April 29, 1975: Early Offense Puts Away Cubs

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Date: April 29, 1975
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 9
Cubs: 1
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Rusty Staub, Joe Torre, John Milner
Key play: Staub’s RBI single, Torre’s single, Milner’s home run

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Tuesday afternoon in Chicago. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. The Mets collected eight runs and eight hits in the first two innings and rolled to a 9-1 win.

Felix Millan doubled against Cubs’ starter Burt Hooton with one out in the top of the first. Joe Torre grounded out to shortstop Don Kessinger and a single by Rusty Staub brought home Millan. Dave Kingman singled and advanced to third base on a single by John Milner that scored Staub. Jerry Grote hit a single to drive home Kingman for a 3-0 Mets lead. Bud Harrelson grounded back to Hooton for the third out. Mets’ starter Tom Seaver then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Del Unser drew a one-out walk in the top of the second. Millan reached second base (with Unser moving to third) on an error by center fielder Rick Monday. Torre singled to drive home Unser and Millan, increasing the Mets’ lead to 5-0. Hooton was replaced on the mound by Chicago reliever Milt Wilcox, against whom Staub hit a single to right field. Kingman went down on strikes and Milner slugged a three-run homer for an 8-0 New York lead. Wilcox retired Grote on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Jose Cardenal. Seaver then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Wilcox held the Mets to a single by Seaver in the top of the third. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Wilcox singled to center field. Kessinger flied out to left fielder Kingman and a single by Cardenal ensued. Bill Madlock flied out to center fielder Unser to end the inning and Wilcox hurled a perfect top of the fourth. Pete LaCock drew a two-out walk in the bottom half. Manny Trillo singled to advance LaCock to third base. Seaver then got Steve Swisher to ground out to shortstop Harrelson and finish off the inning.

Wilcox retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. Kessinger singled with one out in the bottom half. Cardenal hit a single and moved to third base on Madlock’s single that drove home Kessinger. Monday popped out to third baseman Torre and a line drive by Jerry Morales was caught by Kingman to end the inning. Chicago reliever Bob Locker surrendered just a walk to Unser in the top of the sixth. Seaver then yielded only a single to Trillo in the bottom half.

Cubs’ reliever Ken Frailing pitched a scoreless top of the seventh. Seaver retired the side on three straight infield ground balls in the bottom of the inning and Harrelson singled with one out in the top of the eighth. Bud advanced to second base on Seaver’s sacrifice bunt and scored the Mets’ ninth run on a single by Unser. Frailing retired Millan on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Morales. Seaver then hurled a perfect bottom half.

Chicago reliever Darold Knowles set down the side in order in the top of the ninth. Trillo drew a walk to open the bottom of the inning. Swisher followed with a grounder to Torre for a double play. Seaver then got Adrian Garrett to fly out to Unser and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a solid victory.