April 20, 1975: Tate's First Win Gives Mets Sweep

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Date: April 20, 1975
Mets starter: Randy Tate
Mets: 4
Cubs: 3
Winning pitcher: Randy Tate
Key player(s): Randy Tate, Jerry Grote, Wayne Garrett, Dave Kingman
Key play: Grote’s home run, Garrett’s single, Kingman’s home run

The Mets and Cubs faced each other in a doubleheader on a Sunday afternoon. After winning the opener of the twinbill at Shea Stadium, the Mets looked for a sweep in the second game. Randy Tate recorded his first major league win as the Mets defeated Chicago, 4-3.

Tate and the Cubs’ Burt Hooton each started the game with two scoreless innings pitched. Randy hurled a perfect top of the third and Jerry Grote hit a home run to lead off the bottom half. Tate was called out on strikes and Wayne Garrett popped out to shortstop Don Kessinger. Hooton then retired Felix Millan on a fly ball to right fielder Jerry Morales to end the inning.

Tate retired all three Chicago batters in the top of the fourth. Hooton surrendered only a walk to Joe Torre in the bottom half and consecutive bases on balls to Pete LaCock and Manny Trillo began the top of the fifth. Steve Swisher flied out to right fielder Rusty Staub to send LaCock to third base. Hooton followed with a bunt on which Tate threw to catcher Grote for an out at home on LaCock. Randy then got Kessinger to ground out to shorststop Jack Heidemann and finish off the inning.

Grote got a one-out single in the bottom of the fifth. Jerry moved to second base on Tate’s sacrifice bunt and scored the Mets’ second run on a single by Garrett. Millan bunted back to Hooton for the third out of the inning and Jose Cardenal singled to open the top of the sixth. Bill Madlock drew a walk and Rick Monday flied out to center fielder Del Unser. Tate then got Morales on a grounder to Heidemann for a double play that ended the inning.

Unser got a bunt single to begin the bottom of the sixth. Staub fouled out to catcher Swisher and a fly ball by Torre was caught by center fielder Monday. Dave Kingman followed with a two-run homer to extend the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Hooton retired Heidemann on an inning-ending pop-up to first baseman LaCock, who doubled against Tate to lead off the top of the seventh. Trillo hit a single to send LaCock to third base and Mets’ reliever Rick Baldwin got Swisher to fly out to Staub. Baldwin then threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Gene Hiser and fanned Kessinger for the inning’s final out.

Grote singled against Cubs’ reliever Darold Knowles to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Baldwin’s sacrifice bunt moved Grote to second base and Garrett drew a walk. Knowles retired Millan and Unser on outfield fly balls to close out the inning and Baldwin gave up only a walk to Madlock in the top of the eighth. With two outs in the bottom half, Kingman reached on third baseman Madlock’s error. Dave advanced to third on an ensuing single by Heidemann. Knowles then got Grote on a force play grounder to Madlock for the third out of the inning.

LaCock hit a leadoff single in the top of the ninth. Trillo flied out to right fielder Bob Gallagher and a single by Swisher followed. Pinch-hitter Vic Harris hit a force play ground ball to second baseman Millan and a walk to Kessinger loaded the bases. Cardenal singled to drive home LaCock and Harris. On the hit, left fielder Kingman made an error that allowed Kessinger to score and Cardenal to go to third base. Baldwin then retired Madlock on a fly ball to Gallagher to end the game. The Mets had a sweep of the doubleheader as Tate chalked up his first win as a major leaguer.