August 6, 1975: McMillan Wins Debut as Manager

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Date: August 6, 1975
Mets starter: George Stone
Mets: 9
Expos: 6
Winning pitcher: Hank Webb
Key player(s): Wayne Garrett, Del Unser
Key play: Garrett’s home run, Unser’s double, 9th inning rain

The Mets and Expos faced each other on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. Following the dismissal of manager Yogi Berra, the game was the first one for Mets’ interim skipper Roy McMillan. Amid a steady rain that halted the game in the ninth inning, the Mets emerged with a 9-6 triumph over Montreal for McMillan’s first managerial victory.

George Stone and the Expos’ Steve Renko each pitched a scoreless first inning. With two outs in the top of the second, Pete Mackanin homered for a 1-0 Montreal lead. Barry Foote grounded out to shortstop Mike Phillips to end the inning and the Mets were limited to a two-out triple by Phillips in the bottom half. Pepe Mangual hit a solo home run with one out in the top of the third. Pepe Frias singled and advanced to second base on first baseman Ed Kranepool’s error on a pickoff play. Frias moved to third on a wild pitch and Gary Carter drew a walk. Jose Morales doubled to drive home Frias and Carter, increasing the Expos’ lead to four runs. On his own hit, Morales went to third on an error by Phillips. Stone retired the next two Montreal batters to end the inning. Renko then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Mets’ reliever Hank Webb hurled a scoreless top of the fourth. Leading off the bottom of the inning, Rusty Staub singled to center field. Wayne Garrett followed with a home run to cut the Montreal lead to 4-2. Jerry Grote fouled out to catcher Foote and a single by Phillips ensued. Webb went down on strikes and Del Unser was retired on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Mangual. The Expos were held to a double by Carter in the top of the fifth. Renko then set down the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Webb retired all three Montreal batters in the top of the sixth inning. With one out in the bottom half, Garrett reached on an error by second baseman Mackanin. Grote hit a force play ground ball to Mackanin and a walk to Phillips ensued. Pinch-hitter John Milner drew a walk that loaded the bases. Unser followed with a double to bring home Grote, Phillips and Milner, giving the Mets a 5-4 lead. On his own hit, Unser moved to third via an error by shortstop Frias. Felix Millan doubled to score Unser with the Mets’ sixth run of the game. Renko was then replaced on the mound by Expos’ reliever Fred Scherman.

Kranepool greeted Scherman with the Mets’ third straight double to drive home Millan. Dave Kingman was given an intentional walk and Staub was hit by a pitch to reload the bases. Scherman issued a walk to Garrett that forced home Kranepool. Grote drew a walk (the Mets’ fifth of the inning) against Montreal’s Chuck Taylor to plate Kingman for a 9-4 New York lead. Taylor then got Phillips to pop out to Frias and end the inning.

Mets’ reliever Bob Apodaca pitched a perfect top of the seventh. Leading off the bottom half, Apodaca singled against the Expos’ Don DeMola. Unser reached second base on DeMola’s error that allowed Apodaca to go to third. Millan grounded out to third baseman Larry Parrish and a fly ball by Kranepool was caught by left fielder Jim Dwyer. Kingman flied out to Mangual to finish off the inning and Apodaca set down all three Montreal hitters in the top of the eighth. DeMola then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Parrish hit a single to lead off the top of the ninth inning. Mackanin singled and Foote reached on an error by Phillips that allowed Parrish to score. Pinch-hitter Jim Lyttle drew a walk to load the bases and Apodaca issued a walk to Mangual that forced home Mackanin with the Expos’ sixth run. With the bases still loaded and none out, the rain came down harder and brought the game to an end. The Mets had their first win for McMillan.