July 13, 1978: Mets Pin Loss on Seaver

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Date: July 13, 1978
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 4
Reds: 2
Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman
Key player(s): Jerry Koosman, Lenny Randle, Doug Flynn
Key play: Flynn’s and Randle’s sacrifice flies

The Mets faced the Reds on a Thursday night in Cincinnati. The teams began a four-game weekend series immediately following the All-Star Break. Pitchers Jerry Koosman and Skip Lockwood held down the Big Red Machine enough for a 4-2 Mets win that gave the team its first victory ever over Tom Seaver.

After a scoreless first inning, John Stearns singled with one out in the top of the second. Stearns stole second base and went to third on an errant throw by catcher Johnny Bench. Shortstop Dave Concepcion mishandled Steve Henderson’s ground ball to allow Stearns to score for a 1-0 Mets lead. Henderson stole second and advanced to third on Seaver’s wild pitch. Elliott Maddox drew a walk and Doug Flynn hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Henderson. Seaver struck out Koosman to end the inning. Jerry then retired three straight Reds batters after Bench’s leadoff single in the bottom half.

In the top of the third inning, Seaver limited the Mets to a single by Lee Mazzilli. Koosman set down the first two batters and gave up a single to Ken Griffey in the bottom half. Griffey moved to second base on Koosman’s balk and scored on an ensuing single by Joe Morgan. George Foster hit a fly ball to right fielder Maddox for the third out of the inning. Seaver and Koosman then pitched scoreless ball in the fourth.

Flynn hit a double to lead off the top of the fifth inning. Koosman’s sacrifice bunt advanced Flynn to third base. Lenny Randle followed with a sacrifice fly to bring home Flynn and extend the Mets’ lead to 3-1. Seaver struck out Tim Foli to close out the inning. Koosman pitched a perfect bottom of the fifth. Seaver shut down the Mets in the top of the sixth and Koosman got Concepcion to hit into a double play to end a scoreless bottom half of the inning.

Seaver fanned all three Mets hitters in the top of the seventh. In the bottom half, the Reds put runners at first and third with one out against Koosman. Pete Rose doubled to score Dan Driessen for the second Cincinnati run of the game. Trying to score from first on the hit, Rick Auerbach was out at the plate on a relay throw from shortstop Foli. Lockwood then entered the game and retired Griffey on a fly ball to center fielder Mazzilli for the final out of the inning.

Joel Youngblood homered off Reds’ reliever Manny Sarmiento to begin the top of the eighth. Sarmiento set down the next three Met batters. Lockwood pitched a scoreless bottom half despite Foster’s single and a walk to Concepcion. The Mets were then shut down by Sarmiento in the top of the ninth.

Lockwood retired Cesar Geronimo on a fly ball to left fielder Henderson to open the bottom of the ninth inning. Pinch-hitter Mike Lum grounded out to second baseman Bobby Valentine. Rose got a bunt single to keep the Reds’ hopes alive. Lockwood then got Griffey to fly out to Henderson and end the game. The Mets started the unofficial second half of the season by defeating Seaver for the first time ever.

Notes

  • The win for Koosman was his last one as a Met.