and a walk to Sizemore loaded the bases. Against Mets’ reliever Rick Baldwin, McBride hit a ground ball to Millan for a force out at second base on Sizemore as Brinkman scored the Cardinals’ fifth run. Baldwin then retired Smith on a fly ball to Kingman to end the inning.

St. Louis reliever Elias Sosa held the Mets to a single by Baldwin in a scoreless top of the fifth. Simmons hit his second home run of the game to open the bottom of the inning. Reitz doubled and advanced to third base on Hernandez’s ground out to Millan. Brinkman followed with a double to bring home Reitz and tie the game at 7-7. Baldwin then fanned Sosa and retired Brock on an inning-ending fly ball to Kingman.

Millan drew a walk to begin the top of the sixth inning. Felix moved to second base on Sosa’s wild pitch and to third on a single by Staub. Kingman was struck out and Milner singled to score Millan, putting the Mets ahead by a run. With Ray Sadecki on the mound for the Redbirds, an error by Sizemore on Garrett’s grounder loaded the bases. Heidemann hit a double to drive home Staub, Milner and Garrett. Grote popped up to Sizemore for the inning’s second out. Baldwin reached on Sizemore’s second error with Heidemann moving to third base. On Sizemore’s wild throw after the play (his third error of the inning), Jack came home to extend the Mets’ lead to 12-7. Sadecki fanned Unser to close out the inning. Baldwin then set down the Cardinals 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

The Mets loaded the bases with two outs against Sadecki in the top of the seventh. Tommy Moore came in to pitch for St. Louis and retired Heidemann on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Smith. Baldwin pitched a scoreless bottom half and reached on an error by shortstop Brinkman with one out in the top of the eighth. Unser got on base via an error by first baseman Hernandez and a pop-up by Millan was caught by caught by Brinkman. Staub hit a double to drive home Baldwin and Unser, lengthening the Mets’ lead to seven runs. Moore got Kingman to pop-out to Reitz and finish off the inning. Baldwin then retired all three Redbird batters in the bottom half.

Cardinals’ reliever Mike Garman shut down the Mets in the top of the ninth. McBride drew a walk to open the bottom of the inning. Smith followed with a ground ball to Millan for a double play. Baldwin then retired Simmons on a fly ball to Kingman to end the game. The Mets had a victory to close out their first road trip of the season and stop a five-game losing streak.

Notes

  • The win for Baldwin was his first in the major leagues.