July 18, 1976: Lolich Pitches Two-Hit Shutout
|Date: July 18, 1976|
|Mets starter: Mickey Lolich|
|Winning pitcher: Mickey Lolich|
|Key player(s): Mickey Lolich, Felix Millan, Dave Kingman|
|Key play: Millan’s RBI single, Kingman’s home run|
Lolich and the Braves’ Carl Morton each hurled scoreless first and second innings. Mickey gave up only a single to Darrel Chaney in the top of the third and Roy Staiger singled to lead off the bottom half. Staiger advanced to second base on Lolich’s sacrifice bunt and Mike Phillips flied out to left fielder Tom Paciorek. A single by Felix Millan brought home Staiger for a 1-0 Mets lead. Morton then retired Joe Torre on a fly ball to center fielder Jim Wynn for the final out of the inning.
Lolich held the Braves to a single by Wynn in the top of the fourth. Leading off the bottom half, Dave Kingman homered for the Mets’ second run of the game. Mike Vail singled and a bunt single by Del Unser ensued. Ron Hodges was retired on a fly ball to Wynn. Morton then got Staiger to hit a grounder to shortstop Chaney for a double play that closed out the inning.
Lolich set down all three Atlanta batters in the top of the fifth. Millan and Torre got back-to-back singles with two outs in the bottom half. Morton retired Kingman on a ground ball to second baseman Rod Gilbreath to end the inning and Lolich pitched a perfect top of the sixth. Morton retired the Mets in order in the bottom half and Mickey set down the Braves 1-2-3 again in the top of the seventh. Morton then pitched a perfect bottom of the inning.
Lolich hurled his fourth consecutive perfect inning in the top of the eighth. Millan singled against Atlanta reliever Mike Marshall to begin the bottom half. Felix stole second base and Torre was called out on strikes. Kingman fouled out to third baseman Jerry Royster. Marshall then threw a called third strike past Vail for the inning’s final out.
Pinch-hitter Cito Gaston flied out to right fielder Vail to open the top of the ninth inning. Royster flied out to center fielder Unser and an error by shortstop Phillips allowed Gilbreath to reach base. Lolich then struck out Wynn to end the game. The Mets had a shutout victory on Mickey’s two-hitter.
- The shutout for Lolich was his 41st and last of his 16-season major league career.