April 9, 1976: Mets Win Season Opener
|Date: April 9, 1976|
|Mets starter: Tom Seaver|
|Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver|
|Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Bud Harrelson|
|Key play: Harrelson's double in 4th|
The Mets' new season got under way at Shea Stadium on a Friday afternoon. Tom Seaver took the mound to face the Expos in his ninth consecutive Opening Day start. The Mets began the year on a positive note with a 3-2 win.
Seaver started off with two scoreless innings, striking out four batters. In the bottom of the second, Del Unser hit a leadoff triple and scored on a single by Jerry Grote. The Mets then loaded the bases with one out against Montreal starter Steve Rogers before Felix Millan's fly out resulted in a double play when Grote was thrown out at home by Montreal right fielder Gary Carter.
The Expos tied the game in the third inning on Mike Jorgensen's single that scored Pepe Mangual. Seaver retired Montreal in order in the fourth and Unser led off the bottom half by reaching on third baseman Larry Parrish's error. Del stole second base and Grote walked before Bud Harrelson hit a double to score both of them and give the Mets a 3-1 lead. Rogers then retired 9 of the next 10 Mets batters. Meanwhile, Seaver pitched two more scoreless innings with the help of a double play grounder by Pete Mackanin that ended the sixth.
Seaver set down the Expos 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh inning. Skip Lockwood came in to pitch the eighth and gave up three singles in a row for a Montreal run. Lockwood then retired the next three Expo hitters to maintain the Mets' one-run lead.
To begin the ninth, Skip struck out Tim Foli and got pinch-hitter Jose Morales on a fly ball to right fielder Dave Kingman. Lockwood then struck out Mangual to end the game. The Mets got the season started off with a victory.