April 25, 1972: Capra's First Major League Win

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Date: April 25, 1972
Mets starter: Buzz Capra
Mets: 2
Padres: 1
Winning pitcher: Buzz Capra
Key player(s): Buzz Capra, Chuck Taylor
Key play: Padres’ errors

The Mets faced the Padres on a Tuesday night in San Diego. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Buzz Capra recorded his first major league win in a 2-1 Mets victory.

Padres’ starter Steve Arlin retired the side on three consecutive ground balls to second baseman Derrel Thomas in the top of the first inning. Capra hurled a perfect bottom half and Arlin shut down the Mets again in the top of the second. Leading off the bottom of the inning, Nate Colbert hit a home run for a 1-0 San Diego lead. Leron Lee drew a walk and was caught stealing second base on catcher Jerry Grote’s throw to shortstop Bud Harrelson. Larry Stahl walked and Fred Kendall hit a single to center field. Enzo Hernandez followed with a grounder on which Capra threw to third baseman Jim Fregosi for a force out on Stahl. Buzz then retired Arlin on a line drive to left fielder Cleon Jones to end the inning.

Capra and Arlin each pitched scoreless ball from the third inning to the sixth. Tommie Agee and Rusty Staub got back-to-back singles to begin the top of the seventh. With Jones at bat, Thomas made an error on Arlin’s pickoff throw that allowed Agee to score and Staub to move to third base. Jones fouled out to catcher Kendall and a fly ball by Fregosi was caught by left fielder Lee. Ed Kranepool reached second on an error by right fielder Stahl that brought home Staub and put the Mets ahead by a run. Grote was given an intentional walk and Arlin threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter John Milner to finish off the inning. Mets’ reliever Chuck Taylor then yielded only a double to pinch-hitter Ollie Brown in the bottom half.

Padres’ reliever Mike Caldwell set down all three batters on infield grounders in the top of the eighth. Taylor retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning and Caldwell hurled a scoreless top of the ninth. Stahl grounded out to second baseman Ken Boswell to lead off the bottom half. Kendall was retired on a pop-up to Harrelson. Taylor then got pinch-hitter Jerry Morales to fly out to center fielder Agee and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a series-opening victory as Capra chalked up his first win as a major leaguer.