April 27, 1971: Frisella's Relief Stifles Cards

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Date: April 27, 1971
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 2
Cardinals: 1
Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman
Key player(s): Bud Harrelson, Danny Frisella, Ken Singleton
Key play: Mets’ runs and Singleton’s throw in 3rd, Frisella’s relief

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Tuesday night in St. Louis. The game was a pitching matchup of ace lefthanders as Jerry Koosman went up against the Redbirds’ Steve Carlton. However, it was Danny Frisella’s ninth-inning relief that made the difference in a 2-1 Mets win.

After two scoreless innings, Tommie Agee singled to lead off the top of the third. Bud Harrelson hit a double on which left fielder Lou Brock made an error that allowed Agee to come home. Harrelson advanced to third base on Cleon Jones’ ground out to second baseman Julian Javier. Donn Clendenon reached on shortstop Ted Sizemore’s error and moved to second on a wild pitch that brought home Harrelson for a 2-0 Mets lead. Ken Singleton popped out to Javier and a walk to Bob Aspromonte ensued. Carlton then got Tim Foli to hit a force play ground ball to Sizemore to close out the inning.

Jim Beauchamp hit a single to begin the bottom of the third. Sizemore singled and Carlton’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third base. Brock was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Agee. Matty Alou hit a single that drove home Beauchamp with the Cards’ first run of the game. Trying to score on the play, Sizemore was out at home via a throw by right fielder Singleton to catcher Jerry Grote to end the inning.

Koosman and Carlton each pitched scoreless ball from the fourth inning to the seventh. St. Louis reliever Frank Linzy set down the side on three straight infield ground balls in the top of the eighth and Alou reached on an error by Grote with one out in the bottom half. With Ted Simmons at bat, Alou got caught by Koosman’s pickoff throw and was tagged out by shortstop Harrelson. Simmons grounded out to third baseman Aspromonte to finish off the inning and Grote drew a one-out walk in the top of the ninth. Linzy then fanned Koosman and retired Agee on a grounder to catcher Simmons for the inning’s final out.

Joe Torre singled off Koosman to open the bottom of the ninth. Against Frisella, Jose Cardenal reached on a fielder’s choice bunt. Pinch-hitter Bob Burda went down on strikes and pinch-hitter Leron Lee singled to load the bases. Frisella retired Sizemore on a pop-up to first baseman Clendenon. Danny then struck out pinch-hitter Joe Hague to end the game. The Mets had a victory as Frisella came through with clutch relief.