July 21, 1972: Mays Homers in Return to Coast
|Date: July 21, 1972|
|Mets starter: Jerry Koosman|
|Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman|
|Key player(s): Willie Mays|
|Key play: Mays’ two-run homer|
The Mets and Giants opened a three-game series on a Friday night. The game was the first one for Willie Mays at Candlestick Park since being traded two months earlier. Mays came back to haunt his old team with a two-run homer that proved to be the difference in a 3-1 Mets win over San Francisco.
Jerry Koosman and the Giants’ Jim Barr each pitched four innings of two-hit scoreless ball to start the game. Ted Martinez got an infield single to begin the top of the fifth. Jerry Grote doubled to advance Martinez to third base and Koosman flied out to left fielder Ken Henderson. Bud Harrelson grounded out to second baseman Tito Fuentes to bring home Martinez with the game’s first run. Mays followed with a home run to extend the Mets’ lead to 3-0. Barr retired John Milner on a fly ball to Henderson that ended the inning. Koosman then hurled a scoreless bottom half.
The Mets failed to score after loading the bases against San Francisco reliever Randy Moffitt in the top of the sixth. Leading off the bottom of the inning, Chris Speier homered for the Giants’ first run. Willie McCovey grounded out to first baseman Milner and a pop-up by Fuentes was caught by second baseman Martinez. Henderson hit a single and Alan Gallagher grounded out to Martinez to end the inning. Moffitt again held the Mets without a run with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh. Koosman then set down the Giants in order in the bottom half.
San Francisco’s Don McMahon pitched a perfect top of the eighth inning. Consecutive singles by Garry Maddox and Speier began the bottom half. Ed Goodson flied out to center fielder Mays and a single by Fuentes loaded the bases. Tug McGraw came in to pitch for the Mets and got Henderson to hit a grounder to shortstop Harrelson for an inning-ending double play. McMahon then shut down the Mets in the top of the ninth.
McGraw struck out Gallagher to start the bottom of the ninth inning. Dave Rader doubled to right field and pinch-hitter Fran Healy was called out on strikes. Tug then fanned Bobby Bonds to end the game. The Mets had a victory to begin the weekend series.